Politics

Mike Pence Lays Out Trump's Top Priorities

| by Robert Fowler

Vice President-elect Mike Pence has outlined the top policy priorities for President-elect Donald Trump for his first days in office: signing executive orders to repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act, infrastructure spending, tax reform and tightening security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Jan. 4, Pence met with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill on the first day of their 2017 session. During their meeting, Pence discussed Trump's potential executive orders for when he assumes office, The Hill reports.

After the meeting, Pence gave reporters a general outline of the incoming Trump administration's top priorities. The vice president-elect listed curbing illegal immigration in the U.S., strengthening security along the southern border, infusing the U.S. military with funding, infrastructure spending and instituting new taxes.

"The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare," Pence said of the ACA, according to CNN. "Obamacare has failed, and the American people have sent a decisive message to Washington, D.C., they want Obamacare to be repealed and replaced with health care reform that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government."

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Pence signaled that GOP lawmakers would attempt to repeal portions of the ACA while Trump shaves away other portions through executive orders, although he did not specify which orders he would issue. Senate Republicans will have to turn in their proposals to repeal the ACA on Jan. 27.

During the vice president-elect's meeting with GOP lawmakers, several House Republicans gave their wish list for executive orders from Trump, The Washington Post reports.

Among the requests were that Trump rescind several of President Barack Obama's executive orders to shield protected lands from offshore drilling, carbon emission regulations and civil protections for LGBT Americans.

Pence also met with the Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. Shortly after the vice president-elect's statements to the press, Schumer pledged that his colleagues would resist any attempts to dismantle the ACA.

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"If you are repealing, show us what you'll replace it with," Schumer said. "Then we'll look at what you have and see what you can do."

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that GOP lawmakers' efforts to repeal to ACA could backfire against them politically.

Earnest asserted that a battle over the ACA "is a debate that Democrats can win because of the impact that repealing the law, as Republicans are vowing to do, would have on the lives of people in communities all across the country."

Sources: CNN/TwitterThe Hill, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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