The Wall Street Journal has an article about an interview they did with Vice President elect Mike Pence over what the Donald Trump administration hopes to accomplish in the first 100 and 200 days.
The new administration’s first priorities would include curbing illegal immigration, abolishing and then replacing Mr. Obama’s signature health-care system, nominating a justice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, and strengthening the military, said Mr. Pence …
This is, indeed, and ambitious — but ultimately impractical — plan. While I don’t want to rule out any possibility, especially considering that Donald Trump actually won against all conventional wisdom, the Donald Trump administration has very little chance of actually getting these things accomplished.
Let’s look at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Repeal should be fundamentally possible through the process of reconciliation. That would allow the effective repeal of Obamacare, but it would not allow for its replacement to be implemented. While I won’t argue that this is a likely strategy for the Republican House, Senate, and White House, there are already some Republicans worried about the consequences of repeal without a replacement.
Nominating a Supreme Court judge doesn’t seem to be too difficult either. And as long as the Supreme Court nominee isn’t too ideologically partisan, it doesn’t seem to be any great stretch that they would get Senate approval. If, on the other hand, they are too extreme, you can count on a Democratic filibuster.
The ideology of the Republicans also has to do with whether they can get anything passed with respect to immigration reform and military spending. Neither of these topics is anathema to the Democrats. As long as the Republicans are willing to work with the Democrats, then compromise — and therefore progress — can be made. If, on the other hand, the Republicans choose to attempt to implement the type of “reform” that Donald Trump was famous for in his campaign, then they can expect the Democrats to filibuster that type of extreme legislation for the sake of the country.