A 2018 agenda for President Trump

A 2018 agenda for President Trump
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As President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE meets with congressional Republican leaders at Camp David this weekend, he’s going to be faced with tough decisions about his second-year agenda. Here are some items he could consider.

First, end the congressional exemption from ObamaCare. The biggest disappointment of 2017 was the failure of Republicans to fully repeal ObamaCare. It is a huge disgrace, and will likely hurt them as they seek reelection in 2018. The best way to motivate them to repeal this law is to force them to live under the law like every other American, something they haven’t had to face since President Obama ordered an illegal carve-out for members of Congress and their staffs more than four years ago. The best part is that this is something the president doesn’t need to wait for Congress to do. He can do this himself with the stroke of a pen, by simply directing the Office of Personnel Management to overturn its ruling of late 2013 approving members of Congress and their staffs to purchase health insurance through the District of Columbia small business exchange, which allowed them an employer’s subsidy they were not meant to receive.

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Second, repeal ObamaCare. Doing away with its infamous individual mandate through the tax reform reconciliation bill is an excellent step, but it is not enough. American voters were promised full repeal of this odious law, and Republican leaders in the Congress should go back to work in 2018 to keep their promises. The repeal of the individual mandate via tax reform — and with it, the Congressional Budget Office’s ability to frighten some wishy-washy Republican senators and representatives with its exaggerated projections of coverage losses — should greatly reduce the burden of getting Republicans to live up to their promises. But they will need strong presidential leadership to move forward on this front.

Third, secure the border and implement an “America first” immigration policy. Immigration reform and border security were among the most pivotal issues in Trump’s campaign for president. The American people overwhelmingly want an immigration policy that puts the citizens of our country first, and this is the year they can get that done. Securing the border with a physical barrier, ending chain migration, ending the visa lottery system, implementing our biometric entry-exit visa system, enhancing interior enforcement, increasing the number of immigration judges so the case backlog can be reduced, and — of vital importance — ensuring that those who have already come here illegally are not rewarded for their illegal actions are the things that would put America first in an immigration system.

Fourth, confirm more conservative judges to the federal judiciary. This is the biggest success of President Trump’s first year in office. He has confirmed his first associate justice of the Supreme Court, and no fewer than a dozen judges for the Circuit Courts of Appeal, a record unmatched by any other president in his first year in office. But there are still literally scores more vacancies through the federal judiciary left to be filled, and President Trump should work with the Senate to confirm well-qualified conservatives to fill these crucial positions.

Fifth, enact a balanced budget amendment: For too long, the federal government has had a spending problem that was only exacerbated under President Obama. It’s time to finally put some restraint on politicians in Washington, D.C., by using the bully pulpit of the presidency to get Americans on board with forcing Washington to live within its means, just as the rest of the country must.

Sixth, promote term limits for Congress. Our Founders never anticipated the rise of a permanent political class. Rather, they envisioned temporary public servants who would serve a limited period of time for their fellow citizens, then return home after doing their duty. Instead, the last century has seen the rise of a permanent political class whose members are divorced from the people they represent, with a resulting anger from voters who don’t feel their interests are being protected. Enacting a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of members of Congress was the very first point of candidate Trump’s Contract with the American Voter, and he should make this fundamental process reform a part of his second-year agenda.

Finally, make tax cuts permanent. The tax reform package that was signed into law at the end of 2017 offered much needed relief to the American people and will drive further economic growth. While the use of the reconciliation process required trade-offs, including the inability to make permanent the individual tax cuts included, now that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Kamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Playing fast and loose with the economic facts MORE (I-Vt.) has publicly stated the tax cuts for the middle class should have been made permanent, we should use this opportunity to make those individual tax cuts permanent using regular order.

Repealing ObamaCare and its illegal special exemption for members of Congress, securing the border and reforming immigration, enact a balanced budget amendment, putting more well-qualified conservatives on the federal bench, setting term limits, and making individual tax cuts permanent is a good, solid second-year agenda. The ball is in President Trump’s court.

Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.