President Donald Trump entered the White House promising to change Washington, undo key accomplishments of his predecessor and realign the US approach to the international community and treatment of immigrants.
Despite a historically controversial tenure and major staff shakeups, the Trump administration is reshaping the direction and tenor of the federal government.
Here’s a list of charts to show what has happened on a few key fronts:
Republicans vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, from its inception. They spent much of Trump’s first year in power trying to do so, and although they have chipped away at major pillars of Obamacare, the law remains on the books.
The newly minted tax law shells out major tax cuts and restructures the federal tax system, with analysis of the plan showing benefits skewed for top earners and corporations.
It also makes significant changes in other policy areas, including the elimination of Obamacare’s individual coverage mandate and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling.
A Congressional Budget Office estimate for the conference agreement announced mid-December said the bill would add $1.455 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. The Tax Policy Center mapped out how different groups would benefit — or not — over time under the plan, and it projected that people with the highest incomes would see the biggest cuts, while lower earners would see smaller changes to their tax bills, or even have less money after taxes than they would without the bill.
Trump has unapologetically continued his frequent and provocative tweeting, promoting his agenda, attacking the media and issuing thoughts seemingly as they come. He has done so a lot.
The tweets occasionally upend the news cycle, and something of a cottage industry has sprung up to derive some sort of pattern.
The Trump Twitter Archive is one attempt to store the tweets and try to find a way to understand the President’s behavior. By their count, Trump has tweeted some 2,600 times since taking office.
Trump’s first year in office saw job growth continue and the unemployment rate reaching lows unthinkable at the height of the recession.
At the same time, the stock market has soared since Trump’s election victory, with analysts crediting the expectation — and then the delivery — of tax reform for much of the bullish investor sentiment.
Trump has touted the blooming economy and taken credit for the major rise in the stock market. This week, the Dow Jones industrial average broke 26,000, a record high and a jump of about 8,000 points since the presidential election.
Around the same time as the new high for the Dow, Apple announced it would pay $38 billion in taxes and add 20,000 jobs to the US — another move Trump made sure to note.
From the outset of the Trump era, the situation began to change at the US-Mexico border, according to US Customs and Border Protection data. The government information shows the number of apprehensions at that border were down sharply relative to the same months in recent years.
Additionally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement data say the number of “interior removals” was up significantly compared with the same period in 2016. The data showing ramped up enforcement for ICE included an overall increase in arrests, which ICE said ticked up after Trump signed an order on January 25, 2017, calling on the Department of Homeland Security to boost its operations.
The already heated immigration debate has grown hotter still since Trump made derogatory and demeaning remarks in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers this month about creating a permanent fix for people protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Trump administration late last year announced it would end the Temporary Protected Status designation for Haiti, a move that could affect tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants. The Department of Homeland Security announced in January that it would end such protections for more than 200,000 Salvadorans, and later in the week, the White House rejected a bipartisan immigration proposal, including a fix for DACA.
Trump entered office with his party ascendant, for the first time in a decade controlling both houses of Congress and the White House. The GOP’s narrow majority in the Senate has hampered their efforts some, but since Trump has taken office, they’ve gotten 109 bills of varying significance into law, and Trump has issued dozens of executive orders, perhaps most notably his attempts to impose restrictions on travel from several majority-Muslim nations.
Under Trump, the US war on terror has continued, and in some senses, the US footprint has expanded.
US airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen ramped up under Trump, and a deadly incident in Niger drew more attention to the US military’s involvement across Africa.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said in October that the US has about 6,000 troops in Africa, “and they’re in about 53 different countries.”
2017 saw Iraq declare ISIS defeated there, and Trump has stressed his belief that the militant group was nearing its end.
Trump in August opted not to pull the US out of Afghanistan, where 12 service members died from combat during the President’s first year, according to a review of Pentagon announcements on casualties.
The US-led coalition against ISIS announced the first death of a US service member in Syria in 2016, and in Trump’s first year, the Defense Department announced two US military deaths in Syria, one in “a non-combat-related incident” and the other from injuries in a “vehicle rollover related incident.”
International (and domestic) standing
International polls taken in 2015 and 2016 compared with those taken in 2017 showed shifts in views of the US, with declining opinions among several major US allies, a standstill from Israel and a boost in Russia and Vietnam.
On the domestic side, satisfaction with the direction of the country, as with most matters of public opinion, is stratified by party.
Trump made his first international trip to Saudi Arabia, and during his first year he toured the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
He moved to pull the US out of the Paris agreement on climate change and withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He has continued to certify Iran in compliance with a multilateral nuclear agreement, but he criticized the agreement along the way, and threatened to withdraw from NAFTA.
On the homefront, Trump visited dozens of states and Puerto Rico.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2017’s combined weather and climate disasters broke the US record for annual cumulative cost, at a total north of $300 billion, including hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas.
As direct and indirect consequences of the disasters continue for years, the costs will inevitably rise, making these numbers uncertain, as unfortunately is true for the body count.
Outside of Trump’s actions, maneuvering in Congress and the President’s picks reworking federal departments, a “cloud” hangs over much of the political world.
The myriad investigations related to Russian interference in the 2016 US election and potential attempts to coordinate with Trump’s associates continue, leading to backlash from the President and regular developments gripping Washington.