Top Republicans Urge to Unite Behind Trump’s ‘America First’ Agenda

By Emel Akan
Emel Akan
Emel Akan
Emel Akan is a senior White House correspondent for The Epoch Times, where she covers the Biden administration. Prior to this role, she covered the economic policies of the Trump administration. Previously, she worked in the financial sector as an investment banker at JPMorgan. She graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University.
August 2, 2022Updated: August 4, 2022

There’s no question that former President Donald Trump still has a large base of support within the Republican Party, according to his allies. And a recent summit in Washington shows he remains a powerful force in Republican politics.

Some former Trump administration officials who founded the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) convened a summit in Washington on July 25 and 26 to present their policy proposals for the next Congress. Trump’s allies are working to make sure that his policies and “America First” ideology remain a central part of the party’s platform as they prepare for a possible red wave in 2022.

Linda McMahon, chair of the AFPI board, says that their policy recommendations are all based on the foundations laid by the Trump administration.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, she said their objective is to advance the “America First” agenda in the new Congress.

McMahon served in Trump’s Cabinet as the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2017 to 2019. She then stepped down to chair the pro-Trump super political action committee America First Action.

She says the No. 1 issue weighing on people’s minds is the economy. The group’s goals include making the Trump tax cuts permanent and continuing the deregulatory environment to bring back the Trump-era economic boom.

McMahon predicts the November midterm elections will produce a big win for the Republican Party.

“I do believe that the Republicans will retake both the House and the Senate,” she said. “I think in the House by a larger majority than in the Senate, but I think they will regain both of them.”

Trump made his first trip back to the nation’s capital since leaving office to deliver the keynote address at the summit. In a well-ordered speech, Trump emphasized “safety first” and criticized the crime surge and homelessness under the Biden administration.

“Former President Trump pressed all the right buttons—strong emphasis on crime and cost of living, with contrast to what happened to the economy and the border under his successor,” John Gizzi, chief political columnist at Newsmax, told The Epoch Times. “That he touched on these issues rather than dwell on the 2020 election shows he is au courant and forward looking.”

Some believe the odds of Trump running for reelection in 2024 have increased after this speech.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has recently increased his criticism of Trump as talk grows that Trump will run for president again. He accused the former president of inciting a “medieval hell” for police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.

At the two-day summit, however, top Republicans said they would continue to push for Trump’s “America First” agenda, and called on conservatives and GOP members to unite behind the former president.

“I hope he runs again,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during a panel discussion at the summit. “Let me tell you why: If you think Trump is bad for the party, I disagree with you.”

Other notable names who spoke at the summit included Newt Gingrich, Rick Scott, Ted Cruz, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Rick Perry.

Some of the key topics discussed at the summit included inflation, energy independence, and the regulatory state.

Larry Kudlow, AFPI’s vice chair and former top economic adviser in the Trump administration, cautioned against the Biden administration’s growing regulatory overreach, citing it as one of the factors contributing to the economy’s contraction. He said at the summit that regulatory costs reached more than $200 billion last year, “making it the second costliest year on record.”

“President Biden’s 2021 regulatory costs are three times those added in Obama’s first year and nearly 40 times more than in President Trump’s first year,” Kudlow said.

The AFPI plans to conduct a series of town halls across the country until the midterms to promote the “America First” agenda. And next January, the group plans to “educate the new Congress and state officials on model legislation and executive actions to advance” the policy proposals in Congress and in statehouses.

Aside from shoring up the economy, Trump’s “America First” agenda includes a wide range of proposals, such as ending big tech censorship, giving parents more power, protecting female athletes, completing the border wall, and defeating the drug cartels.