President Donald Trump’s administration has adopted more than two-thirds of the 334 agenda items recommended by the Heritage Foundation, outpacing former President Ronald Reagan who also followed the conservative think tank’s recommendations.
In a report released last week, the Heritage Foundation found that Trump has adopted 215 of the recommendations outlined in its “Mandate for Leadership” handbook. Trump’s key achievements include leaving the Paris Climate Accord, ending Net Neutrality, and increasing military spending, the foundation notes.
“President Trump had an extraordinarily successful first year,” Thomas Binion, director of congressional and executive branch relations at The Heritage Foundation, said in a press release. “He put a conservative on the Supreme Court and he enacted historic pro-growth tax reform.
Approximately 70 former Heritage Foundation employees worked for Trump’s transition team and his administration. The foundation’s agenda items stem from core principles including traditional American values, individual freedom, and a strong national defense.
“We’re blown away,” Binion told Washington Examiner. Trump, he said, “is very active, very conservative, and very effective.”
The president notably covered a vast range of administrative, legislative, and fiscal issues, many of which have been largely ignored by the media, Binion added.
“It is a huge volume that his administration has worked on and it is a huge spectrum of issues,” Binion said.
The report is in line with a list of 81 major achievements the White House released last year, the Washington Examiner reported.
The achievements add up to a powerful re-election agenda, Binion noted.
“It is absolutely a winning agenda,” he said.
President Ronald Reagan was the first to embrace an agenda by the Heritage Foundation in 1981. Reagan handed copies of the book to every cabinet member. At the same stage in his presidency, Reagan accomplished 49 percent of the agenda items, compared to Trump’s 64 percent.
“He has been very, very active,” Binion said. “He is moving the ball in the conservative direction.”
Heritage Foundation highlighted the following Trump policy achievements:
- Leaving the Paris Climate Accord: In August 2017, Trump announced the U.S. was ending its funding and membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
- Repealing Net Neutrality: In December 2017, Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chairman proposed ending the 2015 network neutrality rules.
- Reshaping National Monuments: Heritage’s recommendation to prohibit Land Acquisition (Cap and Reduce the Size of the Federal Estate) was adopted by Trump when he issued two executive orders effectively shrinking the size of national monuments in Utah.
- Reinstating the Mexico City Policy: This executive order prevents taxpayer money from funding international groups involved in abortion and ending funding to the United Nations Population fund. On Jan. 23, 2017, in his first pro-life action, Trump signed an executive order today reinstating the Mexico City Policy.
- Increasing Military Spending: Trump’s budget calls for a $54 billion increase in military spending to improve capacity, capability, and readiness of America’s armed forces.
- Reforming Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF): The Trump administration adopted and is in favor of strengthening existing work requirements in order to receive benefits.
- Allowing Development of Natural Resources: The Trump administration opened off-shore drilling and on federal lands. Executive Order 13783 directed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to commence federal land coal leasing activities.
- Reforming Government Agencies: Trump tasked each of his Cabinet secretaries to prepare detailed plans on how they propose to reduce the scope and size of their respective departments while streamlining services and ensuring each department runs more efficiently and handles tax dollars appropriately.
- Withdrawing from UNESCO: In October 2017, Trump announced he was putting an end to U.S. membership in the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).