Crowley Pens Op-Ed to Address President Trump's First 100 Days of Division

It didn't need to be this way.

The first 100 days of a new administration are often the most fruitful of any presidency — a chance for the White House to define its priorities and use its political capital to actually get something done.

Accomplishing campaign promises and passing major legislative objectives through Congress becomes much more of an elusive goal as goodwill toward the new President ends and politics seep into the mix.

Take, for example, the fact that the last two Presidents oversaw major achievements during their first 100 days that ultimately served as indicators for their entire administrations. President George W. Bush navigated a diplomatic standoff with China over a downed a fighter jet and outlined a lasting congressional agenda. President Barack Obama passed an economic stimulus package to help stave off one of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, along with legislation codifying equal pay for women.

President Trump wasted his first 100 days. That's not just a bad omen for the rest of his presidency — it's a major problem for our country.

There are too many families still struggling to make ends meet. Far too many Americans are worried about rising health care costs, getting — or keeping — a good paying job, or affording to send their kids to college. And there is great concern across the country about our safety and security due to threats abroad.

This is what Trump should have focused on during his first three months in office. Instead, the administration spent weeks fixated on crowd sizes and its unconstitutional ban on residents of seven Muslim-majority countries. Then, Trump put his political weight behind a health-care plan that more than 60% of Americans — and a vast number of congressional Republicans — outright rejected.

Despite the divisive nature of the campaign, Trump could have found willing partners in Congress on health care, the economy, education, safety and security — truly a myriad of topics. Democrats, including myself, would have been eager to work on an infrastructure package as a first start in addressing the failing infrastructure in our country.

A third of America's roads are in poor condition, while a quarter of our bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete, according to experts. It is incredibly possible that an infrastructure package built upon both Democratic and Republican ideals could have passed Congress.

Let's also consider health care. Had Trump took stock of the real issues impacting Americans — not the GOP obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act — we could have worked together to address outstanding issues, such as prescription drug prices and improved access to quality care.

But his threats to undermine the health-care law by withholding payments that help working Americans afford quality insurance plans is not a proposal Democrats can look past.

We could have worked together on a jobs package, reforms to higher education or tax reform.

The true problem with the decisions President Trump made during his tenure in the White House is they will impact the next 100 days and all the days that follow.

Many Democrats would have been willing to give the new President a chance if it meant the betterment of American families. But watching the President appoint advisors who disregard ethics laws or spew falsehoods has greatly damaged those opportunities for bipartisanship. As does spending the last three months attacking the very people he swore to protect and the very values that define our nation.

There has been much talk over this administration's alternative facts, but one thing is clear: There could have a been an alternative reality where we worked together to help the hardest-working Americans.

It didn't need to be this way.

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