An update on Trump's first 100 days in office

From Comey firing to Trumpcare

President Donald Trump's Inauguration.
President Donald Trump's Inauguration.
via Wikipedia

With Trump’s presidency hitting 150 days in office in the next couple weeks, it’s time to check and see what he has been up to since the beginning of the summer. 

Firing of FBI Director James Comey

On May 9th, President Donald Trump announced the firing of James B. Comey Jr., the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The President allegedly considered the advice of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memorandum recommending Comey’s dismissal, as he expressed concern for his role and mishandling in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Comey’s firing occurred hours after he sent a two-page letter to Congress correcting his prior sworn testimony about “hundreds of thousands” of emails that top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, had forwarded to her ex-husband. Anthony Wiener’s laptop. In reality, according to Comey’s letter, he stated that only “a small number” of the thousands of emails found on the laptop were forwarded and the others were accidently backed up from Abedin’s electronic devices. 

The Trump administration, especially top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, have been sticking by the reason for dismissal as being a loss of confidence in the FBI. However, speculation has shown that Comey’s sudden removal from office is actually linked to his involvement in leading a criminal investigation into whether Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election. 

According to multiple reports, Comey had requested additional funding and resources to pursue this project just days before he was fired.

In a signed letter released by the White House, Trump informed Comey that he was “not able to effectively lead the bureau,” and “hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.” While Andrew McCabe currently serves as the acting FBI Director, it’s been noted that the search for a new and permanent FBI Director will begin promptly.

Shortly following the letter of termination, Trump in an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt commented that “I was going to fire Comey – my decision. There is no good time to do it, by the way. I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.” 

This comment went directly against the reasoning that the Trump administration had been using to defend Trump’s decision and lead to further speculation and controversy over whether Trump fired Comey to avoid the outcome of the Russia investigation.

Trumpcare in the House

Donald Trump believes that the Affordable Care Act is the root of rising health care costs and less accessibility to care in the United States. The President repeatedly made it clear early on in his campaign that he intended to repeal and replace Obamacare with “something terrific.”

The American Health Care Act wouldn’t require all Americans to purchase health insurance, and would cut taxes for the wealthy. It plans to reduce federal funding for Medicaid expansion, providing less insurance for the low-income earners. Those who oppose the bill claim that it will result in millions of Americans without health insurance, and their premiums will increase if they have a pre-existing condition.

Some of the 50 pre-existing conditions listed in the American Health Care Act include AIDS/HIV, anorexia, cancer, lupus, mental disorders (including anxiety, depression, bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia), paralysis, pending surgery or hospitalization, pregnancy or expecting parents (including men), and transsexualism, to name a few.

Other pre-existing conditions that could raise premium costs include acne, c-sections, celiac disease, lyme disease, post partum depression, migraines and ulcers.

Six weeks following an initial planned vote at the end of March which was cancelled due to lack of support. On May 4th, the House passed Trump’s new healthcare bill by a close margin of 217 to 213 votes. No Democrats voted for the bill, and it has since moved to the US Senate for review. 

What comes next remains uncertain, but if the Senate passes the bill, the plan will return to the House for further negotiation and modification.

Meanwhile in Canada 

There’s no doubt that Donald Trump’s presidency heavily impacts Canada, regarding major issues that include immigration and the economy.

Since Trump’s first proposed ban of people entering from seven Muslim majority countries, there’s been an increased interest of international students applying to Canadian universities. At Queen’s, acceptances by international students increased by 40 percent. The increase of international applicants could be due in part to many Canadian university’s response by waiving application fees and extending application deadlines to international students to give the option of coming to Canada instead.

“Canada’s values are those of inclusion, diversity and multiculturalism, and Canadian universities share those values,” Principal Daniel Woolf said following Trump’s first proposed ban.

In the midst of America’s political uncertainty, Canada continues to stand as a nation of hope and opportunity, welcoming people from all walks of life, all around the world. 

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