Seven Trump Administration America First Wins in 2019

US President Donald Trump's "America first" policies are testing the usually collegial G7 club
AFP/File Nicholas Kamm

President Donald Trump’s administration has spent 2019 making significant strides in accomplishing his America First agenda.

Here are seven agency success stories that have taken place this year:

#1 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the leadership of Dr. Ben Carson is one of the most prolific in accomplishments, or at least in making them public. The six-page report is divided into these categories: Advancing Economic Opportunity, Protecting Taxpayers, Reducing Regulatory Barriers, Funding Disaster Recovery at Historic Levels, Serving the Nation’s Most Vulnerable, and Spurring Reinvestment in Communities.

The details can be read here, but the aforementioned categories reveal that HUD is busy putting the president’s American First policies in place.

#2 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

The United States Department of Agriculture released the announcement of its 2019 accomplishments on December 19:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the accomplishments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past year. USDA has continued enacting President Trump’s goals of regulatory reform, streamlining government, and refocusing USDA to be customer oriented.

“At USDA it is our honor to work on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers. This was a tough year with historic weather damage and unjustified trade retaliation. Our goal was to ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone’ by implementing much needed farm bill programs, enacting President Trump’s Support Package for Farmers, and continuing to feed and clothe this nation and the world,” said Secretary Perdue. “As we look to 2020, we want to build upon trade accomplishments like the Phase 1 Deal with China, USMCA, and Japan, and open up new markets to help sell the bounty of American agriculture, all while removing the burden of government regulations from the backs of hardworking Americans.”

In May, Secretary Perdue stepped foot in Utah making it his 50th state visited since becoming Secretary. Since being sworn in, he has traveled nearly 160,000 miles, held over 220 town hall discussions and roundtables, and visited nearly 100 farms across the country listening to America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers. Throughout his travels, Secretary Perdue has met with a number of folks who have had specific problems when it comes to working with the federal government. The Secretary has taken those concerns back to Washington, D.C. and has worked to deliver concrete solutions to the problems facing farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers. Watch this video to hear from some of the people Secretary Perdue has delivered for since visiting them and check out this Medium website to learn more about Secretary Perdue’s journey to all 50 states.

#3 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):

The United States Department of Energy also had many accomplishments in 2019. It’s report, published on December 10, can be read here.

Some of the highlights include:

• Established the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office

• Developed and Identified the Energy Cybersecurity Workforce of Today and Tomorrow

• Led Emergency Response through the its Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response team, which “was activated for 79 days to date in 2019 and played an integral role in restoration, recovery, and energy security efforts in at least six states.”

• Established the Equity in Energy Initiative to help underserved communities.

• Announced the DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub as part of the White House Water Security Grand Challenge: “DOE announced nearly $100 million for the National Alliance for Water Innovation to lead a DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub, which will address water security issues in the United States.”

• “Over the past year, DOE has made significant progress in the treatment and disposal of nuclear waste, and in the fulfillment of its promise to do so.”

•Resumed activities in the uranium leasing program as part of Trump’s agenda of providing uninterrupted domestic uranium production.

The DOE also is home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners:

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.”  Both Goodenough and Whittingham are longtime DOE Office of Science-supported researchers who have helped the Office of Science and the Department chart an effective path forward in transformative research on energy storage.

#4 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL):

The U.S. Department of Labor did not release a list of accomplishments as such but issued several press releases on New Year’s Eve revealing its year-long efforts to protect American workers. The headlines included:

• Judge Orders Michigan Landscaping Company to Pay Misclassified Employees $118,426 in Back Wages and Damages

• U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Uncovers Minimum Wage, Overtime, Child Labor Violations at West Texas Restaurant

• U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Recovers $541,597 in Wages for Workers with Disabilities at Alabama Facilities

• Pool Company Pays Penalties for Child Labor Violations Following a U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

• U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Pennsylvania Landscaping Company Paying $74,290 in Back Wages and Penalties For H-2B Visa Program Violations

• U.S. Department of Labor Recovers $130,000 for Employees of San Marcos, Texas Security Company to Resolve Minimum Wage, Overtime Violations

#5 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is pare to the U.S. Department of Commerce, summarized its 2019 annual accomplishments report:

For NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), Fiscal Year 2019 was a year filled with new challenges and new achievements. In FY19: we provided scientific support for 133 pollution-related incidents (including a historic World War II tanker); we provided disaster coordination during the 2019 hurricane season through the Disaster Preparedness Program; we helped to settle seven pollution cases, resulting in $28 million for natural resource restoration; and we made major advances in data management.

Each year, we put annual report as an overview of the efforts in oil and chemical spill response, shoreline restoration, marine debris reduction, and the many other tasks OR&R accomplished. These accomplishments show our dedication to science-based solutions for protecting and restoring natural resources from coastal hazards.

Here is the link to the 2019 Accomplishments Report.

#6 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

Ken Cuccinelli, principal deputy director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said this about his agency’s accomplishments in 2019:

FY 2019 has been a historic year for USCIS and we have achieved many of President Trump’s goals to make our immigration system work better for America. As an agency, we have worked hand-in-hand with our fellow DHS components to answer President Trump’s call to address the ongoing crisis at our southern border. In the face of congressional inaction, we’ve taken significant steps to mitigate the loopholes in our asylum system, combat fraudulent claims and strengthen the protections we have in place to preserve humanitarian assistance for those truly in need of it. Meanwhile, the men and women of USCIS continue to administer our nation’s lawful immigration system, processing a large number of applications and requests while naturalizing 833,000 new U.S. citizens, an 11-year high.

In the coming year, we will continue to use every tool available to us to deliver on President Trump’s promises to the American people. We will continue to fulfill his goals to strengthen our nation’s strained immigration system and alleviate the crisis at our border while the agency continues to fairly and efficiently adjudicate the applications of those seeking lawful status in the U.S.

You can read the details of the report here.

#7 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

And while the Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, doesn’t have a list of accomplishments in 2019, it does reveal that while the Trump administration has been harshly criticized by the left for the response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma that struck Puerto Rico, the year ended with more aid to the the U.S. territory:

FEMA and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have obligated over $20.5 million in additional funds for 37 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico. These funds were obligated between December 20 and December 26.

FEMA and COR3 continue to work together to develop strategies that advance recovery projects. To date, over $6 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

The latest grants obligated are as follows:

  • Over $6.7 million for administrative costs
  • Over $6 million for emergency protective measures
  • Over $5.1 million for repairs to roads and bridges
  • Nearly $1.3 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment
  • Over $1.2 million for work related to parks and recreational facilities
  • Nearly $50,000 for repairs to public utilities

You can read more assistance details here.

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