Notable Accomplishments That President Trump Did during His Term

"President Trump Announces Details of the U.S. Special Operations Forces Mission Against ISIS Leader" (public domain) by The White House

President Trump made significant accomplishments throughout his term. Although many judged him as the most controversial and divisive President in the US modern history, he maintained a steady approval rating and has repeatedly recorded notable feats.

Let’s take a look at the accomplishments that President Trump did during his term and its overall impact on the country and the world. 

Passage of First Step Act

President Trump signed into law the First Step Act. This law, which was enacted in December 2018, served as a legislative victory for groups and advocates who are seeking change in the criminal justice system.

The bill was praised by groups and activists as a significant step to end mass incarceration. The bill also offered modest changes to the federal prison system.

Some of the notable aspects of the First Step Act are as follows:

  • The bill aimed to reduce recidivism by offering more rehabilitation programs and job-training opportunities. 
  • The law also included provisions that are focused on treating prisoners humanely. This consists of a mandate to place prisoners in facilities within 500 miles from their families, preventing the use of solitary confinement for most juvenile inmates, and banning the shackling of pregnant inmates.
  • The bill improved federal sentencing laws. This includes reducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and as well as developed early release programs. 
  • The bill also addressed mass incarceration at the federal level. 

Changes in Tax reforms

President Trump’s signature legislative achievement is his tax bill, which he signed into law three years into his presidency. The tax bill made comprehensive changes in the tax code and formed the most significant tax overhaul to the country’s tax code over the past three decades. President Trump pitched it as the “rocket fuel” to the country’s economy.

Some of these changes include:

  • The tax bill allowed companies to immediately deduct the cost of business investment from their taxes in the year that said expenses were incurred. This change compared to before where companies have to spread said costs for over multiple years. 
  • The law also permanently decreased the corporate tax rate to only 21% from 35%.  
  • The law also raised the maximum standard deduction that married couples could avail of from $12,700 to $24,000. Single filers were also benefited by it as the standard deduction was also raised to $18,000 from the previous $6,350.

Lasting Impact in the federal judiciary

Since President Trump took office, he has installed three Supreme Court Justices, 220 judges to the federal bench, all for lifetime appointments. 

Then barely a week before election day, Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice. 

“The Swearing-in Ceremony of the Honorable Amy Coney Barrett” (public domain) by The White House

Other than that, President trump also appointed 53 judges on 13 US Circuit courts, and by December 2019, 25% of all US circuit court judges were made up of Trump appointees. To put it into perspective, former President Barack Obama only appointed 55 circuit judges in the two terms he served as the President. 

Even though he failed to sit for another term, his influence will remain due to the sheer number of federal judges he appointed. Courts have a say in setting precedents that can reshape the country in the coming years. These appointments will have the most lasting impact on the country.

Creation of Space Force

President Trump also established the most recent branch of the US Armed Forces, the Space Force. It is the sixth branch of the Armed Forces and the first service created since 1947 when the US Air Force was created. 

“Presentation of the U.S. Space Force Flag” (public domain) by The White House

This new branch of the US Armed Forces is assigned to protect US military assets in space. According to Gen. John Raymond, the appointed leader of Space Force, this branch of the US military is essential as it elevates space with an equally significant impact on our national security and the security of the country’s allies. 

According to TAodd Harrison, the director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), stated, “Space Force will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space, because ultimately when responsibility is fragmented, no one’s responsible.”

Defeating ISIS’s caliphate and killing ISIS leader

In March 2019, after five years of effort, the ISIS caliphate was finally defeated. 

“President Trump Watches as U.S. Special Operations Forces Close in on ISIS Leader” (public domain) by The White House

Then in late October 2019, the US raid led to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader. Baghdadi is one of the world’s most wanted terrorist, and his death served as a significant blow to the terrorist group. 

President Trump announced the news, to which he stated, “Last night, the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”

“Capturing or killing him has been the top national security priority of my administration,” he added.