Trump’s to-do list in 2020

Here are five of the administration's 2020 goals

As 2019 comes to a close, all eyes are on the White House as President Trump's administration attempts to fulfill its promises while the 2020 election and a Senate impeachment trial close in.

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Here are five of the administration's 2020 goals.

Finalizing USMCA

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement passed the House of Representatives earlier in December and will be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate in the New Year. Both Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have taken credit for the $1.2 trillion trade deal designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will turn to USMCA after an impeachment trial for Trump. Pelosi has not yet sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

President Donald Trump, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Neto, left, participate in the USMCA signing ceremony, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO endorsed USMCA, which the administration expects to create around 176,000 new jobs and inject $34 billion into the U.S. auto industry.

Taking action on prescription drug pricing and surprise medical billing

Regulating prescription drug pricing could set up yet another Pelosi-Trump showdown, while taking action against surprise medical billing could also pose a challenge even though politicians on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against it.


Congress finished 2019 without making real headway on either issue, although the House passed Pelosi's drug pricing bill that includes provisions supported by Republicans but also empowers Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

The legislation has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate, and the White House has issued a veto threat. Still, Democrats saw a victory in the message their bill sends to voters.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a statement at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Trump has been a vocal critic of surprise medical billing for insured patients, and his administration passed a rule forcing hospital groups to disclose the discounted prices they offer to individual insurers.

The administration contends that requiring hospitals to release the negotiated price is intrinsic to lowering health care costs amid a surge of surprise medical bills for patients who are often unaware of total costs until they receive the bill.

Republicans and Democrats seemed poised to address the issue in an end-of-year spending bill, but they never took the leap. Some voices on the left blamed Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who offered a counterproposal after receiving money from Blackstone Group, a private equity firm that stands to lose money if surprise billing is reduced, BuzzFeed News reported.

Regular order spending bills

It was a much less nerve-racking path to funding the government in 2019 compared to the prior year. The government shut down for 35 days into early 2019, costing the economy and federal workers.

Still, the two major spending packages the Senate approved the day before a Dec. 20 deadline represent a break from regular order — a break that has been the norm since long before Trump took office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) and President Donald Trump

Deficit hawks were not happy with this the $1.4 trillion spending bill. The White House's top budget official defended the administration in March amid a soaring U.S. government deficit.

"Deficits have certainly worsened over the first two years, but over 10 years we believe that deficits will improve," acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought said. "We believe that the corporate tax cuts are very, very important to our economic growth numbers."

Confirming more judges

Over the course of his administration, Trump has seen 187 federal judge confirmations, including 50 to circuit courts of appeal and two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Trump's administration has worked in tandem with McConnell, who plans to keep things moving in 2020.


"We would certainly confirm a new justice if we had that opportunity," McConnell told "The Hugh Hewitt Show" earlier in December. "And we’re going to continue, obviously, to fill the circuit and district court vacancies as they occur right up until the end of next year,"

Prioritizing paid family leave

In addition, the president's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump has been an advocate for a nationwide paid family leave policy and said Sunday the administration would even support Democratic-led legislation.

Ivanka Trump has focused on issues like job training and paid family leave for American workers during her two years in Washington, D.C. Regarding paid leave, Ivanka Trump gathered governors, business leaders and administration officials in for a White House summit earlier this month to push for action on the issue.


The Associated Press and FOX Business' Blake Burman and Megan Henney contributed to this report.