During his remarks at Mar-a-Lago, the former president highlighted certain issues he plans to tackle if he returns to the White House. He dubbed it the “National Greatness Agenda.”
The following points are issues Trump spoke about directly during his announcement.
Term limits for Congress
During his speech, Trump said he wants to push for a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on members of Congress.
“To further drain the swamp, I will push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress,” Trump said. “It’s time.”
Trump is not the first person to suggest term limits for elected leaders.
Last year, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee introduced legislation aiming to give term limits to incoming members of Congress but not apply limits to members already holding office.
“Many U.S. House reps vocally support term limits but fail to act when the time comes,” Burchett said in November of 2021. “I understand many sitting members do not want term limits to apply to them. Grandfathering these members allows common sense term limits to take effect, retires entrenched political power brokers, and creates a Congress full of fresh ideas.”
While it was not a push for congressional term limits, a group of House Democrats recently considered a bill to enact term limits for Supreme Court justices.
The Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act would allow the president to nominate justices for the Supreme Court every two years. If they are then confirmed by the Senate, the justices would serve a maximum of 18 years.
The bill was introduced after a Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe v. Wade.
Ban on taxpayer funding of campaigns
Trump also announced plans to change legislation regarding campaign funding. He said he will ask for a permanent ban on taxpayer funding of campaigns and a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and cabinet members.
“I see what they make when they leave the White House or they leave Congress. They’re paid millions and millions and millions of dollars a year. Now you have to have a ban. We want a ban on members of Congress getting rich by trading stocks with insider information,” Trump said.
Again, this is another issue that has previously been brought up by other lawmakers. Last year, Congressmen Jared Golden and David Cicilline introduced legislation to ban former members of Congress from ever working as federal lobbyists.
The congressmen said that under current law, lawmakers can start lobbying activities 1-2 years after leaving office.
“Every few years, dozens of lawmakers leave Congress to become lobbyists. This revolving door is one of the ways that special interests wield influence in Washington,” Golden said in August of 2021. “We have to confront the power of these groups over our political system and end practices like this. Congress shouldn’t be a stepping stone to a fat paycheck to lobby your former colleagues, it should be about service to the country.”
More than 400 former congressional members are working in roles as senior advisors or lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Changes to voting laws, including only using paper ballots
Trump said when it comes to voting in the U.S., if he is elected, he will require voters to have IDs, require same day voting and only paper ballots.
Trump also added that he wants all votes to be counted by Election Night as complaints over lengthy counts in Nevada, Arizona and California, among other states, grew louder in the week after the polls closed Nov. 8.
He repeated a comparison to a recent France election that conservatives have pointed to since the midterm counting began. They claim France’s ability to report same-day results for an election with millions of votes is proof that the U.S. system is inefficient. Critics of that view say France’s nationalized system and smaller ballot make the comparison irrelevant.
“It’s horrible what’s happening with our election and election process. And I’ll get that job done. That’s a very personal job for me. I take that very personally,” Trump said.
Ending COVID-19 mandates by the Biden administration
In his speech, Trump shared that he will put a stop to any Biden-era COVID-19 mandates. Though he did not specify which mandates, he did hint at rehiring service members who decided not to get vaccinated.
“We will abolish every Biden COVID mandate and rehire every patriot who was fired from our military with an apology and full back pay,” Trump said.
According to a report from Military Times in April, around 3,400 troops have been involuntarily separated from service for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and about 70 percent received general discharges.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all military troops to get the vaccination in August of 2021.
Stop teaching Critical Race Theory in schools
Trump insisted he would cut federal funding to any schools teaching critical race theory.
“When I’m in the White House, our schools will cease pushing critical race theory,” Trump said, later adding: “I will be the president to finally fix education in America. We were doing great.”
The NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund defines Critical Race Theory as an “academic and legal framework that denotes that systemic racism is part of American society — from education and housing to employment and healthcare.”
The Legal Defense Fund says lawmakers trying to ban Critical Race Theory are denying the truth about America’s history.
“Attempts to ban CRT are really attacks on free speech, on discussions about the truthful history of race and racism in the U.S., and the lived experiences of Black people and other people of color,” the fund wrote.
According to the Brookings Institute, as of November 2021, at least nine states had successfully passed legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory or similar concepts in schools.
Seeking the death penalty for drug dealers
Maintaining that he wants to protect American families from the impacts of drugs, Trump said he would ask for the death penalty for each person caught selling drugs. He called it “the only way.”
“I will ask Congress for legislation ensuring that drug dealers and human traffickers — these are terrible, terrible, horrible people who are responsible for death, carnage and crime all over our country. Every drug dealer during his or her life on average will kill 500 people with the drugs they sell not to mention the destruction of families. We’re going to ask that everyone that sells drug, that gets caught selling drugs, to receive the death penalty for their heinous acts because it’s the only way,” Trump said.
Trump has previously voiced support for using the death penalty as punishment for drug dealers. He delivered similar remarks at the America First Policy Institute in July.
According to the United States Sentencing Commission, the average sentence for drug trafficking offenders in fiscal year 2018 was 76 months in prison.
Adding to border security
Trump claimed that if he is in office again, he will continue adding to his wall project along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We built the wall and now we will add to it. Now, we built the wall. We completed the wall, and then we said let’s do more. We did a lot more. As we were doing it, we had an election that came up. When they came in, they had three more weeks to complete the additions to the wall, which would’ve been great. But they said ‘No, we’re not going to do that,’” Trump said.
While conservatives have pointed to record border crossings in 2022 as evidence the wall should be finished, not everyone agrees it’s the right approach. The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, says that Trump’s wall did not work.
“The Trump wall has not stopped immigrants from coming illegally, nor has it stopped them from successfully entering illegally,” the institute wrote. “The Trump border wall failed for all the predictable reasons. Immigrants used cheap ladders to climb over it, or they free climb it. They used cheap power tools to cut through it. They cut through small pieces and squeezed through, and they cut through big sections and drove through.”
More than 2 million migrants have been encountered at U.S. borders this year, surpassing the total for 2021.
Trump said these concepts are just the beginning of the plans he wants to put into motion if elected.
“But this is just the beginning of our national greatness agenda and that’s what we call it a national greatness agenda because our country can be greater than it ever was. Our country was great. Our country is not great anymore. Our country is a laughingstock right now, but our country can be greater than it ever was before,” Trump said.