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    Disruption Comes to Washington

    Disruption as a concept in the corporate realm and other circles has been around for quite a while.  It’s meant as a process to spur innovation and creative thinking and approaches to challenges new and old. Now, disruption has come to Washington—big time!

    As a candidate, Donald Trump ran on a platform of not just promising change—we’ve done change in Washington before (see Reagan, Obama, et al), but also slamming politicians in Washington as being all talk and no action.  He said that because he wasn’t beholden to the same special interests that rule Washington he would drain the swamp and take action immediately upon becoming president. Turns out, he wasn’t kidding.

    Eighteen executive orders and policy memorandums have been issued since January 20, the day President Trump was sworn in.  At this pace President Trump will easily surpass any previous administration’s efforts in the first 100 days of a presidency.

    The orders and memorandums span the policy spectrum, from immigration to healthcare, lobbying bans to gag orders on federal employees, and trade to reorganizing the National Security Council,. The whirlwind of policy activity has Washington insiders scrambling to keep up and make sense of it all.  Welcome to disruption.

    But are there risks in all this frenetic policy shifting and executive order decrees and if so, what are they?  Time will tell, and there are limits on what can be accomplished, policy-wise, through executive action alone.  Congress will ultimately be required to give life to many of these actions, like repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.  The founding fathers put in place an intertwined system of checks and balances that augur against dramatic policy shifts unless there is overwhelming public support and approval.

    Goodwill Industries International continues to support programs that have allowed local Goodwill organizations to place millions of people into good paying jobs since the Great Recession began.   We applaud that Congress is considering legislation, such as H.R. 576, that will help expand funding for programs in the community which have proven results.  That’s disruption that works for all of us.

    Paul Seifert
    Senior Public Policy Specialist
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