1. The focus is federal government policy and the same one of the three policy areas (see above) under the Obama and Trump administrations. (Note: Obama served from January 2009 – 2017. Trump took office in January 2017).
2. Each of the three policy areas contains hundreds of specific programs. (For example, environmental policy includes air, water, climate change, hazardous substances, and more). Students should focus on the same policy type or types in each administration. (For example, climate change or air quality policies under both Obama and Trump). The examples are not intended as suggestions, but rather to emphasize that students should employ an apples to apples approach. Thus, do not compare climate change policy in one administration to water quality policy in the other.
[Note: it might be useful to examine the web sites of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the White House/EOP, agencies such as the Justice, Labor, and/or Education Departments involved in equity policies, and/or relevant House and Senate committees.]
3. The paper should focus on and distinguish between congressional actions (laws, funding, oversight) and executive branch actions (regulations, orders, services, implementation) in each administration. Identify the key actors (committees, agencies, officials) in both Congress and the executive branch.
4. The paper should compare and contrast policy under Obama and Trump. Since the presidents in question belong to two different political parties, identify where possible the important party differences in your chosen policy area.
5. The paper should identify, where possible, the likely outcomes and/or real consequences of the selected policies under each of the two presidents. Policy and politics necessarily entail a distribution of benefits and burdens. How do the policies distribute them and to whom?