What laws can Donald Trump change? Here's what's at stake under President Trump.

What laws can Donald Trump change? Here's what's at stake under President Trump.
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

When President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, he plans to get right to work to address many of the campaign promises that helped get him elected to the White House.

In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Trump said he has three priorities he wants to immediately focus on in tandem with his Republican allies in Congress: health care, immigration and taxes.

Lesley Stahl: So you were with Paul Ryan, you met with the Republican leadership, what was the — one thing that you all agreed you want to get done right away?

Donald Trump: Well, I would say there was more than one thing, there were three things: It was health care, there was immigration and there was a major tax bill lowering taxes in this country. We're going to substantially simplify and lower the taxes.

LS: And you've got both Houses?

DT: And I have both Houses, and we have the presidency, so we can do things.

LS: You can do things lickety-split.

DT: It's been a long time since it's happened. ... And they gave me a lot of credit. Don't forget, I was abused four or five weeks ago, they said I was going to — instead of having all three, we would lose all three. So that was good. But those are the three things that we really discussed.

Trump campaigned on the promise that he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He also said he would like to repeal Roe v. Wade, which protects women's right to have an abortion. And he vowed to go after the media by opening up libel laws and suing news outlets.

So how likely are any of these things to happen? And what can Trump accomplish in a nation so divided along party lines?

Taxes

Trump should be able to push through most of his tax reforms fairly easily, according to tax expert Lee Sheppard.

"Trump's tax cutting will be accomplished in a hurry. House Republicans, who have a bill in concept and plan to take action within the first 100 days of a Trump administration. This makes strategic sense; the president's first months are the window for getting things done. Presidents don't get much else done after their first two years in office," Sheppard wrote in a column for Forbes.

Obamacare

Trump has already backed down from his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. After meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House after his election victory, Trump said there were parts of Obamacare that he would keep intact, including providing coverage protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Trump told CBS' 60 Minutes that, although there are parts of Obamacare that he will protect, he still vowed that it would be "repealed and replaced."

LS: Let me ask you about Obamacare, which you say you're going to repeal and replace. When you replace it, are you going to make sure that people with pre[existing] conditions are still covered?

DT: Yes. Because it happens to be one of the strongest assets.

LS: You're going to keep that?

DT: Also, with the children living with their parents for an extended period, we're gonna...

LS: You're gonna keep that?

DT: Very much try and keep that. Adds cost, but it's very much something we're going to try and keep.

LS: And there's going to be a period if you repeal it and before you replace it, when millions of people could lose — no?

DT: No, we're going to do it simultaneously. It'll be just fine. We're not going to have, like, a two-day period and we're not going to have a two-year period where there's nothing. It will be repealed and replaced. And we'll know. And it'll be great health care for much less money. So it'll be better health care, much better, for less money. Not a bad combination.

Trump has the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan: "Obamacare is failing. It must be replaced. We're going to do that. We're excited about it ... We can fix what is broken in health care without breaking what is working in health care," Ryan told CNN on Sunday.

Roe v. Wade

Trump said repeatedly on the campaign trail that he is pro-life and would like to appoint a Supreme Court justice to help overturn Roe v. Wade.

LS: One of the things you're going to obviously get an opportunity to do, is name someone to the Supreme Court. And I assume you'll do that quickly?

DT: Yes. Very important.

LS: During the campaign, you said that you would appoint justices who were against abortion rights. Will you appoint-- are you looking to appoint a justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?

DT: So look, here's what's going to happen: I'm going to — I'm pro-life. The judges will be pro-life. They'll be very...

LS: But what about overturning this law?

DT: Well, there are a couple of things. They'll be pro-life, they'll be — in terms of the whole gun situation, we know the Second Amendment and everybody's talking about the Second Amendment and they're trying to dice it up and change it, they're going to be very pro-Second Amendment. But having to do with abortion, if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states and...

LS: Yeah, but then some women won't be able to get an abortion?

DT: No, it'll go back to the states.

LS: By state — no some...

DT: Yeah, well, they'll perhaps have to go, they'll have to go to another state.

LS: And that's OK?

DT: Well, we'll see what happens. It's got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.

Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But Trump has other candidates in mind and recently released a list of some of his top picks during the campaign.

Libel laws

In 1964, the Supreme Court ruled that public figures can sue the media for libel only if they can prove that there was "actual malice — that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false."

Trump has vowed to go after the press if elected, and has especially targeted the New York Times.

But Trump would face an uphill battle in an attempt to change the nation's libel laws, which are steeped in First Amendment protection.

Trump, who has never shied away from the press, hasn't sued a media outlet in decades, according to Reuters.