Jared & Ivanka Kushner: From peace plan to prosperity initiative

#14: Jared & Ivanka Kushner

Jared and Ivanka Kushner (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
Jared and Ivanka Kushner
In the ever-chaotic environment of Washington, there are only two people whose jobs are rock-solid: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

The first two years of the Trump administration were, in many ways, a rocky road for the two. They faced a few bitter rivals inside the administration; Jared was denied security clearance; and the Russia investigation was like a cloud over his head.
This year was different. The Russia investigation is water under the bridge; the couple’s rivals at the White House have all left the administration; and Kushner got his security clearance. By all means, that was the best year that the power couple has had in Washington since they joined the administration in 2017.
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And with their troubles in the rear-view mirror, Kushner is now looking forward, to 2020. In this past year, he took more responsibility regarding Trump’s 2020 reelection, coordinating with the Republican National Committee and the campaign team from the White House.
His largest achievement of the year was criminal justice reform – a bill that he helped promote for nearly two years. When the president signed the bill, Kushner said it was “one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Another major file that Kushner handled this year was negotiating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – the treaty that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Among the changes under the new agreement: Washington got Canada to open its dairy market to American farmers, an issue that was important for the president.
Originally tasked with overseeing the administration’s peace plan, Kushner is now in waiting mode due to the political turmoil in Israel. In the meantime, he is invested in the president’s immigration reform. During the past few months, he has been working on immigration policy, and helped find the funds to build the wall. By the 2020 elections, the administration hopes to build hundreds of miles of the wall along the US-Mexico border.
At the same time, Ivanka Trump promoted the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, an effort to advance women’s economic empowerment worldwide. The initiative seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through US government activities, private-public partnerships and a new, innovative fund.
The initiative is helping to empower women all over the world and figuring out how to get countries to change their laws, to allow women to have the ability to own property, inherit money and open bank accounts.
She also championed the “Pledge to the American Worker,” an initiative that aims to develop a national strategy for training and retraining the workers needed across high-demand industries.
So far, she has received over 12 million commitments from employers to retrain workers.
SINCE BOTH parents are working in the White House, it seems like one of the biggest challenges is to balance work and family.
“Their primary responsibility is to be parents,” said a person familiar with the couple. “They both travel a lot; get to work early, leave late. But they are doing their best to make sure that they can be good parents for their children and to get some time together. Normally, it’s a lot when one person works in the White House – they don’t get to see a lot of their family. But when you have two parents both working in the White House with big responsibilities, it’s a nonstop endeavor. Jared and Ivanka are working hard to balance all the different responsibilities and to make sure that they do the right job for the president, for the country and for their family.”
Critics of the power couple say that in fact, they have too much power and that they are overseeing large and complicated portfolios without having in-depth knowledge of all the issues. But a person familiar with the two dismiss the critics. “On the one hand, they get criticized by people saying that they’re inexperienced and not qualified to do the things they do,” he said. “The other criticism is that they have too much power and are doing too many things. They don’t judge themselves based on what the critics say. They judge themselves based on the goals that they set out and what they were able to accomplish.