Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse
Though the current man residing in office finds himself surrounded by cameras more than often, Trump was able to free himself of the press and sign off on a few bills that America didn’t necessarily notice over the course of 2017. Some may deem these irrelevant due to the lesser media coverage, but a large number of the laws passed could have a greater effect than ever imagined. In my personal opinion, these bills should have garnered a larger public audience, but due to the fact that they didn’t, I’m here to share with you five laws signed off by Trump that went somewhat undercover.
To be succinct, this law allows coal-mining waste to be dumped into federal waterways, a direct disapproval of the earlier Stream Protection Rule put into place by the Obama administration. While the bill portrays itself as an advocate for mining productivity, the facts represent the idea that this waste will inevitably have a negative effect on the environment due to its hand in polluting both surface and groundwater. This only proves Trump’s disregard for the environment, as his views on climate change agree fully with his obvious idea that the environment can sustain itself even with the brunt of the human impact.
- H.R. 2210, H.R. 375, and H.R.609
Of the 53 bills Trump passed in 2017, ten were grouped as ‘ceremonial’ by CNN. Three of those focused on the renaming of buildings that were, quite frankly, already appropriately named and not in dire need of a new one. With no offense to those they were renamed for, these new titles were highly unnecessary as they most likely took away from time needed for actual important decisions. While naming these three buildings after veterans was somewhat honorable, it feels more like a textbook good deed done by Trump in order to win the heart of America, an effort which had no effect on citizens whatsoever.
- H.R. 3298
This bill came into effect after a congressional baseball practice shooting, in which Trump signed off on giving injured Capitol Police officers an extra paycheck to help with medical expenses. The incident doubles as another pitiful effort at a good deed by Trump, who, in comparison, did nothing save for send prayers to victims of America’s two most recent deadly mass shootings. If anything, this should call into question the president’s methods of dealing with disaster, especially in the case of who he decides to help. As for sending prayers, a thought alone doesn’t yield results or relief; action does, and that’s one of many things that Trump has yet to learn.
- H.J.Res. 40
In some kind of petty retaliation to the Obama administration, Trump rolled back a decision put in place to keep guns out of the hands extremely mentally ill people. Around ten months later, however, the president informed reporters at a news conference in Japan that he thinks “mental health is your problem here,” and that “this isn’t a guns situation” in response to the shooting at Sutherland Springs. This is at least somewhat contradictory, due to the fact that prior to his statement he had obviously been the one to approve firearms in the hands of those who have severe mental health issues in the first place. Trump’s back-and-forth game with different policies doubles as almost normal at this point, a quality that is entirely unnecessary in today’s political scene.
- H.J.Res. 43
Though this bill didn’t exactly stay quiet, the president did sign off on it privately, leading me to believe it deserves a place on this list. This resolution nullifies an Obama administration law put in place to prohibit states from holding back funding for facilities that provide family planning, medical, and abortion services. Unfortunately enough, the reversal of H.J.Res. 43 diminishes what many women consider as their right to choose, or the pro-choice movement, allowing Trump and other members of the government to impose their beliefs on the population.
In accordance with all 53 bills passed by Trump in 2017, these are just a few that I personally believe should have leveraged a little more focus from the public. Some obviously count as less important than others, but in my opinion, they all contribute to the image that Trump has created for himself, an image that much of America has little respect for.
By Katie Haberman
*** The opinions reflected are simply one side of an argument. We at DSHS see the value in both and these are simply the thoughts of one of our staff writers.***