Behind the Curtains

What our president has been doing behind the scenes

Behind the Curtains

Naeirika Neev

While we’ve been distracted by Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, the Obama wire tapping claim and FreeMalania hashtags, over 2,000 new bills have been introduced to Congress.

HR 861 is consists of only one sentence that states, “The environmental protection agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”: This bill is sponsored by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. No explanation or reasoning has been offered for this decision.

HR 610 is a bill that basically defunds private schools and changes the distribution of tax dollars among different schools. The target of this bill is to repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which is meant to create and ensure equal opportunities in schools. American public schools already suffer from a lack in funds, and this only further deprives them of what is needed to make sure our children have what they need to succeed.

HR 899, on the other hand, introduced by Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, completely terminates the Department of Education. This is said to be too extreme and impossible, especially since it fails to provide an explanation for what would happen to its $68 billion annual budget, the jobs of the staff of the Department of Education and the supplies in schools.

Trump appointee Betsy Devos, the secretary of education, stated in regards to this issue, “It would be fine with me to have myself worked out of a job.”

HR 69 is one that repeals the law protecting wildlife in Alaska, getting rid of regulations on wildlife protection when it comes to hunting. Introduced by Representative Don Young from Alaska, Young represents a state where hunting for sport is very popular. What would result from this bill could have tremendous environmental consequences.  

HR 354 was introduced with the aim of defunding Planned Parenthood. Any federal funding going toward Planned Parenthood would be prevented, unless they prove that no funds will go toward abortions. However, federal funds are not used for abortions as established by the Hyde Amendment. Furthermore, only 3% of Planned Parenthood services are for abortions.

HR 147 will criminalize abortions. Violations of this adjustment or attempted violations could lead to fines or imprisonment for up to five years. According to NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum).  HR 147 is claimed to target Asian-American women ‘based on false stereotyping regarding sex-preference’ and undermines their access to safe reproductive care. Furthermore, by prohibiting “race-based” abortions, the bill endangers the lives of women of color seeking abortions, according to NAPAWF.”

HR 586, also known as The Sanctity of Human Life Act, declares that “each human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its equivalent,” and that “the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human.” This would offer legal protection to fertilized eggs, meaning that an egg is considered a person. This would hugely affect abortion laws.

HR 785 is the national right-to-work legislation weakens power of labor unions by prohibiting unions and employers from requiring workers to join unions. This would lead to lower wages and increased unemployment. Congressional Democrats have described the bill as a “backdoor attempt at bankrupting labor unions.” Furthermore, states with right-to-work laws have lower wages, health insurance coverage and higher power poverty as well as infant mortality rates.

HR 83 cuts funds for sanctuary cities (cities that refuse to comply with Trump’s immigration policies) for an entire year. These cities include  New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

With HJ 40 President Trump discreetly signed a bill into law, undoing the Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase guns.

This regulation added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to a national database, which would consist of an estimate of 75,000 names.

It was not much of a shock when Chris Cox, the executive director of the association the National Rifle Association “applauded” Trump’s action. Everytown For Gun Safety President John Feinblatt called the action “just the first item on the gun lobby’s wish list” and accused the National Rifle Association of “pushing more guns, for more people, in more places.”

It is important as the citizens of a nation striving for democracy to be aware of the actions taken by the government and whether they are for the people or the corporate force.