Well, it’s been only about three weeks since the Trumpster took office, and if it wasn’t our country at stake, American politics would constitute a humorous soap opera. Already we’ve had the Failed Mexican-Financed Wall, the overturned immigration orders, the realization that it won’t be so easy after all to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, Nordstromgate (with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics now asking the White House to investigate Kellyanne Conway for telling people to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff”), the resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn, the new revelation that Trump aides had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials before the election, the criticism of Trump’s attitude to the judiciary by his own nominee for the Supreme Court, the conversion of the Mar-a-Lago Club’s terrace into a national security venue, complete with confidential information open to onlookers, and so on. And it hasn’t even been a month! What will it be like after four years???
And that’s just the administration. The legislature, emboldened by victory, is also up to no good, and one of their dumbest feats to date is the proposal, on February 3, of a House bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Yes, you heard me right. Here’s the entire short bill:
It was introduced by Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, who had the temerity to put a “black is white” post about it on his Facebook page:
Gaetz’s partners in crime (all Republicans, of course, and all from the South) are the bill’s cosponsors: Barry Loudermilk (Georgia), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), and Steven Palazzo (Mississsippi). All have abysmal stands on the environment, and some have been vocal critics of the EPA. NBC News gives more information on these representatives, but also reassures us that the bill has virtually no chance of passing, especially since a similar bill (though not as draconian) was introduced six years ago. (Go here to see other reasons why it won’t pass.)
While some conservatives are praising the proposal, the legislation has little chance of getting through both chambers of Congress.
“It’s hard to imagine Congress being willing to do so, and the American public would almost certainly virulently oppose such a move,” Ann Carlson, an environmental law professor at the University of California-Los Angeles Law School, told Bloomberg BNA in March.
Since its creation in 1970 under President Richard Nixon, the EPA has grown into an agency with an $8 billion fund. And throughout its history, politicians have called to end the EPA both on the campaign trail and through legislation.
Six years ago, Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, introduced a bill with 15 co-sponsors to consolidate the Energy Department and the EPA, but the proposal never made it through the Senate. And earlier that year, as a 2012 presidential candidate, New Gingrich proposed abolishing the agency, as well
I’m not worried that this bill will pass, as it’s unthinkable to get rid of an agency like this (of course with Trump the unthinkable has become thinkable), but it’s symptomatic of the follies that have now become licensed with the Chief Clown as President.