With President Trump taking all the headlines as he continues to find controversy in every action he takes, the Republican Congress has taken its opportunity to act upon the radically conservative plan they promised.
With Republican control over both the House and the Senate, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, have had things more or less to themselves.
Republicans have also found themselves facing little opposition from the Democratic Party. With Democrats more interested in Tweeting witty responses to President Trump and fighting with their fellow Democrats.
Meanwhile, Republicans have pushed a series of bills into Congress as the begin to make their passage through, all of which can find routes in the corporate, conservative and religious bowls of right-wing think tanks and organisations.
These bills include the House Resolution which would terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (H.R. 861). This bill currently has huge support across Congress, from members who find themselves indebted to fossil fuel companies, and/or represent states who thrive off the industry. Remarkably this bill, which would effectively see the end of U.S. government’s attempts to protect the environment, is only 11 words long. “This bill terminates the Environmental Protection Agency on December 31, 2018”.
Meanwhile, H.R. 610 would allow and encourage, the spending of tax dollars for private schools. This bill would allow for the redistribution of funds, which have been provided for public schools, as ‘school vouchers’ which effectively pay private schools to take students who otherwise would go to public schools. In other words, large amounts of tax money will be sent to private companies, in order to benefit the few, instead of going to public schools in an attempt to benefit the many. Many experts fear that the long-term effects of this bill will lead to thousands and thousands of bankrupt public schools, who are unable to provide a reasonable level of education to low-income family students. In the extreme, the bill could see the end to public schools in the U.S., a scenario in which America would no longer be able to provide a minimum education to the vast majority of Americans.
Thirdly there is the infamous bill to repeal ObamaCare, or more officially H.R. 370 the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Should this bill pass through Congress and be signed by the President, an estimated 18,000,000 people would lose health insurance in the first year alone. Leaving millions more in America with no guarantee of care should they fall ill or become the victim of an accident out of their control.
H.R. 354 would prevent any federal grant money from going to Planned Parenthood for an entire year, should they fail to swear off performing abortions. This would prevent Planned Parenthood from treating and testing for STIs and STDs, which takes up 42% of Planned Parenthood’s resources. The bill would also stop Planned Parenthood from providing contraception, taking up 34% resources. Similarly, Planned Parenthood would also no longer be able to screen for and prevent, breast cancer, which 9% of Planned Parenthood resources go towards. Meanwhile, the abortion services which the bill targets only use 3% of Planned Parenthood’s resources.
Meanwhile, with H.R. 147 Rep. Trent Franks, of Arizona, is seeking to aggressively prosecute pregnant women who are seeking an abortion. The bill would also leave abortion providers open to prosecution. The bill would make abortion a felony, which could leave the pregnant women and the abortion provider in jail for up to five years.
However, these are only five out of dozens of bills which have been introduced by the Republican Congress which so far have faced limited opposition.