President Donald Trump continues to sign legislation, an achievement he deemed “nice” Friday.
The bills include an act to improve weather forecasting, a long-term vision for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and reforms for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The three pieces of legislation all had bipartisan support.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 calls for a $19.5 billion budget for NASA — an increase from $19.3 billion in 2016 — and also asks that NASA create a plan for getting humans “near or on the surface of Mars in the 2030s.”
During the campaign, Trump said that “making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration.”
Trump also signed the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, which The Washington Post described as “the first major weather legislation enacted since the early 1990s.”
This bill aims to increase research into improving weather forecasts and modernize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. David Titler, professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, said, “Improving weather-related safety of our people and our assets is not political — it’s just common sense.”
Another bipartisan law Trump signed was the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. This bill allows for greater ease to punish wrongdoers and gives whistleblowers more protections.
Trump signed the legislation on Friday, and an injured Army veteran, Michael Verardo, said at the ceremony, “Today is a new day. This administration has fulfilled its promise that the veteran is empowered and the veteran is in charge of his or her own care.”
The other bills, while not as consequential, still involve Trump carrying out his agenda. The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act prioritizes giving federal grants to law enforcement agencies that hire veterans. The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act works to reduce the time families of fallen officers have to wait to receive survivor benefits.
Fifteen of the 40 signed bills repeal Obama-era regulations. Examples of these regulations include a rule that made it tougher for states to drug test welfare recipients and a regulation that imposed permitting requirements on mining sites. These bills signed by President Trump utilized the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to nullify any rule or regulation created in the previous administration’s final six months.
Trump said in a tweet Friday that he’s “gotten rid of massive amounts of regulations.” The president is now hoping to sign an Obamacare repeal bill.
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