One year of Donald Trump

Round up of the year's events since the 2016 US presidential election

45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Credit: 
Supplied by Wikipedia

It’s been just over a year since the world’s collective jaw dropped at the news Donald Trump was voted President-elect of the United States.

Even before his election, we heard lots of talk about what was going to be done when he was elected. With the constant news of different bills, lawsuits and general controversy, however, it can be hard to keep track of what’s actually happened since Trump came into presidential power.

Here’s the breakdown:

Healthcare

One of Trump’s first goals as President was to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the “American Health Care Act,” aka Trumpcare. The initial bill was received with lots of backlash concerning its negative effects on consumers.

Some of the new provisions include increased premiums for consumers, limiting more people from having access to insurance. This bill is also concerning for women, with an expanded list of pre-existing conditions for which insurance can refuse to pay for your treatment. Under the original American Health Care Act, being a woman was listed as a pre-existing condition, meaning if someone needed medical attention because of domestic abuse or pregnancy, they would be forced to pay higher premiums for their insurance.

Causing a split in opinion, especially with House Republicans, the vote to pass this bill was pushed back in March 2017. The Trump Administration attempted to pass the bill three more times with an additional last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an amendment called the Health Care Freedom Act, known as a “skinny repeal” that also failed to pass. Currently, Obamacare is still in effect.

Environment

In June 2017, Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, joining only two other countries in the world in this lack of participation. While this is a major change, the actual withdrawal will occur only a couple weeks after Trump has completed his first term in office.

Additionally, Trump gave the go-ahead to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, working in agreement with Justin Trudeau. These pipelines run underground through North America to transport oil, causing controversy due to the potential environmental side effects of contamination and pollution.

Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced under orders from the Trump Administration, they would begin the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration policy to combat climate change by lowering carbon dioxide released by power generators. This repeal allegedly originated because the people appointed to positions focusing on climate change in the White House were accused of not even believing in the existence of climate change.

Women’s Rights

On the education front, Trump’s Administration announced it would be rewriting a guidance by Obama for schools on how to combat sexual harassment and violence. This amendment inspired controversy because it makes the already-extremely difficult process of convicting someone of sexual assault even more problematic.

Additionally, Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch as the replacement Supreme Court Judge for Anthony Scalia puts women’s rights at risk because of his opposition to abortion rights.

Gun Laws

At the beginning of Trump’s term, a bill passed to reverse one of Obama’s bills which created a database of gun users who received social security for mental illness. In short, this means more people who have mental health issues will be able to have access to guns.

Trump also passed a law allowing people on the fugitive list to purchase guns – prior to this, the FBI prohibited anyone with a warrant out for their arrest to purchase a gun.

Finally, there’s currently a bill going through Senate which would legalize devices that silence the sound guns make, making it easier for a shooter to be concealed. The bill would also allow Americans to conceal weapons while crossing state borders. 

In the year since Donald Trump became President-elect of the United States, a lot of things have changed. Whether that’s the actual bills or provisions he’s passed or the change in rhetoric and discussions about race, sex, gender and ability, the US is experiencing a pivotal presidency. While things can be a bit unnerving in the time of so much change, at the end of the day, the most important thing we can do during times of political unrest is stay informed on what is going on.

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