President Donald Trump has thrown bipartisanship a life preserver, signing a bipartisan piece of legislation Thursday to keep oceans clean. The bill was sponsored by Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan; among the 21 co-sponsors were 12 Democrats, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.
The bill, dubbed the “Save Our Seas Act,” aims to curb the amount of waste foreign nations dump into the ocean. It authorizes the president to act in response to nations polluting international waters. Additionally, the bill allocates money into a fund dedicated to ocean clean up services.
More specifically, the bill amends the Marine Debris Act with the primary intention to spur international action against marine debris. Ideally, the bill will allow the administration to boost its response to ocean waste as it comes from other countries’ dumping. Tackling environmental issues has been a priority of the Democratic Party, but holding foreign nations accountable for actions that hurt the United States has been one of President Trump’s most important priorities. This bill achieves both.
“As president I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills. That’s why I’m pleased – very pleased, I must say – to put my signature on this important legislation,” Trump said.
The president criticized past administrations for doing “absolutely nothing to take on the foreign countries responsible” for dumping their waste into the ocean.
President Trump held a White House bill signing ceremony where he celebrated the bipartisan effort. He even shook hands with Sen. Whitehouse, a Democrat who has frequently been a critic of the administration.
“See, we can shake hands,” Trump said at the event.
By passing the legislation, President Trump and Republicans prove that they can cooperate with Democrats on issues that both sides of the political aisle agree with. And those issues clearly do exist.