Former President Barack Obama built a legacy on executive overreach and abuse of power, but the Trump administration and Republicans are working to implement new measures that would reduce his own power as well as for future presidents.
According to The Hill, 16 presidents used the Antiquities Act to secure federal land for monuments and wildlife, with Obama using it the most by far. Obama used the law 37 times to secure 553.6 million acres of land and sea monuments.
The Antiquities Act was signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to protect land in America.
In order to limit executive overreach on this issue, House Republicans have moved forward with a bill aiming to reform the law that allows for the president to claim large swaths of land as national monuments and shield them from being developed on in the future.
The measure was introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and is in step with the Trump administration’s goal of rolling back Obama-era government overreach and giving more power back to state and local governments.
What’s really worth noting about this is that as president, Donald Trump is supporting an effort on Capitol Hill that would curtail the powers of the executive branch that were expanded so egregiously during the Obama years. In other words, Trump is giving up power that has accrued to the White House to put it back where it rightfully belongs under the United States Constitution — in the hands of the people through their congressional representatives.