What Congress actually did in 2017: The bipartisan successes you probably never heard about

What Congress actually did in 2017: The bipartisan successes you probably never heard about

[Ed. – You tax dollars do work?]

April 4, 2017, wasn’t an especially notable day for news. But it was a big day for America’s meteorologists.

That Tuesday afternoon, the House of Representatives quietly passed legislation to overhaul the nation’s weather forecasting system, sending to President Donald Trump’s desk the first big revamp of that critical piece of national infrastructure in more than two decades. The 98-page bill authorized more than $170 million worth of investment, including innovative projects like a set of microsatellites to watch for severe weather events and track space weather. The upgrades not only affect meteorologists but are expected to help save lives through better storm planning, smarter disaster response and more reliable weather predictions weeks or even months in advance.

In Washington, it’s fair to say almost nobody noticed the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act. The headlines, instead, were Neil Gorsuch’s nomination moving through the Senate, and the repeated White House attempts to revive its stalled Obamacare repeal. Two weeks later, when Trump signed the weather bill into law—a moment of bipartisan success even as Democrats assailed his administration for its few tangible accomplishments—the White House sent a cursory, 49-word email with the news.

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