GOP Bill Would Rename Coastal Waters After Trump
Former President Donald Trump walks on to the stage to give the keynote address at Turning Point Action's "The People's Convention" on June 15, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Coastal waters around the United States would be named after former President Donald Trump, who is currently running for another term in the White House, if a long-shot bill proposed by a House Republican gets enacted into law.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) announced last week that he would be introducing a bill to re-designate the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United States. References to the EEZ in law, maps, regulations, documents, papers, or other records of the U.S. would be named the “Donald John Trump Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States” under the plan.

“Floridians know the great value of our coastal natural resources and how important it is to have a president who cares about the strength and resilience of our oceans,” Steube said. “During his time in office, President Trump took several commendable actions for our oceans as part of his work to make America strong, secure, and economically prosperous.”

Steube added in the press release, “I’m honored to introduce legislation that will rename our coastal waters after President Trump and serve as a reminder of his many contributions to our nation for generations to come.”

The legislation faces long odds as the Senate and the White House are controlled by Democrats. Still, the party divide in the halls of Washington has not stopped Republicans in the GOP-led House from offering measures to promote Trump. That includes recently-proposed legislation from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to have Trump’s portrait appear on $500 bills.

House Republicans have also put forward legislation this year that would rename Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia — one of the major airports in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan are — as the “Donald J. Trump International Airport” in all laws, maps, regulations, documents, papers, or other records of the United States.

Democrats in the House offered a bill seeking to change the name of the Miami Federal Correctional Institution — the closest federal prison to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — to the “Donald J. Trump Federal Correctional Institution” in a nod to the criminal matters the former president is facing, including a guilty verdict in New York.

Steube’s press release described a number of actions Trump took as president related to oceans, including signing bills and proclamations. He also issued a memo directing federal agencies to make a national strategy to map the U.S. EEZ.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. EEZ “extends no more than 200 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline and is adjacent to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea of the U.S., including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession over which the United States exercises sovereignty.”

Within its EEZ, NOAA says, the U.S. has: “Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, whether living and nonliving, of the seabed and subsoil and the superjacent waters and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds.”

The U.S. has jurisdiction “as provided for in international and domestic laws with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures, marine scientific research, and the protection and preservation of the marine environment,” NOAA adds, and other “rights and duties provided for under international and domestic laws.”

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