Lawmakers propose changing name of historic U.S. route to 'Donald J. Trump Highway'

Lawmakers in Oklahoma face backlash after proposing a bill that would add President Trump's name to a stretch of an iconic American highway.

The proposal, filed on Tuesday by Oklahoma state Sens. Marty Quinn and Nathan Dahm, would dedicate a 13-mile stretch of the historic Route 66 to Trump. KOCO-TV reports that the commemorative road would be called "Donald J. Trump Highway."

"President Trump has done an outstanding job on behalf of our nation and Oklahoma," said Dahm in a press release announcing the bill. "We feel like this is a perfect opportunity to commemorate the great impact his leadership has had on improving the economy and bringing jobs and commerce back to our great state."

Additions to the highway would include permanent signs displaying Trump's name, a cost the bill states taxpayers will not be asked to cover. Lawmakers will vote on the proposal during the state's next legislative session, which begins on Feb. 3, 2020.

Dahm told KOCO-TV that commemorative roads are typically only two miles long, but noted that it felt appropriate to dedicate a larger span of the highway because of "everything being huge" when it comes to Trump.

"This allows us to memorialize all the great things that have been accomplished just 3 years into his first term and with 1 year until his re-election," Dahm wrote on his Instagram page Wednesday.

 

The bill instantly stirred controversy both statewide and nationally, with people from across the political spectrum sharing their thoughts.

"Route 66 is a sacred iconic highway he should not be associated with anything sacred or iconic," one Twitter user said of the proposal.

"Hmmm, might as well build a wall around Oklahoma cause no one will want to drive on it," another wrote.

Others, however, voiced support for the decision, which would honor Trump in a state that voted overwhelmingly in his favor during the 2016 presidential election. 

"Good to know we can honor a president that has been very good for Oklahoma and the USA," one Facebook user commented on state Sen. Quinn's post announcing the bill.

The Oklahoma bill comes just days after another controversial road renaming drew national attention. In Kansas City, lawmakers voted to remove the name of Martin Luther King Jr. from a historic street in the city's east side.

That decision, which came less than a year after King's name was added to the road, resulted in protests and criticism from local activists.

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