On the heels of two major revelations — the contents of Senate Republicans’ health care bill, and the reality that he does not have tapes of his and former FBI Director James Comey’s conversations — President Trump decided to tweet about some of his legislative accomplishments.
It’s true that Trump has signed more pieces of legislation five months into his presidency than the past two presidents. He was actually selling himself a bit short in his tweet; he’s signed 40 bills so far, including one Friday morning.
But Trump is lagging behind modern-day presidents including Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, who had all signed more bills into law at this point in their presidencies, according to NPR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman leave everyone in the dust, with Roosevelt signing 76 bills into law in his first 100 days and Truman signing 55.
However, not all bills are created equal. While Barack Obama only signed 14 bills into office in his first 100 days, they included the $831 billion stimulus package to pull the country out of recession, as well as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009, which expanded health insurance to 4 million children in the US.
Where Trump has made his biggest mark is in rolling back 14 Obama-era regulations, including federal firearm background checks for the mentally ill, environmental protections for streams from coal waste, and Federal Communications Commission privacy rules that prohibited telecommunications giants from selling their customers’ browsing data.
Trump and the Republican-led Congress have managed to fast-track these rollbacks with something called the Congressional Review Act, which requires a simple majority in both the House and Senate to pass a joint resolution of disproval. Once that’s done, it heads to the president’s desk.
Besides those, there have been a lot of symbolic or procedural changes in Trump’s bills, including three people getting named to the board of the Smithsonian, four federal buildings being renamed, and a bill called “US Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act,” which, as the name implies, would let the country set up a world fair.
Looking at the big picture, Trump has gotten next to nothing done on his legislative agenda. He promised his supporters big and immediate legislative wins on repealing Obamacare, passing tax cuts, getting started on a border wall, and advancing a $1 trillion infrastructure reform package.
At this point, health care is the closest to being checked off the list, but there’s no guarantee that the latest effort from the Senate will make it to Trump’s desk for him to sign.
Here are the pieces of legislation that Trump has signed since inauguration, up through his June 23 tweet:
- S. 84: “A bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces”
- H.R. 72: “GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017”
- H.J. Res. 41: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to ‘
- S. 1094: “Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017”