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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher July 20, 2017

Donald Trump not close in claiming he has signed more bills in first six months than any president

On "Made in America Day," so proclaimed by President Donald Trump, the president hopped into the driver’s seat of a Wisconsin-made fire truck that was parked on the White House lawn.

"Where’s the fire?" he joked. "Put it out fast."

Products from all 50 states were showcased, including the truck made by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton. During the July 17, 2017 ceremony, Trump made some remarks, including a claim about his productivity.

Referring to Vice President Mike Pence, who was standing behind him, Trump said:

In just a few months and moments, I will say what we’ve done over a short period of time and what we’re going to be doing over the next six months will be incredible.  We’ve signed more bills -- and I’m talking about through the legislature -- than any president ever.  For a while, Harry Truman had us, and now I think we have everybody, Mike.  I better say "think," otherwise they’ll give me a Pinocchio -- (laughter) -- and I don’t like those -- I don’t like Pinocchios.  

The data

In April 2017, at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Trump had signed 28 bills into law. That was the most since the 55 signed into law by Democratic President Harry Truman in 1949, after Truman was elected to his first full term.

But, despite his claim on his 178th day in office, Trump is behind a number of presidents over the past several decades, according to GovTrack.us, a website that tracks Congress.

President, party, year took office

Bills signed into law through 178 days in office

Dwight Eisenhower, R, 1953

228

John F. Kennedy, D, 1961

200

Jimmy Carter, D, 1977

70

Richard Nixon, R, 1969

64

George H.W. Bush, R, 1989

55

Bill Clinton, D, 1993

50

Donald Trump, R, 2017

42

 
 
Bills signed by Trump include one that’s meant to restore faith in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and several that roll back Obama-era regulations, including some that reverse rules on education, land use and federal purchasing.

But it’s also worth noting that most of the laws with Trump’s signature are not major pieces of legislation, as PolitiFact National has reported.

They include, among others: two federal spending bills of the sort required periodically of every president and Congress to keep the government running; a bill overhauling government-employee travel policy; a bill about the United States competing for an international expo; a measure addressing Department of Homeland Security vehicle fleets; and the official naming of a federal courthouse in Tennessee.

(Trump’s Pinocchio reference, by the way, was to the rating system used by our friends at the Washington Post Fact Checker.)

Our rating

Trump said: "We’ve signed more bills -- and I’m talking about through the legislature -- than any president ever."

The 42 bills he had signed into law through 178 days in office trails the number signed by at least six other presidents at that point in their presidencies.

We rate Trump’s statement False.

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"We’ve signed more bills -- and I’m talking about through the legislature -- than any president ever."
In a speech
Monday, July 17, 2017

Our Sources

PBS NewsHour, video of Donald Trump remarks, July 17, 2017

Appleton Post-Crescent, "Pierce fire truck takes center stage at White House," July 18, 2017

Email, GovTrack.us founder Josh Tauberer, July 19, 2017

PolitiFact California, "Nunes gets it wrong; Trump hasn’t signed ‘more bills’ than any president at this point," June 27, 2017

New York Times, "Trump Says He Has Signed More Bills Than Any President, Ever. He Hasn’t," July 17, 2017

Washington Post Fact Checker, "No, President Trump, you haven’t signed more bills than any other president," July 17, 2017

GovTrack.us, 115th Congress bills enacted into law, accessed July 18, 2017

PolitiFact National, "Donald Trump's boasts about accomplishments in office ring hollow," June 13, 2017

PolitiFact National, "Trump has signed more bills in 100 days than any president since Truman, Spicer says," April 27, 2017

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

Donald Trump not close in claiming he has signed more bills in first six months than any president

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