Trump Has Signed Fewest Bills Into Law Of Any Modern President, Research Shows

President Donald Trump often brags of his "record setting" term, but the 45th president has signed the fewest bills so far compared to all administrations dating back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

By Thursday, his 336th day in office, Trump has signed just 94 bills into law, eight fewer than President George W. Bush and 24 fewer than President Barack Obama over the same period, according to GovTrack, which tracks bills in Congress.

The president has boasted he’s signed the most bills of any president since Truman, which was true at one point, but has not been accurate since Trump's 101st day in office, when his pace slowed, GovTrack research shows.

“We’ve signed more bills—and I’m talking about through the legislature—than any president, ever,” Trump said at a “Made in America” event at the White House in July. “For a while, Harry Truman had us. And now, I think, we have everybody.”

Not true.

The GovTrack review follows Trump’s enthusiastic celebration of the new tax bill that passed on Wednesday, when Trump gloated his administration had “records all over the place.” The president is expected to sign the 185-page bill in January. 

President Trump will also have to put his John Hancock on a Congressional bill that will avert a government shutdown, which is expected to be passed by Friday's deadline. And, obviously, other bills will be passed by the Republican-controlled Congress that Trump will chose to sign rather than veto.

But numbers aren’t everything, the website points out. Presidents can sign a high number of bills into law, but that doesn’t mean each bill is important. Trump has signed 10 bills this year naming post offices, crating memorials, and naming citizens to boards, GovTrack reports.

Another measure of presidential success is what, exactly, is in these bills, which is often signified by how fat the legislation is. In the first hundred days, Obama's bills had 15 times more pages of legislation than the bills Trump had signed, according to GovTrack.

But this doesn’t mean that short bills aren’t important either. It has become more common for lawmakers to squeeze crucial legislation into just a few pages — a practice that has become more common as Trump and many Americans prefer to keep laws short and simple, GovTrack reports.

Join the Discussion