Scenario one: President Trump doesn’t realize executive orders are not legislation.
Scenario two: He knows executive orders are not legislation but realizes most don’t know that.
Scenario three: Neither of those scenarios applies. He’s just spouting off again.
At an event with firefighters in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Wednesday, Trump boasted he set a record for passing the most legislation in a year.
“We got a lot of legislation passed … I believe—and you would have to ask those folks who will know the real answer—we have more legislation passed, including the record … was Harry Truman, a long time ago. And we broke that record, so we got a lot done.”
The thing is, he didn’t.
According to NPR, those 96 bills are comprised of the following:
“More than three dozen modify or extend existing law; 16 repeal rules and regulations using a process known as the Congressional Review Act; a dozen commemorate or honor people and organizations by doing things like renaming federal buildings; and seven provide temporary government funding or one-time disaster relief funds.”
The amount of legislation a president signs within his first year is not a particularly strong barometer for performance, and it probably wouldn’t be worth reporting if Trump hadn’t lied about it.
A better indicator, according to political scientists, is bills’ significance.
For example, “S 810: A bill to facilitate construction of a bridge on certain property in Christian County, Missouri, and for other purposes” is not as consequential as “HR 3364: Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.”
John Frendreis, professor of political science at Loyola University Chicago, stated:
“This tax bill is a big deal. But I don’t think anybody would regard anything else that has come down the line as a significant legislative achievement.”
On executive orders, though, Trump scores very highly.
Eleven months into his presidency he has signed 58.
Former President Barack Obama, on the other hand, averaged 35 per year.
Let’s just let him believe whatever he wants. He only ran for president to promote his brand anyway.
Image credit: latimes.com