President Donald Trump touted his economic and legislative achievements in front of Florida firefighters on Wednesday — but again stretched his comments too far for the facts.
“You know, one of the things that people don’t understand — we have signed more legislation than anybody — we broke the record of Harry Truman,” Trump told the first responders.
The problem? That’s just not true.
Trump has signed 96 bills into law so far in his presidency — the fewest of any first-term president stretching back to Dwight D. Eisenhower, according to data from the US Congress and from GovTrack.us.
“I believe we have — and you’ll have to ask those folks, but I think they know the real answer — we have more legislation passed, including — the record was Harry Truman. That’s a long time ago. And we broke that record,” Trump continued incorrectly.
It’s unclear why Trump singled out Harry Truman’s track record ushering legislation through Congress. Though, for the record, Truman signed 126 bills into law in just his first 100 days, and the Truman Presidential Library and Museum estimated in a tweet that he signed between 240 and 250 during his first year in office.
That said, Trump signed more bills in his first 100 days than any president since Truman, according to PolitiFact.
Trump has signed 2,233 pages of legislation so far during his tenure — more than a thousand pages fewer than Barack Obama, but more than several former presidents to this point over the last half century, according to GovTrack.
Of course, looking at the number of bills or pages of legislation signed is not a perfect way of measuring achievement: some bills overhaul entire sections of US law while others rename post offices and other federal buildings.
“We’ve gotten a lot of the rules and regulations — and you people suffered from that, to a certain extent, too, in all fairness — but a lot of the regulations were voided,” Trump continued.
Trump’s numbers are accurate as of December 28; other presidents’ are as of December 21 of their first years in office. Truman, Johnson and Ford are excluded from this chart because they did not begin their presidencies with a new Congress, so their terms don’t compare apples to apples with other presidencies.