Donald Trump

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Trump complains about not being able to pass bills, boasts about passing bills

Trump says the Democrats are obstructing his agenda, which he says is going great.

Aug 25, 2017, 11:06 am



Andrew Couts

In just a matter of minutes on Friday morning, President Donald Trump complained that Democrats are blocking Republicans’ ability to pass bills then boasted about the bills he has signed into law.

At 6:33am ET, Trump urged Senate Republicans to eliminate the filibuster on all legislation, which would allow lawmakers to pass any bill with a simple 51 percent majority. If they fail to do this, Trump argued, “few bills will be passed” because bills that require a supermajority—60 votes—to progress need at least eight Democrats to jump aboard.

To say nothing of the wisdom of eliminating the filibuster—Democrats would likely use this to their advantage whenever they regain control of the Senate—Trump then bragged about his legislative successes just 11 minutes after the filibuster tweet.

Indeed, Trump has signed bills into law—53 of them, to be exact. As CNN reports, just two of the bills Trump has signed were entirely new legislation.

The first gives the Department of Veterans Affairs great ability to fire bad employees and protect those who blow the whistle on wrongdoing. The second imposes sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea and restricts Trump’s ability to overturn these sanctions. Trump condemned the legislation, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, as “seriously flawed” and “unconstitutional.” And he repeatedly attacked Congress for forcing him to sign the bill.

Of the remaining 51 bills Trump has signed into law, 15 undo Obama-era policies, 10 enact mostly ceremonial initiatives, 11 amend existing laws, and 15 provide funding to government initiatives.

At 53 bills passed, Trump sits smack in the middle of other recent presidents, according to the Washington Post. Bill Clinton had signed more than 80 bills at this point in his presidency, while Barack Obama had signed more than 60. Only George W. Bush had a less robust legislative docket than Trump, with fewer than 40 bills signed after seven months in office.

It is not the bills Trump has signed that frame conversations about his legislative agenda, but rather the bills that have failed to cross his desk—namely, a repeal or replacement for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), tax reform, and funding for his wall along the United States–Mexico border. In the case of the Obamacare repeal, it was Republicans, not Democrats, who voted down the bill.

Trump’s penchant for contradicting himself is nothing new, of course. There’s even a Reddit community, r/TrumpCriticizesTrump, dedicated to the president attacking himself. On Thursday, for example, he went on a tweetstorm about a speech in which he said he doesn’t do tweetstorms.

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*First Published: Aug 25, 2017, 11:06 am