President Trump speaks after signing the NASA Transition Authorization Act in the Oval Office on March 21, one of 28 bills that Trump has signed into law.
Even though President Trump calls the 100-days measure “ridiculous,” the White House is still touting what one press release called the president’s “historic accomplishments” — including 28 laws he has signed since taking office.
But when it comes to legislation, political scientists say it is better to measure significance than to simply add up the number of bills. It is better, they argue, to ask whether a law changes the status quo or introduces a new policy idea.
By that measure, there is not as much to show legislation-wise for Trump’s first 100 days.
Of the 28 new laws signed by Trump, two name Veterans Affairs clinics in honor of people, one adds National Vietnam War Veterans Day to the list of days people and businesses are encouraged to fly American flags, five are related to personnel matters (including the waiver allowing James Mattis to become secretary of defense), and one extends an Obama-era policy allowing veterans in some circumstances to get health care outside of the VA system.
“Congress passes laws all the time, naming post offices after people, doing minor things that they can get through,” said Leon Panetta, who served as defense secretary in the Obama administration and as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Panetta doesn’t see any major legislation in this administration’s first 100 days.