Sanders claimed that House Democrats “literally haven’t gotten anything done” since California Rep. Nancy Pelosi became speaker in January. Sanders went on to suggest the House has not passed “significant pieces of legislation … that are going to change the course of this country.”
Trump echoed Sanders in a series of Thursday morning tweets, claiming that “Zero is getting done with the Democrats in charge of the House” and that ” it is not possible for (Congress) to investigate and legislate at the same time.”
According to Congress.gov, the House has passed 235 pieces of legislation during the current session of Congress. That includes big items on the Democratic agenda as well as smaller bipartisan bills that get passed in any Congress, like the naming of post offices.
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As for major legislation, the House has passed sweeping bills that would address ethics, campaign finance and government reform, as well as bills that would seek to ban discrimination of people based on sexual orientation, create universal background checks, and keep the US in the Paris agreement on climate change.
The House has passed these agenda-item bills that they campaigned on nearly every week that they’ve been in session.
These are largely considered messaging bills since the GOP-controlled Senate has opted not to take up the vast majority of them.
Of the bills that have passed, 17 were also passed by the Senate and became law, including legislation to end the shutdown, to address the Colorado River Drought, and address conservation and outdoor recreation.
The House also passed near daily appropriations bills at the beginning of the year to end the government shutdown that were never taken up by the Senate.
Also, while Trump claims that Congress can’t legislate and investigate a sitting president at the same time, history suggests otherwise.
During the Clinton administration, the House and Senate began hearings on real estate investments that Bill and Hillary Clinton made in Arkansas (what became known as the Whitewater controversy) in July 1994. The Senate Whitewater Committee was created in 1995 to formally investigate the matter, holding 60 sessions and taking up 300 hours of testimony.
During two full sessions of Congress that overlapped with the Whitewater controversy, stretching from January 1993 to January 1997, the House passed more than 1,800 pieces of legislation, while the Senate passed more than 1,000. Among the more notable that were signed into law were the Violence Against Women Act, as well as welfare and telecommunications reform.