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House GOP suddenly objects to executive orders after 4 years of silence

GOP lawmakers are concerned about President Joe Biden’s wave of executive orders — but Donald Trump issued more per year than any president since Jimmy Carter.

By Donna Provencher - January 25, 2021
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Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)

This week, House Republicans are slamming President Joe Biden’s use of executive orders in his first few days in office — despite the fact that Trump issued more executive orders on average per year than any other White House occupant in 40 years.

Biden has issued 19 executive orders since Inauguration Day, with one more to be issued Monday, as well as a number of other agency directives and presidential memoranda.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) tweeted Monday morning, “Update: This Admin has been in for 5 days and signed OVER 20 Executive Orders, undoing much of the progress the previous Admin made. This is no way to govern. President Biden should reconsider these power plays. It’s time for him work with Congress like he promised to do.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) echoed criticism of executive orders in her own Monday morning tweet. “Joe Biden is gearing up for yet another week of executive orders,” she wrote. “We know he can be forgetful so perhaps someone should remind him that Congress exists!”

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) criticized Biden for allegedly making “executive orders in bulk” and not following through on his “‘unifying’ message.”

“Declaring impactful executive orders in bulk without consideration of parties involved,” tweeted Owens late Sunday. “Does this feel like a ‘unifying message’?”

Also on Sunday night, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) called Biden’s executive orders during his first days in office “scary.”

“Joe Biden hits the ground running by signing executive orders to undo critical policies of Trump Administration, like securing our border,” she tweeted. “A scary glimpse of what’s to come for the next 4 years.”

But Biden inherits a unique set of Trump-created problems to solve. His wave of executive orders address issues like halting construction on Trump’s border wall between the United States and Mexico, restoring funding to the World Health Organization, reentering the Paris climate accords, and enacting coronavirus containment measures. Their intent is to reverse damage previously done by the Trump administration, and some explicitly overturn problematic Trump-era policies.

Trump himself issued a flurry of executive orders in his first days in office, serving to reverse many executive orders implemented by his predecessor President Barack Obama. Trump issued four his first week in the White House and was up to 12 by his first three weeks — despite frequent promises on the campaign trail not to sign executive orders.

In February 2016, he slammed Obama for allegedly governing by executive order, saying, “Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can’t even get along with the Democrats. He goes around signing all these executive orders. It’s a basic disaster. You can’t do it.”

In fact, by the time he had been in office for 100 days, Trump was breaking records — NBC reported that his number of executive orders issued “exceeded that of any other recent president.”

All told, Trump signed 220 executive orders in his four years in office. By contrast, Obama issued 276 in eight years, former President George W. Bush 291 in eight years, and former President Bill Clinton issued 364 in eight years.

By 2017, CNN reported that Trump was “on pace to sign more executive orders than any president in the last 50 years.”

And they weren’t far off — by the end of his term in office, Trump had signed more executive orders per year, on average, than any other president since  Jimmy Carter.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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