by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
After several years of frustration with Congress, President Obama famously said, “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone, and I can use that pen to sign executive orders… that move the ball forward.” Much has been written about the use of executive orders by recent presidents to accomplish policy objectives, without waiting for Congress, or even to thwart Congress.
President Biden has drawn fire for the unusual number of executive orders, starting his first day in office. That was partly a result, no doubt, of his desire to swiftly keep several campaign promises to reverse Trump-era policies (just as President Trump had used the procedure to reverse Obama-era policies), and partly because Biden was not hindered by the customary Inauguration Day parades and festivities (canceled because of COVID).
Biden issued more than 50 executive orders and directives during his first two weeks, and some observers fear that is how government will operate henceforth. Trump signed his 30th executive order on his 100th day in office, the most by any president since Harry Truman.