New York Times Editorial Board Chastises Biden for Governing By Executive Order


The New York Times editorial board fired a shot over President Joe Biden’s bow after he issued more executive orders in his opening days in office than apparently any of his predecessors, at least going back to the 1930s.

In a piece The Times published Wednesday, titled “Ease Up on the Executive Actions, Joe,” the editors highlighted the “raft of executive orders” signed by the president.

The official White House website lists over 30 executive actions to date.

Some have included canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, freezing leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters, halting construction on the southern border wall, reaffirming the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and pausing deportations of illegal immigrants, USA Today reported, as well as disbanding the 1776 Commission.

Others dealt with reversing the ban on transgender people serving in the military, extending federal nondiscrimination protections to include those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community, ending restrictions on federal aid dollars being used to fund abortions overseas (the so-called “Mexico City Policy”), according to Politico.

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Various additional orders were aimed at promoting racial equity and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

“But this is no way to make law,” the editorial board at The Times said. “A polarized, narrowly divided Congress may offer Mr. Biden little choice but to employ executive actions or see his entire agenda held hostage.

“These directives, however, are a flawed substitute for legislation. They are intended to provide guidance to the government and need to work within the discretion granted the executive by existing law or the Constitution.

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“They do not create new law — though executive orders carry the force of law — and they are not meant to serve as an end run around the will of Congress. By design, such actions are more limited in what they can achieve than legislation, and presidents who overreach invite intervention by the courts.”

Indeed in a Tuesday ruling, a federal district court judge temporarily barred the Biden administration from implementing its 100-day pause on deportations.

In the lawsuit, the Texas attorney general argued the deportation moratorium violated federal law concerning the executive branch.

PolitiFact determined that GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s claim Friday that Biden issued more executive orders than any of his predecessors at the same point in their time in office was true.

“Biden issued 17 executive orders on his first two days in office, compared with [former President Donald] Trump who issued one and [former President Barack] Obama who issued two. Biden issued three proclamations, while Trump and Obama each issued one,” the outlet said.

“If Rubio was referring to a president’s first two days in office (instead of any two-day period), the available documents show that he is correct dating back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt,” PolitiFact added, noting that records prior to FDR’s time in office are not complete enough to evaluate the claim.

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The Washington Examiner determined that Biden issued 32 executive orders in his first week in office — compared to Trump, who issued four, and Obama, five.

During an ABC News town hall in October, Biden communicated a reticence to govern by executive order, saying, “We are a democracy. We need consensus.”

Asked by moderator George Stephanopoulos about the Democrat’s plans to increase taxes if he were to become president, Biden responded, “I gotta get the votes.”

“I have this strange notion: We are a democracy,” Biden explained.

“Some of my Republican friends and some of my Democratic friends even occasionally say, ‘Well, if you can’t get the votes by executive order you’re going to do something.’ Things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We are a democracy. We need consensus.”

The Times board concluded, regarding Biden’s executive order push, “Undoing some of Mr. Trump’s excesses is necessary, but Mr. Biden’s legacy will depend on his ability to hammer out agreements with Congress.

“On the campaign trail, he often touted his skill at finding compromise, and his decades as a legislator, as reasons to elect him over Mr. Trump,” the board said.

They exhorted the president that now is the time to put those skills to use.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith