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.
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.
“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.”
In the lawsuit, the Texas attorney general argued the deportation moratorium violated federal law concerning the executive branch.
“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.
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.
.@JoeBiden in October: “[There are] things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.”
*Signs 32 executive orders in his first week as POTUS* pic.twitter.com/OLkuw5kT8P
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 27, 2021
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.”
Joe Biden in October: “Things that you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We are a democracy. We need consensus.”
Joe Biden in January: 21 executive orders. pic.twitter.com/75fz17TnrB
— Mike Gallagher (@MikeforWI) January 27, 2021
“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 party that spent four years calling President Trump a dictator are now applauding Joe Biden for setting the record of week-one executive orders.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 27, 2021
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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