Joe Biden signs 22 executive orders in 1st week breaking records, Conservatives call him 'dictator of America'
President Joe Biden, during his run for the White House last year, has spoken more in favor of consensus than executive orders as the operating force in a democracy. But ever since he took office on January 20, the Democratic leader’s action has not been consistent with his words. While he said ahead of his election that executive orders are not an ideal way of running a democratic government, Biden has freely wielded his pen to sign several of those orders, mainly to dismantle the policies of his predecessor Donald Trump.
In his first three days in the Oval Office, Biden has signed 19 executive orders. In his first week, that number touched 22 along with many presidential proclamations and memoranda (total number of executive actions touching 37). Trump, in comparison, had signed only four executive orders in his first week in office in January 2017 while former president Barack Obama signed five and George W Bush none. Bill Clinton signed only two executive orders in his inaugural week, George H W Bush one, Ronald Reagan none while Jimmy Carter, his predecessor and the oldest living former president, signed one.
The Biden administration has also faced legal challenges over its executive orders. A federal judge in Texas, for example, temporarily blocked one order to pause the deportation of certain immigrants for 100 days. Some orders like returning to the Paris peace deal which the US had left under Trump in 2017 or moving to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project have also come under the scanner.
Conservative news site slams 'dictator of America'
Far-right voices have expressed dissatisfaction over Biden’s brisk pace in signing the executive orders that are signed, written and published directives from the president that manage the federal government’s operations. The executive orders are often used to bypass a hostile Congress and though they are not as lasting as legislation, they are sometimes necessary.
Conservative news website 100PercentFedUp.com slammed Biden over his executive orders in a piece in which it said the president “has been illegitimately installed as the dictator of America after (allegedly) getting far fewer votes than president Trump, though, he seems to have swiftly warmed up to the idea of ruling without the will of the people”. It also posted a video showing Biden saying on a program on ABC News that he was not in favor of running government through executive orders.
“Liars must continue their lies so they do not get caught. And, the lies must always get more grandiose in order to explain their inconsistencies. Biden did not get the votes to become elected president, and so he must now also backtrack on every other Constitutional promise he has made because he never had the will of the people to begin with. This is his only pathway to remain in power illegitimately,” it flayed the president in harsh words.
Associated Press said in a report that many of Biden’s orders signed in his initial days in the office are directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed more than 433,000 people in the US — “a mask mandate on federal property, an executive order providing guidance on safely reopening schools and stopgaps intended to increase food aid and protect job seekers on unemployment because of the virus”.
It also said that Biden also made use of his executive action to turn back the clock to times of the Obama presidency in which he had served as the No.2. For instance, one of Biden’s orders was about reversing a Trump-era policy to prevent transgender people from serving in the armed forces. The former Republican president had issued an order to nullify a policy of the Barack Obama administration that paved way for the transgender community to serve in the military.
It is not uncommon to see presidential orders facing flak from the opposition. Modern presidents from both the Democratic and Republican parties have banked heavily on executive orders and were criticized by the opponent party. Clinton, for example, had issued 364 orders in two terms while his successor George W Bush had 291 in his eight years. Obama signed 276 of them in two terms while Trump issued 220 in one term.
The Democrats have defended Biden’s record start in signing the orders saying they were necessary to deal with some of his predecessor’s most divisive policies but the incumbent president has also faced criticism from both the left and right over some of his early orders.