The speed with which President Trump issued executive orders on pipelines, abortion, and trade deals in recent days has alarmed critics—but he's not behaving very differently than his predecessor. Trump's pace on executive orders is similar to that of Barack Obama, whose orders in his first week included one to close Gitmo within a year, though George W. Bush and Bill Clinton went a lot slower. Bustle describes the trend as a product of partisanship, with Trump following Obama's lead in using the "absolute maximum of presidential power" without seeking the approval of Congress. A roundup of executive order coverage:
- The Washington Post looks at how far presidents from Harry Truman onward have gone in revoking the orders of previous presidents. Obama holds the speed record, with eight in his first 30 days, while George W. Bush set the record for quantity by reversing 64 previous executive orders during his term.
- According to the Pew Research Center, Obama issued fewer executive orders per year than any president since Grover Cleveland 120 years ago, with Obama's 277 executive orders working out to 35 per year, compared to 36 for George W. Bush, 48 for Ronald Reagan, a record 307 per year for FDR, and one per year for George Washington. A full list is here.
- Roll Call takes a look at all the executive orders issued in the early days of the last four presidencies, noting that Trump is the first since Clinton to sign one on his very first day in office.
- CNN looks at what can and cannot be done with executive orders, and at the pros and cons of using them instead of laws passed by Congress. One big plus for laws passed by Congress is that they can't be so easily overturned by the next president.
(Trump is planning executive orders on immigration
in the coming days.)