Within his first seven days as Commander in Chief, President Joe Biden signed more than 30 executive orders.
I know what you might be thinking — yes, that’s a lot. Frankly, it’s almost too much.
Four years ago, former President Donald Trump only signed four executive orders within his first week of taking over the Oval Office, according to the American Presidency Project. Over his four-year tenure, Trump signed a total of 220 executive orders. Former President Barack Obama signed five executive orders within the same time frame. He signed 276 executive orders over eight years in office.
Sure, there wasn’t an ongoing pandemic when Obama and Trump respectively entered the White House, which is what many of Biden’s actions relate to, but more than 30 executive orders and counting is quite excessive — especially when you consider the non-coronavirus measures he’s pushed through.
To name a few, Biden raised federal workers’ minimum wage to $15, required non-citizens be included in the Census count, practically opened up our Southern border by halting the construction of a wall and undoing Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement, and arguably the most impactful of orders — he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline that now leaves thousands of American and Canadian workers unemployed.
And it was all done with the stroke of a pen.
No debates on the Senate or House floors.
No contemplation or questioning.
Just a president’s sleepy pen.
Now, it isn’t abnormal for a president to sign executive orders, as we just reviewed. With the lone exception of William Henry Harrison, every president since George Washington has issued orders that can be considered executive orders. But until recent history, executive orders were more commonly used during wartime.
It’s also important to note, according to the Constitution, all executive orders are subject to judicial review and could be overturned if deemed unconstitutional. In fact, one order has been temporarily denied — a federal judge in Texas blocked Biden’s 100-day deportation moratorium Tuesday after the state sued his administration.
According to a news report, an attorney there declared Biden’s order “unconstitutional,” saying it “violates an agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas.” The judge’s order to block Biden’s order was effective for 14 days so the case can be reviewed.
At what point is too much? At what point is the president overstepping his power in issuing order after order, constantly bypassing Congress? After all, our country is supposed to be a democratic republic, where the power is held by the people and demonstrated though the representatives elected by said people. There are supposed to be checks and balances to ensure no single branch of government — executive, judicial or legislative — can be too powerful.
At the rate Biden is going, people will start to ask questions soon — if they haven’t already. But here’s a question nobody seems to be asking aloud: Couldn’t this be considered an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress?
I guess not if the majority of Congress actually favors the president.
Remember, Trump was impeached (the first time) on — well, wouldn’t you know — articles of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” to which no evidence could be found to bring conviction.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging Biden’s impeachment. As I’ve written before, the impeachment process has become laughable, and with both chambers of Congress controlled by the Democrats, there likely wouldn’t be enough votes to even make the 78-year-old sweat.
I’m only asking a simple question:
Where do we draw the line?
I know it was a crazy four-year ride with Trump in office. It seemed every day there was something new and crazy he had said or done on social media. He would often toss his script, and you really didn’t know what he’d say or do next — you still don’t.
Biden has almost been the complete opposite. He’s reserved, sticks to the script and acts about as presidential as it gets.
But as much as the national media may try to convince us, we can’t look at Biden’s behavior as normal, because there’s nothing normal about the executive power he’s showcased thus far.
Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The Covington News. He may be reached at email@example.com.