President Joe Biden has been in office for only 9 days and has signed 40 executive orders. This is a record number of measures that mostly seek to reverse the actions of former President Donald Trump.
Although executive orders are a legal mechanism, alarm bells are already ringing in Washington because, for some, the president is abusing them to do his will.
“It’s just an attempt to basically rule the country by executive actions,” criticized Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri.
Hawley called Biden’s executive orders “very, very dangerous” and “radical policies.”
“It’s stunning that he’s trying to do it without any Democratic debate or legislation. And I think it really shows you that this is someone who has a pretty far-left agenda and is someone who intends to impose it on the country,” he said.
Democrats say that executive orders are “previous”
Biden officials told Fox News that the measures are “previews” of agenda items the president will push through Congress.
On the campaign trail Biden himself said that “you can’t legislate through executive action unless you are a dictator.”
During his inauguration Biden called for “unity” across the country and to work “together”; however he has been criticized, as Republicans claim he betrays his promise to work with Congress to build consensus on issues.
“Executive orders are breakthroughs and happen in parallel to what he’s pushing through Congress (…) these are the things he can do instantly, but they show what he’s going to pursue and, in some cases, he’s already doing in Congress,” a source told Fox News.
Meanwhile, a White House official told Fox News that the president’s actions are in line with the “priorities” he laid out throughout the campaign, and said White House activity in the first weeks of his administration is aimed at “delivering” on those campaign promises and “turning the page” on the last four years of the Trump administration.
The executive orders
With the executive orders already Biden halted construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; repealed the ban on transgender people serving in the military; repealed the ban on travel to majority-Muslim countries; and rejoined the World Health Organization, after Trump withdrew last year amid the pandemic.
Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, fully restored the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program, and reversed Trump’s environmental policies after killing the Keystone XL pipeline contract.
With more executive orders Biden extended eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for those effected through March 31st. He also signed an executive order giving workers “a federally guaranteed right to refuse a job that jeopardizes their health,” and affirming that any worker who turns down such a job offer will remain eligible for unemployment insurance.
He also put his signature on an order launching the “100-day masking challenge” and another order requiring masks and social distancing on all federal property. He also mandated the use of masks on public transportation, including airports, planes, trains and buses.
He reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions for non-U.S. citizens traveling from Brazil, much of Europe, and South Africa.
Similarly, Biden signed a memorandum directing federal agencies to support the deployment of the Governors’ National Guard in their work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, an effort that would be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
He also issued several orders regarding the environment, including the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies; and orders regarding “fairness and equity.”
On immigration, in addition to reaffirming DACA, Biden imposed a 100-day “pause” on deportations of illegal immigrants.