President Joe Biden has signed an unprecedented number of executive orders in his first few days in office compared to his predecessors.
In addition to nine executive orders signed by Biden on Wednesday, he also issued another eight on Thursday and two on Friday, according to KMGH-TV. He is also expected to sign a slew of new orders this week.
The executive orders so far include a nationwide mask mandate, revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and making sure that people are counted in the census regardless of their immigration status.
During their first month in office, Biden’s last six predecessors issued 22 executive orders combined.
According to the Federal Register, Donald Trump issued seven executive orders in January 2017, Barack Obama issued nine in January 2009, George W. Bush issued two in January 2001, Bill Clinton issued two in January 1993, George H.W. Bush issued one in January 1989, and Ronald Reagan issued one in January 1981.
Nineteen executive orders are about a third of the 55 former President Trump signed in all of 2017.
In total, Trump issued 220 executive orders during his one-term presidency, according to the Federal Register.
Former President H.W. Bush signed 166, but two-term presidents including Obama, W. Bush, Clinton, and Reagan issued between 276 and 381 orders.
However, former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt holds the record with 3,728 orders during his twelve years in office.
The issue with the frequent use of executive power is that presidents can often make consequential decisions without consulting anyone but their own advisors.
Perhaps the most infamous order was enacted by Roosevelt, whose Executive Order 9066 forced Japanese Americans into internment camps, as some feared they were Axis power spies during World War II.
Biden ultimately won based on the fact that the United States is facing the COVID-19 crisis, and may continue to use that desperation from Americans as leverage to use his power in the executive branch.
His executive order that cracked down on federal energy development already caused a stir with many groups, including the Ute Indian Tribe.
In a letter to acting Secretary of the Interior Scott de la Vega, the tribe called the order a “direct attack.”
“The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands,” the statement said. “The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members.”
“Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation.”
The Ute Indian Tribe does not mince words in their response to Interior’s order restricting federal energy development:
“Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination.” pic.twitter.com/U5MiZCMx4n
— Megan Barnett Bloomgren (@MeganBloomgren) January 22, 2021
While the Biden administration may think that their decrees are going to always be beneficial, it is imperative that they understand the consequences of unchecked power on average Americans.
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