Biden criticized for signing more than 30 executive orders in only 9 days in office

President Joe Biden has signed more than 30 executive orders since taking office just nine days ago, and has been criticized by lawmakers and the media for relying heavily on the president’s prerogative to issue orders.

An article in the New York Times on Thursday pointed out that Biden’s use of executive orders to implement policies is not a substitute for Congress making laws. Meanwhile, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accused Biden of acting like a “dictator” by signing orders on a massive scale.

Biden has signed more than three dozen executive orders on a range of issues, including addressing the impact of the Chinese Communist virus (New Coronavirus) outbreak, environmental regulations and immigration policy. At the same Time, Biden has sought to overturn former President Trump‘s foundational policies through executive orders, such as halting construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and revoking the Pentagon’s ban on transgender service in the military.

The left-leaning New York Times editorial board published an article Thursday (Jan. 28) headlined “Ease up on the Executive Actions, Joe,” shouting out to the White House, saying “This is not the way to make laws.

The editorial board called the large number of executive orders signed by Biden “flawed legislative substitutes” and further stated that the president “cannot” use them “as a stopgap to bypass the will of Congress “.

On the other hand, McConnell accused Biden on the Senate floor Thursday of relying on executive orders prematurely and reneging on his pre-election promise to be a consensus builder. Just last October, incumbent President Biden said you can’t legislate by executive action unless you’re a dictator,” McConnell said. Yet he himself signed more than three dozen unilateral actions in one week.”

Speaking on ABC News last October about how quickly he would push through a plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, Biden said there are some things “you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.” While Biden’s context at the time suggested that he was not criticizing all executive orders as the hallmark of a dictator, his remarks were nonetheless criticized as hypocrisy and executive overreach.

McConnell took aim at Biden’s executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline permit and the moratorium on drilling for oil and gas and entering into new leases on federal lands and waters. McConnell said Biden’s unilateral move not only undermines U.S. energy independence, but also threatens jobs.

“According to one study, the decision on (Biden signing) federal lands will cost us nearly a million American jobs by next year alone.” McConnell said darkly, “That’s a great way to start a presidency.”

Biden, who signed two more executive orders Thursday and spoke briefly with reporters in the Oval Office, described his latest executive order as an effort to “undo the damage Trump has done” rather than “start any new laws. He noted that he is working to convince Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion bailout through the legislative process.

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield took the New York Times to task in a tweet, writing, “I can’t help but remember that during the primaries, they encouraged voters to consider a mandate that the president could accomplish by executive order.”

“And, of course, we are pushing our agenda through legislation, which is why we fought so hard to pass the American Rescue Plan.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also defended Biden, arguing that it was a reasonable reversal of some of Trump’s policies.

Some of Biden’s flurry of executive orders do reverse Trump-era policies, including: halting funding for border wall construction, freezing lower U.S. drug regulations in effect, lifting some regulatory restrictions on federal agencies, and ordering illegal immigration to be included in the census.