President Joe Biden has issued more presidential actions in his first two weeks in office than did the past five presidents in their first two weeks combined. Coming from the man who said during ABC News' Town Hall in October, "We're a democracy. We need consensus," consensus apparently means 42 unilateral presidential actions with no participation from the Legislature.
Executive orders within the first 10 days:— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) January 30, 2021
No president should have the impact on everyday policy that modern presidents have. It is time for Congress to reclaim the power to legislate.
During ABC News' Town Hall, President Biden criticized the use of executive actions. When asked by Stephanopoulos about Biden being able to implement tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans, Biden responded:
"No, well, I've got to get the votes. I got to get the votes. That's why -- you know, the one thing that I -- I have this strange notion. We are a democracy. Some of my Republican friends and some of my Democratic friends even occasionally say, "Well, if you can't get the votes by executive order, you're going to do something." Things you can't do by executive order unless you're a dictator. We're a democracy. We need consensus. (emphasis added).
While White House communications director Kate Bedingfield defended the President in a series of tweets, saying, “Of course we are also pursuing our agenda through legislation," President Biden's executive actions show otherwise.
It’s amazing how quickly Biden’s campaign promise of legislating through consensus has turned into ruling by executive order and Democrats rejecting bipartisanship.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) February 1, 2021
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that Biden’s early reliance on executive action is at odds with the Democrat’s pledge as a candidate to be a consensus builder.
President Biden was also criticized for his executive actions after touting the need for unity and bipartisanship during his inauguration speech:
"With unity, we can do great things. Important things...For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.
POTUS, apparently, didn't mean what he said when he spoke so eloquently at his inauguration about unity and bipartisanship: All in all, he’s announced about 40 executive actions: 25 executive orders, 10 presidential memos, and four proclamations. @thedispatch— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) February 1, 2021
30 executive orders and actions signed in only 3 days' time.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 26, 2021
@POTUS, you can't govern with a pen and a phone.
To put the sheer number of actions by the Biden Administration in the past two weeks into perspective, Bill Clinton had 364 orders over two terms, George W. Bush had 291 over his two terms and Barack Obama issued 276 over his two terms. In his four years in office, Trump signed 220 orders.
It's clear to see, the Biden Administration will continue to set a detrimental precedent by enacting radical policies from the Oval Office rather than deferring to the will of the people and relying on Congress. A list of executive actions signed by the President can be found here.