Donald Trump outstrips Barack Obama on executive orders

It wasn’t too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders (EOs) as “power grabs” and a “basic disaster.”

Back in 2012, Mr. Trump had tweeted, “Why Is Barack Obama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”

That criticism continued once he entered the presidential race. At a South Carolina campaign stop in February 2016, he said, “Right now, Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can’t even get along with the Democrats, and he goes around signing all these executive orders. It’s a basic disaster. You can’t do it.”

But Mr. Trump appears to have learned what his predecessors discovered as well: It’s easier and often more satisfying to get things done through administrative action than to get Congress to go along, said Andrew Rudalevige, a professor at Bowdoin College who studies the history and effectiveness of presidential executive actions.

Mr. Trump has so far issued 130 executive orders. Mr. Obama issued 108 in his first three years.


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