Biden Pledged To Seek ‘Consensus.’ Then He Signed 25 Executive Orders In His First Week

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

Just a mere four months ago, then presidential candidate Joe Biden pledged to seek a “consensus” in order to get things done. One week into his presidency, Biden has signed 25 executive orders, 3 memorandums, and 2 proclamations.

Speaking at an ABC Town Hall in October, Biden said that there are some things you can’t get done through an executive order unless you were a “dictator.”

“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.’ (There are) things you can’t do by executive order, unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”

Biden’s statement was actually a pushback on the idea that he could change tax policy by using executive orders, which would include raising or lowering the tax rate, according to PolitiFact. (RELATED: What Biden’s First Week In Office Says About The Next 4 Years)

While he may have been referring to a specific policy, Biden has nonetheless went forward with signing a record-breaking number of executive orders and memo’s in his first week in office despite making it clear that he believes a consensus should be met on issues before policy is enacted.

Former Presidents Donald Trump issued four executive orders in his first week, Obama issued five, and Bush signed no executive orders, according to WUSA9.

Biden, meanwhile has signed 25 executive orders, 3 memorandums, two proclamations and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, the World Health Organization, and paused student loan payments, according to ABC News. On his first day alone Biden signed 15 executive orders.

The rapid pace at which Biden appears to be getting things done has already attracted criticism.

Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn tweeted Tuesday that Biden “can’t govern with a pen and a phone.”

The New York Times (NYT) Editorial Board even called out Biden’s excessive signing, telling the president to “ease up on the executive actions.”

“But this is no way to make law,” the article states. “A polarized, narrowly divided Congress may offer Mr. Biden little choice but to employ executive actions or see his entire agenda held hostage. These directives, however, are a flawed substitute for legislation.”

While many of Biden’s actions are merely undoing things Trump did, the NYT warned that “there is always another presidential election just a few years off, threatening to upend everything.”

Biden also pledged to unify the country during his inaugural address.

“To restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words,” Biden said, according to The Hill. “It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.”

“We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace. Only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.”