- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Before he became president, Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of abusing his power by signing so many executive orders.
But during his first 200 days in office, Trump signed more than Obama averaged in a year.
Executive orders are assigned numbers and published in the federal register, similar to laws passed by Congress, and they typically direct members of the executive branch to follow a new policy or directive.
Most of Trump’s have reversed Obama-era regulations, efforts to protect the environment, and policies he says are stymieing business. Trump’s nine executive orders he signed on days 101-200 of his presidency established a controversial commission on voter fraud, attempted to expand apprenticeships in the US, and formed an infrastructure advisory council, to name a few actions.
Scholars have typically used the number of executive orders per term to measure how much presidents have exercised their power. George Washington signed eight his entire time in office, according to the American Presidency Project, while Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed more than 3,700.
In his two terms, Obama issued 277 executive orders, a total number on par with his modern predecessors, but the lowest per-year average (35) in 120 years. Trump signed 42 executive orders in 200 days.
Here’s how Trump compares to his last three predecessors:
- Skye Gould/Business Insider