During his first week in office, President Donald Trump signed six executive orders, one more than his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, and six more than George W. Bush, who didn’t sign an executive order until his ninth day in office.
The most surprising thing about Trump’s choice to sign so many executive orders is that, in the past, he has railed against Obama for his use of executive power.
In 2012, he called out Obama’s use of executive orders, writing in a tweet, “Why is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”
Then in 2015, he pledged to undo all of Obama’s executive orders, writing in another tweet, “If elected, I will undo all of Obama’s executive orders. I will deliver. Let’s Make America Great Again!”
Trump later admitted, during a segment on “Meet the Press,” that he might follow Obama’s lead when it came to using executive powers.
“I won’t refuse it. I’m going to do a lot of things,” Trump replied when he was asked if he would use executive orders during the interview. “I mean, he’s [Obama] led the way, to be honest with you.”
While Trump has already surpassed Obama in his first week in office, how did Obama’s use of executive orders match up against his predecessors?
According to AL.com, Obama issued 277 executive orders during his eight years in office, while “Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a whopping 3,522 executive actions during his 12 years as president; Ronald Reagan issued 381 from 1981-1989; Clinton 364 from 1993-2001; and George W. Bush 291 from 2001-2009.”