Biden Faces Backlash Over Reliance on Executive Orders

Biden: "there are certain things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.” 

"Joe Biden" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

The New York Times editorial board called out President Biden to “ease up” on executive actions after flaunting that he signed dozens of Executive Orders in his first few days on the office. 

In just over a week, President Biden signed more than three dozen executive orders aimed at addressing various issues. These include the Coronavirus pandemic and other issues, including environmental regulations, immigration policies, and racial injustice. 

However, New York Times and other lawmakers criticized Joe Biden’s actions of signing a series of executive orders, running against Democrat’s pledge of being a “consensus builder.”

In fact last October in ABC News town hall, Biden said that “there are certain things you can’t do by the executive order unless you’re a dictator.” 

The allies of President Biden inside and outside of his administration are going against New York Times over an editorial page posted last Wednesday. The New York Times editorial piece headlined “Ease up on the Executive Actions, Joe” calls out Biden to work with the Congress. 

The New York Times editorial board slammed Biden for pushing his agenda through dozens of Executive Orders days after his inauguration rather than propelling and dealing with lawmakers in Congress. The NYT emphasized that Biden’s actions solely through Executive authority can be undone by the next person who will be sitting in the Oval Office.

In the editorial board entitled “Ease Up on the Executive Actions, Joe,” it writes that there is no way to make law. “A polarized, narrowly divided Congress may offer Mr. Biden little choice but to employ executive actions or see his entire agenda held hostage.” The editorial board continues, “these directives, however, are a flawed substitute for legislation. They are intended to provide guidance to the government and need to work within the discretion granted the executive by existing law or the Constitution.”

The editorial page then explained that Executive Orders DO NOT create new law, although it carries the force of law, they are NOT meant to serve as an “end-run around the will of Congress.” Executive orders are instead more limited in what they can achieve, and that Presidents who overreach the powers of executive orders invite interventions by the courts. 

Meanwhile, on Thursday, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield fired back at the New York Times, accusing the publishing of hypocrisy and affirming that the White House is working with Congress on some legislation. 

Bedingfield wrote in Twitter, “As the NYT ed board criticizes President Biden this am for taking swift executive action to reverse the most egregious actions of the Trump Admin, I can’t help but recall that during the primary they encouraged voters to consider what a president could accomplish through [executive action].”

She continued and asked which Biden took to reverse President Trump’s executive orders would the NYT have liked to see him not pursue?

Bedingfield then added that, of course, the Biden administration is pursuing their agenda through legislation, and that is why they are working hard to have the American Rescue Plan passed. 

Meanwhile, Biden campaign pollster John Anzalone accused the New York Times editorial board of being “out of touch with Americans.”

Anzalone told Politico, “It’s tough being so high up in the ivory tower. You can’t really make a sound judgment because you can’t see the ground,” referring to New York Times. 

Then a former Biden campaign official called the publication a “barometer for were not to be.” He added, “unfortunately, the New York Times editorial board is often a barometer for where not to be, provided you want to win elections in real life instead of on Beltway Twitter.”