Biden Has Signed a Record 21 Executive Orders In Less Than a Week

Connor Grant | January 26, 2021
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Since his inauguration less than one week ago, President Biden has signed a record high 33 “executive orders, actions, proclamations, memoranda and agency directives,” according to CNN. According to the White House, 21 of these have been executive orders. 

Typically, a new president signs no more than a handful of executive orders in their first week. In 2017, Trump signed four in his first week. In 2009, Obama signed five, and by the end of his first week in 2001, Bush had signed none. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who set a new norm regarding the amount of executive actions he signed in his first 100 days, did not come close to Biden’s now staggering number of orders signed in his first week. 

Despite the Democrats now having a majority in both the House and the Senate, Biden still deemed it necessary to sign all 33 actions as unilateral actions, which are more often enacted when the president’s party does not hold the majority in Congress. 

Among those orders Biden has issued are orders to rejoin the Paris climate accord, rescind the Trump administration's 1776 Commission, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and reverse the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans joining the military.

But while this amount of executive action has been unprecedented, it was not unexpected. Chief of Staff Ron Klain told reporters prior to Biden’s inauguration that the new president’s planned executive orders would be “a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President.”


(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)