What is an executive order, and why don't presidents use them all the time?

Modern presidents, including Trump and Obama, have issued far fewer executive orders than their predecessors before World War II. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images Just hours after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden signed nine executive orders – far surpassing every other president’s first day on the job in modern history. These orders advance urgent issues like COVID-19 response and undo many of Trump’s policies on immigration and environmental deregulation. Biden is not the first U.S. president to issue an executive order, and he certainly won’t be the last. My own research shows …

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