How does Biden really stack up on Executive Orders?

Love or hate Executive Orders — (or if you only like them when it’s your guy who’s signing them) — you have to admit President Biden has already proven to be good at them.

But how does he stack up against other fairly recent Presidents in terms of numbers?

He’s not even close to top.

That spot belongs to Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) who signed 3,721 executive orders! Of course, he served more than 11 years as President. So that’s about 338 Executive Orders a year.

Still, Biden holds his own among his contemporaries, and then some.

By March 9, Biden signed 37 executive orders. That’s more than twice the number President Obama signed at this point in his presidency (18), and more than double that of President Trump (15).

A full list of Biden’s Executive Orders is below. It doesn’t include “Proclamations” and “Memorandum” which are similar to Executive Orders.

Meantime, here’s how recent U.S. Presidents compare with one another in terms of Executive Orders in a single term for purposes of comparison.  

Executive Orders in a Single Presidential Term

504 Harry S. Truman (D)

325 Lyndon Johnson (D)

320 Jimmy Carter (D)

266 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

247 Richard Nixon (R)

220 Donald Trump (R)

214 John F. Kennedy (D)

213 Ronald Reagan (R)

200 William Clinton (D)

173 George W. Bush (R)

169 Gerald Ford (R)

166 George H.W. Bush (R)

147 Barack Obama (D)

Topics of President Biden’s Executive Orders through March 9, 2021:

  1. Racial equity
  2. Decennial census
  3. Revocation of Trump financial principles, such as preventing taxpayer money from being used for corporate bailouts; revocation of Trump’s poverty reduction order, and other Trump actions.
  4. Supply Chains
  5. Revocation of Trump order on expanding apprenticeships
  6. Establishing White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  7. Blocking property regarding Burma
  8. Enhancing programs to resettle climate change refugees
  9. Task force on the reunification of families
  10. Managing migration and asylum-seekers
  11. Restoring faith in our legal immigration systems, inclusion efforts for new Americans
  12. Strengthening Medicaid and Obamacare
  13. Advisors on science and technology
  14. Climate crisis world wide
  15. Banning privately-operated prisons
  16. American workers
  17. Inclusivity in the military
  18. Protecting federal workforce
  19. Economic relief on Covid-19
  20. Establishing pandemic testing board
  21. Protecting worker health and safety
  22. Supporting reopening of schools
  23. Equitable pandemic response and recovery
  24. Sustainable public health supply chain
  25. Ensuring data-driven Covid response
  26. Expanding care and treatment for Covid
  27. Promoting Covid safety in travel
  28. Ethics in the Executive Branch
  29. Preventing gender identity discrimination
  30. Climate crisis
  31. Revoking Trump orders limiting federal regulation
  32. Revising immigration enforcement
  33. Covid-19 response and global leadership
  34. Mask-wearing required on federal property
  35. Advancing racial equity
  36. Establishing gender policy council
  37. Sexual violence in education
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4 thoughts on “How does Biden really stack up on Executive Orders?”

  1. Sharyl and Full Measure Team,

    Senator Obama (( Illinois )) got it right, when
    he said :

    “Signing orders are unconstitutional.”

    Why ?—because they negate our We-the-People
    Congress, negating government of, for, and by
    the will of the people.

    Signing orders are Sign of a Dictatorship.


  2. It’s very easy to sign them quickly when you don’t have to worry about details like understanding what they actually say.

  3. Mr. B gets turned on every morning after his batteries have fully charged and is sat down in the Oval set to sign EO’s written by the DS Shadow Govt. operatives.
    Then he rests and recharges while flown to plants and different locations nationwide. Then he stumbles around plants and asks a few child-like questions. Sometimes he bumbles through a little incoherent conference before they take him to recharge and rest until the next day ~ while Ms. Harris co-mingles with Swamp Creatures that are running the show (for now).
    My suggestion is to donate to the new PAC (vs the RNC) to rid the Republican Party of Rhino Neo-Cons ~ allowing the original platform to return to basic, logical, fair, governing.

  4. Hi Sharyl A,
    It’s always interesting to see timelines, comparisons, etc the way you have laid things out here, just to look at numbers even before drilling down into the details. Is this even taught in journalism school any more?

    I wasn’t sure where best to let readers know, but Gov. Whitmer in MI, who was also fond of exectuive orders, is being sued. She issued c. 170 of them last year, for the pandemic. And then the MI supreme court removed her executive powers and — poof– there went most of those orders.

    The same outfit that sued her last year (and WON!!) is preparing another one, this one for refusing to release nursing home data and covid death data.

    Hmmm, could this at all be tied to the agreement signed with former MI health commissioner Robert Gordon?

    As I Michigander I am watching this closely. The Gov needs to be held accountable. She is one of the many who has used the pandemic as a money/power grab.

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