Joe Biden’s Executive Orders: Is This How It’s Supposed To Be?

Hannah Osmann, Staff Writer

Joe Biden in the Oval Office. Photo from CNN.

President Biden in the name of bettering our country has been signing many executive orders within the first month of his presidency. Executive orders are only made by the president and with checks and balances from the judicial branch, are done quickly to change the course of government or our country. 

“But he (President Biden) also feels it’s important to work with congress, and not just one party but both parties to get things done.” White House speaker Jen Psaki said on January 25th at a press conference when questioned about the number of executive orders published by the president. 

  Since Inauguration Day, President Biden has signed over 30 executive orders, many of which are on topics that have been argued and debated for years. He signed a bill on gender and sexual orientation rights on his first day in office, that will heavily influence women’s sports, locker rooms, bathrooms, etc. As well as multiple orders to reform immigration policies and border controls. 

Though this question remains every single American can either ask it or merely ignore it, is this how it ’is supposed to be? 

“The challenges we face will not be solved by a constitutionally dubious “national emergency” to build a wall, by separating families, or by denying asylum to people fleeing persecution and violence.” – Joe Biden’s Web Team.     

Though the purpose of an executive order is to get things done quickly, how could he say this? Is this something that could be done better and more permanently by Congress if need be? Though what Joe Biden’s team says may be true, and the problems that we are facing may affect more people than ever before, does that give the right for one man to hold all this power in his hands? Is this aligning with what Jen Psaki had said? Is this proof that Joe Biden is working with members of Congress who represent your families and your state? 

The answer is no. 

The president that published the most executive orders was President Roosevelt who signed over 3,000 executive orders. One might say that such acts are out of control, but he was also president for twelve years or three terms which encased the second world war. 

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” -John Adams 1772. Many grow to believe that America was taken or won underneath the unified belief that there shall never be too much power for any one person. Rather the power should be distributed among the people, in turn making a smaller less powerful government. Has the average president forgotten that in the desperate struggle to hold as much power as possible? 

In 1863, one of the most controversial Executive Actions at that time was made by Abraham Lincoln. It was one of the first steps towards equality for all African Americans who were held as slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation. 

In 1941 on an American Naval base in Hawaii, the Japanese attacked. Shortly after that, the Americans joined World War Two, and President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 calling for the relocation of Japanese Americans living on the west coast to government-run concentration camps. While the order was in effect willing or not, it changed the lives of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans.   

“Joe Biden has been US president for less than two weeks and has already issued nearly as many executive action as Trump and Obama did in the same period, combined.” -Amanda Shendruk a Visual Journalist from Quartz. 

Biden has mixed the expected and the non expected together in his first months of office. By the time we know the consequences of his actions they will be in our homes and at our jobs.

Was Joe Biden thinking about the girls on a Montana High School Track team who needed a scholarship so that they could take charge of their future? Was he thinking about the next generation of women and the amount of them who would have gotten a sports scholarship, but did not because the playing field was made uneven by the stroke of a pen? Or was he thinking of the transgender women who took their places because when matched against boys of the same age they lost? If our president is not thinking about them, then who’s job is it? It’s the job of our state representatives. 

Though executive actions are necessary in times of need, it isn’t and wasn’t any president’s job to take executive action on things that could be handled better by congress. For the first time in U.S. history women graduate from college at a higher rate than men, what will a single executive action do to that?  

No, this is not how it is supposed to be. Our founding fathers designed our government so that in case of serious need or emergency we could be saved faster than if it were only the job of congress. We have to ask ourselves if what Joe Biden is doing is for an emergency and if it could be done better. It is our job to debate and keep our government and any one person within it from growing too powerful so that we do not come to a future where we the common person has no power.