President Donald Trump will mark the end of his first 100 days in office with a flurry of executive orders, looking to fulfill campaign promises and rack up victories ahead of that milestone by turning to a presidential tool he once derided. But Trump’s frequent use of the executive order points to his struggles getting legislation though a Congress controlled by his own party and few of the orders themselves appear to deliver the sweeping changes the president has promised.
White House aides said that Trump will have signed 32 executive orders by Friday, the most of any president in their first 100 days since World War II. That’s a far cry from Trump’s heated campaign rhetoric, in which he railed against his predecessor’s use of executive action late in his tenure as President Barack Obama sought to maneuver around a Republican Congress. Trump argued that he, the consummate deal maker, wouldn’t need to rely on the tool.
“The country wasn’t based on executive orders,” said Trump at a town hall in South Carolina in February 2016. “Right now, Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can’t even get along with the Democrats, and he goes around signing all these executive orders. It’s a basic disaster. You can’t do it.”
But after taking office, Trump has learned to love the executive order. This week, he will sign one on rural issues, another on veterans and several on energy.
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