7/15/2014 5:12:00 PM Editorial
On Boehner, Obama and Executive Orders
Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives John Boehner apparently neglected to research American history before making the decision to sue President Obama for excessive use of Presidential Executive Orders. If he had done so, he would be aware that, as U.S. presidents go, Obama has been rather lax in using this tool for conducting federal business, with his total usage of executive orders being less than the annual average for many 20th century presidents.
In the past 100 years, U.S. presidents' issuance of Presidential Executive Orders is as follows:
Woodrow Wilson 1,803
Warren Harding 522
Calvin Coolidge 1,203
Herbert Hoover 968
Franklin D. Roosevelt 3,522
Harry Truman 907
Dwight D. Eisenhower 484
John F. Kennedy 214
Lyndon Johnson 325
Richard Nixon 346
Gerald Ford 169
Jimmy Carter 320
Ronald Reagan 381
George H.W. Bush 166
Bill Clinton 364
George W. Bush 291
Barack Obama 182
Several U.S. presidents issued more executive orders each year than Obama has in six years. These include:
Woodrow Wilson 225.4 per year
Warren Harding 216.3 per year
Calvin Coolidge 215.1 per year
Herbert Hoover 242 per year
Franklin D. Roosevelt 290.7 per year
President Ronald Reagan issued 213 Presidential Executive Orders during his first term, compared to 147 first term orders by President Obama.
Republican presidents since WW2 have averaged the following numbers of executive orders:
Dwight D. Eisenhower 60.5 per year
Richard Nixon 62.3 per year
Gerald Ford 68.9 per year
Ronald Reagan 47.6 per year
George H.W. Bush 41.5 per year
George W. Bush 36.4 per year
President Obama has averaged only 33.6 per year.
Aside from the two Democratic presidents who governed during the two world wars, Wilson and Roosevelt, the number of Democratic Presidential Executive Orders is dwarfed by the number issued by Republican Presidents. Since our country was founded, there have been 15,182 Presidential Executive Orders issued by Republican and Democrat presidents. Of those, 8,060 were issued by Democrats and 7,122 by Republicans.
That averages out to 81 executive orders per year by every Republican U.S. president since the nation was founded.
It averages out to 95 executive orders per year by every Democrat U.S. president since the nation was founded.
Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt, who governed during the world wars, issued 5,325 executive orders. Excluding those orders, Democrat Presidents averaged only 40 executive orders per year.
No matter how you compute the use of Presidential Executive Orders, you have to be pretty ignorant of the facts to believe President Obama is overdoing it.
I am not a supporter of Presidential Executive Orders. I believe the majority of those 15,182 previously issued orders, when not passed during wartime, would have been more properly handled with legislation; however, when Congress refuses to do its job and instead insists on playing politics, as is the current situation in Washington, that is why our forefathers authorized Presidential Executive Orders.
If Speaker Boehner were to educate himself about the issue, he might decide pursuing a lawsuit on the use of Presidential Executive Orders is a course it would be prudent to abandon for the sake of future Republican presidents.