Biden’s First Week in Office, Broken Down
One week ago yesterday President Biden was sworn in as President of the United States. Here is a look at what he has done in his first week.
A quick note on Vocab:
If you have been following the first week of Biden’s presidency then you have heard the words ‘executive order’ thrown around like it’s butter and salt and the federal government is cheap tasteless microwave popcorn, but what does it mean exactly? The official definition given by the American Bar Association is “a signed, written, and published directive from the President of the United States that manages operations of the federal government.” Basically, it’s one of the main ways the president expresses their limited power. It’s often been accused of being how the president is able to bypass Congress and there is some truth to that. However, an executive order isn’t able to break any laws that Congress has passed or the Constitution; instead it’s meant to be how the president enforces laws put in place by Congress. If it should break any laws it can be overturned in court. Additionally, executive orders aren’t able to create lasting change the way actual legislation can; they can be overturned or rolled back simply by the signing of another executive order, usually by a new president or even the same one that signed it in the first place. For the purposes of this article, an executive order and a memoranda are basically the same things, though they do have some differences, none are large or important to this issue. Finally, a presidential proclamation is the president’s decision on public policy; these carry the most weight, but don’t worry there are only three of these.
In his first week as president, Joe Biden signed 19 executive orders, five memorandums and three proclamations. You can see an official record of all his executive orders here and all of his proclamations here. The memorandums aren’t published in an official way; they can be found on the Briefing Room page of whitehouse.gov