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Donald Trump has overtaken Barack Obama on executive orders

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From playing golf to taking taxpayer-funded vacations, it seems Donald Trump has spent the first months of his presidency doing exactly what he pilloried Barack Obama for doing. 

And his penchant for signing executive orders is no exception. 

Back in 2012 Trump lambasted Obama for his use of executive actions to push forward his policies.

 

And yet, as the graph below reveals, Trump has signed more orders over the same period in office. 

 

By the end March 31, 2017, barely two months since his inauguration, Trump had signed a staggering 23 executive orders.

These have included a plan to repeal Obamacare, since shelved, his ill-fated travel ban on all migrants from a number of Muslim-majority countries, and a pledge to pull federal funding from “sanctuary cities” that accommodate illegal immigrants.

By contrast, Obama had signed only 18 such orders by the same point into his first term as president in 2009. 

 

Moreover, the early executive actions that Obama signed in 2009 generally enjoyed wider public support than Trump’s controversial policies. 

Obama’s first motion to tighten ethics rules for government officials was approved by 76% of US adults according to a Gallup poll, and his next order to limit interrogation techniques on prisoners scored 74%. 

By far his most opposed action was to order the closure of Guantanamo Bay, which was approved by just 44%. 

However, Trump’s executive orders have been even less popular. His infamous travel ban was supported by only 42% of the population, while his proposed wall along the Mexican border was approved by just 38%.

And a mere 36% of Americans were behind Trump’s order to suspend the US Syrian refugee program. 

It seems that despite of his contempt for executive action when Obama was president, Trump has quite a taste for it when in power. 


More: Donald Trump signing executive orders has become a glorious meme

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