We recently talked about President Joe Biden’s stunning flip flop on his attitude toward presidential executive orders. Having described them as being a tool for “dictators” as recently as last October, he’s now set the all-time record for the most EOs signed by any American president during their first week in office. It’s gotten so out of hand that even the New York Times was compelled to publish a piece saying “ease up on the executive actions, Joe.”
It seems that the pressure is starting to get to Uncle Joe. Even the normally docile (to Democrats, anyway) White House press corps has been asking questions. Reporters have been suggesting that perhaps some legislation needs to be passed to get things done. One particularly thorny issue is Biden’s proposal for the next round of pandemic relief. That can’t be done via an EO, but Senate Republicans (and even some Democrats) have been pushing back because of the costs involved. One suggestion has been raised involving the possibility of splitting the proposed bill into two or more smaller pieces that might be passed. When Biden was asked about this, however, his response was rather “prickly” (as the Associated Press described it). “No one requires me to do anything.” (Emphasis added)
Biden on Thursday framed his latest executive actions as an effort to “undo the damage Trump has done” by fiat rather than “initiating any new law.” During a brief exchange with reporters in the Oval Office after signing two more executive orders, he noted he was working simultaneously to push his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package through Congress. After being asked by a reporter if he was open to splitting up the relief package, the president responded: “No one requires me to do anything.”
Earlier in the day, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield bristled at the criticism of Biden’s executive orders in a series of tweets, adding, “Of course we are also pursuing our agenda through legislation. It’s why we are working so hard to get the American Rescue Plan passed, for starters.”
I realize that we’re going to be playing this game for as long as Joe Biden continues to manage to remember how to get from his residence to his office every day, but it’s worth asking the question yet again. Can you imagine what the reaction of the press would have been if Donald Trump had said something like that? Words like tyrant, autocrat, and dictator would be flooding the airwaves and littering the front pages of all the major newspapers. But when Status Quo Joe says it, he’s being “prickly.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Biden’s team is trying to focus attention on the COVID relief bill. It’s the only legislative effort that they’ve put any effort into thus far and the massive spending package is already stalling in the Senate. Everything else that’s been “accomplished” so far has come in the form of those dictatorial executive orders that Joe used to hate so much. There might have been some attempts at other legislative priorities in the works, but Biden’s Democratic colleagues on the Hill are too busy trying to impeach the guy who can’t technically be “removed” because he’s no longer in office.
I have no doubt that there will be other big legislative packages coming from the House and Senate Democrats in the months to come. Despite all of his silence and denials on most of these subjects during the campaign, we’re going to see some version of the Green New Deal being brought to the floor. A massive tax hike on nearly everyone might come up for a vote even sooner than that. When all of these aggressive, liberal proposals are actually put down in writing and the public gets a good look at them, the Democrats are probably going to receive a rapid and unpleasant lesson in terms of just how much of this nonsense the public is willing to tolerate.
Buyer’s remorse is already setting in for some of the people who decided to vote for Biden last November. This is particularly true for the millions of families who earn their living in the oil and gas industry. But don’t suggest to Joe Biden that he moderate some of his plans. Nobody requires him to do anything.