An Executive Order enables the President to create a law without the consent of Congress. When Congress is unable to agree on how to implement a law or program, it leaves an opening for the President to take over, in the form of an Executive Order.
I wanted to look back and see how past Presidents have used Executive Orders. This is what I found:
1942 - President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen from coastal Washington state to California, extending inland into southern Arizona. It was signed specifically to intern Japanese-Americans, but was also used to intern 300 Italians and 5,000 Germans. 3,200 Italians and 11,000 Germans were arrested.
1948 - President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 which eliminated Segregation and racial discrimination in the military services and federal employment.
1957 - President Eisenhower used Executive Order 10730 to dispatch federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to prevent interference with the integration of Central High School. It was the first time federal troops were used to maintain law and order in the South since Reconstruction.
1961 - President Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925 required only the certification that they would "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during (their) employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."
Did you know that in 1963, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110, giving legal clearance to create an interest and debt-free currency? It was his intention to circumvent and destroy the Federal Reserve. A few months later he was assassinated. The Notes were recalled the following day.1963 - President Johnson in Executive Order 11246 signaled a significant national commitment to a social policy of dismantling discrimination, establishing the EEOC - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The order barred racial discrimination in federal housing, hiring, and contracting.
1987- President Reagan’s Executive Order 12582 - Defined naturalization requirement exceptions for aliens and non-citizen nationals of the United States who served in the Grenada campaign
Before he signed comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Ronald Reagan said,
"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally"
1990 - President George H.W. Bush signed Executive Order 12711 deferring deportation of Chinese nationals and their direct dependents in response to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
But this was the Executive Order that sent me reeling!
The order lists examples of transferable infrastructure:
· Electricity supply facilities
· Mass transit
· Rail transportation
· Recycling/wastewater treatment facilities
· Solid waste disposal facilities
The process can be quick and it does not need any involvement with Congress or the Judicial branch of the government, which to my way of thinking makes it the perfect vehicle to move the country forward. Of course, Rethuglicans insist this power conflicts with the constitutional concept of “Separation of Powers”, but they’d say that anyway.
If they are displeased with what the President does, they can always rewrite the law. But if the President vetoes the bill, they’ll need a 2/3 majority vote to override the Executive Order.
Go get ‘em, Mr. President!
Executive orders of the current President are also posted on the White House web page.