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Trump signs 7 executive orders during first weeks, what does that mean?

Posted February 3

WASHINGTON D.C. — After what many described as the “most stunning upset in U.S. political history,” President Donald Trump took office as the 45th President of the United States.

His first two weeks in office have been rife with controversy as he signed seven executive orders which, while polemical to some, fulfilled many of the promises he made on the campaign trail.

Though it may seem that Trump has signed quite a few executive orders recently, he still falls three short of the 10 orders former President Obama signed during his first 14 days as president.

What is an executive order?

Executive orders are essentially rules issued by the president that tell agencies he oversees how to use their resources. They have always been a source of debate, but do not mean the president is creating a new law or using money from the Treasury (that’s where Congress comes in).

Executive orders fall under the category of “executive actions,” and are the most powerful of the group. The umbrella of executive action also includes presidential memorandums, several of which Trump has also signed, drawing more controversy over issues like the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The orders may seem binding, but they can be challenged by the judicial branch, though that’s been historically rare.

Executive orders are as old as the Constitution itself (from which they derive their power), and have been used by nearly all the presidents, with Franklin Delano Roosevelt taking the top spot with a whopping 3,522 executive orders.

An issue of constant contention, executive orders have brought the U.S. everything from the Emancipation Proclamation (Abraham Lincoln) to the internment of Japanese Americans (Franklin D. Roosevelt), and have caused many to question whether the president should have such power.

And as Trump continues to utilize his executive power, that question will most likely continue to grow in the public's consciousness.

Here are Trump’s seven executive orders in chronological order.

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