Yes, Inauguration Day was a big day. President Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, he gave his first speech as president of the United States, officially moved into the White House, and as if that wasn’t enough, he got right to work. On January 20th, he sat down in the Oval Office with pen in hand and signed seventeen executive orders that ranged from rejoining the Paris climate agreement to stopping the construction of an oil pipeline to working with the World Health Organization again. But what are executive orders and when did executive orders become a presidential power? Simply put, an executive order is a legal and official order of the president of the United States that instructs government officials on how to proceed. For example, President Biden signed an executive order to help fight COVID-19. The order created a position for a person to coordinate COVID-19 responses for the country. What happens next? His staff will work to fill that position. In other words, when the president says, “This is happening because of the executive order I signed,” government officials act on it. Pretty powerful, right? It sure is!
Interesting Fact: While George Washington may have signed executive orders, it wasn’t until 1862 that executive orders were numbered. Who signed Executive Order number one? Abraham Lincoln!