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Biden has signed twice as many executive orders as immediate predecessors

Biden has defended his record 37 executive orders so far, saying he's undoing "bad policy" from previous administration.

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Joe Biden
Joe Biden
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Updated: March 26, 2021 - 10:24pm

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Since taking office Jan. 20, President Joe Biden has signed twice as many executive orders as his immediate predecessors over the same period, putting him on a projected pace for the fourth-highest annual average in the history of the presidency.

As of March 10, which marked Biden's first 50 days in office, he had signed 37 EOs, according the FederalRegister.gov. That number compares to 16 for President Trump, 17 for President Obama and eight for President George W. Bush. 

If Biden maintains that pace, he's expected to sign an average of 218 a year, according to an analysis by the American Presidency Project UC Santa Barbara. That would be the most since Franklin D. Roosevelt with 307 a year. 

Herbert Hoover with 242 a year and Woodrow Wilson at 225 are the only other U.S. presidents above the 218 mark.

Among Biden's most impactful and well known executive orders are those that canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline, required travelers to wear masks in U.S. airports and rescinded some of Trump's executive orders on immigration.

Biden has defended his large number of executive orders, saying that he is undoing "bad policy" from the previous administration.

"I want to make it clear," Biden said Feb. 2 when signing three executive orders on immigration policy. "There's a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I have signed. I'm not making new law. I'm eliminating bad policy."

Besides reversing orders signed by Trump, Biden has also used the orders, which can sidestep Congress, to promote his own policies, including those on discrimination, climate change and health care.  

Here are all 37 of Biden's executive orders to date:

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