White House communications director Kate Bedingfield on Thursday slammed The New York Times over its editorial calling for President Biden to “ease up” on executive actions.
“As the NYT ed board criticizes President Biden this am for taking swift executive action to reverse the most egregious actions of the Trump Admin, I can’t help but recall that during the primary they encouraged voters to consider what a president could accomplish through exec Action,” Bedingfield said in a tweet.
“So my question is which actions that the President took to reverse Donald Trump’s executive orders would they have liked to see him not pursue?” the comms chief continued.
“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!” she added.
In its editorial, The Gray Lady noted that the president has issued a slew of executive orders, including committing to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, ending the travel ban from countries with heightened terror concerns, canceling the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, halting construction of the border wall with Mexico and mandating mask-wearing on federal property.
“These moves are being met with cheers by Democrats and others eager to see the legacy of Donald Trump’s presidency dismantled posthaste,” The Times piece says.
“Republicans, meanwhile, are grumbling about presidential overreach and accusing Mr. Biden of betraying his pledge to seek unity.”
The Times continued: “But this is no way to make law. A polarized, narrowly divided Congress may offer Mr. Biden little choice but to employ executive actions or see his entire agenda held hostage.
“These directives, however, are a flawed substitute for legislation. They are intended to provide guidance to the government and need to work within the discretion granted the executive by existing law or the Constitution,” it continued.
“They do not create new law — though executive orders carry the force of law — and they are not meant to serve as an end run around the will of Congress.”
It added: “Undoing some of Mr. Trump’s excesses is necessary, but Mr. Biden’s legacy will depend on his ability to hammer out agreements with Congress.”