Andrew Rudalevige is Bowdoin’s Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government. He regularly writes a column for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.
In his most recent post, Bowdoin government professor Andrew Rudalevige writes that while President Trump has bragged about logging a record number of legislative wins this past year, the truth is that all recent presidents, in their first year in office, signed more bills into law than Trump.
Instead, Trump is “picking up the executive powers where Obama left off,” and leaning on executive orders to push his agenda forward. There is, however, a significant difference between the two men. “…Obama turned to his ‘pen and phone’ after Democrats lost their legislative majorities, while Trump’s Republican ‘anybodies’ preside over unified party control of government,” Rudalevige notes.
A consistent theme in Trump’s use of executive authority has been the rolling back of regulations, and this coming year could indicate whether those changes will actually stick, Rudalevige predicts. “Some of these shifts will be overturned in court. Others will be hampered by the unprecedented plethora of vacancies in the executive agencies….Others can be revoked at the ballot box: As Trump himself has demonstrated, what one administration puts in place, another may tear asunder.”