The New York Times editorial board is calling on President Biden to “ease up” on issuing executive actions after a slate of orders were signed in the last week.

“These moves are being met with cheers by Democrats and others eager to see the legacy of Donald Trump’s presidency dismantled posthaste. Republicans, meanwhile, are grumbling about presidential overreach and accusing Mr. Biden of betraying his pledge to seek unity,” the board wrote on Wednesday

“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. 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. By design, such actions are more limited in what they can achieve than legislation, and presidents who overreach invite intervention by the courts,” it added.


Biden has issued executive orders and other actions rejoining the Paris climate change agreement, ending the Trump administration’s order limiting immigration from predominately Muslim countries, canceling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, ending funding for former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE's signature border wall and more.

The Times's editors, however, said that a rush of executive orders “can set up a whipsaw effect, as each president scrambles to undo the work of his predecessor,” citing former President Obama’s creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, former President Trump’s halting of the program and Biden’s moves “to reaffirm those protections.”

“Just as Mr. Trump set about reversing as many of President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMillennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Biden's Cuba problem: Obama made a bet and lost Democrats need a coherent response to attacks on critical race theory MORE’s directives as possible, Mr. Biden is now working to reverse many of Mr. Trump’s reversals. With executive orders, there is always another presidential election just a few years off, threatening to upend everything,” they wrote. 

The editorial board added that undoing some of Trump's "excesses is necessary, but Mr. Biden’s legacy will depend on his ability to hammer out agreements with Congress,” and urged the president to negotiate with lawmakers “to show the American people what permanent change for a better nation can look like.”

Several top Biden administration officials pushed back on the editorial on Thursday.

"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,” White House communications director Kate BedingfieldKate BedingfieldBiden's misinformation crackdown spotlights partisan divide on content reform White House uses Trump's words praising China to slam McCarthy's Biden criticism Biden, Putin begin high-stakes summit in Geneva MORE tweeted.

“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?” she added. 


White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week White House looks to cool battle with Facebook Texas Democrats are fighting harder than Biden or congressional Democrats MORE also targeted the editorial in a tweet.

“We are not taking executive action in lieu of legislation: we are taking executive action to fix what Trump broke in the executive branch, and to keep the President's commitments to use his power -- within appropriate limits -- to make progress on four crises,” he said.


Biden has previously referred to the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, economic relief and racial justice as four crises facing the U.S.