Pres­i­dents dig into their ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion tool­box

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION - Gre­gory Korte @ gre­go­ryko­rte USA TO­DAY

The first two times Pres­i­dent Trump im­posed a travel ban, he used an ex­ec­u­tive or­der. The third time, he wrote it as a procla­ma­tion.

He has signed 48 ex­ec­u­tive or­ders and dozens of pres­i­den­tial mem­o­randa. Once, he used a mem­o­ran­dum to change an ex­ec­u­tive or­der.

He has cre­ated a form of di­rec­tive known as a na­tional se­cu­rity pres­i­den­tial mem­o­ran­dum.

All mod­ern pres­i­dents have used th­ese tools to man­age the ex­ec­u­tive branch and set pol­icy. As Con­gress has be­come more dead­locked, pres­i­dents have turned to ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion as a sub­sti­tute for leg­is­la­tion.

Procla­ma­tions are the old­est form of pres­i­den­tial di­rec­tive, and the­o­ret­i­cally the most sweep­ing. They’re of­ten di­rected at ci­ti­zens — not just govern­ment of­fi­cials — and may call on them to take a spe­cific ac­tion.

Ex­ec­u­tive or­ders have the force of law — but only on the ex­ec­u­tive branch. They’re num­bered and pub­lished in the Fed­eral Reg­is­ter.

Tra­di­tion­ally, pres­i­dents have used mem­o­randa to give for­mal or­ders to Cabi­net sec­re­taries. That or­der could be as rou­tine as pre­par­ing a re­port or as sig­nif­i­cant as draw­ing up reg­u­la­tions on wage and hour laws, firearms or coal power plants.

Na­tional se­cu­rity pres­i­den­tial mem­o­randa gen­er­ally op­er­ate like ex­ec­u­tive or­ders but in the area of na­tional se­cu­rity.

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