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Sanders Plans to Sign Dozens of Executive Orders Upon Taking Office: ‘We Cannot Accept Delays from Congress’

Sen. Bernie Sanders greets attendees after speaking at a campaign rally at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Iowa, December 15, 2019. (Daniel Acker/Reuters)

The Bernie Sanders campaign has outlined dozens of possible executive orders that Sanders might enact upon assuming office, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

“As we continue discussing the early work of your presidency and the progress we can make, below for review is a brief overview of executive actions you could take early in your administration,” read a document reviewed by the Post. “We cannot accept delays from Congress on some of the most pressing issues, especially those like immigration where Trump has governed with racism and for his own corrupt benefit.”

Several of the executive orders would reverse President Trump’s policies on immigration, including an immediate halt of border wall construction, removing a limit on accepting refugees for asylum, and reinstating the Obama-era DACA program.

Other orders include a ban on the exportation of crude oil to combat climate change, and the severing of any federal contracts with companies that pay employees less than $15 an hour.

This is not the first time that the prospect of enacting policies by executive order has come up in the Democratic primary. In a September primary debate, Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) promised to instate gun control policies by executive fiat, and knocked fellow candidate Joe Biden for his refusal to do so.

“You can’t do it by executive order any more than Trump can do things when he says he can do it by executive order,” Biden had said of gun control policies before the debate.

President Trump himself has sidestepped Congress to implement some of his signature immigration policies. In early 2019, after House Democrats refused to include federal funding for construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, Trump declared a national emergency in order to divert funds from the Pentagon to pay for construction. The Trump administration has continued that policy into the current year.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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