What is an executive order? | IN 60 SECONDS
Under the United States Constitution, Congress makes the laws and the president enforces the laws. The law provides authority for the president and the agencies of the government to compel individuals, corporations, and others to take – or not to take – certain acts. For example, a law authorizes the president to collect taxes through the Internal Revenue Service. Neither the president nor the IRS can collect taxes, or do anything else, without a supporting law from Congress. However, the laws leave the IRS and other agencies with discretion on HOW they enforce the law. An executive order is the president’s written direction to the agencies of the government about how he wants them to act when they enforce the law. For example, President Trump issued an executive order directing all agencies to eliminate two regulations for every regulation they issue. As long as the order is consistent with the Constitution and the law, the president can use an executive order to tell the IRS and others HOW he wants them to do what Congress has authorized. Are executive orders by President Trump a good idea? Let us know in your comments, and also let us know what other topics you want AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.