It’s Official: Barack Obama Signed Fewer Executive Orders per Year than Any Other President in the 20th or 21st Century

Executive Orders per Year by Presidennts in Office

The chain-mails and Facebook posts and alt-right “news” sites declare “923 Executive Orders!” The truth is something else entirely.

Although conservative Republicans have been eagerly inventing numbers to make it appear that Barack Obama acted as an overweening issuer of executive orders, an actual count of executive orders by political scientists at the University of California, San Diego shows otherwise.  The presidency of Barack Obama is over, and now it’s official.  During his time in office, Barack Obama signed 277 executive orders. That’s fewer than the number signed by Presidents George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton, or Ronald Reagan, or Jimmy Carter.  It’s slightly more in number than those signed by President George H.W. Bush, but that’s because George H.W. Bush held office half as long as Barack Obama.

As the following graph using UCSB data shows, President Barack Obama signed fewer executive orders per year than any other president of the 20th or 21st Century:

Executive Orders per Year by Presidennts in Office

This fact is not a matter for debate or evasion. To say otherwise is to lie.