US President-elect Donald Trump may reverse up to 70 percent of President Barack Obama’s executive orders, practically erasing the legacy of the first African-American head of state, Former House speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox.
“I think in the opening couple days, he’s going to repeal 60 to 70 percent of Obama’s legacy by simply vetoing out all of the various executive orders that Obama used because he couldn’t get anything through Congress,” Gingrich said in an interview with “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox Business.
Obama, who signed over 260 executive orders in his two terms in office, urged Trump, who will be inaugurated on January 20, not to circumvent Congress when trying to enact his agenda. Obama used his executive powers to push through labor, climate and immigration reforms after Congress refused to go along with his proposed programs.
“My suggestion to the president elect is, you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it’s harder to undo,” Obama told NPR last week. “In my first two years, I wasn’t relying on executive powers because I had big majorities in … Congress and we … [were] able to get bills passed. Even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backward consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we’ve got.”
Obama noted that Trump is “entirely within his lawful power” to sign new executive orders and “if he wants to reverse some of those rules, that’s part of the Democratic process.”
Gingrich believes that by exercising such power Trump will just sign Obama’s legacy away.
“I think President Obama is beginning to figure out that his legacy is like one of those dolls that as the air comes out of it, it shrinks and shrinks and shrinks,” Gingrich said.
During the election campaign Trump did promise to repeal Obama’s initiatives, telling his voters in North Carolina in September that his administration would “eliminate every unconstitutional executive order and restore the rule of law to our land.”
That promise now seems a reality especially after Obama failed to honor his promise of a “smooth” transition to Trump after his victory. The rift between the future administration and Obama’s office became apparent on Friday when the US abstained from voting at the UN Security Council, allowing an anti-Israeli settlement resolution to pass, despite a strong calls for Trump to “veto” the document.
“He [President Obama] is in this desperate frenzy. What he’s actually doing is he’s setting up a series of things to distract Trump, which will make his liberal allies feel good about Democrats and hate Republicans when Trump rolls them back,” Gingrich noted.
ThinkProgress reviewed and broke down Obama’s signed orders, which ranged from allowing military reserves to help with crises abroad to letting federal workers leave early on Christmas Eve.
However international sanctions orders dominated Obama’s agenda and covered 34 cases that targeted people from at least a dozen countries ranging from Libya, North Korea, and Venezuela, to Yemen, Somalia, and Russia.