On way out the door Trump signs EO to hold un-elected officials calling shots more accountable

Democrat Joe Biden will take over the presidency of the US on Wednesday and immediately begin whittling away at the 603 accomplishments the Trump White House recently boasted about having achieved over the past four years. Instead of working to build congressional consensus, Biden seems intent on employing the “phone and pen” strategy utilized so well by President Barack Obama.

But President Donald Trump has his own phone and pen and is not making it easy on Biden. After four years of battling the bureaucratic force of the deep state and hostile Democrats in Congress, Monday, Trump made one last attempt to drain the “D.C. Swamp.”

Trump issued an executive order entitled “Ensuring Democratic Accountability in Agency Rulemaking.”

In the document, Trump noted, “American democracy operates on the principle of the consent of the governed. Regular elections for the Congress and the President and Vice President of the United States are designed to ensure that the officials responsible for making and executing the law are held accountable to the American people. The President chooses Federal agency heads who exercise executive authority and implement his regulatory agenda. The American people, in electing the President, thereby have a role in choosing the individuals who govern them.”

“However,” he added, “some agencies have chosen to blur these lines of democratic accountability by allowing career officials to authorize, approve, and serve as the final word on regulations.”

“This practice transfers the power to set rules governing Americans’ daily lives from the President, acting through his executive subordinates, to officials insulated from the accountability that national elections bring.” Trump continued. “This practice undermines the power of the American people to choose who governs them and I am directing steps to end it.”


Trump’s order mandates that new federal rules within each agency can be implemented only after being endorsed or initiated by senior officials appointed by the president – and those senior leaders will be prohibited from delegating their authority to an official not appointed by the chief executive. The president carved out an exemption for matters related to national security.

Trump also gave the head of each agency six months to review policies related to delegated authority and reverse them.

And Trump, still trolling his foes right up to the end, also directed that senior officials look at rules going back 12 years – to the start of the Obama administration – to determine if they comply with the policy under this new order. The agency heads are expected to produce a report about their findings for Biden within four months.

It remains to be seen if Biden will likely reverse this order. Given what he has said publicly so far, he seems intent on taking a wrecking ball to Trump’s legacy.

Yet in this case, it would be highly ironic for the new Democratic president to make the government less “democratic.”


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