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Senate pro tem seeks to block some executive actions with new bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Senate Pro Tem Dave Schatz has filed a bill that would block executive orders by the president, any federal agency rule, or any federal congressional action from being implemented in Missouri if the General Assembly deems it to be unconstitutional.

Under the bill, the General Assembly would recommend that the attorney general review the action and seek an exemption. If the attorney general fails to act, the General Assembly could declare the action unconstitutional by the passage of a concurrent resolution.

“Missourians want to make it very clear to those in Washington who are seeking to dictate by ‘the stroke of a pen’ you aren’t going to silence our voices, you aren’t going to take our lawful weapons, you aren’t going to throw open our borders to criminals, and you aren’t going to bankrupt our economy and destroy our energy infrastructure,” Schatz said in a statement.

The bill said the state, any political subdivision, and any publicly-funded organization would not be required to implement such orders if they were deemed unconstitutional by the General Assembly.

Executive orders are a signed, written, and published directive from the president that manages operations of the federal government. They are able to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court or by a supermajority of Congress. 

President Joe Biden has signed 34 executive orders since taking office.

“At his current pace, the president is on track to sign more than 400 executive orders this year alone — an amount of unilateral decision-making unseen since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 12 years in the White House,” a press release from Schatz’s office said. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed more than 3,700 executive orders during his time in office, averaging more than 300 per year.

Twenty-two of Biden’s executive orders were implemented to reverse policies from the Trump administration.

“And I want to make it clear — there’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I have signed — I’m not making new law; I’m eliminating bad policy,” Biden said at a signing ceremony for some of his executive orders focused on immigration in early February.

The bill was filed on the last day of filing in the Senate and has not yet been referred to committee.