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Growing Number of States Concerned About Federal Overeach Seek to Scrutinize Presidential Executive Orders: Karla Jones in The Epoch Times

There is a lot of alarm among state lawmakers who care about federalism and worry about federal overreach.

Karla Jones, ALEC Senior Task Force Director for International Relations and Federalism, spoke with The Epoch Times about  concerns state lawmakers have over U.S. Presidents increasingly relying on presidential executive orders. She said the concerns are bipartisan.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) senior director for Homeland Security, International Relations, and Federalism Karla Jones said the bills are in response to “federal overreach that infringes on state sovereignty.”

Washington-based ALEC is usually the generator of conservative policy guides and model bills that state lawmakers carry into sessions.

But in reference to presidential executive orders, the council adopted its model policy regarding presidential executive orders in December 2021 in response to bills submitted by state lawmakers in six states during that year’s sessions.

“We just saw [the bills] proliferating because executive orders were becoming such a problem,” Jones told The Epoch Times. “There was a lot of alarm among state lawmakers who care about federalism and worry about federal overreach.”

During his first six months in office, “Biden was on track to issue more executive orders than FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt],” she said. “He has since leveled off considerably and is now pretty equal with President Donald Trump, who also issued more executive orders than we thought was prudent.”

According to Ballotpedia, as of Dec. 22, Biden had signed 105 executive orders. During his four years in office, Trump issued 220. FDR signed more than 3,500 in his 12 years in office.

Jones said it is easy to disparage a president’s use of executive authority, but it’s often exerted by default.

“Congress doesn’t have the political will to do the hard work, so many presidents rely on executive orders,” she said. “George Washington had, like, one. Single-digit executive orders,” during a presidency “was typical for the first 50 years of our history.”

ALEC’s policy fine-tunes the 2021 versions of the bills. Rather than tie them to specific issues, such as gun owners’ rights, the policy is a guide for bills “that could be used in any state” across a range of issues, Jones said, including by Democrat-controlled legislatures.

“Blue state may care about federal overreach in other areas.”