Presidential Actions: Executive Orders, Memorandum, and Proclamations

Presidential Actions

Consist of executive orders, memorandum, and proclamations.
Source: “White House: Presidential Actions.”

Executive Orders

A presidential policy directive that implements or interprets a federal statute, a constitutional provision, or a treaty. The president’s power to issue executive orders comes from Congress and the U.S. Constitution. Executive orders differ from presidential proclamations, which are used largely for ceremonial and honorary purposes, such as declaring National Newspaper Carrier Appreciation Day. Read more at “Free Legal Dictionary.”

A list of Executive Orders is available at “Presidential Actions: Executive Orders.”


An informal record, in the form of a brief written note or outline, of a particular legal transaction or document for the purpose of aiding the parties in remembering particular points or for future reference. Read more at “Free Legal Dictionary.”

A list of Memorandums is available at “Presidential Actions: Memorandums.”


An act that formally declares to the general public that the government has acted in a particular way. A written or printed document issued by a superior government executive, such as the president or governor, which sets out such a declaration by the government. Read more at “Free Legal Dictionary.”

A list of Proclamations is available at “Presidential Actions: Proclamations.”

Executive Orders by Administration

PresidentTerm Total OrdersAverage / YearYears in Office
Ronald Reagan Total381488
George Bush Total166424
William J. Clinton Total364468
George W. Bush Total291368
Barack ObamaTotal276358
Donald TrumpTotal12600.02

Source: American Presidency Project – University of California @ Santa Barbara

Last Update: 12/20/2014

Additional Reading

Presidential Memorandum — Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century

Source: The White House, November 21, 2014

Claims regarding Obama’s use of executive orders and presidential memoranda

Source: The Washington Post, December 31, 2014

President Obama has issued a whopping 923 executive orders

Source:, September, 2012

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