Speed Reads

Playing politics

Obama is making record use of 'presidential memoranda'

A review by USA Today shows that the president has issued 198 "presidential memoranda," more than any U.S. president in history.

Presidential memoranda are quite similar to executive orders — in fact, they're almost identical in that they both allow a president to manage and govern the actions of the departments and agencies under the executive branch of government. The convenient difference? Obama can avoid being accused of overusing executive orders if he technically issues a memorandum.

The president has issued 195 executive orders from his White House, and the review reveals that when the memos and executive orders are combined, "Obama is on pace to issue more 'high-level executive actions' than any president since Harry Truman."