Executive actions, also called presidential actions, are actions that are
taken by the President. They are usually made using the following vehicles:
The White House website lists presidential actions at
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions. There may be a lag time between the date a presidential action is signed,
and when it appears on the White House website. The website does not list
draft or unsigned actions.
What's the nature of and difference between these types of executive
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report,
Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation, April 16, 2014, provides a nice general summary; the report
also explains some of the history, mechanics, and effect of these types of
"Executive orders, presidential memoranda, and proclamations are used extensively by
Presidents to achieve policy goals, set uniform standards for managing the
executive branch, or outline a policy view intended to influence the
behavior of private citizens. The U.S. Constitution does not define these
presidential instruments and does not explicitly vest the President with
the authority to issue them. Nonetheless, such orders are accepted as an
inherent aspect of presidential power. Moreover, if they are based on
appropriate authority, they have the force and effect of law."
Executive Orders are numbered serially, and must by law be published in the
Federal Register. The Federal Register website lists all published
Executive Orders by recent Presidents, at A. The National Archives website also has some brief
FAQs About Executive Orders.
Also see NAFSA's Current Immigration Executive Orders page.