What is a presidential executive order?

In his first week as head of state, President Donald Trump signed a flurry of executive orders; 12 and counting. The issues range from Obamacare, withdrawing from an international trade agreement, controversial oil pipelines, and building the border wall.

Fordham University Political Science Professor Costas Panagopoulos explains that the purpose of an executive order is to bypass the legislative branch and issue directives to employees in the federal government.

Throughout U.S. history, presidents have used the orders frequently to bypass Congress. President Trump's early decisions are not uncommon. Famous executive examples include President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which granted slaves freedom. FDR signed thousands, including the creation of the Works Progress Administration -- one of many Great Depression relief programs.

Congress has the power to overturn an executive order by either passing legislation in conflict with it or not providing funding. But with Republicans aligned, political analyst Chris Hahn said he isn't expecting much resistance to the 45th president. He said the question is will Congress do what the founders intended and use their own ambition to counter the president's ambition? He said he does not believe this Congress will.