President Barack Obama plans to use executive authority to make good on pledges he will outline in his State of the Union speech this week, an approach that has already drawn criticism from congressional Republicans.
“The president sees this as the year of action, to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary to lift folks who want to come up into the middle class,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program today.
After failing to win congressional support last year for priorities such as revised immigration laws, raising the minimum wage and gun background checks, administration officials used today’s talk shows to signal a backup strategy of executive action, even as a new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 63 percent of Americans lack confidence in Obama’s ability to make the right decisions for the country’s future.
“We need to show the American people that we can get something done, whether together or on our own,” said White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
The strategy risked antagonizing Republicans even before Obama gets his chance Jan. 28 to make the case for his legislative agenda in a prime-time televised address.