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White House warns Obama could go around Congress

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:54 a.m. HST, Jan 26, 2014

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama will work with Congress where he can and circumvent lawmakers where he must, his top advisers warned Sunday in previewing Tuesday's State of the Union speech.

Obama faces a politically divided Congress on Tuesday and will use his annual address to demand expanded economic opportunity. Absent legislative action, the White House is telling lawmakers that the president is ready to take unilateral action to close the gap between rich and poor Americans.

"I think the way we have to think about this year is we have a divided government," said Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime Obama adviser. "The Republican Congress is not going to rubber-stamp the president's agenda. The president is not going to sign the Republican Congress' agenda."

So the White House is eyeing compromise on some priorities, Obama advisers said. But the president is also looking at executive orders that can be enacted without Congress' approval.

"The president sees this as a year of action to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

The act-or-else posture bristled Republicans.

"The president has sort of hung out on the left and tried to get what he wants through the bureaucracy as opposed to moving to the political center," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP Senate leader. 

Added Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: "It sounds vaguely like a threat, and I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance."

With campaigns for November's election on the horizon, there's scant reason for the White House to be optimistic about Republican support for measures to revive a bipartisan immigration bill that has passed the Senate, an increased minimum wage or expanding prekindergarten programs. 

Republicans looking to wrest control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House instead want to keep the focus on the struggling economy and Obama's stewardship of it. The GOP is pinning hopes that voter frustration remains high and punishes Democrats on the ballot for Obama's tenure.

"His economic policies are not working," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. 

The White House has been signaling to Republicans that it would not wait for Congress to act. It also is betting Obama's backers will rally behind his plans.

"When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer wrote in an email to Obama supporters Saturday. 

Following the speech, Obama will travel to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee to promote the proposals he introduces Tuesday evening.

Pfeiffer appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" and "Fox News Sunday." Carney spoke with ABC's "This Week." McConnell was interviewed on Fox. Paul spoke with CNN and NBC's "Meet the Press." Cruz spoke to CBS' "Face the Nation."

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gary360 wrote:
Let me guess, "I have a phone and I have a pen", or another E.O. What else is new. I have grandkids that act better then he does.
on January 26,2014 | 07:49AM
TMJ wrote:
The "Dear Leader" knows best. Just do what he says and don't question his authority. He is more equal than the law.
on January 26,2014 | 07:56AM
samidunn wrote:
Equal hell - He is above the law.
on January 26,2014 | 10:17AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
So Emperor Obama says gimme what I want or I'll take it anyway. Quo vadis Brutus?
on January 26,2014 | 07:57AM
Ronin006 wrote:
It is time for he House of Representatives to do its job and hold impeachment hearings.
on January 26,2014 | 11:56AM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Pres. Obama going around the Congress is close to falling off the cliff established by the U.S. Constitution. He is not a royal King.
on January 26,2014 | 08:10AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
He is the Lying King.
on January 26,2014 | 08:24AM
Anonymous wrote:
Sounds like dictatorial socialism to me.
on January 26,2014 | 08:19AM
DiverDave wrote:
"White House warns Obama could go around Congress". He already has! By "Executive Orders" he has given numerous Obamacare wavers to unions, big businesses, organizations etc., which is unconstitutional, and against his oath of office (to enforce all laws). He "warns" he "could"? LOL
on January 26,2014 | 08:22AM
cojef wrote:
The ACA is no longer what it started out to be and is as you say it is now Obamacare with all the executive orders that has been issued to make execeptions for those who aided him to pass this legislation. Of late, he does not want the Act to be known as Obama care because perhaps has foreseen that it is doomed for failure. The complex and vastness of the American intellect preclude the Act from succeeding. Having said that, the American population is not really ripe for the pickings yet, although the liberal left has been conspiring ages ago. Events since the end of WW II has witnessed the indoctrination of the American population through the infiltration and liberalization of the educational system from kindergarten on upwards to the college and university levels. The majority of college instructors and tenured professors are left-wing liberals. Of course the liberal media contributes to this drama that has been taking place. We are being brain-washed into social liberalism. We will be akin to the Europeans and ripe for the New World Order envisioned by the like of George Soros and others with the same stripe.
on January 26,2014 | 09:17AM
DiverDave wrote:
Yes cojef, It is as if Obama voters are hypnotized for him. Would the media ever had let a Republican, or any other party's President, get away with Fast and Furious, I.R.S. political targeting, NSA spying and collecting private citizen's(as well as our allies) phone records, Benghazi U.S. Embassy attack where there was no attempt at saving our people and cost the life of one of our own ambassadors, or billions of dollars wasted on green bankrupt businesses like Solyndra? No. And, now he announces that he will just make law by executive order? So there you have it. The media has no creditability and should be ashamed of the degradation of what impartial journalism once was. So, for all liberal voters and "journalists" I will now start the count down at which time you will wake up out of your Obama hypnosis. 5-4-3-2-1, handclap, wakeup! You are no longer hypnotized for Obama, and can think for yourself. What freedom you now have!
on January 26,2014 | 10:11AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Anon says dictatorial socialism, you say infiltration liberalization socialist educational kindergardenism since WW ll . Oh and New World Orderism. Where do you get this stuff?
on January 26,2014 | 11:00AM
kolohepalu wrote:
They like to make up snappy terms and sound bites- a great way to dumb down issues. The mental equivalent of fast-food- see O'Reilly, Limbaugh, etc.
on January 26,2014 | 05:23PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Whoa! A little dictatorial, don't you think.
on January 26,2014 | 08:35AM
serious wrote:
And, who put us into this "them" and "us" "Black" and "White" routine???? Every speech he makes--and I think it's every day--fair share--what the heck is fair share?? He has so divided the country--look at the number of people on welfare-why? So they will vote Democratic to keep their "stuff". Look at any disaster in the recent years in the USA--the people in the welfare states waited for the Feds to pick them up, put them in hotels and clean up the mess. In the "middle" class states, they rolled up their sleeves and made it happen.
on January 26,2014 | 08:51AM
inlanikai wrote:
He has divided this country like no one since Spiro Agnew. And both did it by design.
on January 26,2014 | 09:09AM
SteveToo wrote:
Beware King Obama has spoken.
on January 26,2014 | 09:02AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
With all due respect and considering the oddsmaker, I really and truly feel that "cold storm" that this nation and weathermen predict will NOT stop the Seahawks from being the KING of SB XLVIII.
on January 26,2014 | 09:29AM
meat wrote:
What Nana's, no come backs at this bashing your dear hero is taking? And where is your partner earhole in all this?
on January 26,2014 | 10:50AM
kolohepalu wrote:
Ha. Did you hear Justin Bieber got arrested?
on January 26,2014 | 05:24PM
entrkn wrote:
I support President Obama and the actions that must be taken on behalf of the vast majority of Americans. Congress has been hijacked by extreme right wing elements who represent the interests of an ultra rich few at the expense of the other 99% of Americans. It is past time for the President to bring the changes he promised and that America twice elected him to enact.
on January 26,2014 | 09:50AM
samidunn wrote:
You ever hear of a little thing called the Constitution.
on January 26,2014 | 10:19AM
Charliegrunt wrote:
Isn't that the document that describes the three branches of government: administrative, legislative and judicial? Just think, BO once taught Constitutional Law. What a joke?
on January 26,2014 | 03:03PM
kolohepalu wrote:
What's funny is all the people without a foot to stand on second guessing him.
on January 26,2014 | 05:26PM
meat wrote:
Just what we needed, another Mainstream Media brainwashed puppet like Nanakuli and earhole. Speaking of, where is earhole? And look at Nanakuli, how goofy is that comment?
on January 26,2014 | 10:29AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
On a lighter note, another " Keiki o ka Aina e Hapa Po polo" is up for 4 Grammy awards tonight! With Bieber and Cyrus on the loose, it good to see a real entertainer like MARS getting top honors. Aloha.
on January 26,2014 | 10:51AM
kolohepalu wrote:
Yeah. They should watch Fox like well informed people like you, right?
on January 26,2014 | 05:27PM
hawaiikone wrote:
38% doesn't sound like the "vast majority". Maybe he should try leadership for a change...
on January 26,2014 | 10:32AM
kolohepalu wrote:
Right on.
on January 26,2014 | 05:24PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
He can circumvent law makers.

'Nuff said.

on January 26,2014 | 11:45AM
samidunn wrote:
Only if they let him.
on January 26,2014 | 12:57PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
DiverDave speaks of "saving our people and cost of life" yet he seem to forget that one of the purposes of the "Obamacare" is to help save the lives of many who do not have the means to acquire health care insurance. Many of our people did not have any form of this that many of us take for granted. It is easy to say that Obamacare is a failure and we should strike it down while sitting at a comfy chair in front of a computer. Many cannot even afford a computer. Do you think that they can afford coverage? It is not hard for me to pay more for my insurance knowing that others will be able to partake of something that should be available to everyone, not just the rich or middle class. Yes, it is not perfect but it does offer health care to those who cannot afford it. Our country is the richest and most powerful in the world but we cannot even provide health care to those who cannot afford it. Yes, we provide health care to even immigrants but we cannot even extend it to our own people. We can spend billions to provide military service to other countries but we cannot even help our own people get the much needed prescription that they need to survive. We can provide emergency provisions to other countries but yet we cannot even provide medical attention to families who are struggling to even just put food on the table. Now, nothing is perfect. It is sad when one sees on Fox News a so-called expert proclaim that Obamacare is glitching and thus "not helping the very people that it is supposed to help so we should get rid of it." How is taking Obamacare from the very people who need it helping them? Such spin-doctoring is prevalent on Fox News which is owned and operated by the rich. The rich apparently do not want to help pay to help their fellow American citizens receive medical care. Then they cry their crocodile tears when a poor child dies because of a lack of medical attention. It is outrageous their hypocrisy. And those like Cojef can proclaim Obamacare is a failure because he is not a benefactor. He may have a Cadillac insurance and he does not see the immediate benefits of Obamacare because he is happy with his coverage. Forget everyone else. And if that means I am a socialist for saying these things, so be it.
on January 26,2014 | 01:39PM
South76 wrote:
I am not rich, but what irks me are the bleeding heart liberals who think they are helping people when they give social programs for nothing. What liberals need to learn is that we are not going to ever be equal, there will always be rich there will always be poor, there will always be ill and there will always be healthy. I donate to charities when I can but to confiscate other people's hard earned money to give to able-bodied lazy Americans that really pisses me off. There are states that are putting strings like drug testing to those who receive social programs and we have advocates who come out and say that is discriminatory. I had to be drug tested to get my job and have random testing, yet we can not subject these lazy-a--s-s-e-s to random drug testing to receive other people's hard earned money? I don't know if you have been reading other newspapers from other states but Obamacare is a failure; it has gotten so much facelifts(modification from original law), no pun intended, it has become a joke.
on January 26,2014 | 03:29PM
NieleHK wrote:
Let's put Obama the LOSER in the rear view mirror and celebrate the conclusion of the worst presidency in our country's history bar none. We wanted change, elected a inexperienced community organizer and then got what we deserved, change for the worse.
on January 26,2014 | 01:49PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Maybe not the worst, but the most divisive and we deserve what we got.
on January 26,2014 | 02:49PM
South76 wrote:
Hmmm, dictatortialship has landed in Washington D.C.; just when we though dictators only occur in third world countries we thought wrong. The USA was formed with three branches of government with the executive branch--the White House (President)--execute laws not make them, the legislative branch--Congress--makes proper laws and the judicial branch--the Supreme Court--interpret the laws. Obama needs to go and read the Constitution again...we did not anoint a dictator to the White House.
on January 26,2014 | 03:12PM
cojef wrote:
Like the millions that got hoodwinked and voted for him. He believes he has a mandate and the liberal media tell s him so.
on January 26,2014 | 03:57PM
kolohepalu wrote:
My, my-all the right-wing hand-wringing. The problem is that they have no agenda other than opposing and demonizing Obama- it's tiresome and it's bad for the country. They keep singing the same tired tunes and wonder why they aren't getting any converts-the whimpering of Rand Paul and Cruz's theatrical plays to his tiny constituency are great examples. If they can't do anything productive, they need to get out of the way. Good for the President.
on January 26,2014 | 05:21PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Another lefty heard from. Meanwhile, Rome burns...
on January 26,2014 | 06:32PM
SteveToo wrote:
Beware. In 2016 King Obama will declare martial law and rule unopposed as he rounds up conservatives and locks them up. :-(
on January 26,2014 | 07:03PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Meaningless words that sound impressive to the user
on January 26,2014 | 08:36PM
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