White House: Obama “will not wait for Congress”
January 25th, 2014
12:03 PM ET
11 months ago

White House: Obama “will not wait for Congress”

Tune in to CNN for complete State of the Union coverage, starting Tuesday, January 28 at 7 pm ET.

Updated 1:58 p.m. ET, 1/25/2014

Washington (CNN) - Just days from President Obama's State of the Union address, a senior adviser is providing a glimpse into the speech's central themes: "opportunity, action and optimism."

In an e-mail message to supporters, Dan Pfeiffer is rallying supporters ahead of the address this Tuesday, with a glimpse at the President's plans for 2014.


"On Tuesday night, the President will lay out a set of real, concrete, practical proposals to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and empower all who hope to join it," Pfeiffer said.

Among those proposals, the president will announce new executive actions on "job training and retirement security," a White House official tells CNN.

While he calls the speech "optimistic," it is sure to ruffle some feathers as well, as Pfeiffer makes clear that Obama will push ahead on his agenda with or without congressional consent.

"In this year of action, the President will seek out as many opportunities as possible to work with Congress in a bipartisan way. But when American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer said.

The “year of action” has become a common refrain in 2014 from a White House many see as mired in Washington gridlock.

"President Obama has a pen and he has a phone, and he will use them to take executive action and enlist every American... in the project to restore opportunity for all," Pfeiffer said.

The blast e-mail also announced details of the President's upcoming road trip. After the speech, he will travel to Prince George’s County in Maryland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Nashville to continue to tout his message of economic inequality.

The White House also announced an online question-and-answer session titled the "Virtual Big Block of Cheese Day." In a salute to Andrew Jackson and "The West Wing," White House officials, including Pfeiffer, will answer questions via social media.

–CNN's Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


Filed under: State of the Union • White House
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    If Congress won't work with our elected President, he should do whatever it takes to pass legislation.

    January 25, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Harold Ness

    The "Great Uniter" has demonstrated for over 5 years he is totally incapable of creating vital political partnerships like real Presidents do. So he is willing to bypass the system like a banana republic dictator.

    January 25, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    It's pretty clear the problem ISNT Obama , but the GOP incompetence AND obstruction of EVERYTHING that would help the jobs bills and anything that would move the country forward UNDER obamas leadership that the GOP is fighting AGAINEST . So that means the GOP MUST be REMOVED from office in November !!!!!!!

    January 25, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Thomas

    If Congress was an airline , you wouldn't fly with them .

    If Congress was a railroad , you wouldn't ride with them .

    Why wait around for the check is in the mail do nothing Boehner boys ?

    January 25, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. YoonYoungJo

    Nice. There is still a bipartisan way to restore some balance to this country and improve the lives of people not in the 1%. Everyone who's not in the 1% needs to rally behind the Prez.

    January 25, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Why should Obama wait for an incompetent obstructive GOP controlled house when we ALL know the GOP is going to get kicked out in November !!!!!!

    January 25, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Why should he wait, when we ALL know the GOP is going to lose the house in November and have NO power at all!!!!!!

    January 25, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    Good! time to be the strikebreaker-in-chief! the rethugs have refused to govern since his first inauguration and the country has suffered immeasurably for it. someone has to be the grown-up!

    January 25, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Gunderson

    Whazzat?
    I see the Dictator is bellering out orders. Un-fortunately people from Missouri. He have to show them. Man getting those mules to move is murder!

    January 25, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    In an earlier post, some RWNJs were upset that they felt a young black man was playing the victim card. They are angry that he was taking a page out of the republican play book. Christie, Vitter, Trey Radel, West, Ensign, Palin, Mittsy, Cruz, McCain, Boehner, and the rest of the GOP are the real experts at being victims when they are found out.

    January 25, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. wendel

    good waiting for congress to do anything would be a mistake. They only want to argue and thwart the president.

    January 25, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Carlos

    Rather than "touting the message of income inequality" our dear leader should focus all his efforts on the existing problems at hand: unemployment rate of at least 7 % for the last 5 years; his "signature " healthcare law being a disaster with millions of people losing their existing healthcare coverage because it does not meet this administrations standards; the IRS` targeting of individuals and organizations who do not adhere to the administrations political views; the investigation into and apprehension of the individuals responsible for the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi, the illegal gun running program into Mexico, the NSA spying on American citizens. If our dear leader truly cares about America, he should focus and devote all his energy and attention on these issues.

    January 25, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Nor.......will the WH work WITH Congress. If he cannot get Congress to give him exactly what he wants, then he declares himself dictator AND lawmaker, and he usurps the power of Congress, and sets himself up as dictator in chief!

    This man has to be removed from office, before he completely cements himself in as a true socialist dictator, who no one can STOP!

    January 25, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Fish

    The President knows he is fading he can see it every morning while shaving. I have not given up on him as President yet am a critic as to his agenda and motivations. True, he has had more obstacles to overcome than most yet if he is truly pure of heart he will overcome and be better for his tribulations. He needn't be discouraged as he has the greatest nation in Earth behind him. All he has to do is follow his lord, to thine own self be true do what you know is right Mr. President and you will succeed whether it's to regulate Wall Street, tackle the environment, establish fair voting laws, extend unemployment, etc... listen to God's cell phone, its called our conscience, it always answers and always leads to the right path regardless of religion because our creator says its so!!!

    January 25, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. SoMuchNonsense

    GOOD! Steamroll the republican Koch brother lap dogs in the house. They've shown nothing but contempt for anyone not giving them $100,000+ campaign bribes. They are worse than all our foreign enemies.

    January 25, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Harold Ness
    The "Great Uniter" has demonstrated for over 5 years he is totally incapable of creating vital political partnerships like real Presidents do. So he is willing to bypass the system like a banana republic dictator.

    Did you really have a straight face when you wrote this nonsense? By the way, another "Dictator" reference? You need to cover your tracks better Rick?

    January 25, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Wes

    Wire Palladin, S.F.

    In an earlier post, some RWNJs were upset that they felt a young black man was playing the victim card. They are angry that he was taking a page out of the republican play book. Christie, Vitter, Trey Radel, West, Ensign, Palin, Mittsy, Cruz, McCain, Boehner, and the rest of the GOP are the real experts at being victims when they are found out.
    --------------------------------------------
    I love it when you can watch a lefty libtard get all hot and bothered. Hilarious!

    January 25, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Stuffitu

    Know what is really weird (or would have been pre-Obozp)? Iput in for my veterans benefits, 11 months ago. If I had been a dope addicted, welfare fraud voting for the corrupt president, I would have had them in 2 weeks and had a couple of Obamaphones thrown in also. The regime really hates hard working, taxpaying responsible citizens.

    January 25, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Dellhar

    Job training can be helpful, but it is not a quick fix. Employers that pay livable wages hire experts in the field, not someone who has been just trained. More and more, they hire foreign labor at cheaper prices.

    Training does no good when there are no jobs available in the field of training. This "political speak" is becoming nauseating.

    Unemployment and job creation strategies should be at the forefront of Congressional discussions. Yet, the mainstream media seems to be lacking in reporting in this arena. There are more top news stories on entertainers than the economy.

    It's time for those who see through the smoke and mirrors methodology to educate our family and friends on what is really going on in this country and stop calling the uninformed sheeple or other condescending adjectives.

    People are getting fed up with the foolishness. Yes, we can march and occupy, but this does no good. It's time to start hitting the powers that be in a way that they can understand–their pocket books and voting their sorry, obstructionist, do nothing a$$es out of political positions.

    January 25, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. tom l

    @Wire
    "Christie, Vitter, Trey Radel, West, Ensign, Palin, Mittsy, Cruz, McCain, Boehner, and the rest of the GOP are the real experts at being victims when they are found out."
    ====

    Wire, I think you make a very valid point about all of the corruption within the repub party and all of the individual politicians who have had scandals that have an R next to their name. My question to you is where is your intellectual honesty? You appear to be a smart and educated person. Is there a reason you purposely omitted the names of Rangel, Edwards, Weiner, Spitzer, Kwame Kilpatrick, Filner, Villaragosa, McGreevy, Condit, Gavin Newson, Barney Frank, Jackson Jr., etc, etc. etc? Did you decide that you would only give examples of bad behavior on the repub side so you could portray the repubs as bad but by your purposeful omission try to make that the democrats don't have any bad people in the party? Do you think that only repubs are nefarious and have scandals and democrats have no scandals and are righteous? I am wiling to hear your explanation as to why you willingly only showed repubs and decided not to show dems? I'm thinking you're probably going to say that the repubs talk about family values so they are hypocrites. Wow! Brilliant. So are you trying to excuse bad behavior by showing bad behavior? Not a very legitimate line of thinking if you get down to it...

    January 25, 2014 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    "The "Great Uniter" has demonstrated for over 5 years he is totally incapable of creating vital political partnerships like real Presidents do. So he is willing to bypass the system like a banana republic dictator."

    The GOP has spent the last 5 years thwarting the will of the American people, who elected President Obama TWICE, and in 2012 retained a Democratic majority in the Senate and cast 1.4 million MORE votes for Democrats in the House than repubs.

    What is it about representative democracy that you yahoos don't get?

    January 25, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. KING

    its a darn shame when these folks decided America would be better off without nothing done to sward the second worst financial disaster in our nations history. the repubs sent a hoard of house and senate congress people to stop the president in his tracks, after he took the country from the dead. i remembered back in 2010, when the repubs was going around saying that they should stop the presidents agenda at any cost. now it makes me laugh when most of these same people that voted in these obstructionist into congress cries that congress is not doing their jobs.

    January 25, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Gunderson: "Whazzat? I see the Dictator is bellering out orders."

    If President Obama were a dictator, his political enemies would be dead and posters like you would be disappeared. Neither has or ever will happen, so why don't you take your meds like a good little chap, Gunderson, and step away from the computer?

    January 25, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. ryche

    You go obama and all the liberals behind you. I cant wait for the next Republican President to do this exact same thing, and watch the liberals heads explode with hypocrisy. oh how delicious it will be.

    January 25, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  25. Ron L

    Also, you really want to help the economy, RAISE THE MINMUM WAGE so it is equal to what it was in the 1960's and 70's. Which would be about $10.50 per hour. This will give those Americans up to $480.00 per month to purchase the necessities of life and just maybe the opportunity to save some money!! It will REDUCE the number of Americans that need federal assistance (including SNAP). And yes, it may raise the cost of some items 5 to 10% which WILL NOT reduce the demand on those items because the very people who purchase most of these items will have an additional $300 to $480.00 in their possession. This WILL IMPROVE the economy, give these people some dignity, and reduce the deficit. A WIN, WIN, WIN situation.

    January 26, 2014 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
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