Obama prepared to use bully pulpit
(CNN) — White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said President Barack Obama’s plan to take more action in 2014-even without congressional approval-shouldn’t be considered a threat to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“I don’t think it’s confrontational. It’s ‘Let’s find areas to work together,’” he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There are some items right before Congress we can do together.”
He mentioned immigration reform, extending unemployment benefits, patent reform and the farm bill as possible items that could be accomplished with bipartisan support.
But, Pfeiffer added, “the President is not going to tell the American people that he’s going to wait for Congress.”
“He’s going to move forward in areas like job training, education, manufacturing, on his own to try to restore opportunity for American families,” he told CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.
Previewing Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address on Tuesday, Pfeiffer sent an e-mail message to supporters Saturday that said Obama will lay out a “set of real, concrete, practical proposals.”
He reiterated Sunday that 2014 will be a “year of action” and the President “is going to look in every way he can, with his pen and his phone, to try to move the ball forward.”
Pfeiffer agreed with the characterization that Obama will be using his bully pulpit more often this year.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” he said. “We do that in big ways and some small ways. … We are putting an extra emphasis on it in 2014.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said on “State of the Union” that the White House’s approach “sounds vaguely like a threat.”
“I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance in the sense that one of the fundamental principles of our country were the checks and balances, that it wasn’t supposed to be easy to pass legislation,” Paul said.
“It’s hard to convince people to get legislation through,” Paul said. “It takes consensus. But that’s what he needs to be doing is building consensus, and not taking his pen and creating law.”
By Ashley Killough