January 28, 2014
While the stats of the union remain unremarkable at best, it would appear that despite the rancor in Washington, President Obama will get his way “whatever it takes.”
As the WSJ reports, the State of the Union address Tuesday night will emphasize his intention to use unilateral presidential authority — bypassing Congress when necessary — to an extent not seen in his previous State of the Union speeches. “We need to show the American people that we can get something done,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior White House adviser, told CNN; it seems no matter how totalitarian and unconstitutional it would appear to be.
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night will seek to shift the public’s souring view of his leadership, a challenge the White House sees as critical to shaping the nation’s policy direction over the next three years.
Mr. Obama will emphasize his intention to use unilateral presidential authority—bypassing Congress when necessary—to an extent not seen in his previous State of the Union speeches, White House officials said.
Mr. Obama will stress that he intends to take unilateral action on a host of other issues: infrastructure development, job training, climate change and education. Administration officials hinted broadly at the assertive new direction Sunday.
“We need to show the American people that we can get something done,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior White House adviser, told CNN as part of a round of interviews previewing the speech.
The more aggressive, executive-led approach marks a recalibration by the White House after seeing how congressional Republicans responded in 2013 to the president’s re-election, a senior administration official said. Several key White House initiatives stalled in Congress last year, including an immigration revamp, an increase in the minimum wage, gun-control legislation and economic proposals.
“He says, ‘Oh well, it’s hard to get Congress to do anything.’ Well, yeah, welcome to the real world. It’s hard to convince people to get legislation through. It takes consensus,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.). “But that’s what he needs to be doing is building consensus and not taking his pen and creating law.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said in an interview that Mr. Obama’s speech wouldn’t present “a grandiose agenda. It’s going to be a very practical agenda aimed at middle-class people.”
One big agenda item is apparently a “pledge” to hire more by US companies…
He also is expected to announce that some of the nation’s largest employers, have signed a White House pledge agreeing not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed when making hiring decisions, according to a draft of the policy and interviews with several people familiar with the matter.
But the corporate hiring pledge also shows the limits of executive power. Under the nonbinding agreement, companies won’t be obligated to hire the long-term unemployed, and it is unclear how the administration will monitor progress.
More lip-service, more class-warfare, more totalitarianism… just what we need for ‘growth’… It does make one wonder if the surge in t-bill yields around the debt-ceiling dates are indicative of some reaction by the Republicans to this aggression?