Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama chief of staff, said he supported President Obama "1,000 percent" for his choice to use executive actions to go around Congress.

"Right approach — 1,000 percent," Emanuel said, when asked about his support of the idea by CNN's Jim Acosta. "He can't allow America's future to be held hostage by a Congress that won't do anything."

Obama's latest executive action directs the Department of Defense to spend $140 million in government money for two manufacturing institutes in Chicago and Detroit.

That benefits Emanuel, who told Acosta that he did not miss Washington but enjoyed coming to the city to get more money for Chicago.

"I like coming here when I can take money back home," he laughed. "And this is one of those opportunities."

Emanuel reminded Acosta that the Emancipation Proclamation and integrating the armed forces were both executive actions.

"There are times which if Congress would step up, the president will work on it, but he has a responsibility to not let the future slip away from our hands," he said.