President Obama on Tuesday said he's “not just going to be waiting for legislation” from Congress to move forward his agenda in 2014, further stoking a clash between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue over the reach of executive power.
“I've got a pen and I've got a phone,” Obama said before a Cabinet meeting at the White House, issuing a challenge to GOP lawmakers who have blocked most of his second-term agenda.
Obama is hailing 2014 as a “year of action” after enduring the roughest 12-month stretch of his presidency.
In alluding to his “pen” and “phone,” Obama made clear that he would not hold back from issuing executive orders and rallying the public behind his agenda.
Republicans have accused Obama of executive overreach, an issue that came to a head at the Supreme Court this week with justices hearing arguments about the president's controversial recess appointments.
After an unproductive legislative stretch, however, Obama is expected to outline a series of executive actions on the economy during his State of the Union address in two weeks.
“So overall, the message to my Cabinet and that will be amplified in our State of the Union is that we need all hands on deck to build on the recovery that we’re already seeing,” he said Tuesday. “The economy is improving but it’s in need of improving even faster.”