POTUS may be a little jet-lagged after his Hawaiian Christmas vacation, but that won’t stop him from hitting the road to promote his economic agenda for 2015. What can we expect? Regardless of the results of his policies in the first six years of his Administration, the President continues to press for more government spending and greater government interference into the marketplace through regulations and taxes.
The president reportedly plans to pivot to job creation—something we’ve heard before—home ownership, and access to college education. He plans to lay out some legislative steps the new Congress can take or leave and he will undoubtedly not be deterred if Congress does not come on board with his agenda. And he knows that, given a new Congress with Republicans in control of both Houses, his agenda and Congress’ agenda will not be aligned but in conflict. In fact, he’s likely counting on it.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz stated, "The President is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained—particularly in areas of health care, Wall Street reform and the environment.”
His first stop will be Detroit to toot his own horn about the federal government’s bailout of the auto industry. Then he’ll jet over to Las Vegas to unveil steps that supposedly will help more Americans buy houses. (Let’s hope it’s not related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s recent announcement that they’re repeating the policies of loosening the requirements to borrow money that contributed to irresponsible buying and ensuing housing bubble in the first place) and on Friday, he’ll team up with his sidekick Joe Biden to alight in Tennessee to discuss his plans to help people attend college or get job training. ABC news reports:
In a sign of their divergent paths, just as lawmakers arrive in Washington to start the new Congress this week, Obama was heading out of town. He planned to spend most of the week in Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee showcasing how his own economic policies are fueling the economic recovery.
The State of the Union comes early this year, on Jan. 20, and it is Obama's first with Republicans in control of both House and Senate.
Yet since the midterms, the key question has been whether Obama will lean in or away from compromise with Republicans in his final two years.
But Obama will be back from vacation barely 48 hours before the new, Republican-run Congress is seated Tuesday, bringing with it an onslaught of attacks the GOP has been bottling up for years. Without a Democratic majority in the Senate to stop them, Republicans planned to start chipping away at Obama's past actions on health care, immigration and the environment, to name a few.
It’s unfortunate that the President will pass up an opportunity to extend his hand to Congress and rebuild the damaged relationship between the two branches of government. As noted, there are areas that both Democrats and Republicans agree that are ripe for compromise including trade, tax reform. However, these aren’t on his list.
Indeed, he’s about to get an onslaught from Republicans who will aim to undo his policies and that is probably driving him to go after other targets in case his work is undone or undercut
The President has his eyes set what happens after he steps of the White House. His legacy is on his mind and with no concern for elections he is going full speed to advance his agenda – regardless of how unpopular or potentially damaging it may be.