“When Congress refuses to act, and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” Obama said. “I’m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people we were elected to serve.”
Obama said that he still will look for “every possible opportunity” to work with Republicans and get things done — citing stalled pieces of his jobs package including funding for construction projects, teachers, cops, firefighters and small business tax cuts.
On Cordray, Obama said that for too long the financial system has been “stacked” against ordinary consumers with hidden fees and fine print.
By regulating financial institutions, Obama said, Cordray will help people “know before you owe” and protect them.
Both sets of appointments are a sign of a more combative Obama as he heads into an election year — and are a continuation of the tougher approach he has taken in recent months with the GOP.
Since last summer’s debt deal, Obama has chosen to wage an air war against the GOP rather than sitting down with them, and the approach bore some fruit in December when Republicans caved on the extension of payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.