In the meantime, the White House is expected to keep with the same game plan it used at the end of last year — pushing the president’s stalled jobs initiatives, blasting Congress if it fails to pass them and hoping the GOP is forced to come its way, as it did on the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
According to senior administration officials who spoke on the condition that they not be directly quoted, Obama will focus on getting as much of his agenda accomplished as possible before gearing up for the re-election campaign. The officials said there should be a political imperative for Congressional Republicans to work with the administration to get some things done this year — at a minimum the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits — but listed other items ripe for compromise as well, including tax cuts for small businesses, infrastructure spending and immigration reforms for highly skilled workers.
More items will be rolled out in the president’s State of the Union address later this month, and the administration will continue to roll out initiatives aimed at boosting the economy even if Congress fails to act.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.