President Obama is gearing up to introduce his 2014 economic policies in his upcoming State of the Union speech with a “pen-and-phone strategy,” promising that his administration will use “all the tools available” to get things done.
“We're not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help they need,” Obama told department heads and media at his first Cabinet meeting of 2014 Tuesday.
The president said that he was done waiting for a Republican House to do what he thinks needs to be done to better the economy— what the White House calls a “pen-and-phone strategy” of executive governance, otherwise known as a bully pulpit.
“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,” Obama said. “The economy is improving, but it can be improving even faster.”
Obama will be speaking to college presidents about how they can improve workers’ skills, as well as top CEOs about plans for hiring the long-term unemployed.
House chief of staff and now White House senior advisor John Podesta has advised Obama not to bow to Congress.
“The upshot: Congressional gridlock does not mean the federal government stands still,” Podesta wrote in a 2010 report he co-authored for the Center for American Progress, comparing Obama’s administration with the Bush and Clinton years. “This administration has a similar opportunity to use available executive authorities while also working with Congress where possible.”
Obama will visit Raleigh, North Carolina Wednesday to announce the city as the first manufacturing innovation hub to lead innovation, headed by North Carolina State University and involving a consortium of 18 business and six universities. Obama called for three such hubs in last year’s State of the Union address.