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White House adviser says president will bypass Congress to implement policies

Pres. Obama meets with the Presidential Commission on Election Administration at the White House Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.
Pres. Obama meets with the Presidential Commission on Election Administration at the White House Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.Photo by Pool/Getty Images

If Congress doesn't agree to implement legislation demanded by the president, then Obama will act on his own to implement “practical” proposals through executive actions, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told Fox News on Sunday.

“If Congress doesn’t act, the president will,” Pfeiffer said.

Over the last two weeks, Obama has been saying that he will bypass Congress if they don't pass legislation that he wants, mainly when it comes to economic policies, referring to 2014 as a “year of action.” The president is expected to officially lay out his agenda tomorrow night during the State of the Union address.

Pfeiffer defended the president's actions, saying, “I think the way we have to think about this year is we have a divided government. The Republican Congress is not going to rubber-stamp the president's agenda. The president is not going to sign the Republican Congress' agenda.”

Others in the administration have made similar comments, such as White House press secretary Jay Carney, who was interviewed on ABC's This Week.

“The president sees this as a year of action to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary,” Carney said.

Republicans were quick to criticize the administration for these statements.

“The president has sort of hung out on the left and tried to get what he wants through the bureaucracy as opposed to moving to the political center," said Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“It sounds vaguely like a threat, and I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance,” said Sen. Rand Paul.