Discuss as:

Obama agenda: Obama vs. Congress

The New York Times says, “President Obama, heading into a grueling re-election campaign, plans to step up his attacks against an unpopular Congress, concluding that he cannot pass any major legislation in 2012 because of Republican hostility toward his agenda, according to a senior administration official. Mr. Obama’s election-year strategy is an attempt to capitalize on his recent victory on a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut and on his rising poll numbers. As the stage is set for the general election in November, he intends to hammer the theme of economic justice for ordinary Americans rather than continue battling with Congressional Republicans, said the official, Joshua R. Earnest, the deputy press secretary, previewing the White House’s strategy.”

More: “‘In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012,’ Mr. Earnest said at a briefing, ‘the president is no longer tied to Washington, D.C.’ Winning a full-year extension of the cut in payroll taxes is the last ’must-do’ piece of legislation for the White House, he said. Instead, Mr. Earnest said, Mr. Obama will step up his efforts to showcase unilateral measures he is taking to revive the economy, though he declined to give details. Mr. Obama has used his executive authority in recent weeks to provide job training for returning military veterans and help students pay back their student loans. Further underscoring the jobs theme, Mr. Obama plans to return to the road, starting with a trip to Cleveland in early January to speak about the economy.”