Posted: 8:19 pm Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Obama, GOP vie to set agenda 

By Jamie Dupree

Even though his party took a drubbing on Election Day, President Obama has moved aggressively in recent weeks to push his own agenda, capping it with last week’s roll out of executive actions on immigration reform, the first of many battles with a Republican Congress over next year’s legislative agenda.

“Pass a bill,” the President said repeatedly at an event in Las Vegas on Friday, as some in the crowd heckled Mr. Obama over the lack of action in the Congress act on immigration reform legislation.

The President has also made clear he wants Congress to move on plans to raise the minimum wage, work global warming/climate change, raise the minimum wage, deal with pay equity and more from the Democratic Party agenda.

In other words, he hasn’t backed off his agenda; instead he has seemingly doubled down at a point where some thought he had been weakened by the 2014 election results.

“The President has his agenda, and the Congress has its responsibility to uphold the law and respect the will of the American people,” said Rep. John Mica (R-FL).

But how Republicans respond to the President’s moves on immigration still isn’t clear, as Speaker Boehner had nothing concrete to offer to reporters before lawmakers left town for Thanksgiving.

Earlier this year, Republicans were on the defensive over immigration reform, but then, a rush of children across the southern border created a crisis situation which hurt the President’s push for immigration reform legislation.

But in the last few months, that situation has calmed down, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to polling data swing back towards the President and Democrats on this issue.

And that makes the lack of a plan all the more glaring for the GOP.

“Let’s work on a way that we can actually achieve something,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told reporters late last week. “Or we’re still going to be talking about this ten years from now.”

Pressed on how the GOP should act, Rubio would only say the answer should not be a massive immigration bill like the one approved by the Senate in 2013.

“I think the final solution is not going to happen in one bill,” Rubio said, arguing for a series of bills dealing with border security and other immigration issues.

For now, the focus for Republicans is more on reacting to the President’s executive actions – while Democrats have rallied around Mr. Obama’s call for action in Congress on immigration reform legislation.

Which side wins this battle of political strategies?