WASHINGTON -- Unbowed by Republican criticism, the White House on Saturday began a new push defending President Barack Obama's emphasis on executive actions that don't require congressional approval.
A video sent by the administration to its email list makes the case that actions Obama has taken since his Jan. 28 State of the Union address have had positive effects on the public. The executive actions highlighted in the video include the creation of a new retirement account, called MyRA, a $2 billion down payment from the Federal Communications Commission to connect schools and students to high-speed broadband, and directives for federal agencies to help the long-term unemployed.
In all, the president has unveiled six executive actions since announcing in his State of the Union address that he would use his authority more forcefully without new legislation in "a year of action."
But his more aggressive approach hasn’t occurred in a political vacuum. Rather, it’s been met with fierce and hyperbolic Republican opposition, with some accusing him of acting “increasingly lawless” (Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin) or imperial (Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas), and others saying it will discourage them from passing unrelated legislation like immigration reform (Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida).
But if those warnings were designed to discourage the president, they haven’t worked -- at least so far. Saturday’s video, provided exclusively to The Huffington Post in advance of its release, affirms Obama's strategy. It also teases another executive action to be announced on Feb. 12.
The number of recipients of Saturday’s email is in the millions, an administration official said.