- The Washington Times - Monday, December 22, 2014

Two top aides to President Obama hailed his “year of action” as a success Monday, saying the president took more than 80 executive actions without Congress to help the middle class.

National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz said in a blog post that Mr. Obama will try to work the the new Republican Congress next year, but will also “continue to use every authority available to make progress through executive actions” in 2015.

In a year-end report, they detailed Mr. Obama’s unilateral actions on everything from raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, to granting deportation amnesty to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants, to reaching an agreement with China to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Frustrated with his inability to get his agenda through the Republican-led House in 2013, Mr. Obama began this year by vowing to use his “pen and phone” more often to make progress on his priorities. Critics have pointed out that executive actions can be reversed by the next president, and some Republican lawmakers are vowing to fight legislatively some of his steps, such as the immigration action.

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