Is President Obama forming a pattern of making decisions without Congress' blessing? First, he opted not to ask for approval for the Libya mission. Now, the president is laying the framework for a jobs and infrastructure program that the executive branch may have the full power to implement.
Interestingly, he's making sure Congress knows that he's not dependent upon them, as the details surrounding the proposals are beginning to leak just a week before he addresses the nation -- and both houses of the legislative branch -- about job creation.
This new revelation comes as Obama is asking several federal agencies to identify some infrastructure projects that would assist in job creation. Aside from offering work to some of the nations unemployed, these projects would be expedited immediately without the need to involve the legislative branch.
The Atlantic, in a piece titled "Obama Rolls Out a Jobs Plan That Doesn't Need Congress, has more:
Under Wednesday's order, the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation will each select up to three high-priority infrastructure projects that can be completed within the control and jurisdiction of the federal government. The effort is labeled as a "common-sense approach" to spurring job growth "in the near term."
Additionally, the president is drafting what some are calling a "Plan B" in the case that Congress doesn't come up with viable reforms to the 2001 No Child Left Behind regulations. While some may interpret these moves as "big government" in their size, scope and reliance on only one portion of the federal government, others would disagree.
In a political climate that is characterized by intense disagreement and endless banter, the president's supporters will likely label these moves as necessary steps that must be taken in order to get something done in Washington.
Certainly, some would contend that the former notion -- that Obama is seeking to go it alone -- is a bit of an overreaction. That being said, some interesting words from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney earlier today seem to indicate that the president is fully aware of the fact that he doesn't necessarily need Congress to implement his plans.
Earlier today, when Fox News' Ed Henry asked Carney, "Why doesn't he [Obama] give a speech from the oval office tonight saying here's my plan?," Carney said:
"He wants to speak before Congress because he recognizes that while there are things he can do without Congress, and he will do them, there are actions that need to be taken with Congress that require legislation to grow the economy and create jobs. And he wants to go to Congress, speak directly to members of Congress, and layout his proposals."
Below, watch this exchange unfold:
While details about Obama's plan are still sparse, another component that may be in the way is a national infrastructure bank that would entice private investors into road and rail projects. This, according to sources, could be a major part of the jobs package that President Barack Obama hopes will finally bring relief to the unemployed.
The president has pushed the idea of an infrastructure bank in recent speeches and has praised Senate and House bills that create such a government-sponsored lending institution. Whether the bank, which would need time to organize, could have any real impact on the jobs situation in the coming year - and particularly before the November 2012 elections - is in dispute.
Next week, America will have a much clearer vision about what the president is proposing. And Congress, for better or for worse, will be made more fully aware of the role it will play in job creation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.