Darn it, it's hard to govern when Congress would rather repeal and re-investigate than legislate

However, we have a Republican Congress focused on virtually anything but the middle class — obsessively trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ginning up politically motivated investigations, and reflexively blocking any proposal that would grow the economy and create jobs.

Given this dynamic, President Obama has only one option — use every ounce of his authority to unilaterally improve economic security. He is more than willing to work with congressional Republicans, but he is certainly not going to wait for them.

Around the White House we refer to this strategy as “the Pen and the Phone” — the Pen is the use of executive orders, presidential memorandums, and other authorities; the Phone is the 21st century version of Teddy Roosevelt’s Bully Pulpit — using the power of the Oval Office and social media to get businesses, local communities, nonprofits, and ordinary citizens to take steps to improve the country.