Obama to Press Ahead Without Congress in 2012
President Barack Obama is entering his fourth year in office having calculated that he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda and may even benefit in his re-election campaign if lawmakers take little action in 2012.
Devoid of any major policy pushes, much of the year will instead be focused on the biggest goal of all: winning a second term.
The president will keep up a robust domestic travel schedule and aggressive campaign fundraising and use frequent executive actions to try to boost the economy.
Unlike the deadline-driven fights over increasing the government's debt and keeping the government running that defined 2011, there are virtually no must-do pieces of legislation facing Obama and Congress in 2012.
The one exception is negotiations on a full-year payroll tax cut extension.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)