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Obama's Plan To Use Executive Orders Ruffles Feathers

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Area Republicans are upset that President Barack Obama plans to go over their heads as much as possible this year.

The president has a lot of allies in the Democratic controlled Senate, but Republicans control the U.S. House. That means they hold the gavels and control the agenda in the lower chamber. So many in the GOP were offended to hear the president say he's planning to bypass House Republicans and use executive orders whenever possible to get his agenda through.

"Our founding fathers had it right. Three equal branches of government, the key word being 'equal,'" says Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va.). "Congress has a role here. We were elected by folks back home to represent them. Making sure that Congress has a role here in addition to the executive branch."

Democrats, like Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.), say it's about time the president broke through Republican obstruction.

"It's a partisan atmosphere and we have too many members on the House majority who really don't want the government to be able to fulfill its most important functions," Moran says. "They don't want it to be serving the American people adequately. So I think he should use the executive authority that he has."

One of the first items on the president's list is to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for new federal contractors, many of whom will work in the region. While Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says it's not going to have a massive impact on the economy he says it's a positive step.

"Service contracts providing basic services to the military or to the federal government — you know, building security, food services, things like that — it can make a big difference in the lives of thousands of people," Connolly says.

It's an election year and as each week rolls on the campaign rhetoric is also expected to drown out policy discussions, which means the two parties now only have a small window to pass any of the president's 2014 priorities. 

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