President Obama will have a dual message for congressional Republicans during Tuesday's State of the Union speech, aides say: I'm willing to work with you, but also willing to work on my own.
Aides took to Sunday interview shows to argue that Obama will stress the ability to take executive action if Congress balks at his proposals.
"You can do a lot," senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on Fox News Sunday.
As examples, Pfeiffer cited Obama executive orders last year on new climate change regulations and expanding wireless access for schools as examples.
On CNN's State of the Union, Pfeiffer said that Obama "is not going to tell the American people that he's going to wait for Congress."
Obama's authority is limited, however.
The president's biggest agenda items -- an immigration bill, an increased minimum wage, various jobs and education programs -- require legislation from Congress, including the Republican-run House.
Executive actions are also subject to legal challenges. The Supreme Court is currently considering a case on the president's authority to make recess appointments.
Republicans say Obama's emphasis on executive action reflects an inability to work with all of Congress.
In the weekend GOP radio address, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said House Republicans have passed many jobs bills, but they have been blocked by the Democratic-run Senate.
"The president says he has a pen to sign executive orders and a phone to rally support," Blunt said. "The Congress should insist that he find the Constitution and follow it."
Blunt said Obama "can join us to grow the nation's economy," or he can "continue pushing for more regulations, more taxes, higher utility bills and health care turmoil -- bad policies that hurt poor Americans the most."
White House spokesman Jay Carney, speaking on ABC's This Week, said Obama sees "a year of action" in 2014.
"To work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," Carney said.