Eager to stay on the offensive as new Republican majorities are seated in
During stops in Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee, Obama plans to draw a connection between actions his administration took early in his presidency and increasingly positive economic trends in sectors such as manufacturing and housing.
Officials say he'll also offer specific new proposals -- some that he'll pursue with Congress and others he'll advance with his own authority -- that are intended to build on that progress, particularly for the middle class.
It's an approach that upends the traditional
But the White House is eager to sustain momentum it says started to build after November with major actions on immigration and Cuba as Obama began what he calls the "fourth quarter" of his presidency.
The new Congress convenes Tuesday, with a new Republican
"If the president is willing to work with us, we'll have a real chance to address our nation's most pressing challenges," Rep.
But behind the scenes, GOP leaders are plotting new efforts to take on the president's healthcare law and target other administration actions on the environment and immigration.
The White House sees an immediate political opportunity there and hopes to contrast a president offering new initiatives that build on past successes with a GOP intent on undoing them.
In the Detroit area on Wednesday, Obama will discuss an auto industry that has boomed since the administration's 2009 rescue plan. He'll then return to Phoenix, where he first announced steps to address the post-recession foreclosure crisis, to announce new steps to boost homeownership.
And on Friday he will be joined by Vice President
"The president is eager to get to work, and looks forward to working with the new Congress on policies that will make sure middle-class Americans are sharing in the economic recovery," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "There are a number of issues we could make progress on, but the president is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained, particularly in areas of healthcare, Wall Street reform and the environment."
The new approach outlined by White House officials is the kind of effort that many congressional Democrats said they were hoping for as the party tries to regroup after major midterm losses.
"They've been too reluctant in my view to promote the good things that they're doing," Sen.
Obama is scheduled to leave Hawaii on Saturday evening after 15 days in his birth state, much of it spent on the golf course with friends or on the beach with his wife and daughters. As the president has recharged, his approval rating has begun to tick up, hitting 48% for the first time since August 2013 in Gallup's tracking poll.