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'If Congress doesn’t act, the president will,' says top WH adviser, signaling Obama may bypass Congress

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FILE: Jan. 16, 2013: White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer near the White House, in Washington, D.C. (AP)

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday that President Obama will offer “practical” proposals to move the country forward this year and suggested the president will take executive action to advance his agenda when Congress doesn’t cooperate.

“If Congress doesn’t act, the president will,” Pfeiffer told “Fox News Sunday.”

Pfeiffer’s comments mark the second time this weekend that he has attempted to prepare Americans for what Obama will say in his State of the Union address Tuesday before Congress.

In a letter Saturday to Obama supporters, Pfeiffer called 2014 a “year of action” and said the president will lay out a set of “real, concrete, practical proposals” to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.

“President Obama has a pen and he has a phone, and he will use them to take executive action and enlist every American … in the project to restore opportunity for all,” he also wrote in the letter.

On Sunday, Pfeiffer said those proposals will include efforts to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

He argued against criticism that the president has a failing economic policy that has resulted in record-level poverty and lower average household incomes.

Pfeiffer said the administration is still trying to climb out of the recession it inherited in 2009, and pointed out that the national unemployment rate is now at 6.7 percent.

“We are making progress,” he told Fox News.