WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Vice President Joe Biden reiterated President Barack Obama’s message a day after the State of the Union address that the administration will act without Congress.
“The president will take action where in fact he thinks it will spur action in the states, federally and the Congress and where we can make some progress,” Biden told “CBS This Morning” Wednesday. “We’re just not going to sit around and wait for Congress if they choose not to act.”
During the State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama said he is willing to go around a divisive Congress to enact legislation.
“Some require Congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still – and neither will I,” Obama said. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Obama called for immigration reform to be passed this year, but didn’t mention a pathway to citizenship like he has previously. Biden told CBS News there is no deal in the works to give illegal immigrants legal status without citizenship.
“We still think by far and away the preferable route to go is citizenship,” Biden stated. “We don’t want two-tiered people: those who are legal but not citizens and citizens.”
Biden added: “Citizenship is the pathway.”
The vice president shot back at Robert Gates where the former defense secretary said in his new book that Biden has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security decision over the past 40 years.
“I think it bothered Bob a lot because the president listens to me a lot,” Biden said, acknowledging that the two are friends.
Biden also said that Hillary Clinton’s decision would “not directly” affect him for a possible 2016 White House run.
“Jill and I will make that decision later down the road,” Biden said. “If I don’t run for president we’ll all be OK.”
Biden and his wife are scheduled to discuss education and workforce development during a visit to Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y., Wednesday.
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