Can Obama help Democrats retake the House in 2014?

With GOP opposition threatening his agenda, the president is going all out to help his party win control of Congress for the second half of his final term

President Obama greets members of Congress after his State of the Union address on Feb. 12.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Deep budget cuts and congressional gridlock are threatening to derail President Obama's second-term agenda, but the White House has a plan to save it, according to a report in The Washington Post. Obama is making a major push to help Democrats take back the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections. That would give the president's party control of both houses of Congress (assuming Democrats keep control of the Senate next year), making it much easier for him to push legislation through Congress despite intense opposition from Republicans. "What I can't do is force Congress to do the right thing," Obama said after last-minute talks with Republicans failed to avert deep spending cuts, known as the sequester, from taking effect Friday. "The American people may have the capacity to do that."

Obama and his advisers view their bid to secure a Democratic majority on Capitol Hill as crucial to realizing Obama's goals for the next four years, and cementing his legacy. During the negotiations for a deficit-reduction deal to avoid the sequester, Obama made his opening argument in the coming midterm battle: The GOP is blocking everything on his to-do list, even policies that have broad public support, so restoring full Democratic control of Congress is the only way to get anything done. The question is whether this message will resonate with enough voters to give Democrats the edge they need.

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