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Previous story 'Let them take you to court': Biden dares GOP to obstruct him Next story

STORY BY NATASHA KORECKI AND MARC CAPUTO

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Published on February 3, 2021 6:35 AM

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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and others to discuss a coronavirus relief package at the White House on Feb. 1. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
o big. Go fast. And, if need be, go without the GOP.

Since assuming office two weeks ago, President Joe Biden has made this his credo while instituting a record 45 executive actions that fulfill campaign promises on everything from climate change to racial equity to immigration, that undo a number of Donald Trump's policies, and that have shaped the news cycle along the way.

And while the carefully calibrated policy rollout can't, on its own, juice the economy or ramp up the Covid-19 response on the scale that's needed, White House aides believe it has helped build momentum for the president as he tries to sell a historic $1.9 trillion "rescue" package.

Their belief in that is so strong, in fact, that Biden officials and allies are now practically daring Republicans to fight them, convinced that the public is firmly on the side of quick action.

"It will save our majority if he takes that approach with everything that he does," said House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), one of Biden's closest allies in the House. "Don't try to go around them. But if they refuse to do it, use his executive powers and do it. And let them take you to court."

It's a remarkable turn from the Trump years, when Democrats were the ones doing the suing. And it's a notable shift from Barack Obama's era, when, only late in his time in office, the president adopted his now-infamous pen-and-phone approach. But Biden and his team say they took lessons from both periods. The key, a top White House official said, is to keep the pressure on, executing and proposing new, major policies every day that touch on nearly every aspect of American life and culture.