President Obama this week will outline executive actions to get high-speed Internet into more American classrooms and hold multiple meetings with Democrats increasingly concerned about the party's fate in the 2014 midterm elections.
Obama will announce hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from tech companies to bring enhanced computer and broadband equipment to U.S. schools, the latest example of his administration taking unilateral action to make good on his State of the Union pledges.
“You'll hear the president talk about ConnectEd — this is an opportunity where several private American companies are going to commit over a half billion dollars to ensure that our schools across the country have the kind of technology so that our kids can compete in this economy,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” previewing the Tuesday event.
“FCC says it's going to wire 15,000 schools, get 20 million kids online,” he added. “That's the kind of education we want our kids to have."
Obama will make the policy push in between talks with Democrats at the White House.
On Monday, the president will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the Oval Office. The gathering is closed to the press, however.
And on Tuesday evening, Obama will host the House Democratic caucus at the White House for a “roundtable and reception.” The president Wednesday will also deliver remarks at a Senate Democratic conference.
The week’s events are part of a White House effort to appease Democrats wary of how the president will influence November’s midterm elections. The White House has already reopened its internal political shop, coordinating money and messaging efforts with congressional allies.
However, Democrats have openly questioned whether Obama, particularly his administration's botched rollout of public health exchanges, could jeopardize efforts to retain the Senate. And many progressives have already written off the possibility of winning back the House.
The president on Thursday will speak at the National Prayer Breakfast, an event that has come with drama for the White House. Last year, Dr. Benjamin Carson, a neurosurgeon who has since become a national conservative figure, ripped Obamacare while sharing the stage with the president.
Obama will round out his week by meeting Thursday with Haitian President Michel Martelly at the White House.