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OBAMA SEEKS TO PROLONG POWER -- Negotiations with GOP, executive orders sign of things to come

(THE HILL) The last month has provided a glimpse of how President Obama plans to maintain his relevance in Washington while facing lame-duck status and a Republican House and Senate.

Wednesday’s surprise announcement that the U.S. was seeking to normalize relations with Cuba was the latest example of a new, muscular approach on executive action that has highlighted how Obama can enact change without Congress, while enlivening a dispirited liberal base.

It followed Obama’s quiet signing of a $1.1 trillion spending package negotiated with Republican congressional leaders that angered liberals — and that provoked a rare rift with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

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