Aide denies Obama has 'small' 2014 agenda

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough on Sunday defended the 2014 agenda President Obama laid out in his State of the Union and denied there was anything “small” about it.

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Some critics have raised concerns the president did not make a strong case for gun control and action against climate change, as he has in the past. Instead, the president laid out several priorities Democrats believe would improve life for the working class, many of which he could pass through executive fiat.

“If you think about the things that he laid out on the table this week, $10.10-an-hour minimum wage, that's not going to be small for the hundreds of thousands of people who benefit from that,” McDonough said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

He said that the president will be pitching his ConnectED initiative, in which U.S. companies will commit more than $500 million to ensure that schools across the country have the technology students need to compete in today's global economy.

McDonough went on to say the president doesn't concede he's being forced to be less ambitious because he can't get his agenda through Congress.

“I concede that the president doesn't spend a lot of time looking at Washington,” McDonough said.

"What the president does is spend a lot of time looking at what families across the country want. They want clear, discernible, concrete actions that he can take so that he can move this thing forward, not wait for Congress, which you've said many times on this show ... is a Congress that, frankly, has just not lived up to its past experience and, in fact, one that's been quite slow."