Lawmakers: 2014 could be a year of action

Reps. Lynn JenkinsLynn Haag JenkinsHouse GOP highlights 16 ‘On the Radar’ candidates New chairmen named for health, tax subcommittees The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill MORE (R-Kan.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDems pan Trump's budget as helping the wealthy Senate Dems push FDA to reject alternative cigarette health claims Trump must send Russia powerful message through tougher actions MORE (D-Md.) are cautiously optimistic that 2014 will be a productive year in the nation's capital.

The Hill interviewed both members on what they expect from President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Obama has repeatedly said 2014 must be a "year of action."

Jenkins, the vice chair of the House Republican Conference, criticized Obama's threatened use of executive power to go around Congress. She also noted that the GOP-led House has passed more than 150 bills that the Democratic-led Senate hasn't acted on.

Van Hollen, the ranking member on the Budget Committee, is hopeful the House will act on immigration reform. But he says that remains to be seen. If Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio) doesn't move a bill, Van Hollen said the House should vote on the Senate-passed immigration reform measure.

Asked about the 2014 midterm elections, Jenkins expressed confidence the House would stay in the GOP's hands, while Van Hollen said a Democratic takeover is "a possibility."

Jenkins and Van Hollen agree the economy is a top issue this year but have different views on how to create more jobs. Republicans are pushing for deregulation and the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Democrats want the minimum wage lifted and unemployment benefits extended. Some on Capitol Hill believe there could be a bipartisan agreement this year on an infrastructure bill.