Lawmakers: 2014 could be a year of action

Reps. Lynn JenkinsLynn Haag JenkinsLawmakers request meeting with Amtrak CEO over funding for route Lawmakers seek answers from IRS following Tax Day systems glitch ‘Let food be thy medicine’ MORE (R-Kan.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: Pentagon asked to prep housing for up to 20K migrant children | Senators move to block F-35 transfer to Turkey | Trump Mar-a-Lago trips cost Coast Guard M Senate spending bill would require disclosure of Trump travel ban details Senate moves to block F-35 transfer to Turkey 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.

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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 BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center 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.