Friday
December 15, 2017
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

After Republican rout, Obama tells voters: 'I hear you'

US President Barack Obama pauses while speaking during a press conference in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

US President Barack Obama acknowledged today that "Republicans had a good night" with sweeping election victories in Congress and said he got a message from voters that it was his responsibility to break a Washington gridlock.

Republicans seized control of the US Senate in Tuesday's election and captured their biggest majority in the House of Representatives in more than 60 years. The party also won more than half of the 36 governors' races.

"As president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work," the president, a Democrat, said at a White House news conference. "So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you."

The president, whose unpopularity made him unwelcome to many fellow Democrats running for office, plans to meet congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on Friday to take stock of the new political landscape.

Today, he spoke with Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who is poised to become the Senate's new majority leader, and with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.

"I told them both that I look forward to finishing up this Congress' business and then working together for the next two years to advance America's business," Obama said.

At a news conference earlier, McConnell said he believed Obama was interested in moving forward on trade agreements and tax reform, two issues at a Washington standstill in the face of political differences.

"This gridlock and dysfunction can be ended. It can be ended by having a Senate that actually works," McConnell said.

Despite the Republican gains, the election was not necessarily an endorsement of Republican policies. Initiatives championed by Democrats to raise the minimum wage and legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana succeeded in a handful of states where they were on the ballot.

With the bulk of election results in, the dollar surged to a seven-year high against the yen and the Dow and S&P 500 finished at record closing highs, reflecting optimism about pro-energy and other business policies.

When the new Congress convenes in January, Republicans will be armed with their biggest majority in the House since Democratic president Harry Truman's first term in the late 1940s.

The Republican takeover will force Obama to scale back his ambitions to either executive actions that do not require legislative approval, or items that might gain bipartisan support, such as trade agreements and tax reform.

It also will test his ability to compromise with newly empowered political opponents who have been resisting his legislative agenda since he was first elected in 2008. Americans elected him to a second and final four-year term in 2012.

One of the first tests could be a bill to approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada, a project about which Obama has voiced reservations. Republican Senator John Hoeven said in an interview today that he has enough votes to pass a bill early in 2015 that would approve TransCanada's long-languishing $8 billion pipeline project.

"It's really a good chance to see if the president's willing to work with us," Hoeven said.

Energy markets hope Republican control of the Senate will lead to reform of crude and natural gas export laws and motivate the Obama administration to include those energy exports in new, or broader, trade agreements.

Partisan battles could erupt over immigration reform, with Obama poised to issue executive actions by year's end to defer deportations of some undocumented immigrants.

  • CommentComment
  • Increase font size Decrease font sizeSize
  • Email article
    email
  • Print
    Print
  • Share
    1. Vote
    2. Not interesting Little interesting Interesting Very interesting Indispensable
Tags:  World  US  Elections  Obama  GOP  Congress  





  • Comment
  • Increase font size Decrease font size
  • mail
  • Print

COMMENTS >

Comment




    ámbito financiero    ambito.com    Docsalud    AlRugby.com    

Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia