Re-elected, Obama returns to deeply divided gov’t
by Nancy Benac and Nedra Pickler
Associated Press Writers
November 08, 2012 12:42 AM | 900 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party on Wednesday in Chicago. One day after his surprisingly comfortable re-election, Obama heads back to the White House and divided government on Wednesday with little time left for a compromise with Republicans to avert spending cuts and tax increases that threaten a new recession.<br>The Associated Press
President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party on Wednesday in Chicago. One day after his surprisingly comfortable re-election, Obama heads back to the White House and divided government on Wednesday with little time left for a compromise with Republicans to avert spending cuts and tax increases that threaten a new recession.
The Associated Press
slideshow
WASHINGTON — One day after his surprisingly comfortable re-election, a triumphant President Barack Obama headed back to the White House and divided government on Wednesday with little time left for a compromise with Republicans to avert spending cuts and tax increases that threaten a new recession.

The president also is looking ahead to top-level personnel changes in a second term, involving three powerful Cabinet portfolios at a minimum.

Republicans headed into a season of potentially painful reflection after retaining control of the House but losing the presidency and falling deeper into the Senate minority. One major topic: the changing face of America.

“We’ve got to deal with the issue of immigration through good policy. What is the right policy if we want economic growth in America as it relates to immigration?” said former Republican Party Chairman Haley Barbour. Obama drew support from about 70 percent of all Hispanics, far outpacing Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

There was little time to celebrate for the winners, with a postelection session of Congress scheduled to convene next Tuesday. By common agreement, the main order of business is the search for a compromise to keep the economy from falling off a so-called “fiscal cliff.”

The White House said Obama had made postelection phone calls to congressional leaders and reiterated a commitment to bipartisan steps to “reduce our deficit in a balanced way, cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses and create jobs.”

“The president said he believed that the American people sent a message in yesterday’s election that leaders in both parties need to put aside their partisan interests and work with common purpose to put the interests of the American people and the American economy first,” the statement said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters that any solution should include higher taxes on “the richest of the rich.” That was in keeping with Obama’s election platform, which calls for the expiration of tax cuts on income over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

Reid said he spoke with Republican House Speaker John Boehner as well as Obama Tuesday night as the election results became known, and he declared that “of course” a compromise was possible on the overall issue.

“I’m not going to draw a line in the sand. He’s not going to draw a line in the sand, I don’t believe,” Reid said of Boehner.

The speaker set a conference call with his Republican rank and file for mid-afternoon.

He said in pre-election interviews he would not agree to raise taxes on small business owners, a formulation Republicans often use in opposing the president’s position on the issue.

Barring legislation by year’s end, taxes are on course to rise by more than $500 billion in 2013, and spending is to be cut by an additional $130 billion or so, totals that would increase over a decade. The blend is designed to rein in the federal debt, but officials in both parties warn it poses a grave threat to an economic recovery that has been halting at best.

Obama and congressional leaders in both parties say they want an alternative, but serious compromise talks were non-existent during the fierce campaign season.

That ended Tuesday in an election in which more than 119 million votes were cast, mostly without controversy despite dire predictions of politically charged recounts and lawsuits while the presidency hung in the balance.

Obama won the popular vote narrowly, the electoral vote comfortably, and the battleground states where the campaign was principally waged in a landslide.
Comments
(1)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
jane0714
|
November 08, 2012
who caused this division? HE DID! already making excuses for him...AGAIN.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides