Well the 111th session of Congress is over and President Obama holds a press conference. From Bloomberg News:
President Barack Obama said the final weeks of Congress proved that Republicans and Democrats can surmount partisan divisions to find consensus on the nation’s most pressing issues.
“If there’s any lesson to draw from these past few weeks, it’s that we’re not doomed to endless gridlock,” Obama said at a year-end press conference at the White House before leaving to spend the holidays in Hawaii with his family.
Instead of political stalemate after last month’s midterm elections, “this has been a season of progress for the American people,” which is what the voters have demanded, he said.
After what he described as a “shellacking” for his Democratic Party in the Nov. 2 elections, the president can claim victories during the lame-duck session on a host of priorities.
These include Senate approval of ratifying a nuclear-arms reduction treaty with Russia, an $858 billion deal to extend tax cuts and unemployment assistance for the long-term jobless, and repeal of a law that banned openly gay people from serving in the military. Lawmakers also passed a bill that would provide $4.3 billion in additional aid for those suffering from illnesses linked to the wreckage caused by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.