Obama meets with Senate Democrats, talks strategyBy JOSH LEDERMAN and DARLENE SUPERVILLE
The Associated Press | February 07,2013AP PHOTO
President Barack Obama walks off of Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday after returning from a Democratic retreat in Annapolis, Md.ANNAPOLIS, Md. — With a big to-do list at the start of his second term, President Barack Obama is trying to sell Democrats on his strategy for tackling immigration, gun control and a host of fiscal dilemmas.
Obama met behind closed doors Wednesday with lawmakers from his own party at the Senate Democrats’ annual retreat at a hotel in Annapolis, Md. House Democrats will hear from Obama at their annual retreat today in Leesburg, Va.
Senate Democratic unity will be critical to Obama’s prospects for enacting the ambitious agenda he’s laid out for the start of his second term. Almost all the items he’s seeking face opposition from Senate Republicans — not to mention the even stronger opposition Obama is likely to run up against if and when the GOP-controlled House takes up those items.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the meeting was focused on coordinating what Democratic senators are doing with the administration’s own efforts to promote Obama’s priorities.
High on the agenda was immigration, where Carney said Obama would note the “significant progress” made toward a bipartisan deal. Obama is letting the Senate take the lead on crafting comprehensive immigration legislation, including a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants. But he is using all the power that the presidency affords to implore lawmakers to act without delay.
A bipartisan Senate group has reached agreement on the broad outlines of such an overhaul, but a few thorny issues remain, including a possible guest-worker program and whether to delay steps toward citizenship until certain border-security measures are in place.
Gun control is another of Obama’s priorities where the outcome may rest on whether Senate Democrats stick together in supporting him. Obama says he sees an emerging consensus behind his proposals in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., schoolhouse massacre, but some provisions he’s pushing will make it tough for red-state Democrats and those up for re-election in 2014 to back him. Even the top Senate Democrat, Harry Reid, has declined to say whether he’ll back the most contentious aspect of Obama’s package: a ban on assault weapons.
The retreat also offered Obama his first chance to pitch directly to senators his proposal for a quick fix to avert the sweeping spending cuts set to hit the military, domestic programs and the economy at large on March 1. Obama appealed to Congress Tuesday to pass a short-term set of spending cuts and tax changes to give lawmakers more time to hash out a broader deal.MORE IN Wire NewsKATMANDU, Nepal — Shell-shocked and sleeping in the streets, tens of thousands of Nepalese braced... Full StoryA common type of pesticide is dramatically harming wild bees, according to a new in-the-field... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.