As the District prepares for his swearing-in ceremony, the president has a long list of items on his second-term agenda, but fiscal fights slated for early this year could derail his plans to address gun violence and immigration policy.
Tax reform has long been a bipartisan goal of top tax writers, with Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., ranking member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., keen on crafting an overhaul that would simplify the code, lower rates and shrink deductions.
But that push could be hindered by Obamaís demand for more revenue ó and the GOPís position that taxes are off the table after the fiscal cliff deal netted $620 billion in revenue.
The president, meanwhile, doesnít appear sold on the idea that his agenda will get more traction if heís nicer to the GOP or holds more cocktail parties.
Obama said that itís up to voters to reward lawmakers who look for common ground. ďThatíll be true whether Iím the life of the party or a stick in the mud,Ē he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.