Entries in Bipartisanship (4)


Obama Vows to Forge Change Where He Failed

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- After four years of trying and, by his own admission, failing to change the nature of politics in Washington, President Obama Tuesday night vowed in a second term to forge bipartisan compromise in a way a large majority of Americans desire.

The president, who took the stage shortly after receiving a personal concession from Republican nominee Mitt Romney, said he would demonstrate his commitment by “sitting down” with Romney in the weeks ahead.  It would be a significant -- if only symbolic -- step at bringing Democrats and Republicans together after a rancorous campaign.

“When we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.  That won’t change after tonight.  And it shouldn’t,” Obama said.  “But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.”

“By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward,” he continued.  “But that common bond is where we must begin.”

“Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual,” Obama said.  “You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.”

Obama, who has not met with congressional Republican leaders since May, said he was also “looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties” in the “coming weeks and months.”

After the electoral smoke clears, both parties face the looming specter of steep, across-the-board tax hikes and deep spending cuts that will automatically take effect in 54 days if a deficit reduction deal is not reached.

“The American people re-elected the president, and re-elected our majority in the House,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Tuesday night.  “If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt.”

And in what is perhaps an ode to the new dynamic in the wake of a grueling campaign, Romney live-streamed the president’s acceptance speech and remarks about bipartisanship at


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Patriot Games: Congressional Leaders Blindsided By Failed Vote

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama and Republican Congressional leaders sit down to lunch Wednesday, their respective parties Tuesday night showed just how tough this new era of bipartisanship will be.

Neither party could muster the votes needed to pass an extension of the Patriot Act, the country’s counterterrorism law.  In a 277-148 vote, the House of Representatives fell a few votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary to extend several key provisions of the law.

The provisions of the act, which has been something of a legislative hot potato since it was first passed in the wake of Sept. 11, deal with roving wiretaps, granting authorities wider access to records and property during terrorism investigations, and so-called “lone wolf” provisions, which approve surveillance of suspected terrorists not linked to a specific terrorist organization.

Republican leaders said they plan to hold another vote on the measure before the end of the month.

Both the White House and the GOP leadership supported the extension, and it’s sure to be a topic of discussion when President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet Speaker Boehner, Republican leader Eric Cantor and Republican Whip McCarthy Wednesday.

“I think that the president looks forward to discussing all issues, foreign and domestic,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday, previewing Wednesday's lunch.  “Obviously, without a doubt there'll be, I think, a heavy discussion on the economy and on spending.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Republicans' New Year's Resolutions: Repeal, Resist and Investigate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama returns from his Hawaiian holiday this week to a changed Washington where Republicans will control the House of Representatives.

But don't count on a new era of bipartisanship any time soon.  Congress's new Republicans and old Democrats are already at war.

Lawmakers sparred Sunday during talk shows about the national debt, for starters.  Even as the debt races toward $14 trillion, some Republicans said they would oppose extending the debt limit beyond the current $14.3 trillion, although such a move could shut down the government.

Republicans are threatening to cut off the ability of the government to borrow money unless spending goes back to where it was before the stimulus and before the banking bailout.

The fight over the national debt is on the horizon.  More immediately, Republicans will start with health-care overhaul, signed into law last year after a bruising, lengthy legislative battle.

One of the first votes of the new Congress in 2011 will be an effort to repeal the health care bill Democrats passed in 2010.  That repeal effort will likely fail in the Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats.  But Republicans will then try to starve the bill of money.

The third line of attack will be investigations.  The new Republican sheriff is Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who will chair the House committee in charge of government investigations.  Issa has said he's planning a barrage of hearings on everything from Medicare fraud to the government's failure to prevent the BP oil spill.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Rep. Tom Davis Says: Bipartisanship This Year? Fuhgettabout It

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Don’t take the flurry of legislative activity just before Christmas as a sign of improving bipartisanship in Congress, former Rep. Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia said on ABC’s Top Line Monday.

Instead, it was the final effort of a Democratically controlled Congress.

“It was a last gasp. They’re running up to the finish line. The Democrats still control the House. If Republicans controlled the House this would not have happened,” Davis said.

“They were running out the clock, getting done what they could get done. And I think some of the Republicans feel a little burned now because the president’s taken a victory lap and they’re having to go back to the their base being told what are you doing, and the old partisan juices get flowing into January. So I don’t know how long lasting this will be.”

Davis, who left Congress in 2008, declining to seek an eighth term, is now a leader among the “No Labels” movement that is attempting to create a national non-partisan movement.

Will the deep partisan divide in Congress next year be focused on a battle over repealing the health care bill? Davis thinks it will be a major topic. But he thinks what remains to be seen is how much the White House wants another year of fighting over health care just before the 2012 election.

“The big thing is where is the economy going to be in the next year? And I think that’s why (President Obama) cut the deal on taxes. And second, what is the situation on the ground in Afghanistan? Those are the big things that can hurt his reelection chances.”

As a keen political observer, David couldn’t leave the Top Line set without gaming out politics in his own state of Virginia, where he notes the Republican party has changed.

“It’s clearly moved right. It’s been rejuvenated by the Tea Party,” he said. “Moderates have fled the party. They’ve become Independents. It’s effected both parties, moved both parties further right and left.”

Gaming out the recent statements from his fellow Virginian, former Senator George Allen, Davis said he expects to see Allen mount a campaign soon.

“I think he wants to run, I talked to him a few months ago and I think he misses the action. He liked being senator, he said he would have liked being governor, but I think he misses it and wants to get back in the fray.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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