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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Obama prepares for GOP Senate

While the 2nd Congressional District representative has yet to be voted in, there’s no question that things in Washington will change now that there are more Republicans in the Senate.

President Barack Obama gave a speech on Wednesday to discuss the Republican gains in the Tuesday election and stressed that he would put the voters at the top of his list.

“The American people overwhelmingly believe that this town doesn’t work well and that it is not attentive to their needs,” Obama said in his televised speech.

He said one of the best ways to work for the American people is to use both sides of the aisle.

“I think it’s fair to say that I’ve shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible,” Obama said, “and I’m going to keep on doing so.”

While Obama said he would like to work across the aisle, he also said if bipartisanship didn’t work, he would have to rely on other forms of governing as a last resort.

“But in the meantime, let’s figure out what we can do lawfully through executive actions to improve the functioning of the existing system,” he said.

One of the critics of Obama’s speech was Richard Grenell, the longest serving U.S. spokesman at the United Nations.

“Boom. Obama excuse comes out early in his speech….’to the 2/3 of the people who didn’t vote,’” Grenell tweeted.

There are a few key issues Obama said he will be addressing in the next two years with or without the help of the Senate: border security and health care.

The new House majority whip, Steven Scalise, wrote on his website that he would like to “fully repeal” Obama’s health care law. Many of Scalise’s colleagues agree with him, as only a single Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act when it was up for vote in legislation.

Obama said he would be willing to work with Congress toward comprehensive health care legislation.

Obama said the Senate passed a “good bill” on a bipartisan basis for immigration reform. The bill made it out of the Senate but has yet to make it out of the House.

“When [John Boehner] finally told me he wasn’t going to call [the immigration bill] up this year, what I indicated to him is I feel obliged to do everything I can, lawfully, with my executive authority to make sure that we don’t keep on making the system worse,” Obama said, “but that whatever executive actions that I take will be replaced and supplanted by action by Congress.”

While Obama continues to push for bipartisan governing, he said if he can’t pass anything, executive actions are his next step.

“You send me a bill that I can sign, and those executive actions go away,” he said.

In the end, Obama said he takes responsibility for the new Republican-controlled Senate.

“As president, [the American people] rightly hold me accountable to do more to make it work properly,” he said. “I’m the guy who is elected by everybody, not just a particular state or a particular district.”

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Follow Christianna Silva on Twitter.

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