Obama's Second Term Plagued by Gridlock

Image: Obama's Second Term Plagued by Gridlock

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 09:17 AM

By Melanie Batley

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President Barack Obama has made little progress on his second-term legislative agenda after nearly six months in office, facing gridlock on almost every issue he has prioritized.

The goals Obama outlined in his State of the Union address in February have largely been unmet, The Hill reports.

Political observers say the president's difficulties are best exemplified by the debate over gun control. Democrats weren't able to pass an expanded background-check system despite widespread popular support.

A proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour still is stalled in Congress, while the president's call for a repeal of the sequester looks likely to be overridden by Republican demands to maintain spending cuts during upcoming budget debates.

He also has made little progress on his pledge to reform the voting system that led to widespread delays at polling places stations during the 2012 election.

And though Obama was hopeful of signing a comprehensive immigration-reform package by August, the House remains an obstacle to moving it forward.

White House spokesman Bobby Whithorne, however, told The Hill the president still is working steadily toward the goals he outlined in his speech.

"State of the Union provides a unique opportunity to talk directly to the American people about the initiatives that'll help middle-class families. He'll continue to look for willing partners on both sides of the aisle to move the ball forward on a whole host of issues," Whithorne said.

Supporters also say the president achieved his pledge to put new limits on carbon dioxide pollution, and used his executive authority to authorize the connection of 99 percent of American classrooms to high-speed Internet access, according to The Hill.

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