President Obama's New Year's resolution: Working with Congress

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 6, 2014 

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Majority Leader Eric Cantor arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting between President Obama and House Republicans March 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.

OLIVIER DOULIERY — Abaca Press/MCT

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says he doesn't know if President Obama has any New Year's resolutions. But he said Obama -- whose poll ratings took a tumble during a turbulent 2013 -- "begins this year committed to working with Congress cooperatively and in a spirit of compromise to get things done that help the American people, that help the middle class, that help our economy grow."

Carney says Obama was "heartened" by the budget bill that cleared the Senate and House in December: "While that was modest and we acknowledged it at the time, it was a break from past practice, at least the immediate past, and it was a positive sign," Carney said.

He said the White House is hopeful the Democratic and Republican brokered agreement "might foreshadow more opportunities for cooperation." He said potential areas include reducing the corporate tax rate, eliminating tax loopholes and investing in infrastructure.

He suggested an immigration overhaul would be a "ripe opportunity for bipartisan cooperation," though it's chances of passage remain uncertain.

"You will see, from the start, an effort by this president, by this White House, to find where we can work together with and compromise with Republicans in Congress, get things done on behalf of the American people," Carney pledged. "And you will find continued commitment by the president to not take congressional intransigence as the end of the story, by moving, where he can, administratively and through his executive authority to advance an agenda that helps the economy grow and helps the middle class feel more secure."

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