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Given 2nd term, Obama now facing new urgent task

  • President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama faces a new urgent task now that he has a second term, working with a status-quo Congress to address an impending financial crisis that economists say could send the country back into recession.

"You made your voice heard," Obama said in his acceptance speech, signaling that he believes the bulk of the country is behind his policies. It's a sticking point for House Republicans, sure to balk at that.

The same voters who gave Obama four more years in office also elected a divided Congress, sticking with the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans kept their House majority.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke of a dual mandate. "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," he said.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had a more harsh assessment.


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