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With the election concluded, Obama must now turn his attention to address the so-called fiscal cliff of expiring tax cuts and lower defense spending and entitlement spending.

President Obama Wins Second Term; Must Address Fiscal Cliff

  • 11/7/2012

President Obama Wins Second Term; Must Address Fiscal Cliff

Voters returned President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to the White House on November 6, handing former Gov. Mitt Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a defeat after a closely fought campaign to win support among swing voters in about 10 states.

In addition, Democrats in the Senate maintained their majority, picking up two new seats in Massachusetts and Indiana that were previously held by Republicans. The House will remain in Republican control. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., easily won re-election and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, retained his top leadership seat, as he ran unopposed in his congressional district.

With the election concluded, Obama must now turn his attention to working the GOP-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate to address the so-called fiscal cliff of expiring tax cuts and lower defense spending and entitlement spending. During the campaign, Obama pledged to pursue a balanced approach to closing the federal budget deficit through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

Congressional results

The Senate Finance Committee remained unchanged as all five Democrats, Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., won their re-election contests as did ranking minority member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah. However, the committee will lose four members due to the retirement of Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

The House Ways and Means Committee lost three members with the retirements of Reps. Wally Herger, R-Calif., and Rick Berg, R-N.D. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., also left the House in an attempt to win the Nevada U.S. Senate seat held by appointed Sen. Dean Heller.

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