Obama hails lame duck Congress, will seek more compromise

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama Thursday hailed a productive “lame duck” session of the US Congress and pledged to work harder for compromise as Republicans gain legislative clout in 2011.

Obama touted passage by Congress in the last month of major initiatives including a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, a compromise on extending tax cuts, an end to a ban on gays serving openly in the military and health benefits for emergency responders to the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“The lesson I hope that everybody takes from this is that it’s possible for Democrats and Republicans … to ultimately find common ground to move the country forward,” Obama said in a news conference before leaving for a vacation in Hawaii.

The movement in Congress came during a “lame duck” session in the aftermath of the November congressional elections, a landslide defeat for Obama’s Democrats that will put Republicans in control of the US House of Representatives in January.

Obama called it the “most productive post-election session we’ve had in decades” and said he would continue to heed a message from voters that both parties needed to work together.

“It’s a message I will take to heart in the New Year,” Obama said.

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