US President Barack Obama and the Senate’s new Republican leader have pledged to work together.
Facing the reality of a Republican controlled Congress following Tuesday’s midterm election sweep, Obama sounded a conciliatory note at a White House news conference.
“As president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work. So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”
On Tuesday Republicans captured their biggest majority in the House of Representatives in more than 60 years and gained a majority in the Senate for the first time since 2006.
Mitch McConnell becomes Senate leader in January and will be Obama’s powerful adversary. .
“I think my attitude about all this at this point is trust, trust but verify. Let’s see. The American people have spoken. They’ve given us divided government. The question for both the president, the speaker and myself and our members is ‘what are you going to do with it?’,” Mitch McConnell told journalists in his news conference.
But analysts see battles looming – the first is over immigration. Obama still plans unilateral action via his executive powers that could remove the threat of deportation from millions of undocumented immigrants. McConnell has said taking this action would by like waving a red flag to a bull.