Obama hopes new bipartisanship lasts into next year

* Obama hopes for bipartisanship in new year

* Celebrates string of congressional accomplishments

* Heads to Hawaii for Christmas holiday

By Caren Bohan and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. President Barack Obama
on Wednesday said he hoped the recent climate of compromise
with Republicans would continue next year, when debates on
government spending and deficit reduction threaten a new
outbreak of political warfare.

At a White House news conference, Obama celebrated a burst
of accomplishment in the last week that included Senate
ratification of a nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, a tax-cut
compromise with Republicans and congressional repeal of the ban
on gays serving openly in the military.

The bipartisan triumphs during the year-ending “lame duck”
session of Congress — all three measures passed with support
from Republicans as well as Obama’s fellow Democrats —
followed months of political battle and huge Republican gains
in November’s congressional elections.

“We are not doomed to endless gridlock,” Obama said before
heading to Hawaii for a Christmas vacation.

“That progress is a reflection of the message the voters
sent in November, a message that said it’s time to find common
ground on challenges facing our country. It’s a message that I
will take to heart in the new year,” he said.

Obama said he was disappointed by the failure of Congress
to pass a long-term budget to fund the government, and said he
still believes it does not make sense to provide tax cuts to
the wealthiest Americans.

He defended his decision to drop his steadfast opposition
to allowing tax breaks for the wealthy and said it was crucial
to the long-term health of the economy.

The tax deal was greeted with fury among many on the left,
who said Obama had given far too much to Republicans by
agreeing to extend Bush-era tax cuts to the richest Americans
as well as the middle class.

When Obama returns to Washington at the start of January he
will face tough fights with newly emboldened Republicans over
how to tackle record U.S. budget deficits and reform the tax
code.

Republicans will control a majority of seats in the U.S.
House of Representatives next year and increase their
representation in the U.S. Senate and have made it clear they
plan to stand up to Obama and the Democrats on fiscal issues.
(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and Alister Bull, editing
by David Storey)

Obama hopes new bipartisanship lasts into next year