Obama: ‘Maybe I Should Just Pack Up and Go Home’

April 30, 2013 - 11:24 AM

Obama

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – In a news conference at the White House Tuesday, President Barack Obama joked that maybe he should “just pack up and go home” when a reporter ticked off a list of legislative priorities that the president failed to push through and asked whether Obama still had “the juice” to get the rest of his agenda through Congress.

“If you put it that way, Jonathan, maybe I should just pack up and go home. Golly! You know, I think it’s a little, as Mark Twain said, ‘Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point,” Obama said in response to the reporter’s question.

“Mr. President, you are 100 days into your second term. On the gun bill you put it seems everything into it to try to get it passed. Obviously, it didn’t. Congress has ignored your efforts to try to get them to undo these sequester cuts. There was even a bill that you threatened to veto that got 92 Democrats in the House voting yes. So my question to you is: Do you still have the juice to get the rest of your agenda through this Congress?” ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked.

“Look, we understand that we’re in divided government right now. Republicans control the House of Representatives. In the Senate, this habit of requiring 60 votes for even the most modest piece of legislation has gummed up the works there, and I think it comes to no surprise not even to the American people, but even members of Congress themselves that right now things are pretty dysfunctional up on Capitol Hill,” Obama said.

The president expressed confidence that “there’s a range of things we’re going to be able to get done.”

On immigration, Obama said he felt “confident that the bipartisan work” done on immigration reform would result in a bill that clears the Senate, House, “and gets on my desk.”

“And that’s going to be a historic achievement, and I’ve been very complimentary of the efforts of both Republicans and Democrats in those efforts,” he said.

On the sequester, Obama acknowledged that it’s “damaging” to the economy and “hurting our people, and we need to lift it.”

“What’s clear is that the only way we’re going to lift it is if we do a bigger deal that meets the test of lowering our deficit and growing our economy at the same time, and that’s going to require some compromises on the part of both Democrats and Republicans,” he said.

“I’ve had some good conversations with Republican senators so far. Those conversations are continuing. I think there’s a genuine desire on many of their parts to move past not only sequester but Washington dysfunction,” the president said. "Whether we can get it done or not, we'll see."