Jan. 21, 2013 marked the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term in office. After an intense race dealing with issues such as contraception, marriage equality and health care, Obama has been granted another four years to complete what he set out to do.
According to The Huffington Post in a recent article, Obama’s approval rating currently is at a record-setting 53 percent for his time in office. Whether or not Obama will succeed in his endeavors has yet to be seen. A largely Republican Congress may present some resistance on certain issues.
“Immigration is likely to be an exception because of the perception that the Republicans in part lost the election by losing the Latino vote,” Associate Professor of Political Science Duane Oldfield said. “I think there’s some real rethinking on the Republican side. But I think on a lot of other issues, like on the budget, and probably on a lot of the climate issues, you’re still going to see a fairly party line division, and given the role of the filibuster in Senate, the fact that the Republicans can fold the House, I think limits how much he would be able to get through.”
Gun control, in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, is a hot topic that has fueled Obama’s push for tighter restrictions on those who can own guns.
“People didn’t want to touch it [gun control] before the election,” Oldfield said. “While he [Obama} talked about it during the election, he didn’t really push it. I think he has to know to the degree to which he made promises.”
At a recent press conference in Las Vegas, Obama called the current immigration laws “out-of-date and badly broken.” Junior Karla Gasca also sees immigration as an important issue in Obama’s second term.
“It’s something that’s very important and something that was constantly brought up in previous years,” Gasca said. “I remember in his first term, I think they were trying to push the DREAM Act and then that didn’t go through, and then it was forgotten about for a while. Now that it’s his second term, I think he’s really pushing that and trying to get something done because it’s really important to a lot of Americans and it’s a topic that needs to be addressed and dealt with finally after so many years.”
Healthcare was a large component of the past electoral race, though Americans are still divided on Obamacare. Some of its effects can already be seen in the American health care system, as some prescriptions are now free of cost, as well as other benefits.
“One other area that he signals in the inauguration speech which was somewhat interesting was … cost control in healthcare,” Oldfield said. “Over the next year or two, we’re going to see Obamacare, as it’s called, go into effect. There will be lots of battles over that, but Obamacare also, while it did a lot with access to healthcare, it was fairly limited in what it did in terms of cost control, and if you look at a lot of the budget problems long term, what’s really driving them more than anything else is really healthcare costs.”