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Tonight on Washington Week: A Look Back at 2012

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After a tough re-election, we take a look at the challenges President Obama will face in his second term [Photo: CNN].

December 28, 2012

On the eve of a new year and the start of President Obama’s second term, we will pause to examine the significant news stories of 2012 including prickly partisan politics, a turbulent and tight presidential race, and international conflicts that are reshaping U.S. foreign policy.

Boehner Pins Responsibility for Avoiding ‘Fiscal Cliff’ on Obama, Democrats

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House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) sought to shift responsibility Friday to President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate to reach an agreement to avert a series of spending cuts and tax hikes after his fellow Republicans delivered a stunning rebuke to Boehner’s own plan to raise taxes on those making more than $1 million.

Next Move Is Obama’s After Boehner’s Tax Plan Fails

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With House Republicans’ revolt over their leader’s tax plan the evening before, President Obama on Friday faced the challenge of finding a new tax-and-spending solution — perhaps working now with Senate Republicans — to prevent a looming fiscal crisis in January.

Obama Names Kerry as Nominee to Replace Clinton at State

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President Barack Obama named Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as his choice to become the next U.S. secretary of state, saying he has the respect and trust of leaders around the world.

Obama Asks Supporters to Push Congress on Gun Control

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President Obama sought on Friday to enlist supporters to mount a public lobbying campaign on behalf of gun control in the wake of the mass killings in Newtown, Conn., suggesting that Congress would listen only if forced to by a populist backlash to gun violence.

PBS Newshour: President Obama Declares Gun Control Will Be a 'Central Issue' of Second Term

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The White House stepped up its response to Sandy Hook by planning to give Congress recommendations on preventing mass shootings, from mental health services to gun control laws. Gwen Ifill talks to Gov. Pat Quinn, D-Ill., who is pushing for statewide bans in Illinois on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.

 

Obama vs. the NRA

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There are two ways to kill a policy idea in Washington: Broaden it to include every interested person with an opinion, or appoint a commission. If you broaden it, it quickly becomes a cacophonous mess, and everyone throws up his or her hands. Commissions, almost by design, are where action goes for a nap.

New Calls for Gun Limits

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Several lawmakers Sunday called for reintroducing a ban on assault weapons in the wake of Friday's deadly school rampage. President Barack Obama is also likely to propose gun-policy changes, according to two administration officials.

Obama and Boehner Diverge Sharply on Fiscal Plan

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Hopes for a broad deficit-reduction agreement faded on Wednesday as President Obama insisted he had offered Republicans “a fair deal” while Speaker John A. Boehner moved for a House vote as early as Thursday on a scaled-down plan to limit tax increases to yearly incomes of $1 million and up, despite Senate opposition and Mr. Obama’s veto threat.

GOP Unveils a 'Plan B' if Budget Talks Fail

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Despite progress toward agreement on a budget deal with the White House, House Republican leaders on Tuesday proposed a backup plan to prevent most Americans from facing an income-tax increase if negotiations collapse.