WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama faced the national press on Tuesday and addressed several issues including asserting that he still retains influence in the capital despite recent setbacks.
Obama says “things are pretty dysfunctional on Capitol Hill.” But he invoked Mark Twain to declare that rumors of his political demise are exaggerated.
He told reporters he remains confident that he and Congress can still achieve significant legislation. He specifically cited immigration and predicted that overhaul in the law would be a “historic achievement.”
Obama, however, was unable to win any gun control measures and the government is now trying to deal with across-the-board spending cuts that Obama had once worked to avoid.
The president says a national security review following the Boston Marathon bombings will look at whether there is more the government can do to stop people within the United States who might become radicalized and plan terror attacks.
One of the dangers the U.S. faces now, Obama said, is people who might decide to attack because of “whatever warped, twisted ideas they may have.”
Obama said that based on what he’s seen so far, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security did what they were supposed to before the attack.
But he said the review was needed to find out whether more can be done to prevent this type of attack by people within the United States who may become radicalized.
Obama said, “This is hard stuff.”
The president says he’s going to try again to close down the prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Obama says he’s asked a team of officials to review the issue and will take it back to Congress again. He told a news conference Tuesday he’s not surprised there are problems at the facility, where 100 of the 166 inmates are on a hunger strike.
Obama ordered the detention center closed upon taking office, but Congress thwarted him and made it harder to move prisoners elsewhere. Releases and transfers have since become rare, giving detainees little hope of ever being release
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