WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama returns from a productive trip to Asia back to a Washington where confrontations loom with Republicans on immigration and a massive oil pipeline project.
The contentious immigration debate could mean a year-end fight over keeping the US government running, if some Republican lawmakers get their way.
On the foreign policy front, there is a Nov 24 deadline in nuclear negotiations with Iran, and questions are surfacing within the administration about whether to overhaul US policy toward Syria.
Given his faltering political support in the US and his party’s recent election losses, Obama’s trip to China, Myanmar and Australia appeared to offer respite.
The president, who returned to the White House late Sunday, basked in policy breakthroughs with China and warm welcomes in Myanmar and Australia.
“I intend to build on that momentum when I return home,” Obama said at a news conference before heading home.
When Obama set off for the Asia Pacific, both the White House and Republicans were suggesting that the Republicans’ decisive takeover of the Senate in this month’s elections could pave the way for bipartisan breakthroughs. But just two weeks after the election, that talk largely has faded, making it increasingly likely that Washington will churn through two more years of gridlock.