President Obama Faces Cabinet Changes, Spending Cuts, Gun Control

David Kerley, George Stephanopoulos have the latest details from the White House.
4:04 | 01/06/13

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Transcript for President Obama Faces Cabinet Changes, Spending Cuts, Gun Control
All right, and president obama is due back in washington today after finishing his hawaii vacation. Now he faces personnel decisions. One of the first may be to nominate a former republican senator as his new defense secretary. A choice that is already under attack by some republicans, even before it has been announced. Abc's david kerley joining us from the white house with all the details. Reporter: Talking about chuck hagel and we are not told whether he will be nominated. He will controversial within both parties. If you're going toe cuts there, doesn't it make sense to have a democrat to help you? One of the calculuses that the president is considering, michelle flr ochonoy. Democrats would meet hagel, with resistance, as well. Reporter: Absolutely. The reason is that on social issues hagel is fairly conservative, but the point is he's not going to be doing social issues if he is nominated to be defense second. He's not going to run health and human services. It's the department of defense, the pentagon, but some democrats are concerned about that. Republicans are concerned, as well, because hagel winds up with the president. He was opposed to some issues in iraq, also in afghanistan and that's what republicans don't like. He bucked the republican party and really lines up with the president which the president might see as a strength if he decides to nominate hagel. All right, and some fascinating numbers coming out of the president's vacation in hawaii where he was for nine days. Can you share those with us. Reporter: It was supposed to be a 15-day vacation, do you remember, so here's how it all breaks down. We've taken a look. Out of those 15 days he actually got to spend nine in hawaii. He had to spend six days here in d.C. Working on the fiscal cliff negotiations. Now, while he was in hawaii he got five rounds of golf, five different partners, about 30 hours on the golf course and four dinners out, to go back and forth the president had to spend 40 hours on air force one and only one member of the family actually traveled the entire time and that is bo, the dog, who actually made the trip back and forth with the president. Well traveled dog. Very well traveled dog racking up his frequent flier miles. We got a picture of him with the lei on -- that was a remarkable production. David kerley, thank you for your reporting from washington. These potential confirm fights are just the tip of the iceberg for president obama. He's already getting ready for big battles over spending cuts, immigration and after newtown gun control. Let's bring in george stephanopoulos, host of weekday "gma" and "this week." Is chuck hagel likely to get the nod and if he does -- the president hasn't made a final decision as david recorded. Democrats in the senate certainly believe this is coming. They've certainly been led to believe by the white house this is coming and kind of scratching their heads and can't figure out why. A lot of democrats have questions about chuck hagel on his support for israel and firm opposition for republicans. If the president goes forward, he is in for a real fight, likely to get him through but not going to be easy. A lot of big fights. This morning we're hearing they're gearing up to take over the nra over gun control in newtown. Right now he has the public on his side but knows he has to move quickly. That's why vice president biden will report back likely before the president's inaugural on january 20th with his package of recommendations. Much broader than simply gun control. Also look at mental health issues and look at violence in the media. Right now there's going to be a lot of resistance in the senate but they're going to look at things the president can do on his own through executive orders so they get something through. George stephanopoulos, thank you. And george has a big show this morning. His guest, key player in the fiscal cliff deal that just passed, the senate minority LEADER mitch McConnell. "This week" with george stephanopoulos coming up. And a miraculous survival

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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