Yet they will have to wrangle with their respective bases, which have each laid down hard lines on taxes, spending and entitlements.
And following Tuesday's election, the composition of the House and Senate moved only slightly; Republicans maintained their House majority, albeit smaller than it was before, and Democrats held a Senate majority slightly larger than the one they had previously.
Today, Obama said that he is willing to be moved on some issues and welcomes new ideas. He said that he would invite business, labor and community leaders to Washington for additional input.
"Now that those of us on the campaign trail have had a chance to get some sleep, it's time for us to get back to work," Obama said. "Our top priority has to be jobs and growth."
Both sides came under added pressure to resolve the impasse on taxes after a new Congressional Budget Office report released on Thursday said that the combined impact of tax increases and dramatic spending cuts in 2013 could boost the country's unemployment rate to 9.1 percent.