President Obama and the Lame Duck Congress

President returns to U.S. vowing to work harder on bipartisanship.

ByABC News
November 13, 2010, 10:36 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2010— -- President Obama returned from his trip to Asia today, more reflective, admitting that his concentration on policy issues led to his "shellacking" in the midterms.

"In that obsessive focus on policy, I neglected some things that matter a lot to people and rightly so. Like, maintaining a bi-partisan tone in Washington," the president told reporters aboard Air Force One.

As the president looks forward, he will have to work with a lame duck Congress on a number of issues in the coming months, including the expiring Bush tax cuts.

Republicans voiced their resounding opposition this weekend to allowing the cuts to expire.

"We're talking about keeping current tax rates the same. And I don't think there's any room to negotiate on raising taxes, particularly on smaller businesses. I hope we can get a permanent extension," Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said.

Texas Republican, Sen. John Cornyn reiterated DeMint's argument.

"We don't need to raise taxes on anyone during a fragile economic recovery, including the people who report their business income on small individual tax returns, small businesses," Cornyn said.

"In this serious recession, I cannot believe that raising taxes is a good thing on anybody," Sen. John McCain of Arizona said.

The president has long called for letting the tax cuts for the rich expire, which Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod reiterated Sunday morning.

"We can't afford to borrow another $700 billion to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires," Axelrod said.

However, there are signs from top Democrats in Congress that the White House may give in to Republican demands and agree to a temporary extension for the rich, or they may consider raising the tax cut ceiling.

"What if we moved it up to $1 million?" Sen. Charles Schumer of New York suggested. "Everyone below $1 million will get a tax cut but the millionaires and billionaires won't."