Senate GOP Leader Says Second Term Marks “Fresh Start”

WASHINGTON (January 21, 2013)—U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate's top Republican, said Monday President Barack Obama's second term represents "a fresh start."

The President’s second term represents a fresh start when it comes to dealing with the great challenges of our day; particularly, the transcendent challenge of unsustainable federal spending and debt," he said.

"Republicans are eager to work with the President on achieving this common goal, and we firmly believe that divided government provides the perfect opportunity to do so. Together, there is much we can achieve.”

McConnell's statement came after the public swearing-in of Mr. Obama for a second term, and an 18-minute inaugural address in which Mr. Obama urged Congress to find common ground over the next four years.

During the address, Mr. Obama previewed an ambitious second-term agenda.

He said in an era of looming budget cuts, the nation has a commitment to costly programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

Mr. Obama said the country "cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well" and an increasing number "barely make it."

Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden earlier were sworn in, as part of a public ceremony that followed their private oath-taking Sunday, the day the Constitution says the second term begins.

The crowd that extended across the National Mall didn't rival the record-breaking gathering of four years ago, but still numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

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