What to watch for at Obama’s news conference

January 14, 2013

President Obama's podium. (Philip Rucker via Instagram)

President Obama will hold his final news conference of his first term this morning. The main topic will be the battle over raising the country's debt ceiling. But a host of other issues are likely to come up, too. What should you keep an eye out for? Here's a quick rundown:

Debt ceiling

Will the White House renew its opposition to bypassing Congress in the debt ceiling fight, through either invoking the 14th Amendment or the trillion-dollar coin route? Or will it seek to leave itself some wiggle room?

Upcoming fiscal battles

The debt ceiling is only one of a trio of fiscal battles up ahead. The other two -- the fight over keeping the federal government funded and the replacement of the across-the-board cuts known as the "sequester" -- could be just as consequential. Will Obama weigh in on the emerging consensus among House Republicans that a government shutdown may be the preferred route for forcing federal spending cuts? And will he shed further light on the White House's conditions in the sequester battle?

Gun control

Will Obama stand by his pledge to pursue a ban on military-style assault weapons despite the political difficulty of doing so? Will he respond to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control comments?

Cabinet shuffle

Will he make any comment on the news that Janet Napolitano will stay on as Homeland Security Secretary, or offer any further defense of recent appointees including Defense Secretary-nominee Chuck Hagel?

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Natalie Jennings | January 14, 2013