President Obama will face the music Wednesday at a White House press conference where he’ll address his party’s huge losses in the midterm elections.
A day after losing the Senate to Republicans, Mr. Obama will hold the news conference in the East Room of the White House, scheduled for 2:50 p.m.
The GOP also picked up more than a dozen House seats and several governorships, including in Mr. Obama’s home state of Illinois. Four years ago, when Democrats suffered similar losses, the president described it as a “shellacking.”
Mr. Obama is expected to strike a conciliatory tone and offer to work with the GOP in the final two years of his presidency. But aides have said that he still plans to push for priorities that Republicans have resisted.
And among the most troubling developments for the stronger GOP majority, the president still plans to issue an executive order on immigration in the lame-duck session of Congress. That unilateral action essentially will grant amnesty to a significant portion of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
The president has invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House on Friday. He telephoned incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky late Tuesday night but didn’t reach him, instead leaving a message.
The White House said Mr. Obama did reach dozens of other elected officials on the phone Tuesday night, and was continuing to call more winners on Wednesday.
Among the Republicans that Mr. Obama congratulated by phone were: Arkansas Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson, South Dakota Sen.-elect Mike Rounds, West Virginia Sen.-elect Shelly Moore Capito, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Sen.-elect James Lankford of Oklahoma, Sen.-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama and Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee.
Among the Democrats receiving calls from the president were soon-to-be outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado (who was in charge of the Senate Democrats’ disastrous campaign), Sen.-elect Gary Peters of Michigan, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Gov.-elect Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, losing Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Rep.-elect Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.
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