WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- President Obama will try again to foster bipartisanship in Washington during his second term, a top political aide said Sunday.
Senior White House Adviser David Plouffe said Obama would use Monday's inauguration speech to reach out to the U.S. public for their support in rallying more consensus in Congress as hot-button issues such as taxes, social programs, immigration reform and gun control take precedence on Capitol Hill.
"The only way change is going to really happen and we make progress is the American people," Plouffe said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It's one of the lessons of the first term. They need to be involved."
Plouffe noted the U.S. political system does not require citizens to become directly involved in governing, which can make it possible for small factions to effectively block necessary legislation. At the same time, Obama will try to persuade GOP lawmakers to modify their stands on various issues.
A top priority will be getting both parties together on an economic strategy that will be both workable and acceptable to both parties. Plouffe said a deal involving closing tax loopholes and a measure of entitlement reform would add long-term certainty to the business climate, which would in turn stoke the U.S. economy.
"This it comes back to where there is common ground," Plouffe said on "Fox News Sunday." "We should be able to come up with a package and I think we'd all be better served if Congress starts working more in regular order, so we're not careening crisis-to-crisis, deadline to deadline."
Monday's formal inauguration will find Obama on firmer footing than he was four years ago, Plouffe said on ABC's "This Week," thanks to the improvement in the economy. The White House plans to use that foundation to encourage hard-line Republicans to moderate their stances on the economy and other burning issues.
"The question is...can we come together on a fiscal package that reduces the deficit in the long term and then helps us grow the economy in the short term," Plouffe said "I think the answer is yes. We're doing this in stages, as opposed to one big package."
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