President Obama stepped up to the podium Wednesday for his final news conference of the year. He reflected on his accomplishments and addressed the challenges that lie ahead when the political landscape changes in January.
President Obama faced reporters and put the spotlight on his administration's accomplishments this year.
He did reach one of his biggest goals: passing the health care reform plan.
And in the final months of the year the lame-duck Congress handed him at least three other big victories: a new missile treaty with Russia, the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, and an $858 billion tax cut plan that included a benefits extension for millions of unemployed Americans.
"We are not doomed to endless gridlock,” the President said. “We have the capacity not only to make progress but make progress together."
But the path to that tax cut extension angered some of the President's supporters. They felt he had to give away too much to Republican leaders in order to seal the deal.
The President's going to have to get used to that kind of negotiating. November's elections dealt a big blow to the White House. Starting in January, Republicans will control the House and they'll have more seats in the Senate.
GOP leaders have promised they're going to attempt to repeal and replace the health care reform law. The President and his top advisers say they'll fight that effort.
That's not the only battle on the horizon.
"I am determined, and this administration is determined, to get immigration reform done,” President Obama said. “It is the right thing to do."
Despite the debate, both parties have pledged a fresh start in the new year but it remains to be seen if their actions will match their words.
Once the House and Senate have finished their work for the year, President Obama will head for Honolulu where he will join his family who have already started their holiday vacation.