WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed for "one nation and one people" in his second inaugural address. Any notion that the country's bitter partisanship might fade, however, seemed tempered by the president's newly assertive push of central Democratic tenets: safety-net programs for the poor, equal rights for gays and minorities and government spending on investments like schools and highways.

Deficit spending, the president's biggest conflict with Republicans, got only one passing mention. And he never uttered the word "debt."

Never fear, Republicans seemed to say in response. They will press the overspending issue time and again, starting this week in the GOP-controlled House. And the outcome of the two parties' long-running conflict will help shape the government's role in coming years, not to mention Obama's legacy.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.