Obama, Republican-Led Congress Heading For Political Battles In 2015

As the new Republican-led U.S. Congress is inaugurated on Tuesday, many U.S. experts predict that some political battles will be fought in 2015 between President Barack Obama and the Republican Party (GOP).

"We're going to see some battles, but the GOP is going to pick and choose" which ones it wants to fight, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua in an interview.

Republicans clinched control of Congress in November in the biggest GOP sweep since World War II amid sinking popularity for Obama, as many Americans expressed frustration over an economy in which millions remain jobless or underemployed several years into the recovery from the worst recession in decades.

O'Connell said Republicans were elected not with the mandate to stick it to the Democrats, but rather to pass bills that would help the economy and create U.S. jobs.

The GOP has to put early wins on the board in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections. "They did not receive a mandate to take over," he said, explaining that the public was frustrated with the Obama administration for not passing bills that might improve the economy.

Read more from Matthew Rustling at Xinhua 

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Analysis & Political Strategy