Despite budget cloud, Obama kick starts second term agenda
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama sought on Monday to shield his ambitious second-term agenda from the poisoned political aftermath of a budget fight with Republicans that triggered an US$85 billion (S$105.8 billion) austerity hit.
Mr Obama gathered his cabinet for their first meeting since his second inauguration and vowed to press ahead with action on nurturing economic growth, curbing gun violence and working towards comprehensive immigration reform.
The president also named three new cabinet nominees, signaling an attempt to press ahead on energy innovation and combating climate change, two issues that were at the heart of his State of the Union address last month.
Mr Obama promoted what he said was a "very robust agenda," that would go on even as government departments cope with the disruption from the arbitrary across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester.