President Barack Obama is currently focused on reaching a deal with Republicans on lowering the nation's long term deficits, but said Wednesday that he is still urgent to make changes to the nation's immigration and energy systems.
Obama was asked at a Town Hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California if he would do anything differently than he had during his presidency.
Obama reiterated previous comments that he had asked himself if there could have been a way to pass healthcare legislation more quickly but said I'm not sure I could have because it's hard to fix a system as big as health care and as complicated as our health care system.
He said the best way to answer the question is to ask what do I feel I still have to get done, where I still feel a huge sense of urgency.
He mentioned the deficits and debt problems the nations faces, but also went on to other issues.
Immigration - something I mentioned - we have not gotten done. It's something I care deeply about, he said.
Obama has proposed a comprehensive immigration reform package which has not received enough support in Congress so far that involves getting people currently in the country illegally to admit they're breaking the law, while allowing them to enter into a process to establish themselves legally, as well as reforms to hold employers accountable, reform the workers Visa system and enforce stronger border controls. Congressional Republicans have favored enacting strong border controls first.
Energy - we haven't talked a lot about energy today, but first of all, $4-a-gallon gas really hurts a lot of people around this country, he said. We've got to have a long-term plan. It means investing in things like solar and wind, investing in biofuels, investing in clean car technology. It means converting the federal fleet 100 percent to fuel-efficient vehicles, because we're a huge market maker.
Obama said he wanted to eliminate special tax breaks for the oil industry.
Among other issues he is looking forward to working on, included in his long-term deficit cutting plans are continuing to improve the nation's education and infrastructure.
Obama is running into strong opposition from Republican lawmakers controlling the House of Representatives, who say the nation's debt and deficits need to be tackled by cutting federal spending sharply and continuing to keep certain taxes low for more affluent taxpayers earning above $250,000 in order to have more money in private hands to boost job creation through the private sector.
Obama's deficit cutting plans include higher taxes on that segment of taxpayers and less drastic spending cuts.
Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed interest in lowering corporate tax rates to a maximum of 25 percent, while also eliminating some tax loopholes.