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Obama Calls 2014 'Year of Action'

Dec 20, 2013 05:11 PM EST

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President Barack Obama declared 2014 will be a "year of action."

After a bumpy year mostly plagued by controversy surrounding his health care law, President Obama said he looks forward to a fresh start during his annual end of year news conference Friday. After the meeting the first family flew to Hawaii for their yearly holiday vacation.

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"I believe 2014 will be a breakthrough year for America," Obama said, according to NBC News. Obama said he would like to see Congress tackle issues like unemployment insurance and immigration.

In addition to an unsuccessful launch of the healthcare website, 2013 for Obama was marked by a government shutdown and constant disagreements with congress which made his approval ratings take a nose dive, NBC News reported. But Obama said he does not feel it was the worst year of his presidency.

"I got to tell you, that's not how I think about it," he said, according to NBC News. "My polls have gone up and down a lot through the course of my career. I mean, if I was interested in polling, I wouldn't have run for president,"

As to the disaster of HealthCare.gov, Obama admitted, "we screwed it up." But he said that half a million Americans have signed up for health since December, and more than 1 million have signed up so far, NBC News reported.

On a more positive note, Obama cited the improving economy and lauded Congress for the recent budget compromise they reached.

"It's probably too early to declare an outbreak of bipartisanship," said Obama, according to Businessweek. "But it's also fair to say we're not condemned to endless gridlock."

Obama also said he believes the NSA is no longer invading Americans' right to privacy with its invasive surveillance tactics.

"I have confidence that the NSA is not engaged in domestic surveillance or snooping around," Obama said, according to Businessweek.

But then the President said, "we may have to refine this further to give people more confidence."

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