November 2012 Current Events: U.S. News

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

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Here are the key events in United States news for the month of November 2012.

  • Barack Obama Wins Re-Election (Nov. 6): President Obama is re-elected, narrowly defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Obama prevails in both the electoral college (303 to 206) and the popular vote (50% to 48%), buoyed largely by taking several crucial battle states, including Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (Nov. 7): Shortly before 1 a.m., Romney delivers his concession speech. In the speech, he says, "This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion."

  • Congress Remains Divided After 2012 Election (Nov. 6): In the 2012 election, Democrats keep their majority in the Senate. Democrats take Republican Senate seats in Massachusetts and Indiana. The Democrats also avoid defeat in close Missouri race. Even with races in North Dakota, Nevada, Montana still too close to call, it becomes clear on election night that the Democrats will hold their Senate majority and possibly add to it. The night ends with the Democrats having 53 seats to 45 for the Republicans. Key victories for the Democrats include Tammy Baldwin's win in Wisconsin. Her victory makes her the first openly gay candidate to capture a seat in the Senate. In Massachusetts, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren defeats Republican Scott Brown for the seat formally held by longtime Senator Ted Kennedy. As predicted, the Republicans keep the majority in the House of Representatives with 232 seats to 191 for the Democrats. Democrats make some gains, most notably in Illinois where they take four seats from Republicans.

  • Petraeus Resigns as CIA Director (Nov. 9): Former four-star general David Petraeus resigns as CIA. director after the FBI uncovers evidence that he had an extramarital affair. President Obama accepts his resignation. Petraeus issues a statement acknowledging the affair. In the statement, he says, "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours." Paula Broadwell is the woman with whom Petraeus had the affair. Broadwell is the author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus", a biography published in 2012. The FBI. reports that the investigation started when Jill Kelley, a friend of the Petraeus family, received harassing emails, which turned out to be from Broadwell. Officials say during the investigation they uncovered emails between Broadwell and Petraeus that proved they were having an affair. (Nov. 13): A Washington D.C. senior law enforcement official says that the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen, is also being investigated for "inappropriate communication" with Jill Kelley. The FBI reports that during the investigation of the harassing emails to Kelley, they also uncovered an inappropriate email correspondence between Kelley and Allen.

  • The U.S Economy Approaches Possible Fiscal Cliff (Nov. 29): After President Obama's re-election, the focus in Washington shifts quickly toward the Federal Budget and a possible approaching fiscal cliff. The lame duck session of Congress begins in late November 2012 and faces the Bush-era tax cuts as well as Obama's stimulus measures expiring on December 31, 2012. These measures and cuts are set to expire just as the government plans to severely cut federal spending. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the economy will fall back into a recession if the planned $500 billion in spending cuts are taken out of a still struggling economy at the same time that stimulus measures expire, thus sending the U.S. economy over a fiscal cliff. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presents Obama's deficit reduction proposal in a meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner. Obama's proposal asks for a $1.6 million tax increase over ten years, refinancing of home mortgages, an end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits, and $50 billion for immediate stimulus spending. If Republicans agree to his proposal, Obama will in return work to save $400 billion from Medicare and other domestic programs, but with no guarantees. Republicans react immediately to Obama's proposal with very strong resistance.

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