January 2013 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of January 2013.
The Senate and House Approve Last Minute Budget Deal to Avoid Fiscal Cliff (Jan. 1): In the early hours of January 1, 2013, the Senate approve a deal to raise tax rates from 35 to 39.6 percent for those earning more than $400,000. The deal also temporarily suspends across-the-board spending cuts. Later that night, the House also passes the legislation. The House's vote ends the long dramatic showdown over the fiscal cliff with only a few hours left of the 112th Congress.
Alabama Beats Notre Dame in BCS Championship Game (Jan. 7): Number two ranked Alabama rolls over top-ranked Notre Dame and wins its second straight national title. The 42-14 routing is also the Crimson Tide's third title in four years.
President Obama Selects Nominees for Defense Secretary and CIA Director (Jan. 7): For CIA director, President Obama nominates John Brennan, the top counterterrorism adviser during the president's first term. Chuck Hagel receives the nomination for defense secretary. Elected to the Senate in 1996 and retiring in 2008, Hagel is a Republican, a Vietnam veteran, and a longtime outspoken critic of President Bush's policies in Iraq. Hagel's nomination is met with opposition. Critics dislike how he once referred to pro-Israel lobbying groups as the "Jewish lobby" and how he referred to ambassador to Luxembourg nominee James C. Hormel as "openly, aggressively gay", a comment he made 14 years ago and apologized later for it.
President Obama Proposes Sweeping Changes to Gun Control (Jan. 16): In response to recent massacres, including the killing of 20 first graders in Newtown, Conn., and 12 moviegoers in Aurora, Colo., President Barack Obama introduces proposals to tighten gun-control laws. His plan includes universal background checks for gun sales, the reinstatement and strengthening of the assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition magazines to a 10-round capacity, and other measures. Some of the measures outlined in his speech the president intends to achieve through 23 executive actions, while he called on Congress to do its part to enact stricter gun control legislation.
President Obama Is Inaugurated for a Second Term (Jan. 21): On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Obama is sworn in for a second term. Obama uses Dr. King's Bible as well as Abraham Lincoln's Bible to take the oath of office. He also becomes the first president to say the word gay in an Inaugural Address when he compares the battle for same-sex marriage to past battles over gender and racial equality. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well," Obama says in his address.