01/28/2013 10:37 am ET Updated Jan 29, 2013

Paul Krugman: Obama Won't Be Able To Pass Major Legislation In His Second Term

NEW YORK -- Paul Krugman doesn't have high hopes for President Barack Obama's second term.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist said at an event at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan on Sunday that as long as Republicans control the House of Representatives, Obama won't be able to accomplish much.

"Barring a spectacular upset in the 2014 midterms, Obama won't be able to pass any major legislation," Krugman told MSNBC host Chris Hayes onstage at the event.

"I'm not sure what else he can do," Krugman said. "I don't have a lot of grand visions for these next four years."

Krugman was not completely pessimistic though. He said that Obama "has one and a half landmark pieces of legislation already under his belt" -- Obamacare and financial reform -- and because of those laws, "a lot of good stuff is going to unfold over the next four years right there."

Obama won a resounding victory in the 2012 election, snagging nearly two-thirds more electoral votes than Mitt Romney. Although more Americans voted for Democratic House candidates than Republican House candidates, Republicans still maintained a sizable majority in the House of Representatives. Some political analysts, including Nate Silver, don't see the House changing hands anytime soon.

Congressional Republicans have blocked a variety of bills from Obama, ranging from the American Jobs Act to a veterans' jobs bill. Senate Republicans also have repeatedly used the filibuster to block bills and confirmations, even though Democrats hold a majority in the Senate.

Democrats also have blocked some GOP-led bills. In December, Senate Democrats blocked a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would have given visas to high-skilled immigrants graduating from American universities without increasing the total number of visas issued by the U.S. government.



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