US & Canada

Katty Kay answers your questions

BBC Washington correspondent Katty Kay
Image caption Katty Kay prepares for the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC

With Barack Obama sworn in for a second term in office as president of the United States, BBC Washington Correspondent Katty Kay answered your questions in a live Twitter Q&A on Tuesday 22 January.

This is an edited version of the session.

Question from @GLaverriere: What will Obama's easiest and hardest agenda items to pass? (excluding immigration=easiest and gun safety=hardest)

Katty answers: Some of the biggest fights will be over the budget. He threw down a spending gauntlet to the GOP (Republican Party) yesterday.

Question from Nwaoyibo on Facebook: Will Obama actually legalize same sex marriage?

Katty answers: He has said this should be decided at state not federal level but he opposes the DoMA (Defence of Marriage Act).

Question from Harriet who emails: How do you think Obama will react to Netanyahu's re-election?

Katty answers: Diplomatically!

Question from @bestdogadvice: What was the most memorable part for you during yesterday's inauguration?

Katty answers: Inaugurations are always more exciting and more moving than I expect - and this one wasn't even freezing. Bonus!

Question from @welshjab: What prospects for any of his policies in Congress...given 08-12 productivity? Is he the biggest lame duck ever?

Katty answers: There are signs a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans is emerging. There will be fights, but maybe less gridlock.

Question from Satori on Google+: What are the pros and cons to a two party system? You have multiple parties in UK government, does that work better?

Katty answers: Multi-party systems can be chaotic (think post-war Italy) but a two-party system can be polarised (USA today). Neither is perfect.

Question from @Armaan_Bhatti: What do you think President Obama's legacy will be?

Katty answers: Being the first African-American president is a huge part of it. On policy: healthcare and let's see what term two brings.

Question from @davrostreisand: Who's gonna be groomed for next Democrat Presidential nomination over the following four years?

Katty answers: Hillary doesn't need any grooming.

Question from @StevenJCBuckley: Will Obama treat Al Jazeera US the same as other media?

Katty answers: It'll depend on their audience size.

Question from @genji2000: When and why were you obliged to sing the American national anthem?

Katty answers: I went to an American school in Jeddah age 11 and was as tone deaf then as I am now. You wouldn't want to hear me, honest.

Question from @GlobalPolitico: Realistically will Obama attempt to introduce any climate change legislation into Congress?

Katty answers: It was nowhere in the campaign and he failed to get backing on emissions from Congress in the first term.

Katty continues: I'd say he tries to expand regulations through EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), which he can do without Congress

Question from @bethany_styron: What will Obama do to reduce gun violence without impeding on the nation's right to bear arms?

Katty answers: This will be another big fight with GOP and some Democrats, and he may lose. Background checks are the most likely change.

Question from a BBC News reader on Facebook: How does #BillClinton feel about reversals of DADT ("Don't ask, don't tell"), DOMA (Defence of Marriage Act), welfare under #Obama?

Katty answers: Bill and Barack's relationship is a source of permanent political mystery - on everything.

Question from @MJuricDuTVnet: Costs of inauguration? Why it has to be so spectacular?

Katty answers: This is America's "royal" moment, with much of the pomp and circumstance of a coronation - and it doesn't come cheap.

Question from @joshcutcher: Consensus seems to be that comp immigration reform will be fairly easy. Is this what you've been hearing?

Katty answers: Several Republicans have told me this must happen and the GOP (Republican Party) must be behind it if they want to win more Hispanic support.

Katty continues: ...but this is Washington, nothing is easy.

Question from @IcyApril: Do you think there's any hope on Obama improving his human rights record (i.e. NDAA (National Defence Authorization Act), drones)?

Katty answers: I see little sign WH will step back from using drones against suspected militants abroad, even though legality is questioned.

Question from @MarkusMcLaughln: Could Europe inspire President Obama to change the way USA conducts business and relations?

Katty answers: WH wants Europe to fix its economic problems but has no intention of following its policies.

Question from @PhilMerrylfc: Do you think Joe Biden will run in 2016?

Katty answers: The way he was running down Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday, it has to be a possibility!

Question from @dasteelman: Democrat or Republican, MOST U.S. presidents like to leave a military legacy - would the Maghreb (North Africa) be Obama's?

Katty answers: Oh I think they will stay as far away from North Africa (and every other new military engagement) as possible.

Question from Twitter user: Can you tell us more about this reported shooting in Houston?

Katty answers: We are monitoring Houston right now. One thing we all learned from Newtown is how important it is to get facts right.

Question from @olioc: Which do you think will be the biggest foreign policy challenge- Iran/Middle East or tension over Pacific islands?

Katty answers: All of the above.

Question from @errant1977: Can Obama be the first post-war president to make his second term a success?

Katty answers: Reagan helped end the Cold War in his second term. Not bad as an achievement.

Question from @unclegagag: Do you think Ruth Bader Ginsburg and older supreme court judges will retire during the second term? Shape future?

Katty answers: Scotus (Supreme Court of the United States) justices most likely to retire lean left. Keeping the political balance is important to him, changing it would be huge.

Question from @Edratu: What will be the relationship with countries of Latin American - Peru, Chile, Brazil?

Katty answers: As Obama tries to pivot to Asia, gets caught up in the Middle East, Latin America has not been high on US priorities. A mistake?

Question from @JosepEgypt: Do you see Obama working towards resolving the problems of Kashmir and Palestine anytime soon?

Katty answers: No and No.

Question from @bhatt0888: Can Mr Obama reduce the unemployment problem?

Katty answers: Creating jobs in a post-manufacturing world is possibly Obama's biggest challenge. We may be in for a period of high unemployment.

Question from @AstarinExile: The Republican Tea Party members have zero interest in doing business with Obama. How can he advance agenda?

Katty answers: By doing what he did yesterday, appealing over their heads to the constituency that elected him. He'll use campaign apparatus.

Question from @BKristolBalls: Is Obama inclined to work with Marco Rubio (Senator for Florida) on immigration reform after his WSJ op-ed?

Katty answers: This is one area where the two parties and these two men can work effectively together despite Rubio's criticism of Obama.

Question from @aluneurig: Has the Republican base support lost its power and influence in US politics. What will happen next to the party?

Katty answers: Wow - big question! The base is still important but there's a lot of soul searching about how GOP (Republican Party) can stay a majority party.

Question from @Nickle_las: How far do you think Obama is going to go to see the Gun Control bill passed?

Katty answers: As we get reports of another campus shooting in Texas, it just intensifies the debate.

Katty says: Sorry to cut this short. We are going to get caught up on the shooting in Houston. Thanks for joining us - see you next time! #AskKattyBBC

For more tweets from Katty Kay, you can follow her Twitter account: @KattyKayBBC

Produced by Glenn Anderson, Claudia Milne and Sarah Fowler