"Washington feels as broken as it did four years ago," Mr Obama said in an interview with CBS television, betraying the fact that Congress is more polarised than ever between rival Republicans and Democrats.
The past three-and-a-half years have been marked by blanket Republican opposition to Democratic initiatives as Mr Obama's opponents adopt a policy that any compromise that helps the president must be snuffed out at all cost.
Democrats, in turn, have refused to budge on protecting large social programs and insist that the wealthiest Americans should pay more tax if the poorest are to lose some of their state benefits.
Having struggled to break out of the stalemate, Mr Obama said the fact that he hadn't "been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people" frustrated him most.
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