AP file photo of President Barack Obama.
(USA TODAY) - President Obama took questions gun violence, immigration, debt reduction, and other aspects of his upcoming second term when he holds the final news conference of his first term.
12:20 p.m. Obama says the House GOP probably has the votes to follow through on threats to shut down the government as they grapple with the White House over raising the debt ceiling.. But he cautions that it would be a mistake and it would hurt the economy. "I suspect the American people would blame all of Washington," he says. "If the issue is deficit reduction...getting our debt in a sustainable place, the Republicans will have a partner in me."
12:14 p.m. Obama reiterates that he won't negotiate on debt ceiling debate. He says again that he's willing to have a conversation about ways to reduce the deficit, but the debt ceiling must be raised. "We've got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again," he says.
12:08 p.m. Obama says that he's looking into using executive action to bolster gun control in the aftermath of Newtown school shooting that left 26 dead. He expresses dismay about some gun rights advocates without naming any particular group. "Those who oppose any common sense gun control measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear...There's probably an economic element to that."
12:00 p.m. CBS News correspondent Major Garrett notes to Obama that there are often debates on the debt ceiling. As a senator, Obama even once voted against the raising of the debt ceiling. Obama says he won't have a conversation "every month or every three months conversation about whether or not we pay our bill
11:54 p.m. President Obama invokes twice that the USA is "not a deadbeat nation" as he calls for Congress to raise the debt ceiling. "The issue here is whether or not America pays its bills. We are not a deadbeat nation." He makes the case that Congress should pay for services that have been rendered. "This is not a a complicated concept. ..You don't go out to dinner and eat all you want and then leave without paying the check."
11:47 p.m. Obama's first question is on gun control. The AP's Julie Pace asks about the probability of passing an assault weapons ban. Obama calls on Congress to "examine their own conscience"
11:44 a.m. Obama turns his focus to to his call on Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Not rising it would be a "self-inflicted wound on the economy." He added "To even entertain the idea [of not raising the debt ceiling], it's absurd." Obama lays down a marker for GOP lawmakers on the debt limit. "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy."
11:39 a.m. President Obama starts news conference by declaring, "We are poised for a good year." He also makes case that his administration has made a good start for deficit reduction. He reiterates that he's open to making modest adjustments to Medicare and other entitlements, but we also need more revenue. Americans wants Washington to get our books in order in "a balanced way."