The past year was grueling for Democrats trying to getting major legislation passed -- with most of the focus on health care reform. But 2010 will be filled with more hard fights for the Obama administration. Here's what to look forward to.
Nominees Blocked By Senate GOP
A Republican block on President Obama's nominee for TSA head has renewed attention on the 75 or so unconfirmed nominees being held up in the Senate, including Dawn Johnsen, Obama's choice to lead the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel.
Climate Change Legislation
President Obama is already facing resistance on reform from centrist Democrats, who want to table climate legislation until after 2010.
The Employee Free Choice Act
The Employment Free Choice Act is currently being considered by Congress. In the next year, the act, which would establish an easier system for the running of labor unions, will be more thoroughly reviewed.
In the past year, the American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009 failed to make it off the Senate floor. In 2010, legislation concerning the future of American energy policy will need to be addressed.
Obama is planning to provide a road to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented workers now living in the United States while also strengthening border control -- sure to be controversial.
Closing Guantanamo Bay
President Obama signed an executive order calling for the closing of Guantanamo Bay, which seemed likely in 2010 until it was uncovered that a failed scheme to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day was hatched by released Guantanamo detainees.
Health Care Reform
Though some may think the health care debate is finally over, that's far from the truth. Next year brings the fight to merge the House and Senate health care bills, while Republicans plan to run campaigns on repealing the whole thing.
Estate Tax Expiration
The estate tax expires for one year on January 1st, as Senate Republicans blocked an extension of the tax on the money left behind by the wealthiest Americans. Democratic leaders plan to fight to make the tax retroactive when it is reinstated.
Deficit hawks are pushing for a bipartisan commission that would propose cuts to entitlement programs in 2010, but any action that could slow or stall the recovery will be enormously controversial.
Financial Regulatory Reform
Legislation regarding financial regulatory reform has already been through many rounds of Senate debate. Bipartisan progress has been made recently, leaving many feeling optimistic about the passage of meaningful legislation to help guard against future financial crises.
Consumer Financial Protection Agency
The House voted to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would monitor credit cards, mortgages and other products. But the legislation was watered down and will face further opposition from the financial industry in the Senate.
Funding For War In Afghanistan
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the president is on his own in persuading reluctant Democrats to fund the Afghan troop buildup.
For more on Dawn Johnsen who is being held up by the Senate and might not get re-nominated:
Dawn Johnsen's belief in the rule of law disqualifies her from Senate confirmation