Obama concentrates on year’s ups, not downs

Instead of brooding about tumbling approval ratings, the disastrous rollout of his signature health care law or the pile of unfinished domestic priorities, Obama looked ahead to the promise of 2014 and predicted "a breakthrough year for America."

Obama concentrates on year’s ups, not downs

Has the fifth year of his presidency been its worst? President Barack Obama laughs off such questions even as he acknowledges many months of frustrating ups and down. “That’s not how I think about it,” Obama told reporters during his annual end-of-the year news conference. Instead of brooding about tumbling approval ratings, the disastrous rollout […]

Obama drops block to secret court ruling on NSA

The action comes a few days after a federal judge ruled that the phone collection program is likely unconstitutional.

Obama drops block to secret court ruling on NSA

The Obama administration has dropped its objection to the publication of a secret court opinion on the law that authorizes the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records. The Justice Department told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in a filing Friday that the department won’t object if the court decides to […]

White House spy panel: ‘Replace duplicate panel’

White House spy panel: ‘Replace duplicate panel’

For months, two review panels given nearly identical assignments by President Barack Obama have been studying how the White House should change or limit the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. They have functioned separately — with different experts and private and public hearings — but with almost the same mandate. So it was at least […]

NSA debate shifts in favor of limits on spying

NSA debate shifts in favor of limits on spying

In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency’s expansive spying powers at home and abroad. It’s happened suddenly, over a span of just three days. First, a federal judge ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone […]

Sweeping defense bill headed to Obama for signature

"Today represents a huge win for victims of sexual assault, and for justice in America's armed forces, but this is no finish line," said Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Sweeping defense bill headed to Obama for signature

The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Senate voted 84-15 Thursday night for the $632.8 billion bill that covers combat pay, new […]

New options for those with canceled health insurance

New options for those with canceled health insurance

People whose existing health care insurance has been canceled because of the Affordable Care Act will not be hit with tax penalties for failing to line up new coverage as required under the law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she will use authorities in the law to issue a “temporary hardship exemption” […]

Fallout from NSA debacle can serve the nation

Fallout from NSA debacle can serve the nation

The fallout from the Edward Snowden revelations continues to snowball. With each disclosure, allies, businesses and influential authors call for reform. There is ever growing pressure on the Obama administration to respond and quell these concerns before permanent damage is done. As the crisis grows, many in Congress and the executive branch now focus on […]

Obama to nominate Baucus as China ambassador

Obama to nominate Baucus as China ambassador

President Barack Obama is looking to the Senate again to fill a top diplomatic post, with Democratic officials saying he intends to nominate six-term Sen. Max Baucus of Montana to be the next U.S. ambassador to China. Baucus, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election, is knowledgeable on trade issues as […]

Muted reaction in White House over budget deal

Muted reaction in White House over budget deal

There were no champagne corks popping at the White House after Congress passed a two-year budget deal, no declarations of a new era of cooperation in President Barack Obama’s second term. Instead, the modest agreement that passed Wednesday served as a stark year-end reminder of how low expectations for Washington sank in 2013, particularly for […]

Budget deal passes Senate, ready for Obama’s signature

The legislation passed the Democratic-controlled Senate on a vote of 64-36, six days after clearing the Republican-run House by a similarly bipartisan margin of 332-94.

Budget deal passes Senate, ready for Obama’s signature

Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock. Obama’s signature was assured on the measure, which lawmakers in both […]

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