Archives for White House

Obama now providing arms to Kurds in Iraq

The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, senior U.S. officials said Monday. Previously, the U.S. had insisted on only selling arms to the Iraqi government in Baghdad, but the Kurdish peshmerga fighters had been losing ground to Islamic State militants in recent weeks. The officials wouldn’t say which U.S. agency is providing the arms or what weapons are being sent, but one official said it isn’t the Pentagon. The CIA has historically done similar quiet arming operations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity
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For Obama, war first, then golf

President Barack Obama gave Americans an update on U.S. military strikes in Iraq on Saturday from a podium on the White House lawn with Marine One, the presidential helicopter, parked in the background. Four hours later, he offered an altogether different tableau: a golf game with friends at a lush course on Martha’s Vineyard, the upscale Massachusetts island where the president and his family began a two-week vacation. The contrasting scenes, which quickly sparked some hostile commentary from critics, illustrate the dilemma of taking time off when you are the most powerful leader in the world and, by definition, handling
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Obama: No time limits on Iraq military action

President Barack Obama on Saturday refused to give a time limit on America’s renewed military involvement in Iraq, saying he doesn’t think “we are going to solve this problem in weeks” as the country struggles to form a new government. “I think this is going to take some time,” he said at the White House before departing for a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast. Obama warned Americans that the new campaign to bring security in Iraq requires military and political changes and “is going to be a long-term project.” The president said Iraqi security forces need to
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Obama wants to contain, not eradicate, extremists

President Barack Obama’s new military strategy in Iraq amounts to trying to contain — not destroy — the Islamic militant group that now controls much of the country’s northern region. That leaves open the questions of how deeply the U.S. will be drawn into the sectarian conflict, and whether airstrikes alone can stop the militants’ momentum. Obama insists he will not send American ground troops back to Iraq after having withdrawn them in 2011, fulfilling a campaign promise. Still, even the limited airstrikes against the vicious insurgency show the president’s conviction that the U.S. military cannot remain dormant after having
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Obama signing health care overhaul bill

Veterans are expected to have an easier time getting government-paid health care from local doctors under a bill that President Barack Obama is set to sign into law Thursday. The $16.3 billion measure also allows the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals at the VA’s nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide. Under the new law, employment rules will be revised to make it easier to fire senior VA executives judged to be negligent or performing poorly. Obama is traveling to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, an Army base 20 miles south of Washington, to
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Obama can do a lot on immigration without Congress

What can President Barack Obama actually do without Congress to change U.S. immigration policies? A lot, it turns out. There are some limits under federal law, and anything the White House ultimately decides to do may be challenged in court as unconstitutional. But leading legal experts say the White House almost certainly could delay indefinitely efforts to deport millions of immigrants already in the U.S. illegally, and it could give them official work permits that would allow them to legally find jobs, obtain driver’s licenses and pay income taxes. Here is what Obama could not do without approval from Congress:
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Obama plans to do what Congress did not

President Barack Obama says he’s taking action on his own because Congress is doing so little for working families. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the economy is improving. He says decisions made now can ensure things keep improving. Obama says he’s been pushing policies addressing jobs, student loans and wages. He says all of the policies would help families feel more stable, but all have been blocked by Republicans. Obama says Congress left town for their August vacation with unfinished business. He says he hopes when lawmakers get back, Washington can join together in common purpose.
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Obama to name African program after Mandela

A program designed to foster a new generation of young African leaders will be renamed after former South African President Nelson Mandela. President Barack Obama, who has said he was one of the untold millions of people around the world who were inspired by Mandela’s life, is set to announce the name change at a town hall-style event Monday in Washington with several hundred young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa. The youngsters are participating in the inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, part of the broader Young African Leaders Initiative that Obama launched in 2010 to support a new
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Congress says Obama is too aloof as President

President Barack Obama’s request for billions of dollars to deal with migrant children streaming across the border set off Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers in both parties complained that the White House — six years in — still doesn’t get it when it comes to working with Congress. Top GOP leaders got no notice of the $3.7 billion emergency request. The administration sent contradictory messages about what it wanted to deal with the border crisis. And as the proposal drew fierce criticism, the White House made few overtures to lawmakers in either party to rally support. House and Senate lawmakers in
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Obama: Overseas tax dodges are ‘unpatriotic’

President Barack Obama says a loophole that lets companies dodge U.S. taxes by moving their headquarters overseas is unpatriotic. Obama is denouncing “tax inversions” in his weekly radio and Internet address. He says companies are essentially renouncing their citizenship to avoid paying their fair share. Obama says the best way to address the problem is through tax reform that lowers the corporate tax rate. But he says the problem can’t wait. He’s urging lawmakers to join the effort to close the loophole. Obama says Americans don’t get to pick which rules they follow and neither should companies. In the Republican
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