Archives for White House

Obama to Dems: Health vote a make or break decision

In seeking enough votes to overhaul the nation’s health care system, President Barack Obama is telling nervous Democratic lawmakers that their political fates are linked to the bill’s passage, discouraging the notion that they can save themselves by opposing it, House members say. They also say the president’s not asking lawmakers to save his skin either, while the White House insists that no special favors in exchange for votes are being offered or accepted. The president has pushed aside almost all other matters, including a long-planned Asia trip, now rescheduled for June, to try to embolden House Democrats who have
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Obama missed self-imposed immigration deadline

President Barack Obama promised to make overhauling the immigration system a top priority in his first year as president. He’s now in Year Two, and the odds that he’ll get to sign a bill before the November midterm elections appear long. Grass-roots activists are frustrated by the wait for a new system and are organizing a rally Sunday on the National Mall by what they hope will be thousands of people from across the country loudly voicing their displeasure at the pace of action. In meetings last week, Obama sought to assure activists and senators who are drafting a bill
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Obama’s fun return to campaign-style politics

After a rousing campaign rally for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine last summer, President Barack Obama flashed a broad smile to an aide as he boarded his helicopter back to the White House. “That was the most fun I’ve had in a while,” he said. Obama likes campaigning. And it shows. He relishes the chance to shed his jacket, roll up his sleeves, dust off his rhetoric and energize a political crowd. During this week’s health care push on Capitol Hill, Obama and senior advisers have been telling lawmakers that they will not be left standing alone in a difficult
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Hell freezes over! Obama courts Fox News

President Barack Obama is so desperate to sell his flawed health care plan to anyone who will buy into its illusion that he is willing to taking his pitch directly to viewers of right-wing propaganda outlet Fox News. The White House Tuesday announced Obama will submit to an interview with Bret Baier of Fox his Wednesday show. The decision is a reversal for Obama, who normally avoids right-wing media outlets like fox but the move signals his last minute desperate drive for a health care bill passage before he leaves for Australia and Indonesia on Sunday. The President, White House
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Obama caught in another lie: Premiums will rise under plan

Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print. Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say. If cost controls work as advertised, annual increases would level off with time. But don’t look for a rollback. Instead, the main reason premiums would be more affordable is that new government tax credits would help cover the cost for millions of people. Listening to Obama pitch his plan, you might not realize that’s how it works. Visiting a Cleveland suburb this week,
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Obama’s style: Take the long view

Just back from a recent day trip to Georgia, President Barack Obama walked into the Oval Office and told his senior staff to get a grip. “We all rise and fall together,” he declared that afternoon, as Washington neared fever pitch over tensions on his team. Keep your eyes on the prize, Obama directed, not on the daily ups and downs. It was classic Obama, again summoning one of his favorite tenets in a crisis: the Long View. It’s a high-minded notion that elected leaders love to invoke, both privately and publicly. It makes politicians seem above the dirtiest aspects
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Another broken promise: Obama more secretive than Bush

The government’s use of legal exemptions to keep records secret rose during President Barack Obama‘s first year in office, despite promises of increased openness, an Associated Press review found. The review of annual Freedom of Information Act reports filed by 17 major agencies found that overall, the use of nearly every one of the open-records law’s nine exemptions to withhold information rose in fiscal year 2009, which ended last October. Among the most frequently used exemptions: one that lets the government hold back records that detail its internal decision-making. Obama had directed agencies to stop using that exemption so frequently,
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Obama takes health care road show to Ohio as vote looms

Still seeking votes for his proposed health care overhaul, President Barack Obama appears ready to reverse his position and allow unpopular deal-sweetening measures in the hopes of finding Democratic support for legislation whose future will be decided in coming days. Increasingly eager to finish work on his top domestic priority, Obama was set to head to northeast Ohio on Monday with a final sales pitch for health care legislation that the top Democratic vote-counter in the House said lacked support to pass. Obama’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, said he was “absolutely confident” the measure would pass during a make-or-break
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Obama’s ambitious agenda produces few results

President Barack Obama‘s intense juggling of domestic issues reflects all the realities he faces: a vast agenda, a smaller window for results this year and a need to keep promises to constituencies that will have a huge say in the fall congressional elections. Obama is in the heart of a period in which he has pledged to do everything in his power to make the case for health reform, a time-consuming blitz that he hopes will end in a final vote in Congress this month. That’s on top of his commitment to make jobs his top priority. Yet his agenda
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Obama, Dems close to deal on health care

A final agreement nearly in hand, President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders are about to embark on one last sales job that will determine the outcome of the president’s signature health care overhaul. It will come down to a phenomenal effort by congressional leaders and the White House to win over skittish lawmakers after a year of incendiary debate, even as Obama keeps up campaign-style appearances designed to fire up public support. A closed-door meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s office Wednesday evening moved congressional leaders and administration officials close to agreement on such issues as additional subsidies to help
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