Archives for White House

Immigration activists hope to stop deportations

President Barack Obama’s surprise announcement last week that his administration would change its deportation policy to become more “humane” shows how the immigration battle has narrowed after months of congressional deadlock. As recently as last year, immigrant rights activists, along with an unusually broad coalition of business, labor and religious groups, were united in their demand that Congress pass a sweeping bill to both remove the threat of deportation from many of the 11 million people here illegally and eventually make them citizens. But now activists just want to stop deportations. They have pressured Obama to limit the number of
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Transparent administration? Another Obama lie

The Obama administration has a way to go to fulfill its promises from Day 1 to become the most transparent administration in history. More often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. Most agencies also took longer to answer records requests. The government’s own figures from 99
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Obama touts overhaul of overtime rules

President Barack Obama says it’s not right that businesses that treat their employees fairly can be undercut by competitors who don’t. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama is promoting his plan to update rules about which workers are eligible for overtime pay. Obama says he wants to restore the principle that if you have to work more, you should earn more. Businesses can avoid paying overtime for some workers who earn above a certain threshold. Obama says under the current rules, some salaried workers are actually paid less than the minimum wage. In the Republican address, Rep. Bill
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Starting in 2015, Obamacare will cover gay couples

Married gay couples will be eligible for a family health policy under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, beginning in 2015, the U.S. government said on Friday, encouraging insurers to begin offering coverage this year. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also announced it would extend for one month a temporary program that offers insurance to some of the sickest Americans, who have had trouble finding private plans in new health insurance marketplaces set up in all 50 states under Obamacare. Friday’s announcements add to the series of delays and modifications the administration has made to the Patient
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Obama: Enough sign-ups to make Obamacare work

President Barack Obama, aiming to allay concerns about the viability of his signature healthcare law, said on Friday enough people have enrolled to make its insurance marketplaces stable. “Well, at this point, enough people are signing up that the Affordable Care Act is going to work,” Obama said in an interview with the medical website WebMD. “The insurance companies will continue to offer these plans.” The Obama administration is mounting an enrollment drive aimed at adults aged 18 to 34, whose participation in the marketplaces is vital to the success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In his
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Obama flip-flops on Medicare drug coverage

The Obama administration, in an abrupt about-face, said on Monday it would drop proposed changes to Medicare drug coverage that met wide opposition on grounds they would harm health benefits for the elderly and disabled. Late last week, more than 370 organizations representing insurers, drug makers, pharmacies, health providers and patients urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw changes it had proposed for Medicare Part D. One of the federal government’s most successful and cost-effective healthcare programs, Part D provides drug benefits for the elderly and disabled through private insurers to 36 million enrollees. Critics said
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Longtime Obama aide calling it quits

A top White House official who has been with President Barack Obama since he first became a senator nine years ago is resigning. Alyssa Mastromonaco is Obama’s deputy chief of staff for operations and often described as the most influential person inside the White House who isn’t well known outside of it. She is responsible for planning presidential events, hiring staff and overseeing the White House complex. A White House official said Mastromonaco is leaving in May to look for a job in the private sector. The official said Obama insisted as a condition of her departure that she continue
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Obama in Miami to promote education agenda

President Barack Obama is beginning a new effort to help students take the first step toward getting a college education. During a visit to a Miami high school on Friday, Obama was announcing a new initiative to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form. The application is required for students to receive federal student aid, like Pell Grants, or federal student loans. States, colleges and universities also award student financial aid based on the form. Yet more than 1 million high school seniors annually do not file a FAFSA, the Education Department says. As
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Latino leader calls Obama the ‘deporter in chief’

The president of a prominent Latino advocacy group called President Barack Obama the “deporter in chief,” denouncing the administration’s deportation of nearly 2 million immigrants. Janet Murguia, who heads the National Council of La Raza, also directed her anger and frustration at House Republicans for stalling on immigration legislation, which is languishing some eight months after the Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive bill. Murguia made the comments at an awards dinner Tuesday night. “For us, this president has been the deporter in chief,” Murguia said. “Any day now, this administration will reach the 2 million mark for deportations. It is
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Obama’s $4 trillion budget: Can it accomplish anything?

President Barack Obama is unwrapping a nearly $4 trillion budget that gives Democrats an election-year playbook for fortifying the economy and bolstering Americans’ incomes. It also underscores how pressure has faded to launch bold, new attacks on federal deficits. Obama’s 2015 fiscal blueprint, which he is sending Congress Tuesday, was expected to include proposals to upgrade aging highways and railroads, finance more pre-kindergarten programs and enhance job training. The White House said it would also enlarge the earned income tax credit to cover 13.5 million low-earning workers without children, expand the child care tax credit for some parents and make
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