Archives for White House

Obama’s problem: Push agenda without raising deficit

President Barack Obama will unveil a budget this week that seeks to boost spending on new initiatives such as road repairs, education programs and tax breaks for the working poor while avoiding an increase in U.S. deficits. Obama has made reducing the gap between the rich and the poor a centerpiece of his agenda for his next three years in office. But he is limited in his ability to offer bold new initiatives because of a budget accord he reached in 2011 with House of Representatives Republicans that puts strict curbs on both domestic and military spending. An agreement reached
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Obama stepping up pressure on minimum wage

Striving to show momentum on a top legislative priority, President Barack Obama is appearing next week with Northeastern governors who back his push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and will pledge to lift the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in their states to at least the same level. Obama planned an appearance Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain with Democratic Govs. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. A higher minimum wage and an overhaul of immigration laws are Obama priorities,
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White House hosts student film festival

Two days before the Oscars, President Barack Obama recognized the best of nearly 2,500 films made by K-12 students after the White House asked them for short videos on the role technology plays in their education. It’s one of the president’s favorite subjects. “Today the Oscar goes to all of you because, among all the incredible videos we received, yours stood out,” Obama said in the East Room, where two large screens were lit up to show the 16 films he said “are awesome.” “Like all great movies, yours do something special. They tell a story, they help us understand,
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Obama looking to improve odds for minority boys

Long before he arrived at the White House, Barack Obama was the son of a single mother, challenged and tempted by the same societal ills that disproportionately keep African-Americans impoverished and behind bars. Now the nation’s first black president is unveiling a new initiative aimed at breaking down those obstacles, and pledging to continue the fight long after his presidency ends. Joined at the White House by young men of color, Obama on Thursday was calling on America’s businesses, philanthropists and government leaders to join forces to put more boys on a path toward successful lives. Foundations were to announce
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Obama, Boehner meet at White House

Disentangled from showdowns or looming crises, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner held a rare one-on-one Oval Office meeting Tuesday addressing potential areas of common ground that could lay a foundation for more ambitious goals like immigration and trade that remain long shots for action this year. Aides to both political rivals described the talks as “constructive,” but neither side signaled any significant breakthroughs. Yet the one-hour session unfolded in an atmosphere in which both sides could benefit from modest bipartisan accomplishments. In addition to trade and immigration, aides said the speaker and Obama also discussed manufacturing, flood
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Obama looks to governors to help jump-start agenda

His domestic priorities stalled in a divided Congress, President Barack Obama is looking for allies among America’s governors. The president was to meet Monday with governors of both parties at the White House, following a Sunday dinner in which he told state leaders their cooperation “is vital to make sure we’re doing right by the American people.” “I look forward to working with each of you, not just in our meetings tomorrow, but throughout this year — what I hope to be a year of action,” Obama said at a black-tie dinner with dozens of leaders who were in town
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Obama’s meeting with Dalai Lama angers Chinese

President Barack Obama held low-key talks with the Dalai Lama on Friday, prompting the Chinese government to ask why the White House ignored Beijing’s warnings that the meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader would damage ties. China’s vice foreign minister, Zhang Yesui, summoned Daniel Kritenbrink, charge d’affaires of the U.S. embassy in China, on Friday night to condemn the meeting as interference in China’s internal affairs, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. China calls the Dalai Lama, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who seeks to use violent methods to establish
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Obama cutting back on budget deficit reductions

President Barack Obama will propose an election-year budget that would drop reductions he had previously embraced in federal benefits, officials disclosed Thursday. He also will ask Congress to approve about $56 billion in new or expanded programs, stepping back from aggressive efforts to tackle long-term government deficits and debt. Obama is scrapping his previous offer to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. That idea had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy, even though it was considered odious by many Democrats. The decision amounts to a White House acknowledgement that Obama has been unable
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Obama’s economic stimulus: Did it work?

President Barack Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a controversial economic stimulus plan by releasing a report on Monday saying that government spending averted a second Great Depression, setting off a new round of partisan debate about the decision. Obama had been in office only a month when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion stimulus that Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives passed over the objections of Republicans. Many Americans remain doubtful about how helpful the stimulus was for an economy that still struggles to recover from a deep
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Obama signs bills raising debt limit, restoring vet benefits

President Barack Obama on Saturday signed separate measures into law to lift the federal debt limit and restore benefits that had been cut for younger military retirees. Obama signed the bills during a weekend golf vacation in Southern California. The debt limit measure allows the government to borrow money to pay its bills, such as Social Security benefits and federal salaries. Failure to pass the measure, which the Senate passed 67-31 earlier this week and sent to Obama for his signature, most likely would have sent the stock market into a nosedive. The Treasury Department is now free to borrow
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