Archives for White House

Congress, Obama face low public approval ratings

Heading into a congressional election year, Americans hold Congress in strikingly low regard, and nearly two-thirds say they would like to see their House member replaced, a new poll finds. Even though Americans are feeling somewhat better about the economy — and their personal finances — elected officials in Washington aren’t benefiting from the improved mood, the Associated Press-GfK poll found. President Barack Obama’s approval rating was negative: 58 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing as president, while 42 percent approve. Obama isn’t running for office again, however, whereas all 435 House seats and one-third of the Senate’s seats
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Former Obama aide returns to get health care law back on track

President Barack Obama is bringing a former top aide with deep ties to Congress back to the White House to help get his health care overhaul back on track after a bungled rollout. Officials say Phil Schiliro, who as Obama’s top liaison to Capitol Hill helped push the Affordable Care Act through Congress, is taking on a short-term assignment to help coordinate policy surrounding the law. He’ll work with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, other agencies and members of Congress. The Medicare agency oversees the federal website that uninsured people are
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White House lied about President not meeting wayward uncle

When the White House earlier claimed President Barack Obama had never met his Kenyan-born half uncle Onyango Obama, it lied. Now White House spokesman Jay Carney says the President not only met the uncle who faced deportation but actually lived with him for a while The 69-year-old, Kenyan-born half-brother of Obama’s estranged father was granted permission this week to stay in the U.S. after ignoring a deportation order two decades ago. The uncle is also known as Omar Obama. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that when the case first arose, officials looked for records of a meeting but never
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Obama: Time for government to triple use of renewable power

Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020. Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs. Obama was set to announce the plan Thursday as part of his wide-ranging, second-term drive to combat climate change and prepare for its effects. A plan announced in June would put first-time
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No iPhone for President Obama

The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: U.S. President Barack Obama. At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his landmark healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple’s smart phone, the iPhone, for “security reasons,” though he still uses Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad. Apple was one of several tech companies that may have allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) direct access to servers containing customer data, according to revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The companies deny the allegation. Obama fought to keep his BlackBerry after
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Obama, under public doubt, focuses on income gaps

Amid public doubts over his stewardship of the economy, President Barack Obama is putting a renewed focus on the income gap between rich and poor as he pushes for short-term congressional action and begins setting the domestic agenda for the remainder of his presidency. The president plans to deliver an address Wednesday to argue his case that income inequality and wage stagnation are threatening upward mobility and retirement security. The speech comes amid growing national and international attention to economic disparities — from the writings of Pope Francis to the protests of fast-food workers in the U.S. Obama is not
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Biden to Chinese youth: Challenge authority

Vice President Joe Biden opened a two-day visit to China Wednesday by urging young Chinese students to challenge their government, teachers and religious leaders. Arriving midday in Beijing, Biden paid a visit to the U.S. embassy, where he surprised Chinese citizens waiting to get visitor visas processed in the embassy’s consular section. Thanking a group of mostly young people for wanting to visit the U.S., Biden said he hoped they would learn during their visit that “innovation can only occur where you can breathe free.” “Children in America are rewarded — not punished — for challenging the status quo,” Biden
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Obama struggles to move past the HealthCare.gov debacle

Seeking to move past its website woes, the Obama administration is launching a two-pronged health care strategy this month aimed at avoiding enrollment snafus come January while also trying to refocus the public’s attention on broader benefits of the sweeping law. President Barack Obama will focus on those benefits at a White House event Tuesday. Flanked by Americans who the White House says have benefited from the overhaul, the president will try to remind Americans that his health law is preventing insurance discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions and is allowing young people to stay on their parents’ coverage until
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A critical week for Obamcare’s troubled web site

President Barack Obama and his HealthCare.gov website face another critical test starting this week, as Americans who have been unable to enroll in health coverage under Obamacare rush to a site that continues to face challenges. A day after the administration said it met its weekend deadline for making HealthCare.gov operate smoothly for most users, networks of volunteer organizations are expected to resume enrollment activities after a long U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend, many of them with backlogs of would-be applicants waiting for access. While saying HealthCare.gov had improved, Obama adviser Jeffrey Zients also warned that peak traffic volumes during the
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Presumption: HealthCare.gov is on the mend

Computer crashes should be giving way to insurance coverage — if the government’s diagnosis of its health care website is correct. The Health and Human Services Department released a progress report Sunday on its effort get the troubled HealthCare.gov website on the mend. Administration officials said the worst of the online glitches, bugs and delays may be over. “The bottom line — HealthCare.gov on Dec. 1 is night and day from where it was on Oct. 1,” said Jeff Zients, the White House’s troubleshooter tasked with making the website function properly. Yet officials acknowledged more work remains on the website,
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