Archives for White House

Obama’s budget: The battle lines are already formed

President Barack Obama on Monday proposed a $3.99 trillion budget for fiscal year 2016 that sets up a battle with Republicans over programs to boost the middle class that are funded by higher taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans. The budget foresees a $474 billion deficit, which is 2.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. It projects deficits stabilizing at that rate over a 10-year period, senior administration officials said. Obama’s budget fleshes out proposals from his State of the Union address and helps highlight Democratic priorities for the last quarter of his presidency and the beginning of the 2016
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Obama sends $4 trillion budget to a wary Congress

President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $4 trillion budget Monday that seeks to raise taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations and use the extra income to lift the fortunes of families who have felt squeezed during tough economic times. He would also ease tight budget constraints imposed on the military and domestic programs back in 2011, and unveils new initiatives including an ambitious $478 billion public works program for highway, bridge and transit upgrades. The administration said the budget represented a strategy to strengthen the middle class and help “hard-working families get ahead in a time of relentless economic
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Obama wants no limits on domestic, defense spending

President Barack Obama will seek to bust through spending limits for both domestic and defense programs, the White House said Thursday, negating the effects of across-the-board cuts agreed to by both Democrats and Republicans and signed by Obama into law. Obama’s budget proposal to Congress will “fully reverse” the so-called sequestration cuts on the domestic side, while boosting national security programs by an equal amount, the White House said, as Obama prepared to meet with House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia. The budget will be “fully paid for with cuts to inefficient spending programs and closing tax loopholes,”
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Don’t support Obama? Expect less federal aid at home

As Washington has tightened its belt in recent years, the budget cuts have sliced most deeply in states where President Obama is unpopular, according to an analysis of federal spending by Reuters. Between the 2009 and 2013 fiscal years, funding for a wide swath of discretionary grant programs, from Head Start preschool education to anti drug initiatives, fell by an average of 40 percent in Republican-leaning states like Texas and Mississippi. By contrast, funding to Democratic-leaning states such as California and politically competitive swing states like Ohio dropped by 25 percent. Though Congress sets overall spending levels, the Obama administration
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Obama wants to ID illegals barred from deportation

The Obama administration has ordered immigration agents to ask immigrants they encounter living in the country illegally whether they might qualify under President Barack Obama’s plans to avoid deporting them, according to internal training materials obtained by The Associated Press. Agents also have been told to review government files to identify any jailed immigrants they might be able to release under the program. The directives from the Homeland Security Department mark an unusual change for U.S. immigration enforcement, placing the obligation on the government for identifying immigrants who might qualify for lenient treatment. Previously, it was the responsibility of immigrants
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Obama invites Republicans to meet new Saudi king

President Barack Obama will fly a 30-member delegation, including top officials and respected Republican foreign policy veterans, to Riyadh on Tuesday to meet Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman as the crisis in neighboring Yemen continues to boil. The hastily scheduled trip to pay respects following the death last week of King Abdullah underscores a strengthening U.S.-Saudi alliance that extends beyond oil interests to regional security. Cutting short a three-day trip to India, Obama’s visit comes as Washington struggles with worsening strife in the Middle East and counts Saudi Arabia among its few steady partners in a campaign against Islamic State
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Deficit down, health insurance up for Obama

Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday. The Congressional Budget Office also projects a 14 percent drop in the number of U.S. residents without health insurance, largely because of Obama’s health law. In a report released Monday, CBO says the deficit will be $468 billion for the budget year that ends in September. That’s slightly less than last year’s $483 billion deficit. The official scorekeeper of Congress projects solid economic growth for the next few years, with unemployment dropping
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India gets religious, gender equality hints from Obama

President Barack Obama gently nudged India Tuesday to fulfill its constitution’s pledge to uphold the “dignity of the individual,” drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States as he closed out a three-day visit to New Delhi. Obama said that while he has had extraordinary opportunities, “there were moments in my life where I’ve been treated differently because of the color of my skin.” As he touted the importance of religious tolerance, he noted the persistent false rumors that he is a Muslim, not a Christian. “There have been times where my faith has at times
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Obama feels honored in India

President Barack Obama was so honored to be invited to India’s Republic Day celebration that he showed it. After arriving at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the presidential palace, for an elaborate welcome ceremony, Obama clasped his hands in the traditional “namaste” greeting. During namaste, a person’s head is slightly bowed and the hands are pressed together, palms touching, fingers pointed skyward and thumbs touching the chest. Namaste often is performed at the end of yoga practice. Asked about being the chief guest at Monday’s celebration, Obama said: “It is a great honor. We are so grateful for the extraordinary hospitality.” Obama’s wife,
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Obama uses his veto club to roil Congress

President Barack Obama has a telling hit list. The veto threats that he’s issued over the last three weeks are a microcosm of American politics, representing the roiling issues of the day, the power struggle playing out between Congress and the White House, and even the pique between the president and GOP congressional leaders. Obama, who vetoed just two minor bills over the past six years, has been tossing out veto threats like confetti since Republicans took full control of Congress. In addition to delivering eight formal veto notices on specific bills under consideration, the president has sounded broader warnings
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