Archives for White House

Obama meeting with frustrated Democrats

When President Barack Obama solicits advice Wednesday from his party’s senators, the voices of some Democrats may come through louder than others. Of the 53 Democratic senators, it’s the nearly two dozen facing re-election this year who are causing jitters for Obama and the party. With control of the Senate at stake, many of those Democrats are actively seeking ways to distance themselves from a president who is deeply unpopular in their home states. After publicly exhibiting his goals for the year in his State of the Union address last week, Obama is making the pitch in more intimate settings
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Can Obama hold Democrats together in election year?

Seeking to preserve party unity in an election year, President Barack Obama is trying to tamp down internal Democratic divisions on issues like trade and energy, even as friendly lawmakers show little restraint in publicly breaking with the White House. The president will hold separate meetings this week with House and Senate Democrats, where he’s likely to face more pushback on the Keystone XL pipeline and health care, particularly from lawmakers who will face voters in November. Obama also met Monday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has sharply opposed the president’s proposal for letting Congress vote quickly to
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Obama to Republicans: ‘I focus on the next plan’

President Barack Obama defended himself against an array of Republican criticism in an interview during Fox’s Super Bowl pregame show. The president traded barbs with interviewer Bill O’Reilly in a live interview that covered his troubled health care law rollout, the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya and revelations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. “I try to focus not on the fumbles but on the next plan,” Obama said. Obama would not say why he didn’t fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after the failed launch of the government’s online marketplace.
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Obama’s reasons to reject Keystone pipeline are dwindling

President Barack Obama is running out of reasons to say no to Keystone XL, the proposed oil pipeline that’s long been looming over his environmental legacy. Five years after the pipeline’s backers first asked the Obama administration for approval, the project remains in limbo, stuck in a complex regulatory process that has enabled Obama to put off what will inevitably be a politically explosive decision. But the release Friday of a long-awaited government report removes a major excuse for delay, ramping up pressure on the president to make a call. The State Department‘s report raised no significant environmental objections to
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Obama to CEOs: Hire the long-term jobless

President Barack Obama is asking major corporations for their help in putting the long-term unemployed back to work. CEOs from companies like Apple, Walmart, Visa and Boeing are heading to the White House on Friday to deliver commitments to do their part. More than 300 companies have signed on so far, the White House said. Although the unemployment rate has declined to 6.7 percent, long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem. The concern is that the longer someone is out of a job, the harder it gets to find a new one. Companies are less likely to hire
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White House claims easy ride to lifting debt limit

A top White House official voiced confidence on Thursday that Republicans would agree in the next few weeks to lift the country’s borrowing limit without using the confrontational tactics that rattled financial markets in past years. White House Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said she believes there is less appetite on Capitol Hill for the messy fiscal standoffs that have taken place in recent years, such as the 2011 struggle over the debt limit and last October’s budget fight that led to a 16-day shutdown of the government. In an interview with Reuters, Burwell pointed to the passage earlier this
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Obama: Changing economy must have good job training

Stressing the need to train workers for jobs of the future, President Barack Obama kicked off a government-wide review of federal job-training programs Thursday and pledged to expand the ones that work best. Echoing themes from his State of the Union address, Obama cast improved job training as central to his efforts to make it easier for Americans to join and stay in the middle class. At a General Electric factory near Milwaukee, Obama signed a presidential memo directing Vice President Joe Biden to lead the review, and to work with cities, businesses and labor leaders to better match training
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Will Obama’s proposed retirement savings play work?

Even proponents of President Barack Obama’s new retirement savings program readily concede it won’t be a cure-all for a nation of people who are saving far too little for their golden years. Many Americans won’t be able to participate initially, and those who do may find the benefits are modest. Yet the Obama administration is hoping that the savings program — dubbed “myRA,” for “my IRA” — will serve as a call to action, spurring Congress to take more sweeping steps to shore up retirement security as company pensions become a thing of the past. Given a presidential boost, like-minded
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Liberals underwhelmed by Obama’s SOTU speech

Tensions within the Democratic Party were on display in the living rooms of Massachusetts, where liberal activists watched President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address with skepticism. Like many in the party’s far-left wing, those who enjoyed pizza and beer at a Boston-area watch party Tuesday night have been disappointed by the president’s performance while facing a divided Congress. Some offered positive marks for his speech, but said that it did little to resurrect their once-passionate enthusiasm for the nation’s top Democrat. “I think he offered some good things,” said party host Josh Tauber, a software engineer and Democratic
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Obama’s state of the union: More of the same

Newly repackaged, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address will deliver familiar content along with some targeted first-time initiatives that both test and illustrate the limits of divided government in an election year. His message to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday will identify measures where he and Congress can cooperate, and he will press issues that will distinguish him and Democrats from Republicans. He’ll also make a case for acting alone. Illustrating his willingness to act on his own, the White House says Obama will announce that he will sign an executive order increasing the minimum wage
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