Archives for White House

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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President tries to calm Dems’ fears over Obamacare

President Barack Obama sought on Friday to ease strains with his Democratic allies in the U.S. Congress, who are fearful they could face election consequences from the botched rollout of the president’s signature healthcare law known as “Obamacare.” Speaking to House of Representatives Democrats during their three-day retreat, Obama cited an increase in the number of people signing up for insurance coverage under Obamacare as evidence that the law’s implementation was going more smoothly after a troubled start. Republicans, who have denounced Obamacare as an unpopular disaster, have put the issue at the center of their strategy for November’s congressional
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Obama appointees may decide fate of gay marriage

The overturning of Virginia’s gay marriage ban places the legal fight over same-sex unions increasingly in the hands of federal appeals courts shaped by President Barack Obama’s two election victories. It’s no accident that Virginia has become a key testing ground for federal judges’ willingness to embrace same-sex marriage after last year’s strongly worded pro-gay rights ruling by the Supreme Court. Judges appointed by Democratic presidents have a 10-5 edge over Republicans on the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, formerly among the nation’s most conservative appeals courts. Nationally, three other federal appeals courts will soon take up the
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Obama plans 18 Democratic fundraisers in 2014

President Barack Obama has committed to holding more than 18 fundraisers to help Democrats this year, putting the full force of his political brand behind his party’s efforts to gain seats in the House and prevent Republicans from snatching control of the Senate. The stepped-up commitment from the president stands in clear contrast to 2010, when Democrats complained Obama did too little to boost the party — and has been paying a heavy price ever since. Democrats that year took what Obama dubbed a “shellacking,” losing control of the House and severely impeding the president’s ability to move his legislative
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