Archives for White House

Obama’s State of Union: Tax the rich to help everyone else

Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP’s own plans. In a shift from tradition, Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was less a laundry list of new proposals and more an attempt to sell a story of a national economy emerging from the “shadow of crisis.” He appealed for “better politics” in Washington and pledged to
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Can Obama influence anything with his State of the Union speech?

Key elements of the economic proposals President Barack Obama will outline in his State of the Union address Tuesday appear to be aimed at driving the debate in the 2016 election on income inequality and middle-class economic issues, rather than setting a realistic agenda for Congress. Obama’s calls for increasing taxes on the wealthy, making community college free for many students and expanding paid leave for workers stand little chance of winning approval from the new Republican majority on Capitol Hill. But the debate over middle-class economics is looking critical for the coming campaign. “Inequality_and especially the growing opportunity gap_have
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Shots fired outside Biden’s home

Law enforcement officials have boosted security at the Delaware home of Vice President Joe Biden after several gunshots rang out from a vehicle speeding by the property over the weekend. The vice president and his wife were not at their Wilmington home Saturday night when the shots were fired and there were no reports of injuries, authorities said Sunday. Biden’s office said the vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, were briefed Saturday night, as was President Barack Obama. Biden’s office referred all other questions to the Secret Service. The vice president was set to speak Monday morning in Wilmington
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Obama admits error in not attending Paris anti-terror rally

In a rare admission of error, the White House said Monday that President Barack Obama or another high-level representative should have joined dozens of world leaders at an anti-terror rally in Paris. While leaders from Europe, the Middle East and Africa linked arms for Sunday’s march through the boulevards of Paris, the United States was represented by its ambassador to France. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for security meetings but did not attend the march. “It’s fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. The administration also announced
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Obama goes bullish on economic messages

For most of last year, President Barack Obama tempered his pitch on the economy: It may be improving, he would say, but millions of Americans had yet to benefit from the rebound. But now that caveat is gone, replaced by a bullish new message as Obama marches into his second-to-last year. “American resurgence is real,” he says. “Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.” Despite multiple signs the recovery is indeed taking hold, some are saying otherwise, from conservatives to liberals in the president’s own Democratic Party who point to stagnant wages and a yawning income gap between rich and poor.
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Obama takes aim at Internet security

President Barack Obama will highlight plans next week to protect American consumers and businesses from cyber threats, a month after the most high-profile hacking attack on a U.S. company. Internet security became a national focus after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures that Washington blamed on North Korea. The attack and subsequent threats of violence against theaters prompted Sony to scale back its release of “The Interview”, a comedy film that depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. A White House official said on Saturday Obama would announce legislative proposals and executive actions that will be part of
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Obama facing decision time on Keystone XL pipeline

Republicans in Congress and a state supreme court have thrown the political hot potato known as Keystone XL straight back onto President Barack Obama’s lap. So loath is Obama to making a decision about the proposed oil pipeline that deliberations have entered their sixth year — a period nearly as long as Obama’s time in office. He’s blamed the seemingly endless delays on bureaucratic formalities and parochial issues in Nebraska, even when skeptics claimed that the politics of the next election were giving the president cold feet. Now the election is over, the Nebraska issue is resolved, and a bipartisan
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Congress, Obama: Let the fights begin

Not wasting any time, new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Barack Obama are setting course for showdowns over health care, a big oil pipeline, immigration policy and financing of the agency that tries to protect the U.S. from terrorists. At the same time, both insist they are eager for compromise — if only the other side would give in. “It seems with every new day, we have a new veto threat from the president,” McConnell, R-Ky., complained Wednesday, his second day as Senate leader. Republicans won control of the chamber in the November elections, and strengthened their hold
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Are things looking up for Obama?

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is creeping upward. The economy is growing. And a flurry of aggressive executive actions on domestic and foreign policy have energized the West Wing. Obama’s challenge now is to figure out how to prevent this burst of momentum from being more than just a blip on the radar of his presidency’s waning years. To the White House, the immediate answer lies outside of Washington. On Wednesday, Obama starts three days of travel to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee to preview manufacturing, housing and education proposals that will be part of his Jan. 20 State of the
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New Congress gets quick veto threat from Obama

In a blend of pageantry and politics, Republicans took complete control of Congress for the first time in eight years Tuesday, then ran straight into a White House veto threat against their top-priority legislation to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Republicans condemned the unexpected announcement, which came at the same time they were savoring the fruits of last fall’s elections and speaking brightly about possible bipartisan compromises in the two years ahead. “I’m really optimistic about what we can accomplish,” said Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, moments after he was recognized as leader of the new Republican majority on one
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