Archives for White House

Obama signs unemployment bill

Federal checks could begin flowing again as early as next week to millions of jobless people who lost up to seven weeks of unemployment benefits in a congressional standoff. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law a restoration of benefits for people who have been out of work for six months or more. Congress approved the measure earlier in the day. The move ended an interruption that cut off payments averaging about $300 a week to 2 1/2 million people who have been unable to find work in the aftermath of the nation’s long and deep recession. At stake
Read More

Obama signs Wall Street reform bill

President Barack Obama signed into law on Wednesday the most comprehensive financial regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression, vowing to stop risky behavior on Wall Street that imperiled the U.S. economy. Influential business groups lined up to criticize the new law, underscoring Obama’s uneasy relationship with America’s business community. Some on Wall Street, however, welcomed the clarity offered by the law after months of wrangling in Congress over what should be in the legislation. The law, which got final approval from the Senate last week, targets the kind of Wall Street risk-taking that helped trigger a global financial meltdown in
Read More

For Obama, it’s personal

Ever in search of the right face to humanize his agenda, President Barack Obama sure isn’t shy about using his own. Never mind the limousine, the butlers and the presidential jet Obama has now. Or the Ivy League degrees and the millions of dollars in book sales. The leader who lives in an executive mansion is fond of reminding people he is one of them: a parent who is not so far removed from economic struggles and family juggles. “Anybody who has been out of work — and by the way, I’ve been out of work — knows that feeling
Read More

Obama: Voters will decide his fate

President Barack Obama acknowledges that the fall elections could amount to a referendum on his stewardship of the nation’s affairs. Obama tells NBC in an interview that “nobody in the White House is satisfied” with continuing high unemployment. But he also says the midterm congressional elections could come down to “a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and my policies that got us out of this mess.” The president said in the interview he believes voters “are going to say the policies that got us into this mess, we can’t go back to.” He also said
Read More

Americans lose faith in Obama

Nearly 60 percent of American voters say they lack faith in President Barack Obama, according to a public opinion poll published on Tuesday. The results of the Washington Post/ABC News poll are a reversal of what voters said at the start of Obama’s presidency 18 months ago when about 60 percent expressed confidence in his decision making. Confidence in Obama is at a new low but the poll found that his numbers are still higher than lawmakers of either major party four months ahead of the November congressional elections. Asked how much confidence they have in Obama to make the
Read More

Obama goes into attack mode

Barack Obama has decided that fiery self defense and withering mockery of Republicans are the best modes of attack as he tries to save Democrats from a drubbing in November’s mid-term elections. The US president road-tested his pitch to grassroots Democrats and wavering independent voters during a two-day western campaign swing last week, flinging partisan rhetoric at foes of his 17-month presidency. His swipes at Republicans and calls for change were a reminder of stump skills that few US politicians can match, recalling his 2008 campaign. Obama adopted a sarcastic tone, rarely seen back then, likely distilled from months of
Read More

Obama hits the campaign trail

President Barack Obama is talking to voters again about jobs and the economy. But he’s also concerned with two jobs in particular: Senate seats for Democrats in Missouri and Nevada. With Democrats facing uphill battles in the November elections, Obama is combining a couple of economy-focused events Thursday and Friday with a campaign swing on behalf of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Missouri Senate hopeful Robin Carnahan. Reid is in trouble in his bid for a fifth term, with unemployment sky-high in Nevada and Republicans working furiously to unseat him. Carnahan, Missouri’s secretary of state, represents a chance for
Read More

Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

President Barack Obama appointed health expert Donald Berwick on Wednesday to run the Medicare  and Medicaid programs that provide care to seniors and the poor, bypassing the Senate  to fill a key job over Republican  objections. Obama had nominated Berwick in April to run the vast federal medical programs but his Senate confirmation was held up by Republicans who expressed worries that he would ration healthcare as a way to reduce costs. Berwick, a professor of pediatrics and of public health at Harvard, also served as head of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a nonprofit organization that works to improve
Read More

Obama’s only choice

President Barack Obama had little choice. Already weakened by the seemingly insolvable Gulf oil spill and his party’s dicey prospects in the coming congressional election, Obama could not afford to give his Afghanistan commander a pass for his inflammatory public words. In essence, Gen. Stanley McChrystal fired himself. It fell to Obama to make the announcement. The real surprise Wednesday was that Obama persuaded four-star Gen. David Petraeus, who steered U.S. military fortunes in Iraq out of a dark place, to take over from McChrystal. Petraeus was instrumental in the naming of McChrystal 13 months ago to shoulder the burden
Read More

General faces come-to-Jesus meeting with angry Obama

Forget No-drama Obama. An infuriated U.S. president is hauling his top general in Afghanistan to the White House, job hanging in the balance, to explain “what in the world he was thinking” when he and his aides mocked their commander-in-chief and his team. After reading General Stanley McChrystal’s complaints in a Rolling Stone magazine article entitled “The Runaway General,” Obama departed from his calm, deliberative style. He wasted little time in ordering him to fly halfway around the world to face the music on Wednesday. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, speaking more bluntly and emphatically than usual at his daily briefing
Read More