White House

Obama team retooling financial rescue plan

President-elect Barack Obama’s economic team is urgently overhauling the $700 billion financial rescue package to broaden its scope beyond Wall Street, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Obama: No stimulus plan approval, no recovery

President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday that the nation’s recession could "linger for years" unless Congress acts to pump unprecedented sums from Washington into the U.S. economy, making his highest-profile case yet on an issue certain to define his early presidency.

Cheney plans to retire from public life

Vice President Dick Cheney has said he expects to retire completely from public life after January 20 and return to Wyoming following nearly 40 years serving four presidents in Washington.

"Well, that’s my expectation," Cheney said Wednesday on CBS radio when asked if he would make a complete exit from the stage in 13 days, when he and President George W. Bush hand over to president-elect Barack Obama and vice president-elect Joseph Biden.

Obama offers split message on spending

To a public wary of government spending, President-elect Barack Obama is offering a salve with his massive economic stimulus package: the promise of long-term fiscal discipline.

Budget-conscious lawmakers are pressing Obama to embrace deficit-reduction goals even as he promotes a spending and tax-cutting plan — expected to cost about $775 billion — to jolt the economy out of its downward spiral.

"Part of the discussion that needs to happen right now is not what we do just right now, but what we look to in the future — about how we get back to a balanced budget and then start to deal with this horrible, horrible national debt that we have," said Rep. Dennis Moore of Kansas, a member of the congressional Blue Dogs, a coalition of conservative and moderate Democrats.

Obama defends Panetta pick

President-elect Barack Obama gave a strong defense on Tuesday of his choice to lead the CIA, Leon Panetta, in the face of criticism that Panetta lacks experience on intelligence matters.

Two senior Democrats, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, raised questions on Monday about Panetta’s limited intelligence expertise after word leaked out that Panetta had been picked by Obama for CIA.

Panetta pick could be a problem for Obama

President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of an old White House hand to head the CIA shows a preference for a strong manager over an intelligence expert.

Obama’s decision to name Leon Panetta to lead the premier U.S. intelligence agency surprised the spy community and signaled the Democrat’s intention for a clean break from Bush administration policies.

Obama’s calculated silence on Gaza

President-elect Barack Obama’s studied silence on the subject of Israel’s 10-day-old war against Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip is only partly out of deference to the man who still has the big job for two more weeks.

Obama’s reserve is also a political calculation that saying nothing is the better of his unappealing options. At least it lets all sides think he’s in their corner for a little while longer.

Obama returns to a crisis-filled Washington


President-elect Barack Obama flew into Washington this weekend on the wings of hope and into a storm of issues that will challenge his Presidency when he takes office in 15 days.

Richardson withdraws as Commerce nominee

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson abandoned his nomination to become commerce secretary under pressure of a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors — an investigation that threatened to embarrass President-elect Barack Obama.

Richardson insisted he would be cleared in the investigation and Obama stood by the governor as an "outstanding public servant." But both men said it has become clear that a grand jury probe would not be finished in time for Richardson’s confirmation hearings and could keep him from filling the post in a timely matter.

Richardson’s withdrawal was the first disruption of Obama’s Cabinet process and the second "pay-to-play" investigation that has touched Obama’s transition to the presidency. The president-elect has remained above the fray in both the case of arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the New Mexico case.