Archives for White House

Will Obama bypass Congress to wage war?

As a U.S. senator from Illinois running for the White House in 2007, Barack Obama sponsored a resolution to prohibit President George W. Bush’s administration from taking military action against Iran unless it was explicitly authorized by Congress. His idea died in committee. Nearly seven years later, U.S. fighter jets and unmanned drones armed with missiles have conducted under Obama’s orders more than 150 airstrikes against the Islamic State group over the past five weeks in Iraq even as the White House has yet to formally ask Congress for authorization for the expanding air campaign. Obama said in his address
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Clinton joins Obama to salute AmeriCorps

Former President Bill Clinton will join President Barack Obama at the White House this week to mark the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, officials said Tuesday. Clinton launched the first crop of AmeriCorps volunteers in September 1994. Clinton and Obama will address hundreds of AmeriCorps volunteers on the South Lawn on Friday as they are being sworn in for duty. The event will kick off a year of a national service for some 75,000 volunteers who have signed up through AmeriCorps to spend the next 12 months serving the country. It is one of dozens of pledge ceremonies being held Friday
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Obama still setting Islamic policy

President Barack Obama plans to begin laying out his strategy for defeating Islamic State militants expanding their grip in Iraq and Syria. He’ll outline his evolving tactics when he meets with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on Tuesday and then delivers a speech Wednesday on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Lawmakers said in advance that they would like the president to give specifics. The president should target command and control centers and oil refineries controlled by insurgents within Syria, suggested Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on both
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Obama abandons pledge; delays immigration action

Caught between competing political demands over immigration, President Barack Obama will now wait until after the November election to take executive action that could shield millions of immigrants from deportation and ignite a clash over the extent of his presidential authority. Obama’s decision abandons a pledge he made June 30 to act quickly after summer’s end, and it prompted an immediate and furious backlash from immigration advocates. But in the past several weeks, the pressure for swift measures from pro-immigration groups ran up against fears from Democrats that acting now would energize Republican opposition against vulnerable Senate Democrats Two White
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Obama says beheadings won’t intimidate America

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the United States will not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second American journalist and will build a coalition to “degrade and destroy” the group. Obama still did not give a timeline for deciding on a strategy to go after the extremist group’s operations in Syria. “It’ll take time to roll them back,” the president said at a news conference during a visit to Europe. Obama’s comments came after he said the United States had verified the authenticity of a video released Tuesday showing the beheading of freelance reporter
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Obama back in Wisconsin for tight governor’s race

The last time President Barack Obama celebrated workers’ rights at a Wisconsin Labor Day event, there was barely a hint of the turmoil that would embroil the state later when public employees staged massive protests in an unsuccessful bid to keep their collective bargaining rights. Now, four years later, he’s returning to the state with the anti-union law’s architect, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, locked in a tight re-election campaign while considering a run for the White House in two years. Polls show that Walker and Democrat Mary Burke are deadlocked with the election just over two months away. Walker is
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Obama looking to delay action on immigration

President Barack Obama’s possible delay in taking action on immigration has thrown advocates and lawmakers from both parties a curveball, barely two months before the midterm elections. Democrats who were bracing for the impact that Obama’s long-awaited announcement would have on their campaigns are now rethinking aspects of their strategy for the fall. Republicans who were considering legislative attempts to block Obama must reconsider whether that’s the best use of the few remaining work weeks before Election Day. And immigration advocates, already frustrated by how long it’s taken Obama to act, must decide whether to pressure the president publicly to
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Obama urges caution on using force in Mideast

Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict. While that stance is in keeping with Obama’s long-standing aversion to military entanglements, it comes at a time when the effectiveness of his preferred options is being challenged and there are indications that some in the administration are ready to take more robust actions. In the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Obama has relied largely on coordinated U.S. and European Union sanctions to try to shift Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calculus. While
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Obama claims improved economic growth numbers

New evidence of economic growth is heartening and underscores that companies are investing and consumers are spending, President Barack Obama said Thursday. “There are reasons to feel good about the direction we are heading,” the president told reporters at the White House. Obama said he still wanted to push Congress to take more action to move the economy along. The government on Thursday said the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the April-June quarter. The figures represented a reversal from the first quarter of the year when the economy shrank at a 2.1 percent annual
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USDA goes on a giant snail hunt

The giant African snail damages buildings, destroys crops and can cause meningitis in humans. But some people still want to collect, and even eat, the slimy invaders. The Agriculture Department is trying to stop them. Since June, department authorities have seized more than 1,200 live specimens of the large snails, also known as giant African land snails, all of them traced back to one person in Georgia, who was selling them illegally. The USDA discovered the snails through a tip from social media at the end of June. From that tip, the department seized more than 200 snails from a
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