White House

Obama faces high stakes in speech to Congress

President Barack Obama takes center stage on Tuesday to try to sell the American people on his broader agenda for jolting the United States out of deep recession and confronting long-term economic challenges.

Riding high in opinion polls, Obama will deliver a State of the Union-style address at 9 p.m. EST in his first appearance before a joint session of Congress since he took office five weeks ago.

Pivotal week as Obama tries to regain momentum

Just a month into his presidency, Barack Obama has had to deal with everything from Cabinet missteps that have strained his "no-drama Obama" image to an economic crisis that seems to worsen by the day.

But with his approval ratings high and his presidential honeymoon far from over, he will seek to regain momentum this week and build on an early flurry of legislative successes, financial initiatives and diplomatic moves.

Obama, governors huddle on stimulus

After an evening of black tie grandeur at the White House, governors planned to return Monday morning for a business meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss how to spend the economic stimulus money soon flowing to their states.

Concluding a three-day winter meeting of the National Governors Association devoted largely to a discussion of the stimulus bill, governors planned to bring questions and offer ideas to Obama at a 90-minute meeting Monday morning.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat and the NGA chairman, said he planned to press the president on the need for more investment in infrastructure projects like road and bridge repair going forward.

Obama sets economic summit at White House

President Barack Obama is bringing together dozens of advisers and adversaries to discuss how to curb a burgeoning federal deficit laden with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid obligations.

Obama’s summit at the White House on Monday is the first meeting toward a strategy to address the long-term fiscal health of the nation. The gathering also comes as Obama prepares ambitious plans to cut the federal deficit by half within four years.

Obama thinks he can cut deficit by half

President Barack Obama has committed hundreds of billions of dollars to help revive the economy and is working on a plan to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Obama will touch on his efforts to restore fiscal discipline at a White House fiscal policy summit on Monday and in an address to Congress on Tuesday. On Thursday he plans to send at least a summary of his first budget request to Capitol Hill. The bottom line, said an administration official Saturday, is to halve the federal deficit to $533 billion by the time his first term ends in 2013. He inherited a deficit of about $1.3 trillion from former President George W. Bush.

Obama backs Bush policy on denying detainee rights

The Obama administration, siding with the Bush White House, contended Friday that detainees in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights.

In a two-sentence court filing, the Justice Department said it agreed that detainees at Bagram Airfield cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention. The filing shocked human rights attorneys.

Obama’s secrecy worries civil libertarians

Civil liberties experts say ongoing cases related to torture and rendition are testing the Obama administration’s assertion it will be more open and transparent than the Bush administration.

Since taking office on January 20, President Barack Obama has extended Bush-era secrecy over documents authorizing waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques, and has resisted an appeal by a terrorism suspect seeking to challenge his arrest and detainment.

Obama throws $75 billion at mortgage bailout

President Barack Obama threw a $75 billion lifeline to millions of Americans on the brink of foreclosure Wednesday, declaring an urgent need for drastic action — not only to save their homes but to keep the housing crisis "from wreaking even greater havoc" on the broader national economy.

The lending plan, a full $25 billion bigger than the administration had been suggesting, aims to prevent as many as 9 million homeowners from being evicted and to stabilize housing markets that are at the center of the ever-worsening U.S. recession.

Can Obama save millions from foreclosure?

His massive stimulus plan now signed into law, President Barack Obama is turning to attack the home foreclosure crisis at the heart of the nation’s deepening economic woes.

His goal is to prevent millions of American families from losing their houses because they can’t make mortgage payments.

Obama sends 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama, in his first major military decision as commander-in-chief, has ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan to tackle an intensifying insurgency, the White House said on Tuesday.

But in an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Obama also said military means alone would not solve the problem.