Archives for White House

Obama: GOP out to kill Social Security

President Barack Obama used the anniversary of Social Security to trumpet Democrats’ support for the popular program and accuse Republicans of trying to destroy it. Seventy-five years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday: “We have an obligation to keep that promise, to safeguard Social Security for our seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans — today, tomorrow and forever.” Some Republican leaders in Congress are “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this
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Obama ramps up anti-Bush rhetoric

President Barack Obama attacked the economic policies of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush in Bush’s home state on Monday as evidence of the way Republicans would operate if given power in November 2 U.S. congressional elections. At a fund-raising event for Democrats in Dallas, where Bush now lives, Obama said the former president’s “disastrous” policies had driven the U.S. economy into the ground and turned budget surpluses into deficits. Obama defended his repeated references to Bush’s policies, saying they were necessary to remind Americans of the weak economy he inherited from Bush in January 2009. “The policies that crashed
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White House failed to act to prevent Sherrod debacle

As a racial firestorm erupted last month, the White House buzzed with questions and concerns about the forced ouster of a black Agriculture Department employee. But no one stepped in to stop Secretary Tom Vilsack from pressuring Shirley Sherrod to resign, a decision administration officials from President Barack Obama on down now say was a mistake. Interviews with White House and Agriculture Department officials reveal a greater level of White House involvement in the incident than officials initially let on, with staff making calls to Capitol Hill and civil rights groups, and senior administration officials speaking to Vilsack. Most notably,
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Obama’s plan: Bash Bush

President Barack Obama rallied support for his embattled Democrats on Monday, charging that Republicans had no ideas different from those pursued by his predecessor, George W. Bush. At a fund-raising lunch for the Democratic National Committee, Obama tried to energize Democrats who are likely to lose seats in both chambers of the U.S. Congress in the November 2 elections. U.S. voters will elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives and fill 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate. Obama said that after losing control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, Republicans did not
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Obama: U.S. mission changing in Iraq

President Barack Obama will set a course Monday for the nation’s changing mission in Iraq as the military prepares to end its combat operations there. In a speech at the national convention of the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta, Obama was to address the progress being made to meet his deadline of drawing down all combat troops by the end of the month. A transitional force of 50,000 troops will remain to train Iraqi security forces, conduct counterterrorism operations and provide security for ongoing U.S. civilian efforts. “Make no mistake: Our commitment in Iraq is changing, from a military effort
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Obama losing support among Hispanics

President Barack Obama‘s once solid support among Hispanics is showing a few cracks, a troubling sign for Democrats desperate to get this critical constituency excited about helping the party hold onto Congress this fall. Hispanics still overwhelmingly favor the Democratic Party over the GOP, and a majority still think Obama is doing a good job, according to an Associated Press-Univision poll of more than 1,500 Hispanics. But the survey, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, shows Obama gets only lukewarm ratings on issues important to Hispanics — and that could bode poorly for the president and his
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Obama to voters: Cheer up, things could be worse

President Barack Obama, who rocketed to the White House promising “change you can believe in,” is now telling voters they shouldn’t change a thing. His message for the fall elections, which are looking ominous for his Democrats, is that Republicans caused the nation’s economic troubles, but he and the Democrats are starting to fix them. So stick with the Democrats and don’t go back to the GOP. “This is a choice between the policies that led us into the mess or the policies that are leading out of the mess,” Obama said recently in Las Vegas. Trouble is, it’s a
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For Obama, race is always a problem

Right when President Barack Obama should have been making political hay over big-deal legislative triumphs, race once again blew in with a storm of distraction. Obama and his administration have proved to be one of the most deliberate, highly disciplined in recent history. Whether you approve or disapprove of his policies, political missteps have been rare. Yet for a second time, a government led by America’s first black president embarrassed itself with a hair-trigger reaction on race. In the grand sweep of presidential history, both cases probably will be lost. Still, they gnaw, unseen, like termites on the foundation of
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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
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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
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