Archives for White House

Obama set to sign national service bill

The AmeriCorps program started by President Bill Clinton will triple in size over the next eight years, and tens of thousands of other Americans will soon see new opportunities to give back to their communities.

It's all part of a $5.7 billion national service bill President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign Tuesday to foster and fulfill people's desire to make a difference, such as by mentoring children, cleaning up parks or building and weatherizing homes for the poor.


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Obama to agency heads: Give me budget cuts

President Barack Obama said Saturday he will ask all of his department and agency heads for specific proposals for cutting their budgets at his Cabinet meeting early next week as he searches for ways to streamline government spending.

Obama, who is attending the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad this weekend, said in his weekly radio and Internet address that he would make the request for cuts Monday at a Cabinet meeting.


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Obama’s week of change & turmoil

In a whirlwind week of change, President Barack Obama jettisoned Bush administration policy on greenhouse gases, shone an unforgiving light on its support for torture as an interrogation tactic and eased its restrictions on Cuba.

But there are limits, even to this new president's power, and a campaign pledge to seek a ban on assault weapons is an early casualty as a result.

And while the promise of change was arguably Obama's single most powerful asset in last year's campaign, the week demonstrated anew how carefully he calibrates its impact.


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A new dream of train travel

For years, they were a staple of sci-fi movies. Shining steel rail lines crisscrossing high above the cities of the future as passengers inside were whisked around at fantastic speeds.

Now, President Obama wants to make them real. He said so the other day as that inveterate Amtrak rider/supporter Vice-President Joe Biden stood beside him, salivating.


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Obama vows reform of ‘monstrous’ tax code

President Barack Obama promised Americans his administration would reform the "monstrous" U.S. tax system as millions faced the dreaded annual deadline on Wednesday for filing income tax returns.

Obama used Tax Day, a national ritual of public frustration due to the confusing tax code, to underscore his drive to cut taxes for many Americans while increasing spending to jolt the United States out of its worst recession in decades.


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A lecture from the professor-in-chief

Once again, a president of the United States strode across a flattop and approached the microphones with unmistakable confidence. But this time the president was not walking across an aircraft carrier at sea, just a campus lecture hall stage in Washington.


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Obama offers economic realities

Aiming to assert control over the nation's economic debate, President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned Americans eager for good news that "by no means are we out of the woods" and argued his broad domestic agenda is the path to recovery.

In a speech at Georgetown University, Obama aimed to juggle his recent glass-half-full takes on the economy with a determination to not be stamped as naive in the face lingering problems. He summarized actions his administration has taken to steady the limping economy and coupled that with a fresh overview of his domestic goals.
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Obama lifts travel restrictions to Cuba

In a measured break with a half-century of U.S. policy toward communist Cuba, the Obama administration lifted restrictions Monday on Cuban-Americans who want to travel and send money to their island homeland.

In a further gesture of openness, U.S. telecommunications firms were freed to seek business there, too. But the broader U.S. trade embargo remained in place.


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Obama sails clear of pirate crisis

The triumphant end to the Somali pirate crisis let President Barack Obama sail unscathed out of a tricky political squall and may have earned him early stripes as US commander-in-chief.

The seizure by heavily-armed pirates of US merchant Captain Richard Phillips was widely portrayed in the US media as a first test of nerve for the new president, at a time when political critics were ready to pounce.


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