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Nov 19, 2013

Health site woes show Washington misses out on cutting edge tech

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – One part of the Obama
administration’s technically flawed website is
actually working as promised. Unfortunately, the company that
built it does not intend to seek more government business.

Working out of a garage a few blocks north of the White
House, a 12-person software shop called Development Seed built a
customer interface praised for its elegance and stability, a
bright spot in the rollout of a website that has been an
embarrassment for President Barack Obama.

Nov 10, 2013

U.S. lawmakers seek tighter Iran sanctions before any deal

WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday they aimed to tighten sanctions on Iran to prevent Washington giving away too much in a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program that diplomats said was still possible despite the failure of high-level weekend talks.

Their comments reflected widespread Congressional skepticism about a rapprochement between Iran and world powers and coincided with renewed lobbying from Israel against a proposal it sees as leaving open a danger Iran could build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies harboring any such ambition.

Nov 10, 2013

U.S. lawmakers aim to tighten sanctions to spur Iran talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday they aim to tighten sanctions on Iran to ensure the Obama administration does not give away too much in a planned deal to stop Tehran’s nuclear development program.

The remarks are further evidence of the skepticism the Obama administration faces at home and abroad in its efforts to build a dialogue with the Islamic republic after more than three decades of deep mistrust.

Oct 29, 2013

In new U.S. budget talks, Republican proposal has flipped the script

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S.
Congress are taking a new tack in the budget wars that have
convulsed Washington for the past three years: They want to soak
the rich, or at least get them a little damp.

As Democrats and Republicans kick off another round of
budget talks on Wednesday, a proposal by House of
Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan appears to
have flipped the usual script.

Oct 29, 2013

Push for immigration action targets House Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. businesses, religious leaders and other supporters of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws mounted a massive lobbying push on Tuesday to urge a reluctant House of Representatives to tackle the issue before the end of the year.

More than 600 people from 40 states planned to meet one-on-one with lawmakers to encourage the House to act soon on a top priority of labor groups, Latinos and businesses ranging from apple growers to software companies.

Oct 23, 2013

Union bypasses troubled U.S. healthcare website to reach uninsured

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the Obama administration scrambles to fix a balky healthcare website that has frustrated millions of Americans, one of the nation’s largest unions is trying to persuade hundreds of thousands of uninsured people to begin signing up for health coverage by phone and on paper.

The Service Employees International Union, which represents about 2.1 million workers, is working in 23 communities across the United States to help its members and others sign up for insurance under the law known as “Obamacare,” SEIU President Mary Kay Henry told the Reuters Summit this week.

Oct 21, 2013

Top business lobbyist: U.S. immigration law unlikely in 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A leading advocate of efforts to overhaul U.S. immigration law said Monday that the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is unlikely to act on the issue until at least early next year, which could complicate its chances of passing Congress.

Bruce Josten, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top lobbyist, said the House probably won’t pass its version of an immigration overhaul at a time when fiscal issues continue to dominate Congress’ agenda.

Oct 17, 2013

Lawmakers launch budget talks as Washington returns to work

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers launched an effort to resolve budget differences in a less confrontational fashion on Thursday as Washington picked up the pieces from a political crisis that has slowed the economy and undermined the country’s international standing.

As hundreds of thousands of federal employees returned to work, Republican and Democratic negotiators held their first meeting to tackle tax and spending issues that have led to repeated rounds of brinkmanship over the past three years.

Oct 17, 2013

Post-crisis, Obama tells Congress to get to work

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama urged
Congress to turn to matters like immigration reform on Thursday
as Washington picked up the pieces from a destructive fiscal
crisis that has slowed the U.S. economy and undermined the
country’s international standing.

Less than 12 hours after he signed a bill that ended a
16-day partial government shutdown and averted a catastrophic
default, Obama on Thursday said lawmakers must stop lurching
from crisis to crisis and seek common ground on issues that also
include farm policy and long-term budget issues.

Oct 17, 2013

Washington becomes the biggest risk to the U.S. economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consensus may be hard to find in Washington these days, but many corporate executives and economists seem to agree on one point: the biggest risk to the world’s largest economy may be its own elected representatives.

Down-to-the-wire budget and debt crises, indiscriminate spending cuts and a 16-day government shutdown may not be enough to push the U.S. economy back into recession.

    • About Andy

      "As a politics and general-news correspondent, I’ve covered four budget crises, three presidential elections, two hurricanes and one exploding bridge since joining Reuters in 2000. One of my stories in the 2012 election inspired a spoof on “Saturday Night Life.” I’m a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and in my free time I play guitar in several rock bands around Washington, D.C."
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