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Feb 26, 2014

Insight: How Obama alums aim to turn Texas toward the Democrats

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – In one of the country’s most conservative states, newly hopeful Democrats measure their progress by ringing a bell.

For those working to turn Texas from Republican red to Democratic blue, it’s the sound of one more volunteer agreeing to join their ranks. On a recent Saturday, phone-bank volunteers in a modest office here smacked the bell every five minutes or so, adding to the nearly 12,000 who have joined the effort.

Jan 29, 2014

Analysis: Obama offers prescription for Democrats in tough election year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered a campaign blueprint for fellow Democrats who are facing a tough election this November: Challenge Republicans who criticize his signature healthcare law to come up with something better.

The president had barely mentioned the healthcare law known as Obamacare during his previous two State of the Union addresses to the U.S. Congress.

Jan 29, 2014

Obama offers prescription for Democrats in tough election year

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Tuesday offered a campaign blueprint for fellow Democrats who
are facing a tough election this November: Challenge Republicans
who criticize his signature healthcare law to come up with
something better.

The president had barely mentioned the healthcare law known
as Obamacare during his previous two State of the Union
addresses to the U.S. Congress.

Jan 17, 2014

Obama lobbying ban faces setback in court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s attempt to minimize the influence of “special interests” on his administration received a setback on Friday when a U.S. judge reinstated a lawsuit challenging his ban on lobbyists serving on government advisory boards.

The ruling amounts to a partial victory for Washington’s 12,000 registered lobbyists, many of whom feel they have been unfairly tarred by Obama’s efforts to keep them out of public service.

Jan 15, 2014

No earmarks in U.S. spending bill, but plenty of money for folks back home

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Earmarks may be a thing of
the past for Congress, but lawmakers still tout their ability to
deliver the bacon through a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill
that won passage in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The 1,582-page bill is officially free of the spending for
pet projects that spurred public outrage and were banned in 2010
after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives.

Jan 8, 2014

U.S. is ‘taking from the young,’ top business lobbyist says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top lobbyist in Washington for American business warned in unusually stark terms on Wednesday that younger Americans will face diminished economic prospects in coming years unless the United States reins in spending on the elderly and improves its education system.

“I worry that for the first time in history, we’re in a situation where America is taking from the young in order to support the old,” Thomas Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a speech that laid out the powerful business group’s agenda.

Dec 23, 2013

In wake of budget deal, Congress slices up trillion-dollar pie

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Washington empties out for the holidays, a final budget fight will play out in the nearly empty Capitol building as congressional staffers parcel out more than $1 trillion to fund everything from cybersecurity to student loans.

Unlike the knock-down budget battles that paralyzed government for much of the year, this debate will largely take place within what one lobbyist calls a “cone of silence” with Republicans and Democrats aiming to minimize discord as they race to set spending levels for thousands of individual government programs.

Dec 22, 2013

Big Oil sits out lobbying on Iran as U.S. Congress stands firm

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – As debate rises in Washington
over the first thaw in relations between Iran and the United
States in decades, powerful oil companies are opting for an
unusual tactic: silence.

Oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and
ConocoPhillips could earn huge profits if the United
States loosened economic sanctions on Iran, allowing access to
its oil and natural gas fields, some of the world’s largest and
least costly to produce.

Dec 12, 2013

U.S. Congress poised to limit contractor pay: Is $487,000 a year enough?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is poised to nearly halve the salary cap for U.S. government contractors after years of dramatic increases driven by skyrocketing executive pay.

A broad budget bill likely to win approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday would lower the cap to $487,000 a person, down from its current level of $952,000. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week.

Dec 11, 2013

In Arkansas, crucial Obamacare hub draws little notice

, Dec 11 (Reuters) – In an unmarked building on
the outskirts of this old railroad town, hundreds of workers are
going about the unglamorous work of expanding the United States’
social safety net.

From morning until midnight, clerks here type up the names,
Social Security numbers and other personal details of those who
have filled out paper applications for health insurance under
President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    • 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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