By Stephanie Simon and Caren Bohan
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama, in an abrupt policy shift aimed at quelling an election-year firestorm, announced on Friday that religious employers would not be required to offer free birth control to workers and the onus would instead fall on insurers.
But Catholic Church leaders and Obama’s Republican opponents – who had railed against the rule requiring coverage for contraceptives as a violation of religious freedom – signaled that divisions remain and the hot-button issue could stay alive in the 2012 presidential race.
Feb 10 (Reuters) – Seeking to quell a political
firestorm, the White House will announce a plan to accommodate
religious organizations on its rule for health insurance
coverage of contraceptives, sources familiar with the matter
said on Friday.
The Obama administration has faced an election-year backlash
from Catholic Church leaders, Republicans and others who have
said the regulation is an attack on religious freedom. The new
proposal is unlikely to satisfy all the concerns of church
leaders, the sources told Reuters.
By Stephanie Simon and Caren Bohan
(Reuters) – The White House will announce a move to accommodate religious organizations on its rule for health insurance coverage of contraceptives, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The Obama administration is seeking to quell a firestorm from Catholic Church leaders, Republicans and others who have said the regulation is an attack on religious freedom. The proposal is unlikely to satisfy church leaders, the sources said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was granting 10 U.S. states exemptions from parts of the “No Child Left Behind” education law, a move that could prove popular in an election year with parents and teachers who have criticized the law.
“After waiting far too long for Congress to reform No Child Left Behind, my administration is giving states the opportunity to set higher, more honest standards in exchange for more flexibility,” Obama said in a statement.
WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
will forecast a U.S. unemployment rate averaging 8.9 percent in
2012 in his annual budget on Monday – but before the document
was even released a top aide called the projection “stale” and
said it should be be lower.
“We would certainly lower our forecast of the unemployment
rate from the figures that will appear in Monday’s Budget if we
were to do another forecast today,” top White House economist
Alan Krueger said in an e-mail.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will forecast an unemployment rate averaging 8.9 percent in 2012 in his annual budget on Monday – but before the document has been officially released his aides have already called the projection “stale.”
Under pressure to reduce unemployment in an election year, Obama has welcomed a series of monthly reports showing unexpected declines in the unemployment rate.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday pressed lawmakers to pass his proposal to provide up to $10 billion in aid to struggling homeowners, saying a failure to address the housing crisis would put the rest of the economy at risk.
“The housing crisis has been the single biggest drag on our recovery from the recession. It has kept millions of families in debt and unable to spend, and it has left hundreds of thousands of construction workers out of a job,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
President Barack Obama, whose chances for re-election may rest on his ability to show U.S. voters he is doing all he can to reduce unemployment, offered on Monday to personally pass along the resume of an unemployed engineer to potential employers.
Fielding a question from a woman on a Google+ online chat session who asked why the government continues to grant H1 visas even as her semi conductor engineer husband cannot find a job after three years of searching, Obama said the difficulty was surprising to him because he often hears business leaders in that field talk of a scarcity of skilled workers.
CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to push back hard against Republicans who try to obstruct his election-year proposals on taxes and jobs, as he sought to rally congressional Democrats and move past a period of strained relations.
Wrapping up a cross-country tour to promote a populist agenda laid out in this week’s State of the Union address, Obama hammered home a reelection campaign appeal for greater economic fairness and called on fellow Democrats to close ranks with him.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, appearing before thousands of cheering students at the University of Michigan, touted his plan on Friday to reward colleges that keep their tuition under control with more federal aid as he makes school affordability a top election-year priority.
Obama, seeking to reform federal aid for students to pay spiraling college costs, unveiled fresh details of a proposal to make higher education affordable for more families that he first announced on Tuesday in his State of the Union address.