White House correspondent
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Dec 12, 2011

Obama says to keep standing up to Congress on taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama defended his leadership style on Sunday and said he would keep standing up to Congress as another stand-off over taxes and deficits brewed on Capitol Hill.

In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama suggested his wife, Michelle, had mixed feelings about their time in the White House but said he had no hesitation about seeking re-election next year, saying he wanted to finish the job of putting the U.S. economy on stronger, and fairer, footing.

Dec 7, 2011

Keystone overshadows U.S.-Canada border deal

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said
on Wednesday he wanted answers to the environmental questions
about the Keystone XL pipeline, whose delay overshadowed a new
U.S.-Canadian border agreement announced on Wednesday.

Standing next to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at
the White House, Obama rejected an effort by Republicans in
Congress to tie support for the $7 billion project to a payroll
tax extension and insisted a final decision would follow a
“rigorous” review process apart from politics.

Dec 7, 2011

U.S. and Canada agree to speed cargo shipments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Canada have agreed to speed up food and other cargo shipments across their border and to sync some regulations related to drugs and cars, U.S. and Canadian officials said on Wednesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama were set to unveil two “action plans,” which lay out ways to boost trade, tighten security and reduce regulatory costs, at a joint appearance at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

Dec 6, 2011

Obama says U.S. to stand up for gay rights abroad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told U.S. diplomats and foreign aid workers on Tuesday to do more to advance gay rights abroad, a move that promotes U.S. human rights policy and appeals to a key Democratic constituency at home.

In a memo released the same day as pop singer and gay rights advocate Lady Gaga visited the White House, Obama said he was deeply concerned about violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people worldwide and called for efforts to prevent and respond faster to abuses.

Nov 30, 2011

Obama: “Massive blow” to economy if tax cuts lapse

SCRANTON, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned on Wednesday that the U.S. economy would suffer a “massive blow” if Congress fails to extend expiring payroll tax cuts, saying the country was not fully recovered from the recession.

Obama sought to turn up the heat on congressional Republicans at a campaign-style rally at a high school in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a battleground state in the 2012 presidential election in which he is seeking a second term.

Nov 28, 2011

Obama tells EU to take decisive action on debt

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
pressed European Union officials on Monday to act quickly and
decisively to resolve their sovereign debt crisis, which the
White House said was weighing on the American economy.

After meeting European Council President Herman Van Rompuy
and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Obama
said he was keen to see the euro crisis end.

Nov 28, 2011

Obama to press EU leaders over debt crisis

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will
press European Union officials on Monday to reach a definitive
solution to their sovereign debt crisis which is emerging as a
major 2012 U.S. election worry.

As Germany and France scramble to tighten budget controls
across the euro zone, European Council President Herman Van
Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
will face tough questions from Obama at the White House on how
much longer the crisis might go on.

Nov 19, 2011

China rebuffs U.S., Asia pressure in sea dispute

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Nov 19 (Reuters) – China pushed
back on Saturday against a week of U.S. pressure to resolve a
rancorous dispute over territorial claims in the South China
Sea, a crucial, mineral-rich commercial shipping lane at the
heart of growing tensions among Asian leaders.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao chastised President Barack Obama
for raising the issue during an Asia-Pacific leaders summit,
hours after Obama told Wen the United States wants the sea lanes
kept open and peaceful, capping two weeks of Sino-U.S. tensions.

Nov 19, 2011

U.S. exerts fresh pressure on China in Asia Pacific push

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama exerted fresh pressure on China on Saturday over a range of sensitive issues, from Beijing’s currency policies to dealing with territorial disputes in the South China Sea, as he reasserted U.S. presence in the region.

In a major diplomatic push, Obama has moved to open up new trade ties with the fastest-growing region in the world while increasing U.S. military presence, to counter the growing clout of China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Nov 19, 2011

Obama pivots towards Asia, eyeing U.S. exports and jobs

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama sought to charm Asia-Pacific leaders this week with Australian slang and memories from his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia in his bid to boost U.S. ties with the fast-growing region.

The top goal of the nine-day trip, which took Obama away from Washington just as U.S. budget battles were intensifying, was to cement a foreign policy “pivot” towards Asia that could open the door to more American exports and jobs.

    • About Laura

      "Laura MacInnis covers the White House for Reuters. She previously spent five years in Switzerland reporting on diplomacy, banking and energy trading, and before that covered U.S. economic and regulatory issues as a Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission reporter in Washington."
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