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Aug 21, 2013

On road trip, Obama will try to steer focus back to economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Shadowed by turmoil in Egypt and domestic controversies, President Barack Obama will seek to regain political momentum on a bus tour during which he will push his plans for stoking the U.S. economy and taming the high cost of college tuition.

On a two-day tour this week in the Northeast, where he has a strong base of support, Obama will grab the microphone while Congress is still out on a five-week summer break and cast Republicans as obstructionists.

Aug 20, 2013

Dolphins football legends reap White House praise 40 years late

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – They clambered gingerly up the riser behind President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House, white-haired, bespectacled, their coach in a motorized chair, former athletes there to receive an accolade 40 years late.

Members of the Miami Dolphins, whose undefeated 1972 season culminated in a Super Bowl victory in January, 1973, stood smiling behind the president on Tuesday, blinking in the TV lights and basking in the applause of the crowd and the praise of the First Sports Fan.

Aug 7, 2013

Obama cancels meeting with Russia’s Putin over Snowden decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for next month in Moscow over frustration with Russia’s asylum for fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said.

The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed disappointment after Moscow granted temporary asylum to Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who made public sensitive information about U.S. intelligence gathering. Russia rebuffed U.S. pleas to hand him over to face criminal charges including espionage.

Aug 6, 2013

Obama to back mortgage finance reform to speed housing recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will propose overhauling the U.S. mortgage finance system in a speech on Tuesday, weighing in on a tangled and polarizing problem that was central to the devastating financial crisis in 2007-2009 and that continues to slow the economic recovery, the White House said.

Obama will propose eliminating mortgage finance entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over time, replacing them with a system in which the private market buys home loans from lenders and repackages them as securities for investors, senior administration officials said. The mortgage securitization process is deemed essential to the smooth flow of capital to housing markets and the availability of credit.

Aug 5, 2013

Obama returns to Arizona to tout broad housing recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With images of vacant, half-built residential developments that gathered dust after the Great Recession, the U.S. Southwest once symbolized the 2008-2012 housing bust that wiped out $7 trillion in homeowner equity and wrecked the finances of many Americans.

But as housing stages a recovery around the United States, including the hard-hit Sun Belt, President Barack Obama goes back to the region on Tuesday to claim some of the credit while urging further action to keep the housing winning streak alive.

Aug 2, 2013

Obama open to making changes to surveillance, lawmakers say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday told lawmakers he is open to changing controversial surveillance programs in order to restore public confidence and provide assurance the government is not violating citizens’ privacy, participants at the meeting said.

“We understand the American people really do need to know what’s going on now and what’s going on in the past and get the right kind of assurances that their privacy has not been breached,” said Senator Saxby Chambliss, who attended the meeting.

Aug 1, 2013

Obama rethinks Putin summit after Snowden granted asylum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is rethinking whether to hold a summit in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin next month after Russia rejected U.S. pleas and gave temporary asylum to former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said on Thursday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and U.S. officials are “extremely disappointed” by Russia’s decision to give Snowden a one-year asylum in the face of entreaties from American officials to expel Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.

Jul 30, 2013

Obama to continue voting rights efforts, activists say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to continue to fight racial discrimination at the ballot box despite a legal setback at the Supreme Court, civil rights activists said after a meeting with him at the White House.

The activists said they were reassured after a meeting with the president, Attorney General Eric Holder and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez that the administration will fight any efforts to suppress minority voting even after the Supreme Court struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Jul 27, 2013

Summers’ work for financial firms could hurt Fed prospects

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) – Former U.S. Treasury
Secretary Lawrence Summers, a top contender for the leadership
of the Federal Reserve, has been a consultant to large financial
institutions, including Citigroup Inc, which could fuel
questions about his suitability to head the central bank.

Summers has built a reputation as a brilliant economist and
a shrewd policymaker. But his roles with the financial firms
could give ammunition to critics who argue he has too cozy a
relationship with Wall Street to maintain the Fed’s vaunted

Jul 26, 2013

Obama likely won’t announce Fed chair pick until fall: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House moved on Friday to damp down speculation about President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Federal Reserve when Ben Bernanke’s term expires, saying no decision has been made and no announcement is likely until the fall.

Bernanke’s second four-year term as chairman at the U.S. central bank ends January 31, and Obama has signaled that the former Princeton professor is likely to step down.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Felsenthal is a Reuters White House correspondent who covered Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 and the fiscal crisis that immediately followed. Since joining Reuters in 2001, he has written about monetary policy, currency wars, and the housing market meltdown."
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