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Jan 22, 2013

U.S. debt limit vote set for Wednesday; Obama likely to sign

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A measure to extend the U.S. debt limit for nearly four months moved closer on Tuesday to a vote and the White House said the president would sign the bill if it cleared Congress, easing uncertainty that could have threatened the U.S. economy.

The debt limit “suspension,” which would allow the government to borrow money until May 19, is due to come to a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday without amendments.

Jan 22, 2013

Obama lauds progress on gay civil rights in inaugural address

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s inaugural address on Monday marked the first time a president used the occasion to praise progress on gay rights, an indication of shifting public attitudes on the issue.

In the speech marking the start of his second term, Obama placed the struggle for gay rights squarely in the pantheon of two other defining civil rights movements in American history: those for blacks and women.

Jan 19, 2013

Obama kicks off inauguration weekend with volunteer work

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama kicked
off inauguration events for his second term on Saturday, rolling
up his sleeves and joining in a nationwide day of community
service projects honoring slain civil rights leader Martin
Luther King Jr.

Obama will take the official oath of office in a private
White House ceremony on Sunday, then have the pomp of a public
swearing-in outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Monday – which
falls on the national holiday marking King’s birthday.

Jan 15, 2013

Obama digs in heels, refuses to negotiate debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday rejected any negotiations with Republicans over raising the U.S. borrowing limit, accusing his opponents of trying to extract a ransom for not ruining the economy in the latest fiscal fight.

At a White House news conference called to promote his position on the budget, Obama vowed not to trade cuts in government spending sought by Republicans in exchange for raising the borrowing limit.

Jan 14, 2013

Obama refuses to negotiate debt ceiling raise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday rejected any negotiation with Republicans over the most pressing U.S. fiscal issue, refusing to trade cuts in government spending in exchange for raising the borrowing limit.

“If the goal is to make sure that we are being responsible about our debt and our deficit – if that’s the conversation we’re having, I’m happy to have that conversation,” Obama said. “What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people,” he told a news conference.

Jan 14, 2013

Obama to discuss fiscal issues at news conference

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
scheduled a surprise news conference for Monday to press his
case for raising the U.S. borrowing limit and to renew his call
for a balanced approach in dealing with looming budget

“He’ll use it to discuss a number of issues including some
of the upcoming fiscal deadlines like the debt ceiling,” a
senior White House official said.

Jan 9, 2013

Platinum coin idea has little currency at White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Wednesday sees little profit in the notion of minting $1 trillion platinum coin as an escape hatch to avoid a debt default if Congress balks at raising the U.S. debt limit.

With another standoff with Congress over raising the debt ceiling looming as early as mid-February, a petition on the White House website asks the administration to create a single platinum coin worth $1 trillion to avoid a stalemate over lifting the borrowing cap. The petition has garnered more than 7,100 signatures.

Jan 9, 2013

Biden says Obama could use executive orders to restrict guns

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden said
on Wednesday the White House plans to act quickly to curb gun
violence and will explore all avenues – including executive
orders that would not require the approval of Congress – to try
to prevent incidents like last month’s massacre at a Connecticut

Kicking off a series of White House meetings on gun
violence, Biden said the administration would work with
gun-control advocates and gun-rights supporters to build a
political consensus on restrictions. But Biden made clear that
President Barack Obama is prepared to act on his own if

Jan 9, 2013

Obama determined to act against gun violence: Biden

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is “determined to take action” against gun violence and is considering executive orders aimed preventing attacks like last month’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.

Biden opened a White House meeting with gun violence victims and gun-control advocates as part of his effort to craft a package of recommendations that Obama has requested by the end of January.

Dec 30, 2012

Immigration, economic revival head Obama’s second-term checklist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is pledging to focus in his second term on immigration reform, boosting economic growth through infrastructure repair and energy policies that nod to environmental protection.

The president is mired in a difficult fight with congressional Republicans to avoid sharp spending cuts and steep tax increases collectively referred to as the “fiscal cliff.” However, he still has a longer-term to-do list for his remaining four years in office, he said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that was broadcast on Sunday.

    • 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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