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Dec 22, 2012

Obama starts Hawaii vacation that is expected to be brief

KAILUA, Hawaii (Reuters) – Exhausted from his long re-election campaign and the ongoing struggle to avoid a “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and spending cuts, President Barack Obama relaxed with his family on Saturday at a beach hideaway in Hawaii, starting what was shaping up to be a brief Christmas holiday.

Congress was to return to Washington on Thursday and Obama has pledged to work with lawmakers to strike a deal to avoid severe tax hikes and spending cuts slated to start to take effect on January 1, which most economists say could reverse the economy’s fragile gains.

Dec 21, 2012

“Fiscal cliff” efforts in disarray as US lawmakers flee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Efforts to avoid the looming U.S. “fiscal cliff” were thrown into disarray on Friday with finger-pointing lawmakers fleeing Washington for Christmas vacations even as the year-end deadline for action edged ever closer.

No new negotiations were scheduled between Republicans, congressional Democrats and the White House to reach a deal to prevent a fiscal calamity in 10 days.

Dec 20, 2012

U.S. “fiscal cliff” talks turn sour, Obama threatens veto

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Talks to avoid a U.S. fiscal crisis stalled on Wednesday as President Barack Obama accused opponents of holding a personal grudge against him while the top Republican negotiator called the president “irrational.”

As a year-end deadline nears, Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner are locked in intense bargaining over a possible deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of harsh tax hikes and automatic spending cuts that could badly damage an already weak economy.

Dec 20, 2012

Obama promises gun control action early next year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed to press for tighter gun laws early next year, as he sought to turn national outrage over the Connecticut school massacre into action to ban assault weapons and ensure better background checks on gun buyers.

Obama held a White House news conference on Wednesday to announce that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an interagency effort to craft new gun policies. The group is expected to offer its proposals in January.

Dec 19, 2012

Obama wants gun policy recommendations in a month

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama directed a Cabinet group on Wednesday to give him recommendations by next month on ways to tighten the regulation of guns in the wake of the Connecticut massacre of schoolchildren.

Responding to national outrage over Friday’s killing of 20 children, aged 6 and 7, Obama held a White House news conference to announce that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to craft policies to crack down on gun violence.

Dec 19, 2012

Obama says still wants to get ‘fiscal cliff’ deal by Christmas

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Wednesday urged Republicans to move beyond partisan objections
to compromise with him on averting the year-end “fiscal cliff”
and invoked the tragic Newtown elementary school massacre in a
plea for flexibility.

“Right now what the country needs is for us to compromise,
get a deficit reduction deal in place,” the president told
reporters at the White House.

Dec 19, 2012

Obama threatens veto of Republican plan, fiscal talks turn sour

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday threatened to veto a Republican tax plan as talks to avert a fiscal crisis by the end of the year turned sour despite recent progress.

The White House rejected the Republicans’ proposal, known as “Plan B,” because it does not do enough to raise taxes on the wealthy or address spending cuts needed to tame the country’s $16 trillion debt.

Dec 19, 2012

House tax plan stalls fiscal cliff talks: administration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior administration officials on Wednesday said a Republican plan to vote on extending tax cuts for all but those making $1 million or more has brought fiscal cliff negotiations to a standstill.

The White House and congressional Republicans are trying to avert year-end tax hikes and spending cuts that many fear will push the economy back into recession. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s latest plan would sets aside broader deficit reduction negotiations while extending Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans is unworkable and only sets the process back, the officials said.

Dec 19, 2012

Biden to head gun policy push after Newtown shootings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to come up with policies to address gun violence amid calls for action following the massacre of 26 people including 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last week.

The president is not expected to announce policy decisions but rather lay out the process by which his administration will move forward, White House aides said.

Dec 19, 2012

VP Biden to head U.S. gun policy push after Newtown shootings

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will
announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an
effort to come up with policies to address gun violence amid
calls for action following the massacre of 26 people including
20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last week.

The president is not expected to announce policy decisions
but rather lay out the process by which his administration will
move forward, White House aides said.

    • 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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