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Mar 6, 2013

U.S. House passes funding bill, Obama reaches out to Senate

WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) – Legislation easily passed
the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday to avert another
partisan budget battle and a possible government shutdown, as
President Barack Obama also opened new lines of communication
with Republicans.

By a vote of 267-151, the House passed a measure to fund
government programs up until the end of the fiscal year on Sept.
30. The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to pass a
similar bill next week.

Mar 6, 2013

House moves to prevent shutdown, Obama reaches out to Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation that would avert another nasty partisan budget battle and possibly a shutdown of the government was on a fast track to passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The bill to continue funding the government without last-minute drama came as President Barack Obama took the unusual step of inviting Republican Senators to dinner Wednesday night at a Washington hotel a few blocks from the White House.

Mar 6, 2013

Obama to meet with Republican senators over budget

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama plans to meet with several Republican senators for dinner on Wednesday as part of his effort to revive talks to tackle the nation’s long-term deficit, a congressional aide confirmed.

The dinner is part of Obama’s outreach effort as he attempts to cobble together what he calls a “common sense caucus” among lawmakers to help resolve budget woes and push his legislative agenda.

Mar 5, 2013

U.S. Congress moving swiftly to avoid government shutdown

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress is moving
rapidly to pass legislation funding the federal government
through Sept. 30, as Senate leaders on Tuesday expressed
eagerness to avoid any threat of agency shutdowns when money
runs out on March 27.

“I’m cautiously optimistic we’re going to reach a solution
before we leave here for the Easter recess,” which is scheduled
to begin on March 23, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told
reporters on Tuesday.

Mar 5, 2013

Budget crisis eases as Republicans seek to avoid shutdown

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) – Tension over the U.S. fiscal
crisis eased on Monday as President Barack Obama called more
opposition lawmakers to find a way to stop $85 billion in
damaging budget cuts and congressional Republicans announced a
plan to prevent a government shutdown.

Eager to resolve fiscal fights overshadowing his second
term, the Democratic president called Maine Republican Senator
Susan Collins and Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn after
speaking to other Republican senators over the weekend.

Mar 5, 2013

After latest budget battle, Obama calls senators looking for common ground

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, unable to persuade Republicans to accept higher taxes, is attempting to cobble together what he calls a “common-sense caucus” among lawmakers to help resolve U.S. budget woes and push his legislative agenda.

On Monday and in recent days, Obama has made individual phone calls to a number of senators in a search for common ground on $85 billion in budget cuts that went into effect last week, as well as his top priorities like deficit reduction, gun control and an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.

Mar 5, 2013

Republicans move to avoid government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tension over the fiscal crisis eased on Monday as President Barack Obama called more opposition lawmakers to find a way to stop $85 billion in damaging budget cuts and congressional Republicans announced a plan to prevent a government shutdown.

Eager to resolve fiscal fights overshadowing his second term, the Democratic president called Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins and Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn after speaking to other Republican senators over the weekend.

Mar 4, 2013

Obama renews budget offer to cut social safety nets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans.

Signaling he might be ready to explore a compromise to end automatic spending cuts that began late Friday, Obama mentioned reforming these entitlement programs in calls with lawmakers from both parties on Saturday afternoon.

Mar 4, 2013

Obama to nominate Walmart’s Burwell as White House budget chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will nominate Walmart’s philanthropic head Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Monday to become director of the White House budget office, a White House official said on Sunday.

Burwell, 47, is a veteran of Bill Clinton’s White House and for the past year has been president of the Walmart Foundation at the corporation’s Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters. The charity organization in 2011 gave out nearly $1 billion in corporate contributions to projects around the world such as fighting hunger and empowering women.

Mar 3, 2013

Obama to nominate Walmart’s Burwell as White House budget chief: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama plans to nominate Walmart Foundation head Sylvia Mathews Burwell to head the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Burwell, 47, is a veteran of Bill Clinton’s White House and has helped steer philanthropic efforts while at Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

    • About Richard

      "I have been a Washington correspondent for Reuters since 2001. I have written about climate change and the environment, the U.S. Congress, politics, economic issues and agricultural trade disputes."
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