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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.

Mar 3, 2013

Obama renews offer to cut social safety nets in big budget deal: aide

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 2, 2013

Obama formally orders “deeply destructive” cuts, blames Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama formally ordered broad cuts in U.S. government spending on Friday night after he and congressional Republicans failed to reach a deal to avert automatic reductions that could dampen economic growth and curb military readiness.

As the United States staggered into another fiscal crisis, the White House predicted that the spending cuts triggered by the inability of Obama and lawmakers to forge a broader deficit-reduction agreement would be “deeply destructive” to the nation’s economic and national security.

Mar 2, 2013

U.S. lurches into new budget crisis, spending cuts imminent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States lurched into a new budget crisis on Friday as President Barack Obama and Republicans failed to agree on stopping broad spending cuts that could dampen economic growth and curb military readiness.

Put in place during a bout of deficit-reduction fever in 2011, the automatic cuts can only be halted by a deal between Congress and the White House.

Mar 1, 2013

Fiscal talks fail, U.S. stumbles toward steep budget cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government stumbled headlong on Friday toward wide-ranging spending cuts that threaten to hinder the economic recovery, after President Barack Obama and congressional leaders failed to find an alternative budget plan.

The cuts, locked in during a bout of deficit-reduction fever in 2011, can only be halted by agreement between Congress and the White House.

Mar 1, 2013

U.S. stares down start of steep ‘automatic’ budget cuts

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. government hurtled
on Friday toward making deep spending cuts that threaten to
hinder the nation’s economic recovery, after Republicans and
Democrats failed to agree on an alternative deficit-reduction
plan.

Locked in during a bout of deficit-reduction fever in 2011,
the time-released “automatic” cuts can only be halted by
agreement between Republican lawmakers and the White House.

Feb 25, 2013

U.S. spending ax set to fall, but then what?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Devastating, unthinkable, shameful, brutal, disastrous. These are just a few of the adjectives used by lawmakers, officials and President Barack Obama to describe the across-the-board budget cuts likely to take effect on Friday, March 1.

The spending reductions are called “automatic,” as if no one can stop them. But the same people who enacted them into law in August 2011 – lawmakers from both parties in Congress and Obama – could have ended them at any time and still can.

Feb 20, 2013

U.S. government won’t fall apart on “sequester” day of reckoning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just as computers worldwide did not crash on January 1, 2000, in the “Y2K” scare and Earth itself did not shatter on December 21, 2012, as some interpreters of the Mayan calendar predicted, March 1, 2013, will not be remembered as the day the U.S. government disintegrated.

The Obama administration and even some Republicans are warning of mass government layoffs and services collapsing when “sequestration” begins in 10 days, unless a gridlocked U.S. Congress finds a way to circumvent the start of the $85 billion in federal budget cuts.

Feb 14, 2013

Analysis: Obama speech does little to prod Congress toward bold action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The pomp and soaring rhetoric of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address roused his Capitol audience to standing ovations, but a day after, the U.S. Congress was no closer to achieving major accomplishments in 2013 than it was before Tuesday’s speech.

In his annual address to a joint session of Congress – one designed to set the tone in Washington for the coming year – Obama offered plenty of big legislative goals: gun control, higher minimum wage, deficit reduction, immigration reform, climate change.

Feb 13, 2013

Senate Republicans cast doubt on broad immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Barack Obama intensifies pressure for wide-ranging immigration reforms, some Republicans in the Congress on Wednesday made clear that a less ambitious, piecemeal approach might be more realistic for 2013.

Lawmakers are divided over how to update the nation’s immigration laws while also dealing with the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the United States. Also complicating the passage of legislation this year is both parties’ efforts to woo Hispanic votes in the 2014 congressional elections.

    • 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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