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Oct 23, 2013

White House official fired over anonymous tweets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior White House official who was helping negotiate nuclear issues with Iran has been fired after being unmasked as the acidic voice behind a Twitter account known for its insults of public figures at the White House and on Capitol Hill, a government official said on Tuesday.

Jofi Joseph was director of nuclear non-proliferation on the White House National Security Council staff, but for more than two years sent hundreds of anonymous and abrasive tweets using the handle @NatSecWonk.

Oct 17, 2013

Obama, Italy’s Letta compare notes on budget woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta congratulated each other on Thursday for surviving extended budget crises and pledged to work together to advance U.S.-EU trade talks and address security issues.

The two leaders met at the Oval Office on the day after Congress agreed to fund the U.S. government until January and averted a debt default by lifting the nation’s debt ceiling until February. The U.S. government reopened after a 16-day shutdown.

Oct 17, 2013

Obama says Washington has much work to do to regain public trust

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama emerged bruised but victorious from the latest budget war on Wednesday and said there was much work to do in a deeply divided Washington to win back the trust of the American people.

Obama’s firm stance against negotiating over extending the U.S. debt ceiling, a position he staked out early this year and stuck to despite pressure to back off, appeared to have paid off as Congress was heading toward reopening the government and extending the U.S. debt ceiling.

Oct 15, 2013

Obama backs Health Secretary Sebelius despite ‘Obamacare’ woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has “full confidence” in Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius despite the troubled launch of the U.S. government website for signing up for his signature healthcare insurance program, the White House said on Tuesday.

Americans trying to shop for health insurance at healthcare.gov under Obama’s healthcare law have been frustrated by error messages, long waits and system failures, with many failing to make it through the system despite repeated tries.

Oct 14, 2013

Squirrels relish White House kitchen garden as shutdown sidelines staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food.

It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love.

Oct 14, 2013

U.S. senators close in on fiscal deal as deadline looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators said they were closing in on a deal Monday that would reopen the government and push back a possible default for several months, though many hurdles remained as a Thursday deadline drew near.

Ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama, the Senate’s top Democrat and top Republican both said they were optimistic that they could soon reach an agreement that would allow them to avert a looming default and end a partial government shutdown that has dragged on for 14 days so far.

Oct 14, 2013

Obama says it appears some progress in Senate toward averting default

WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said
on Monday it appears there has been progress in Senate fiscal
impasse negotiations but that there is a good chance the United
States will default on its debts if Republicans are unwilling to
set aside some partisan concerns.

Obama emerged from the White House to visit Martha’s Table,
an organization that makes meals for low-income families where
some furloughed government workers have been volunteering.

Oct 13, 2013

U.S. veterans groups take shutdown protest to White House gates

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Veteran and Tea Party groups
protested the U.S. government shutdown in Washington on Sunday,
taking down barricades around the World War Two memorial on the
National Mall before marching to the gates of the White House.

Police officers, some in riot gear, pushed back against the
crowd when it got too close to the White House fence, creating a
brief flashpoint of anger in an otherwise peaceful
demonstration.

Oct 12, 2013

Obama pressures Republicans to raise debt ceiling, end shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pressured Republican lawmakers on Saturday to agree to raise the U.S. debt ceiling for longer than they would prefer, as their fiscal impasse dragged into the weekend with five days left to find a deal.

The budget battle between Obama and Republicans who control the House of Representatives has idled hundreds of thousands of government workers hit by a 12-day government shutdown and put the United States at risk of a historic debt default, possibly by next Thursday, unless the borrowing limit is raised.

Oct 9, 2013

During shutdown, U.S. charity to ensure fallen troops’ death benefits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A private U.S. charity struck a deal with the Pentagon on Wednesday to advance a “death gratuity” to families of American troops who die during the government shutdown, after the Defense Department determined it was legally unable to make the $100,000 payment.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the agreement after returning from Dover Air Force Base, where he attended a ceremony marking the return of the bodies of four U.S. soldiers killed by insurgents in Afghanistan on Sunday.

    • About Roberta

      "Based on Capitol Hill, I help cover U.S. energy and environmental policy. I have reported on commodities since 1995, and have been with Reuters since 2002, moving to Washington from Canada in 2008."
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