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Dec 11, 2014

U.S. Senator Hatch sees hope for tech immigration bill in new year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Republican in the U.S.
Senate plans to revive legislation early in 2015 that would
raise the cap for temporary work visas for programmers,
engineers and high-skilled workers.

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch said his tech-focused bill could be
a way for lawmakers to start to make progress on the polarizing
issue of immigration reform.

Dec 7, 2014

Congressional Republicans to grill Obamacare consultant at hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. Congress plan to renew their attacks on President Barack Obama and his signature healthcare plan on Tuesday when they grill a consultant who said “the stupidity of the American voter” helped ensure the law’s passage.

Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said panel members will ask consultant Jonathan Gruber about possible deceptions and a lack of transparency in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Dec 5, 2014

Obama nominates Ashton Carter for Pentagon chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) РU.S. President Barack Obama nominated longtime Defense Department understudy Ashton Carter as his fourth defense secretary on Friday to replace Chuck Hagel, the lone Republican in Obama’s Cabinet, who resigned last week after disagreements with the White House.

In Carter, Obama gets a policy expert who has worked for 11 defense secretaries. The 60-year-old Carter pronounced himself ready to give Obama candid, strategic advice once he clears U.S. Senate confirmation, which should move fairly quickly.

Dec 4, 2014

Obama sketches 2015 agenda of taxes, trade; meets McConnell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday laid out a business-friendly legislative agenda for next year that hinges on whether he and the new Republican Congress can set aside long-simmering disputes and find common ground.

Obama also spoke one-on-one in the Oval Office with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, whose party routed Democrats in midterm elections last month and who will become Senate majority leader in January.

Dec 2, 2014

Obama urges Congress to approve $6 bln for Ebola fight

/WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – President Barack
Obama urged Congress on Tuesday to approve $6.18 billion to help
fight the Ebola outbreak, reminding them that even though the
story has faded from the headlines, the battle against the virus
is far from over.

“Every hotspot is an ember that if not contained can become
a new fire, so we cannot let down our guard even for a minute,”
Obama said. “And we can’t just fight this epidemic. We have to
extinguish it.”

Dec 2, 2014

Obama to urge Congress to loosen purse strings for Ebola fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday will press Congress to approve $6.18 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and prepare U.S. hospitals to handle future cases.

Most of the request is aimed at the immediate response to the disease at home and abroad. But the package also includes $1.5 billion in contingency funds – money that could become a target if lawmakers decide to trim the bill.

Nov 26, 2014

Tensions flare between Senate Democrats, White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Criticism of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law by a top Senate Democrat this week laid bare post-election tensions that could pose challenges for the party in upcoming fights with Republicans over taxes, energy and immigration.

In a high-profile speech on Tuesday dissecting Democrats’ losses in this month’s midterm elections, Charles Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, listed “a cascade of issues” botched by the White House, starting with Obama’s push for healthcare reforms soon after he took office in 2009.

Nov 21, 2014

Obama unveils U.S. immigration reform, setting up fight with Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans who vow to fight his moves.

In a White House speech, Obama rejected Republican arguments that his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action was tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Nov 21, 2014

Obama announces action on sweeping U.S. immigration reform

WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
planned on Thursday to impose the most sweeping immigration
reform in a generation, easing the threat of deportation for
about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash
with outraged Republicans.

In excerpts ahead of his 8 p.m. (0100 GMT Friday) speech,
Obama rejected Republican critics who say his actions are
tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants and urged them to
pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Nov 21, 2014

Obama’s immigration tweaks leave Big Tech wanting more

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Silicon Valley expects President Barack Obama to make life a little easier for foreign workers, but tech industry representatives were disappointed that his immigration rule changes will not satisfy longstanding demands for more visas and faster green cards for high-skilled employees.

Obama, in a speech to be broadcast at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, was to outline plans to use his executive authority to help millions of undocumented people. He was also expected to announce minor adjustments that could cut through some red tape for visa holders and their families, including letting the spouses of certain H-1B holders get work permits.

    • 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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