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Mar 12, 2015

Obama briefed on latest Secret Service scandal – White House

By Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama has been briefed on an
incident in which two Secret Service officers are alleged to
have driven a government-issued car into White House barricades
last week after a party, a White House official said on
Thursday.

The incident, which is under investigation, comes on the
heels of a series of scandals about the conduct and leadership
of the agency that protects the president and his family.

Mar 10, 2015

Obama announces changes for student loan repayment

ATLANTA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told students at Georgia Tech on Tuesday he wants to make the process of repaying student loans easier to understand and manage.

Obama signed a “student aid bill of rights” and spelled out an assortment of policy tweaks and projects to try to make it easier for people with student loans to pay back their debt.

Mar 10, 2015

U.S. declares Venezuela a national security threat, sanctions top officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States declared Venezuela a national security threat on Monday and ordered sanctions against seven officials from the oil-rich country in the worst bilateral diplomatic dispute since socialist President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed and issued the executive order, which senior administration officials said did not target Venezuela’s energy sector or broader economy. But the move stokes tensions between Washington and Caracas just as U.S. relations with Cuba, a longtime U.S. foe in Latin America and key ally to Venezuela, are set to be normalized.

Mar 9, 2015

Obama emailed Clinton on her private address: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton exchanged emails during her time as secretary of state, the White House said on Monday, confirming the president was aware that his potential successor used a private email address for government work.

Obama said in an interview with CBS on Saturday that he found out about Clinton’s use of a personal email account through recent news reports, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was aware of her address earlier.

Mar 9, 2015

Obama declares Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Monday declaring Venezuela a national security threat, sanctioning seven individuals and expressing concern about the Venezuelan government’s treatment of political opponents.

“Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

Mar 2, 2015

Obama defends lack of ‘Plan B’ for Obamacare court case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday said
he thinks there is no “plausible legal basis” for the U.S.
Supreme Court to strike down a key plank of Obamacare, defending
his administration’s lack of a contingency plan.

And he promised to rule on the Keystone XL pipeline before
he leaves office, although he would not say whether it will take
him “weeks or months” to determine whether the project is in the
national interest.

Mar 2, 2015

Exclusive: Obama defends lack of ‘Plan B’ for Obamacare court case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday said he thinks there is no “plausible legal basis” for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a key plank of Obamacare, defending his administration’s lack of a contingency plan.

And he promised to rule on the Keystone XL pipeline before he leaves office, although he would not say whether it will take him “weeks or months” to determine whether the project is in the national interest.

Feb 27, 2015

White House releases draft bill to protect consumer data privacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House released draft legislation on Friday that would give consumers more control over how the trail of data they leave behind them on the internet is used, stored and sold.

The 24-page “discussion draft” on data privacy immediately sparked sharp reaction from the technology industry, which said the proposal would hurt innovation, and also from privacy advocacy groups that said it did not go far enough.

Feb 26, 2015

Obama turns up heat on Republicans for stalled immigration reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama raised the political pressure on Republicans over immigration on Wednesday, telling young members of Miami’s Latino community that Republicans were to blame for stopping reform and urging them to make it an issue in the 2016 elections.

Obama took questions about his stalled immigration executive actions at a town hall-style event at Florida International University, which claims to be first in the nation in awarding degrees to Hispanic students. It was televised on Spanish-language network Telemundo and MSNBC.

Feb 24, 2015

U.S. to allow work permits for spouses of some foreign high-tech workers

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will
allow spouses of certain high-tech foreign workers to apply for
work permits, an accommodation designed to make things easier
for families waiting in long lines for green cards.

The regulation for spouses of H-1B visas, first proposed
last year and finalized as part of President Barack Obama’s
package of executive actions on immigration, will take effect
starting on May 26.

    • 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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