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Oct 6, 2015
via Tales from the Trail

Cloth napkins, candlelight and confidence: Biden lunches with Obama


White House reporters were hungry for a taste of what it might be like behind closed doors when Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama sat down for their weekly lunch in the private dining room on Tuesday.

What they really wanted to know: would Biden and Obama talk about Biden’s pending decision on whether to jump into the Democratic 2016 presidential race? White House spokesman Josh Earnest played along for a while, describing the scene.

Oct 2, 2015

Obama to look for new gun measures, says ‘talk’ is main tool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that he has asked his team to look for new ways to enforce existing regulations to keep guns away from criminals in the wake of the mass shooting in Oregon.

But Obama admitted he had little power to craft tougher gun laws given the political clout wielded by the National Rifle Association, and vowed to elevate discussion about the “political dynamic” he said was the main obstacle to preventing more gun deaths.

Oct 2, 2015

After shooting, angry Obama blasts U.S. gun politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday angrily said America had made a “political choice” to allow mass shootings like the one in Oregon to occur and blasted the National Rifle Association lobby group for blocking reform of U.S. gun laws.

Appearing in the White House briefing room with a grim expression and a frustrated tone, Obama challenged U.S. voters of all political stripes to hold their leaders accountable if they wanted to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

Oct 1, 2015

Obama says U.S. gun laws must be changed, gun owners must speak up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday angrily called for stricter U.S. gun laws after the latest mass murder in Oregon and took aim at the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby for blocking reform.

Appearing in the White House briefing room with a grim expression and an angry tone, Obama said it was not enough to offer prayers after major shootings continued to occur regularly throughout the country.

Sep 30, 2015

White House does not support Senate efforts to lift oil export ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House does not support Senate legislation to lift the 40-year-old ban on oil exports despite a provision allowing the president to halt exports if he deemed them not in the interests of national security, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“The administration does not support efforts to move this bill,” White House spokesman Frank Benenati said.

Sep 29, 2015
via Tales from the Trail

Biden’s intentions? If only the microphone weren’t off.


Vice President Joe Biden can’t escape questions about whether he will jump into the Democratic presidential primary race – not even on the dais at the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden chaired a summit on fighting Islamic State militants on Tuesday at the U.N., taking over from his boss, President Barack Obama, and listened to leaders talk about how they were countering violent extremists.

Sep 24, 2015

Obama and Putin to meet; Syria and Ukraine vie for attention

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in New York next week at a time of high tension in Europe and the Middle East, but the Kremlin and the White House disagreed on Thursday over the top priority for the talks.

The White House insisted the meeting would focus on eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed forces are fighting the Kiev government, prompting tough sanctions that have damaged Russia’s economy.

Sep 21, 2015

Children entering U.S. illegally up in August – White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About double the number of Central
American children entered the United States illegally in August
compared to a year ago, surprising the Obama administration
which had been touting a downward trend over the past year.

Overall, for the first 11 months of the fiscal year that
began in October, the arrivals of children traveling without
adults to the southwest border from El Salvador, Honduras and
Guatemala dropped 46 percent from the year-ago period.

Sep 17, 2015

White House prepares for pomp, politics of Pope Francis visit

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – When Pope Francis arrives in Washington next week, the White House hopes he will bring attention to the need to curb climate change and fight inequality – areas of common ground for the popular pontiff and President Barack Obama.

But after months of work on the agenda for their meeting, White House officials said on Thursday that they expect Pope Francis may also address issues such as gay marriage or government funding for abortion – policies on which the Catholic Church and White House fundamentally disagree.

Sep 17, 2015
via Tales from the Trail

Debaters get their codes on


Republican Donald Trump opened the Republican debate with a “braggadocious” statement: “I’ve made billions and billions of dollars dealing with people all over the world,” he said.

He ended it by saying he would like his Secret Service code name – should he win the race – to be “Humble.”

    • 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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