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May 30, 2014

Obama spokesman Jay Carney steps down after three years

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After more than three years of jousting with the White House press corps, President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, will step down next month to pursue yet-to-be-named opportunities, Obama announced on Friday.

Carney’s deputy, Josh Earnest, will take his place, the president said.

Obama interrupted Carney on the podium, where he was answering questions during the White House daily news briefing, catching reporters by surprise.

May 28, 2014

Veterans health probe confirms cover-up of care delays

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Veterans Affairs department’s inspector general on Wednesday confirmed allegations that staff at VA medical facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, used scheduling methods that covered up months-long wait times for healthcare appointments for veterans.

Releasing an interim report on allegations that have become a source of embarrassment for President Barack Obama’s administration, the VA internal watchdog said it identified 1,700 veterans who were waiting for a primary care appointment but were not listed on the agency’s electronic waiting list.

May 28, 2014

U.S. veterans health probe confirms cover-up of care delays

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) – The Veterans Affairs
department’s inspector general on Wednesday confirmed
allegations that staff at VA medical facilities in Phoenix,
Arizona, used scheduling methods that covered up months-long
wait times for healthcare appointments for veterans.

Releasing an interim report on allegations that have become
a source of embarrassment for President Barack Obama’s
administration, the VA internal watchdog said it identified
1,700 veterans who were waiting for a primary care appointment
but were not listed on the agency’s electronic waiting list.

May 28, 2014

U.S. industry gears up to fight Obama’s climate rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This summer is likely to see a series of attacks by industry opponents of a U.S. plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants in a bid to stir voter anger ahead of elections in November, when voters in states such as Kentucky and West Virginia may determine whether Democrats keep control of the Senate.

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose new rules to crack down on power plant emissions, part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to combat global climate change. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will release a report Wednesday analyzing the effect the yet-to-be-announced regulations will have on the economy.

May 23, 2014

Obama to tap rising Democratic star Castro for Cabinet post

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will
shuffle his cabinet on Friday, nominating San Antonio Mayor
Julian Castro as secretary of housing and urban development and
naming outgoing HUD chief Shaun Donovan as his new budget
director, a White House official said on Thursday night.

The switch brings a high-profile Latino leader who is a
rising star in Democratic politics into the Obama administration
and moves a long-serving Cabinet member into the president’s
inner circle at the Office of Management and Budget.

May 22, 2014

Obama creates national monument in New Mexico, sparking border concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared almost 500,000 acres of mountains, canyons and desert caves near the U.S.-Mexico border a national monument, which drew criticism from Republicans and local law enforcement that the move could put border security at risk.

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region includes “Outlaw Rock” where Billy the Kid inscribed his name more than 130 years ago, and Apache chief Geronimo is believed to have used the mountains to hide out.

May 21, 2014

Obama creates half-million acre national monument in New Mexico

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Wednesday preserved almost 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of
mountains, canyons, trails, caves and grasslands in New Mexico
as a new national monument, saying he wanted to protect the
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region for future generations.

The move drew criticism from Republicans in Congress who
slammed him for going beyond a more modest legislative proposal,
and said the move could put border security at risk.

May 21, 2014

Obama says he will get to the bottom of Veterans mess

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
vowed on Wednesday to get to the bottom of allegations of
neglect of veterans’ healthcare and made clear Veterans Affairs
Secretary Eric Shinseki’s job may be on the line as he scrambled
to contain a budding controversy.

“If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable,
it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period,” an
angry-sounding Obama said.

May 15, 2014

Obama opens 9/11 memorial, a ‘sacred place of healing and hope’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama led an emotional dedication on Thursday of a museum that commemorates the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, built on the “ground zero” site of the twin towers that fell that day.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, joined by Bill and Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, toured the museum, which includes artifacts from many of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the hijacked-plane attacks in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

May 14, 2014

Obama to address U.S. infrastructure at busy NY bridge

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
will take aim at the cumbersome approval process for large
infrastructure projects on Wednesday, showing how streamlining
reviews slashed the time taken to green-light New York’s massive
Tappan Zee bridge project, the White House said.

Obama is slated to speak at the bridge, about 20 miles north
of New York City, at 3:25 p.m. ET (1925 GMT), and will pledge to
apply the lessons learned from the permit process for the bridge
to a long list of infrastructure projects across the country.

    • 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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