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Oct 1, 2013

For Obama, it’s the ‘Republican shutdown’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For President Barack Obama, the U.S. government shutdown that rippled across the country on Tuesday is the “Republican shutdown” and he is working hard to see that the name sticks to his political opponents.

“We may not know the full impact of this Republican shutdown for some time,” he said in the White House Rose Garden, with 12 Americans gathered behind him brought in to illustrate the benefits of his signature healthcare law, popularly known as “Obamacare.”

Sep 30, 2013

Obama prepares for government shutdown, hopes for deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday prepared Americans for what he called an “entirely preventable” government shutdown at midnight while urging Republicans in Congress to reach an 11th hour deal to avoid economic harm.

With no apparent movement in negotiations, the White House prepared to put in place a skeleton staff on Tuesday to operate essential functions like the National Security Council. Many staff were preparing for furloughs of uncertain length.

Sep 27, 2013

Obama to House Republicans: Don’t burn down the house over fiscal fight

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
warned congressional Republicans on Friday they were on the
brink of triggering a government shutdown and a historic debt
default and urged them not to “burn down the house” to try to
extract budget concessions from him.

Obama made an appearance in the White House briefing room to
push for Congress to end its infighting as twin deadlines loom:
The federal government will run out of cash on Tuesday unless
Congress approves a spending bill to keep it open, and will
default on its debts if the U.S. borrowing limit is not extended
by Oct. 17 at the latest.

Sep 27, 2013

Obama, Iran’s Rouhani hold historic phone call

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a historic phone call on Friday, in the highest level conversation between the estranged nations in more than three decades.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said both men had directed their teams to work expeditiously toward an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. He said this was a unique opportunity to make progress with Tehran over an issue that has isolated it from the West.

Sep 24, 2013

Renewed push at U.N. for Syria resolution followed by peace talks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama appealed to the United Nations on Tuesday to back tough consequences for Syria if it refuses to give up chemical weapons and urged Russia and Iran to end their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

At the same time, Obama said agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons should energize a larger diplomatic effort to end 2-1/2 years of civil war – a sentiment that was echoed by the leaders of Turkey, Jordan and France, among others.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama urges U.N. to back tough consequences for Syria over chemical weapons

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack
Obama urged the United Nations on Tuesday to back tough
consequences for Syria if it refuses to give up chemical weapons
and urged Russia and Iran to drop their backing of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, an annual gathering
of world leaders, Obama laid out U.S. priorities for the
volatile Middle East and North Africa. He stressed that the
United States wants diplomatic outcomes to festering disputes,
but does not rule out the use of military force or direct action
against extremist threats.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama tells world leaders diplomatic path with Iran must be tested

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the United States was ready to engage diplomatically with Iran in what could be a historic opening between the long-time foes but put the onus on the new Iranian president to prove he is serious about pursuing a nuclear deal.

Addressing an annual summit of world leaders at the United Nations, Obama said he wanted to put President Hassan Rouhani’s overtures to the test and challenged him to take concrete steps toward resolving Iran’s long-running nuclear dispute with the West.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama, Clinton to launch healthcare campaign push Tuesday

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will turn to his unofficial “secretary of explaining stuff,” former President Bill Clinton, on Tuesday to help with a final push to extol the benefits of U.S. healthcare reform before new insurance exchanges go live on October 1.

Obama, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, will meet with his most recent Democratic predecessor at the Clinton Global Initiative, a conference where the two men will talk about Obama’s healthcare reform law, which Republicans continue to try to repeal.

Sep 23, 2013

Obama pledges U.S. support after Kenya ‘outrage’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday condemned an attack at a mall in Kenya as he prepared for a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in which he will call for international solidarity against a fresh wave of violence from Islamist extremists.

Obama immersed himself into diplomacy shortly after arriving from Washington, sitting down for talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and presiding over a meeting of civil society experts who were critical of governments that crack down on non-governmental aid organizations.

Sep 20, 2013

Obama, Boehner locked in another budget battle as deadlines loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner are gripped in another budget battle, but so far the two are shouting at each other from a distance instead of sitting down and negotiating as crucial deadlines rapidly approach.

While they might be playing a waiting game, the fact that they are not talking in a meaningful way – as they have during previous showdowns on fiscal issues – is itself becoming a side issue.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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