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Jun 30, 2014

Obama to use executive actions to advance immigration reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce on Monday his intention to take executive action to address the “broken” U.S. immigration system after hopes of passing a broad reform bill in Congress officially died.

Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, informed Obama last week that the House would not vote on immigration reform this year, a White House official said, killing chances that a wide-ranging bill passed by the Senate would become law.

Jun 29, 2014

Obama to nominate former P&G CEO Bob McDonald as veterans secretary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has chosen former Procter & Gamble Chief Executive Bob McDonald, an Army veteran, as his nominee to be the next secretary of veterans affairs, a senior Obama administration official said on Sunday.

Obama’s announcement of McDonald, 61, will be made this week, possibly on Monday. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald would be tasked with repairing the Veterans Administration after widespread evidence of delays in military veterans getting healthcare at VA facilities.

Jun 29, 2014

Obama to seek $2 billion from Congress to tackle child migrant crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is to ask Congress for more than $2 billion to deal with the surge in unaccompanied children from Central America flooding into the United States along its southern border.

Obama will make the request for emergency funding in a letter on Monday, asking Congress to act when it returns from a holiday recess on July 7, a White House official said on Sunday.

Jun 27, 2014

White House review of Veterans Administration finds ‘corrosive culture’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday that a review of the scandal-plagued Veterans Administration found significant and chronic failures across the board at the agency and that a corrosive culture has led to personnel problems.

The findings emerged after President Barack Obama met with acting Veterans Secretary Sloan Gibson and the White House official assigned to investigate the agency, Rob Nabors.

Jun 26, 2014

Obama seeks $500 million from Congress to help moderate Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, under pressure from some lawmakers to provide more help to Syria’s opposition, asked the U.S. Congress on Thursday to approve $500 million to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

It was the administration’s most tangible move yet to help beleaguered Assad opponents who have been frustrated at a lack of U.S. assistance after Obama stepped back from launching air strikes on Syria nearly a year ago.

Jun 13, 2014

Obama sticks to measured approach on Iraq, defying critics

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – When Barack Obama ran for
president in 2008, he built his reputation as an anti-war
candidate by disparaging U.S. involvement in Iraq, adamantly
insisting: “It’s time to end this war.”

Now, with Iraq’s U.S.-backed government under its most
serious threat since President Obama pulled out the last U.S.
troops in 2011, he is being forced to consider what had
previously seemed unthinkable – resorting to military force
there again.

Jun 13, 2014

Obama says to take several days to decide how to help fight Iraq insurgency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he will take several days to review options for how the United States can help Iraq deal with a militant insurgency, saying any action would need significant involvement by Iraq itself.

“The United States is not simply going involve itself in a military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis that gives us some assurance that they are prepared to work together,” Obama said, making it clear that he would not send U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq.

Jun 12, 2014

Obama rejects argument that Cantor loss means immigration overhaul is dead

By Steve Holland

WESTON Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama weighed in on the shock election defeat of Republican Eric Cantor on Wednesday, rejecting the argument that the ouster of the House of Representatives’ No. 2 will spell the death knell for immigration reform.

Cantor’s ouster by a Tea Party-backed conservative in his Virginia district on Tuesday has sent political shock waves coursing through Washington, and a leading school of thought is that the move means Obama’s long-sought attempt to rewrite immigration laws is dead.

Jun 11, 2014

White House adopts steps to avoid snafus such as naming of CIA chief in Kabul

By Steve Holland

WESTON Mass. (Reuters) – The White House said on Wednesday it has put corrective measures in place in response to the accidental public outing of the CIA station chief’s name during President Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan late last month.

During the trip, personnel at Bagram Air Base gave to White House communications personnel at list of people who were meeting Obama. The White House gave the list to reporters covering the trip and among the names was that of the CIA official.

Jun 9, 2014

Clinton uses book tour to test waters for 2016 White House run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With a high-profile book tour this week, Hillary Clinton is looking to define herself as a foreign policy pragmatist who is willing to chart a different course from that of President Barack Obama.

The reception Clinton gets is likely to help her decide whether to launch a bid to be elected the first woman U.S. president. Polls show she is the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination should she run.

    • 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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