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Feb 28, 2014

Obama to preach unity to Democrats at winter meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday will lay out his approach to electing fellow Democrats in congressional campaigns this year as his party tries to overcome stiff headwinds brought about at least in part due to his signature healthcare law.

The president will address the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee with the aim of maintaining a spirit of unity among party activists. Democrats are trying to face down emboldened Republicans who see a chance of capturing the Senate and building on their majority in the House of Representatives.

Feb 25, 2014

Obama prepared to leave no troops in Afghanistan after 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has told the Pentagon to prepare for the possibility that the United States will not leave behind any troops in Afghanistan after its troop drawdown at the end of this year, the White House said on Tuesday.

Obama said he had given the order to the Pentagon in a phone call on Tuesday to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has refused to sign a bilateral security agreement that the United States insists it must have before agreeing to leave a contingent of troops behind.

Feb 24, 2014

U.S. eyes funding for Ukraine alongside IMF program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Monday it was ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine to complement a loan program from the International Monetary Fund in the aftermath of the ouster of Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich.

Two days after the dramatic departure of pro-Moscow Yanukovich after bloody clashes in Kiev, the White House sought to apply subtle pressure on Russia to let events unfold in Ukraine without interfering. This message has been delivered in recent days from President Barack Obama on down.

Feb 20, 2014

Obama looking at range of sanctions on Ukraine violence -White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is urgently considering a range of sanctions against Ukraine after the death toll mounted from violent protests in central Kiev, the White House said on Thursday.

No details were given on the options under consideration or the timeline for decisions, but Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday to discuss steps to help end the violence.

Feb 20, 2014

Obama budget proposal to drop Social Security cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday dropped a measure to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security from an upcoming budget proposal in an election-year move that may insulate fellow Democrats facing heat from senior voters.

The White House said Obama’s budget proposal for the 2015 fiscal year, to be released on March 4, will not include a plan he made last year in an effort to gain some Republican support and break through congressional gridlock.

Feb 18, 2014

Looking for Syria options, U.S. remains cool to using force

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite a forthcoming review of options in the deteriorating Syria crisis, the White House on Tuesday signaled that President Barack Obama remains wary of any direct U.S. involvement in the three-year-old civil war.

With peace talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his armed opponents having failed for now, and Russia unwilling or unable to pressure its ally Assad to cede power, U.S. policy toward Syria appears to be approaching a crossroads.

Feb 18, 2014

Obama orders new, higher fuel standards for U.S. trucks

, Feb 18 (Reuters) – President Barack
Obama on Tuesday directed federal agencies to develop higher
fuel standards for medium-sized and heavy trucks, another step
in his efforts to slash oil consumption and carbon emissions
blamed for global warming.

Obama made the announcement in Upper Marlboro, Maryland,
about 20 miles (32 km) from Washington, at a distribution center
for Safeway grocery stores, next to a trucking rig that had been
redesigned to increase fuel economy.

Feb 18, 2014

Obama set to order new fuel standards for U.S. trucks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will direct federal agencies on Tuesday to develop higher standards for medium-sized and heavy trucks over the next two years, another step in his efforts to reduce oil consumption and carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

Obama will travel to Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to make his announcement at a distribution center for Safeway grocery stores.

Feb 17, 2014

White House report on economic stimulus rekindles debate five years later

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a controversial economic stimulus plan by releasing a report on Monday saying that government spending averted a second Great Depression, setting off a new round of partisan debate about the decision.

Obama had been in office only a month when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion stimulus that Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives passed over the objections of Republicans.

Feb 16, 2014

Obama warns Uganda over anti-gay law

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday that enacting an anti-gay law would complicate U.S. relations with Uganda and would be a “huge step backward” for all Ugandans.”

Obama, on a weekend golf holiday in Southern California, issued a statement denouncing Museveni’s plans to sign a law that would impose harsh sentences for those convicted of homosexual acts.

    • 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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