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Apr 20, 2014

Analysis: Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama’s political base

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama’s liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

Environmentalists, worried about the project’s effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada’s oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels.

Apr 17, 2014

Obama argues healthcare law is working, rejects Republican criticism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous effort on Thursday to show his signature healthcare law is working and dismissed Republican critics who are using flaws in Obamacare to campaign for ousting Democrats from the U.S. Congress in November.

Appearing in the White House briefing room days before leaving the national stage for a week-long trip to Asia, Obama used a news conference to make the case that the Affordable Care Act had mended nicely from its disastrous October rollout.

Apr 16, 2014

Obama, Biden visit Pennsylvania to promote job-training plan

, April 16 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
and Vice President Joe Biden took a trip to a Pennsylvania
community college on Wednesday to promote a plan to train
workers for skills they need for hard-to-fill jobs.

For security reasons, Obama and Biden flew in separate
planes for the event in this suburb of Pittsburgh but rode in
the same limousine from the airport and appeared together at the
Community College of Allegheny County.

Apr 16, 2014

Obama to announce $600 million U.S. job-training initiative

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce an initiative on Wednesday to devote $600 million to address a central challenge of today’s economy: How to train workers for skills they need for jobs that are open but hard to fill.

American companies will need 522,000 software developers and computer programmers over the next 10 years as well as nearly 110,000 pharmacists, 224,000 electricians and 941,000 customer service representatives, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Apr 12, 2014

With new leader for Obamacare, White House shifts to election mode

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Kathleen Sebelius’ departure as President Barack Obama’s health secretary signals a new chapter in the White House’s efforts to defend Obama’s signature healthcare law and help Senate Democrats who face tough battles for re-election in conservative states this fall.

In the tightly orchestrated transition that included Sebelius’ resignation late Thursday and Obama’s quick appointment of well-regarded budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Sebelius’ replacement, the political calculus was clear:

Apr 11, 2014

Iranian official will not get visa for U.N. ambassadorship – White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States denied a visa to Iran’s proposed U.N. ambassador on Friday, citing the envoy’s links to the 1979-1981 Iranian hostage crisis, in a rare step that raises questions over how much influence the White House can wield over the world body.

President Barack Obama had come under strong pressure not to allow Hamid Abutalebi into the country to take up his position in New York. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United Nations and Iran had been told “that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Abutalebi.” He gave no further explanation.

Apr 11, 2014

White House says Iran official will not get visa for U.N. ambassadorship

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday that an Iranian official who was in the student group that took U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979 will not be issued a visa to allow him to become Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

President Barack Obama had come under strong pressure from the U.S. Congress not to allow Hamid Abutalebi into the country. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United Nations and Iran had been told “that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Abutalebi.”

Apr 11, 2014

Obama names Burwell as U.S. health secretary to fix Obamacare woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he will promote budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be his next health secretary, who will preside over the next difficult phase of his healthcare law in the months before November congressional elections.

Burwell, whose nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate, will replace Kathleen Sebelius, who became the public face of the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans plan to exploit as they seek to take control of the Senate.

Apr 10, 2014

Obama wraps himself in civil rights legacy of President Lyndon Johnson

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Barack Obama wrapped himself on Thursday in the civil rights legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson, the 1960s president who helped clear the way for an African-American to one day become U.S. president.

Obama was joined by three former presidents this week in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation that tested Johnson’s vaunted negotiating skills and took a step toward ending America’s segregationist past.

Apr 10, 2014

Obama blasts ‘least productive Congress in modern history’

HOUSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sharply criticized what he called the least productive U.S. Congress in modern history on Wednesday in a fund-raising speech that he used to try to energize Democrats to vote in November congressional elections.

Obama blasted Republicans in the U.S. Senate for blocking a Democratic-supported bill earlier in the day aimed at addressing a gap in pay between male and female workers. Republicans argued that pay discrimination is already illegal.

    • 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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