April 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The White House declared yesterday that U.S. intelligence indicates Syrian President Bashar Assad has twice used deadly chemical weapons in his country's fierce civil war, a provocative action that would cross President Barack Obama's "red line" for a significant military response. But the administration said the revelation won't immediately change its stance on intervening. The information, which has been known to the administration and some members of Congress for weeks, isn't solid enough to warrant quick U.S. involvement in the 2-year-old conflict, the White House said.
April 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Liberal lawmakers from Congress and a coalition of like-minded groups rallied outside the White House on Tuesday, voicing frustration at the Democratic president they say has let them down by proposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security. One day before President Obama was set to unveil his budget, organizers stacked nine file boxes in front of the White House that they said contained more than two million signatures on petitions telling Obama they won't stand for cuts to entitlement programs cherished by the Democratic base.
April 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The White House said that despite bellicose rhetoric from North Korea, the Obama administration has not seen changes in the regime's military posture. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the U.S. has not detected any military mobilization or repositioning of forces from Pyongyang to back up the threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Nonetheless, the U.S. has made a point of publicizing its own recent military moves, including the deployment of bombers and F-22 stealth fighters to South Korea as part of military exercises.
March 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama signed into law a catchall government-funding bill that ends the 2013 budget fight and locks in $85 billion in budget cuts the president opposes. With Obama's signature, day-to-day operations of cabinet departments and federal agencies will continue without interruption through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. With the automatic cuts known as sequestration, the spending will amount to about $984 billion. The previous funding authorization had been due to expire Wednesday.
March 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama is opening the door to the possibility of resuming White House tours for student groups amid some confusion over who made the ultimate decision to cancel them. The decision has been much criticized by Republicans who say the White House should remain open to the public and by some expectant visitors who were planning to see inside the White House during the spring-break travel season. Obama said in an interview with ABC News that the decision to cancel the tours was made by the Secret Service, citing the need to furlough some employees.
February 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Reviving his populist re-election message, President Obama will press a politically divided Congress to approve more tax increases and fewer spending cuts, during a State of the Union address focused on stabilizing the middle class and repairing the still-wobbly economy. The agenda Obama will outline Tuesday before a joint session of Congress will include more money for infrastructure, clean energy technologies, and manufacturing jobs, as well as for expanding access to early childhood education.
February 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama has directed the Justice Department to give Congress' intelligence committees access to classified legal advice providing the government's rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaeda abroad, a senior administration official and Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday. A drumbeat of demands to see the document has swelled on Capitol Hill as the Senate intelligence committee prepares to hold a confirmation hearing Thursday for John Brennan, who helped manage the drone program, to be CIA director.
February 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Two days before President Obama's first trip outside Washington to promote his gun-control proposals, the White House tried to settle a brewing mystery when it released a photo to back his assertion that he's a skeet shooter. Obama had set inquiring minds spinning when, in an interview with the New Republic magazine, he answered yes when asked whether he had ever fired a gun. The admission surprised many. "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," Obama said in the interview released last weekend, referring to the official presidential retreat in rural Maryland, which he last visited in October while campaigning.
January 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama met Monday with law enforcement leaders, including officials from four communities where mass shootings took place recently, and urged them to help him build support in Congress to pass his proposals to toughen gun laws. Obama asserted that law enforcement leaders were the most important group in the fraught and emotional gun debate - "they are where the rubber hits the road," he said - and that a consensus among police chiefs and sheriffs could influence wavering lawmakers.
January 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A working group of senators from both parties is nearing agreement on broad principles for overhauling the nation's immigration laws, representing the most substantive bipartisan effort toward comprehensive legislation in years. The six members have met quietly since the November election, most recently on Wednesday. Congressional aides stressed there is not yet final agreement, but they have eyed Friday as a target date for a possible public announcement. The talks mark the most in-depth negotiations involving members of both parties since a similar effort broke down in 2010 without producing a bill.