White House

Obama signs budget deal into law

President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law a two-year budget plan that eases automatic spending cuts and providing some long-elusive certainty for the government's embattled budget. | 12/26/13 18:16:22 By - David Lightman

Deadline for Jan. 1 coverage extended on HealthCare.gov

The Obama administration has extended the December 23rd deadline to sign up for federal marketplace health insurance that takes effect on January 1. | 12/24/13 07:10:36 By - Tony Pugh

HealthCare.gov visitors set record

HealthCare.gov logged a record-breaking 850,000 site visits by 2 p.m. Monday, as Americans jammed the website hoping to beat the new extended deadline of Dec. 24 to enroll in health insurance that begins on January 1.

The site is handling the increased volume with few problems. With more than 60,000 simultaneous users just before 11 am., the tech support team deployed the queuing system, which directs users to leave the system and return when web traffic lightens. 

"So far today, more than 60,000 consumers have provided an email address to get their invitation to return later," said a statement from Julie Bataille, communications director at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Despited the Christmas Eve deadline, Bataille said consumers should not wait until Wednesday, Dec. 24,  to enroll in health insurance effective on January 1.  

Bataille advises people to sign up today, if possible, and to check with their insurer directly to make sure their enrollment has been verified and processed. "All consumers will have until at least Dec. 31 to pay, or at the time their issuer sets, as many plans have extended the deadline to Jan. 10," Bataille said.


  | 12/24/13 07:08:35 By - Tony Pugh

After inaugural high, Obama limps out of 2013

President Barack Obama took the oath of office on a bright shiny day in January, declaring that “America’s possibilities are limitless.” | 12/23/13 16:00:30 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Obama signs up for health insurance

President Barack Obama, who is on a family vacation in Hawaii, has signed up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange | 12/23/13 14:01:28 By - Anita Kumar

Obama touts health insurance enrollment spike as deadline looms

President Barack Obama said Friday that more than 500,000 Americans had obtained health insurance through the HealthCare.gov website in December and “tens of thousands” were enrolling each day as the Monday deadline for selecting insurance that’s effective Jan. 1 fast approaches. | 12/20/13 18:45:32 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama signals changes likely to NSA spying

President Barack Obama suggested Friday that he could make significant changes to the government’s vast surveillance programs, including the contentious mass collection of phone records, but insisted that the United States needs to continue its aggressive surveillance to prevent terrorist attacks. | 12/20/13 18:16:23 By - By Anita Kumar

President Obama says 2013 wasn't worst of his presidency, but says of healthcare.gov: 'We screwed it up'

President Barack Obama rejected the suggestion that 2013 -- marked by the chaotic rollout of his signature legislative accomplishment -- was the worst year of his presidency, as some polls suggest. | 12/20/13 15:00:50 By - Lesley Clark

Only 500,000 people with cancelled policies will lose health care coverage

That’s far less than the millions of people that health law critics said would lack insurance after their old policies were terminated because they didn’t meet new minimal standards under the Affordable Care Act. | 12/20/13 06:09:12 By - Tony Pugh and Lesley Clark

Brian Boitano comes out, raising gay members in U.S. Olympic delegation to 3

The number of gay athletes in the official delegation representing the United States at the opening and closing ceremonies of February's Winter Olympics in Russia grew to three Thursday after figure skater Brian Boitano announced that he is gay. | 12/20/13 06:00:22 By - William Douglas

White House pushes lawmakers to pass jobless benefits

The White House pushes Republicans to agree to renew jobless benefits | 12/20/13 15:00:50 By - Anita Kumar

President Obama nominates Sen. Baucus as ambassador to China

President Obama on Friday announced his intent to nominate Montana Sen. Max Baucus as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. | 12/20/13 15:00:50 By - Lesley Clark

Debate over curbing NSA spying likely to be passionate, divisive

The presidential advisory group that recommended curbing the government’s vast surveillance programs because it’s an overreaction to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has set the stage for a passionate debate in Washington over the balance between America’s liberties and national security. | 12/19/13 18:38:34 By - By Anita Kumar and Ali Watkins

Panel tells Obama to curb NSA spy program

A group appointed by President Barack Obama to review U.S. surveillance tactics is recommending widespread changes to the controversial National Security Agency spy programs, including ending the NSA’s dragnet collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records. | 12/19/13 06:37:48 By - By Lesley Clark and Ali Watkins

White House won't say its Olympics delegation sends Russia a message

The White House is sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia that includes two openly gay athletes -- but Press Secretary Jay Carney refused Wednesday to say whether that was meant as a slap at Russia's recent anti-gay law. | 12/19/13 05:39:31 By - Lesley Clark

Senate approves budget, Obama expected to sign

The Senate approved a bipartisan federal budget Wednesday that could lead to two rare years of fiscal stability for a government that’s lurched from showdown to showdown for two years. | 12/18/13 20:58:15 By - By David Lightman

Insurers extend payment deadline for Jan. 1 Obamacare coverage

The nation’s largest health insurance industry trade group announced Wednesday that consumers, frustrated by technical problems with federal and state health insurance marketplaces, will get more time to pay for individual coverage that begins Jan. 1. | 12/18/13 16:18:05 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama, First Lady to make a health care push with 'moms' in the Oval

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will meet with a group of moms in the Oval Office today as part of an ongoing White House effort to champion the Affordable Care Act. | 12/18/13 12:34:48 By - Lesley Clark

President Obama sends a message to Russia with his delegation picks for Sochi

The official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia includes two openly gay members -- a direct rebuke to Russia, whose recent anti-propaganda laws are widely viewed as anti-gay. | 12/18/13 07:10:43 By - Lesley Clark

Journos discuss access to Obama with White House

Several groups representing White House reporters, photographers and TV crews said they were "encouraged" today after a meeting at the White House to discuss press complaints about lack of access to President Obama. | 12/18/13 07:10:43 By - Lesley Clark

White House says Obama presidential library only in the 'embryonic stages'

The White House is pushing back against reports that planning for President Barack Obama's presidential library is well underway. | 12/18/13 12:34:48 By - Lesley Clark

Obama gets an offer for a cameo in House of Cards

Netflix's co-founder and chief executive officer Reed Hastings Tuesday offered President Barack Obama a cameo on his hit show, House of Cards -- after Obama joked that he had hoped Hastings had arrived at the White House with advance copies of the show. | 12/17/13 16:12:31 By - Lesley Clark

Minorities disproportionately represented in health care 'coverage gap'

New data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that minorities will make up 53 percent of the estimated 4.8 million low-income Americans who will fall into the "coverage gap," leaving them without viable options to obtain health insurance next year. | 12/17/13 06:17:00 By - Tony Pugh

Tech leaders urge Obama to 'move aggressively' on NSA reform

A group of executives from leading technology companies met Tuesday with President Barack Obama, urging him to "move aggressively" to reform the National Security Agency's surveillance operations. | 12/17/13 16:12:31 By - Lesley Clark

White House brings in Microsoft exec to help with healthcare.gov

The White House is calling in a Microsoft executive to help it repair the embattled healthcare.gov website that has struggled with operability since it opened for business on Oct. 1. | 12/17/13 16:12:31 By - Lesley Clark

Obama after Sandy Hook: We must change

President Barack Obama paid tribute Saturday to the "six dedicated school workers and 20 beautiful children" who were slain in Newtown a year ago today, saying the U.S. hasn't done enough to make the country safer. | 12/15/13 20:24:02 By - Lesley Clark

Charlotte mayor and others meet with Obama

Less than two weeks after being sworn in as mayor of Charlotte, Patrick Cannon made his first trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama. | 12/13/13 19:07:53 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama is urged to include gays, lesbians in official Olympics delegation

An American human rights group is urging President Barack Obama to appoint lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community leaders to the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to show displeasure with a recently passed Russian anti-propaganda law that’s widely viewed as anti-gay. | 12/13/13 18:18:25 By - By William Douglas

Politics doesn’t always stop at water’s edge; it depends on who’s swimming

When Republicans chided President Barack Obama for shaking hands earlier this week with Cuban President Raul Castro, the White House complained that the critics were breaking protocol. | 12/13/13 14:13:55 By - By Lesley Clark

White House press corps erupts over lack of access to Obama

A routine daily press briefing at the White House turned raucous Thursday as reporters complained to Press Secretary Jay Carney about the lack of access to President Barack Obama. | 12/13/13 06:29:19 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to host newly elected mayors at the White House on Friday

President Obama on Friday will host a bevy of newly elected city mayors at the White House for what the administration says will be a discussion on "the ways in which the Obama administration can serve as an active partner on job creation and ensuring middle-class families have a pathway to opportunity." | 12/13/13 06:29:19 By - Lesley Clark

Administration relaxes some health care rules, asks insurers to be flexible

In yet another acknowledgment of the difficulties Americans have faced purchasing coverage through the HealthCare.gov website, the Obama administration on Thursday announced that it would grant a one-month extension for a transitional federal program that provides health coverage to people with serious illnesses. | 12/12/13 21:00:02 By - By Tony Pugh

With website working, Sebelius’ Capitol Hill hot seat cools down a little

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has asked her department’s inspector general, Daniel Levinson, to review the contracting and project management problems that led to the bungled rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. | 12/12/13 06:45:23 By - By Tony Pugh

Post Castro controversy, White House won't say who Obama wouldn't shake hands with

The White House called it "unfortunate" that Republicans criticized President Barack Obama for shaking hands with Cuban president Raul Castro -- saying there was once a time when politics ended at the water's edge. | 12/12/13 06:41:17 By - Lesley Clark

WH calls faux interpreter at Mandela event a distraction and a 'shame'

The White House says it didn't have security concerns with an apparently fake sign language interpreter -- now immortalized on Twitter as #fakeinterpreter -- who stood next to President Obama Tuesday in Johannesburg as he eulogized Nelson Mandela. | 12/12/13 06:41:17 By - Lesley Clark

Biden hails Mandela as the 'most impressive man or woman I've ever met'

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a eulogy for Nelson Mandela at a memorial service Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral, calling the South African president "the most impressive man or woman I've ever met in my life." | 12/12/13 06:41:17 By - Lesley Clark

Sebelius calls for investigation of health insurance website

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls for her agency's inspector general to investigate how the creation of HealthCare.gov went wrong. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina urged Sebelius to investigate the contracting for the site and said it's a good move. | 12/12/13 06:41:17 By - Renee Schoof

Mel Watt wins confirmation to lead Fannie, Freddie agency

Rep. Mel Watt was confirmed to a top housing finance post Tuesday after Senate Democrats cleared a path for him by changing filibuster rules that Republicans had used to block his confirmation. | 12/10/13 19:06:26 By - By Franco Ordonez

White House says Castro handshake just a nicety, doesn't signal policy change

President Barack Obama's handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial service was simply a nicety, the White House says, not a sign that the U.S. is considering a further thawing of relations with Cuba. | 12/10/13 15:53:55 By - Lesley Clark

Poll: Clinton dominates early 2016 race; Warren gains on Biden as alternative

At this early stage for the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s Hillary’s world, and everyone else just lives in it. | 12/10/13 14:56:46 By - By Steven Thomma

Obama pays tribute to Nelson Mandela: 'His struggle was your struggle'

President Obama delivered a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela at his state memorial service Tuesday, lauding the late South African president as a "giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice." | 12/10/13 12:03:31 By - Lesley Clark

Obama hand shake with Raul Castro makes waves

President Barack Obama shook the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial service -- the first time the leaders of the two countries long at odds have had any contact. | 12/10/13 08:28:05 By - Lesley Clark

White House, N.C. Democrats press state to expand Medicaid

The White House enlisted two top North Carolina Democrats on Monday to urge Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature to reconsider their opposition to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. | 12/10/13 07:13:20 By - By Renee Schoof

Biden to announce boost in mental health spending

Vice President Joe Biden will announce today that $100 million will soon be available to increase access to mental health services and improve mental health facilities as part of what the White House says is its ongoing commitment to help individuals experiencing mental health problems. | 12/10/13 06:15:38 By - Lesley Clark

Rep. Watt clears Senate hurdle, expected to win housing post

Rep. Mel Watt cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday afternoon toward becoming the new leader of the influential housing-finance regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. | 12/10/13 13:30:21 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama urges Central African Republic to reject violence

President Barack Obama taped a message aimed at the Central African Republic while in Dakar, Senegal today, urging the country to reject the violence that threatens it. | 12/10/13 06:15:38 By - Lesley Clark

Obama hails auto bailout as Treasury sells off last of GM shares

President Obama today hailed the news that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has sold all of the remaining shares of General Motors common stock it held to keep the company afloat. | 12/10/13 06:15:38 By -

White House calls in help as Obama ratings tank

The White House is calling in a longtime Democratic strategist and former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton as President Obama grapples with the worst ratings of his presidency. | 12/10/13 08:28:05 By - Lesley Clark

Foreign leaders, including Obama, appear to pose for selfie

Cameras captured President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt apparently capturing a selfie of themselves today during the memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela. | 12/10/13 15:53:55 By - Lesley Clark

McClatchy-Marist Poll: Obama gets worst ratings of his presidency

The American public is unusually pessimistic about the direction of the country and increasingly fed up with Washington gridlock, a sour mood reflected in the worst disapproval ratings for President Barack Obama since he took office nearly five years ago. | 12/09/13 15:22:25 By - By David Lightman

President Obama and First Lady leave Monday for Mandela service

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leave early Monday for Johannesburg, South Africa, where they'll attend the national memorial service for former President Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95. | 12/09/13 04:24:22 By - Lesley Clark

Tree lighting ceremonies celebrated at White House, Capitol

Washington has celebrated the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony since 1923, when then First Lady Grace Coolidge granted permission to place a cut Christmas tree on the White House’s Ellipse. | 12/08/13 06:48:00 By - By Jayna Omaye

Obama defends Iran nuke talks, pegs chance for a deal at 50/50

President Barack Obama defended a tentative nuclear deal with Iran, calling it the best possible way to ensure the country doesn't pose a threat --- even as he acknowledged that the odds are 50/50 that a deal ultimately will be reached. | 12/08/13 06:44:20 By - Lesley Clark

George W. Bush to attend Mandela funeral with Obama

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush will go to Mandela's funeral with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Air Force One. | 12/08/13 06:44:20 By - Maria Recio

President and First Lady to go to South Africa for Mandela memorials

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will go to South Africa next week to pay respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and participate in memorial events, the White House said Friday. | 12/08/13 06:44:20 By - Lesley Clark

Congress’ year-end list of unfinished business likely to remain long

Congress’ to-do list for the rest of the year has it all: billions of budget dollars. Farm policy. Jobless benefits. National defense. The next Federal Reserve chairman. | 12/06/13 16:36:22 By - By David Lightman

Cancer a speed bump, not a roadblock, in White House aide’s dream career

Stage IV colorectal cancer was not part of the game plan that brought Michael Robertson from Fresno, Calif., to the White House. | 12/06/13 15:16:23 By - By Michael Doyle

Statement by the President on the Death of Nelson Mandela

Statement by the President on the Death of Nelson Mandela | 12/05/13 19:56:59 By -

Obama, U.S. laud Mandela

Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela are forever linked in history as the first black presidents of each of their countries, inspiring millions in the United States and South Africa. | 12/05/13 20:46:28 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

SLIDESHOW: Holidays at the White House

If you were expecting 70,000 visitors to your home for the holidays you might do this, too: Bake a 300-pound gingerbread house, decorate 24 Christmas trees, and create life-size replicas of the family’s Portuguese water dogs. | 12/04/13 18:19:34 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama: U.S. should help close income gap

President Barack Obama worked Wednesday to focus attention – again – on the growing income disparity between rich and poor that he says is a top problem for the country but which persists five years into his presidency. | 12/04/13 18:05:32 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama meets with Colombian president at White House

President Barack Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos spoke Tuesday at the White House, stressing the need to move beyond security to a broader relationship that includes education, energy and economic issues | 12/04/13 06:24:46 By - Anita Kumar

HHS temporarily scraps automated payments for insurers

With the automated payment system for the federal health insurance marketplace still under construction, the Obama administration will temporarily require insurers to manually submit their payment requests beginning in January.
The marketplace was supposed to calculate the amount of premium tax credits and cost-sharing benefits that low- and middle-income enrollees were eligible for after they sign up for marketplace coverage. The financial assistance would then be sent electronically to insurers to help pay for coverage.
But that payment delivery system is still under construction and will not be ready for use when insurers are due to receive the federal subsidies in January.
If the subsidy payments aren't received on time, consumers' health coverage could be jeopardized.
To avoid that possibility, insurers will submit their subsidy payment requests to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will verify the amounts and pay them electronically using the Medicare automated payment system.
   Consumers will not be impacted by the change, administration officials say. As long as they sign up for a marketplace plan by December 23 and make their first premium payment by December 31, their coverage will begin on January 1. 
Staff at HHS will be contacting insurers to educate them about the new process.
| 12/04/13 06:24:36 By - Tony Pugh

Bill says it's too early to talk about Hillary 2016

Former president Bill Clinton says he doesn't know if his wife will run for his old job in 2016 --- and he also it's way too early for anyone to start campaigning. | 12/04/13 06:24:46 By - Anita Kumar

Obama strives to pivot from health care woes

President Barack Obama, stung by the enduring controversy over his health care overhaul, tried Tuesday to go on the offensive. Republicans waited with a new round of congressional hearings. | 12/03/13 17:31:13 By - By David Lightman and Anita Kumar

More than 375K people visited revamped health care website Monday

More than 375,000 people visited the website before noon Monday, according to the White House. | 12/02/13 17:57:17 By - Anita Kumar

HealthCare.gov usage soars in December

The troubled HealthCare.gov website was on pace to double its typical weekday volume of users, logging 375,000 unique visitors by noon Monday with more than 800,000 site visitors expected by day's end, the Obama administration said. | 12/02/13 17:54:06 By - Tony Pugh

Obama will sign up for "Obamacare," White House says

Yes, President Barack Obama plans to up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare. But no, he like millions of other Americans, has not done so yet. | 12/02/13 16:15:22 By - Anita Kumar

Christie emerges as Republican '16 frontrunner in CNN poll

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vaulted into a clear lead in the 2016 Republican presidential race, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll. | 12/02/13 12:37:05 By - David Lightman

White House confident it’s met deadline to fix Healthcare.gov for most

After two months of relentless criticism about the troubled rollout of the new federal health care law, Saturday marks the day when President Barack Obama pledged that the flawed website, HealthCare.gov, would be fixed. | 11/30/13 00:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama administration delays online health care sign-up for small businesses

The Obama administration said Wednesday it will delay for one year the online enrollment for small businesses buying insurance through the new health care law. | 11/27/13 16:16:25 By - Anita Kumar

Clinton has big edge for '16 over most Republicans, but not Christie

Ohio has long been a crucial state in presidential elections, and at the moment, Hillary Clinton looks like a big winner over most Republicans if she seeks the White House in 2016, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. But then there's Chris Christie. | 11/27/13 07:59:08 By - David Lightman

Obama’s Justice Department asks court to keep key spy opinion secret

The Obama administration should be permitted to keep a legal opinion secret that allows the FBI to obtain certain telephone records without any formal legal process, a Justice Department lawyer told a U.S. appeals court Tuesday. | 11/27/13 07:32:18 By - By Marisa Taylor

Rice travels to Afghanistan

National Security Adviser Susan Rice has traveled to Afghanistan as part of her first solo overseas trip as national security adviser. | 11/26/13 06:38:52 By - Anita Kumar

Obama responds to heckler on immigration

Barack Obama was in San Francisco to talk about immigration | 11/26/13 06:38:52 By - Anita Kumar

Obama hails Geneva accord as first in decade to roll back Iran’s nuclear program

Iran and six world powers announced early Sunday that they had reached an interim agreement that would for the first time roll back portions of Iran’s nuclear program. In return, some economic sanctions against Iran would be eased. | 11/25/13 12:36:20 By - By John Zarocostas, Jonathan S. Landay and Anita Kumar

Most state insurance exchanges ward off woes of HealthCare.gov

With millions of dollars in federal funding, a more harmonious political environment and the benefit of early planning, most of the state-run health insurance marketplaces are outperforming the clunky, glitch-prone federal website that serves the other 36 states. | 11/25/13 07:11:17 By - By Tony Pugh, Barbara Anderson and Brad Shannon

States divided on Obama’s plan to allow insurance policy renewals

Across the nation, states are still deciding whether to allow insurers to extend or renew canceled health insurance policies through 2014, as President Barack Obama requested last week. | 11/25/13 07:10:54 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama’s overhaul of spy programs cloaked in more secrecy

President Barack Obama has faced withering criticism around the globe for his secret spying programs. How has he responded? With more secrecy. | 11/25/13 06:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

President Obama Delivers A Statement On Iran

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by President Barack Obama - First Step Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program | 11/23/13 22:48:40 By -

Obama to pardon Thanksgiving turkey

The 66th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation will take place Wednesday in the Rose Garden. | 11/23/13 08:06:59 By - Anita Kumar

Obama rolls out red carpet for French president

President Barack Obama will welcome French President Francois Hollande to the nation's capital next year with an official state visit that will stress the close relationship between their two nations. | 11/23/13 08:06:50 By - Anita Kumar

Wisconsin's governor meets the DC media--is he looking to '16?

Is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate? | 11/23/13 08:06:59 By - David Lightman

Obama headed to Seattle, San Francisco

President Barack Obama is heading west to raise money, with stops planned in Washington state on Sunday and California on Monday. | 11/22/13 15:26:07 By - Rob Hotakainen

White House blocks access to Obama events, news groups say

The nation’s largest news organizations lodged a complaint Thursday against the White House for imposing unprecedented limitations on photojournalists covering President Barack Obama, which they say have harmed the public’s ability to monitor its own government. | 11/21/13 18:19:45 By - By Anita Kumar

Media protests Obama administration's limitations on photojournalists

The nation's major media organizations lodged a protest Thursday against the White House for implementing a policy that bans photojournalists from covering President Barack Obama at certain events while releasing government photos and videos of the same events | 11/21/13 14:54:15 By - Anita Kumar

Christie will head Republican governors' group, aiding his '16 prospects

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gets an important national political platform, as he's chosen chairman of the Republican Governors Association | 11/21/13 14:52:56 By - David Lightman

Obama voices support for Senate action

President Barack Obama said Thursday he supports the Senate Democrats' actions to help confirm his nominees despite the opposition of Republicans. | 11/21/13 14:36:44 By - Anita Kumar

Americans agree with rationales for health care law, Gallup finds

Americans' biggest concern with health care policy is cost, according to a new Gallup poll. | 11/21/13 08:02:37 By - David Lightman

White House honors jazz great Arturo Sandoval, others

President Barack Obama awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor Wednesday to 16 Americans, including one of the greatest living jazz artists, Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, at a star-studded – and often poignant – celebration at the White House. | 11/20/13 17:41:04 By - By Anita Kumar

Loretta Lynn among honorees at White House

President Barack Obama awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor Wednesday to 16 Americans, including Kentucky native and country music legend Loretta Lynn, in a star-studded and often poignant celebration at the White House. | 11/20/13 17:41:35 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama honors Clinton, Oprah, 14 others with Medal of Freedom

President Barack Obama awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor Wednesday to 16 Americans, including former President Bill Clinton and iconic talk show host Oprah Winfrey, in a star-studded and often poignant celebration at the White House. | 11/20/13 17:40:43 By - By Anita Kumar

Views on Obamacare hardening, poll finds

A new National Journal poll finds that while most people think the new health care measure will help the uninsured, they're split on how to proceed with the law. | 11/20/13 08:09:00 By - David Lightman

Obama tries to ward off new sanctions against Iran

With talks set to resume over Iran’s nuclear program, President Barack Obama worked to build support at home Tuesday for negotiations and to ward off any move instead for new sanctions. | 11/19/13 19:09:19 By - By Lesley Clark

Will heads roll on Obamacare? WH isn't ready to say

Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday sought to downplay suggestions that there will be a shake up at the White House due to the botched rollout of the president's health care law. | 11/19/13 06:26:15 By - Lesley Clark

Education Secretary Arne Duncan regrets 'clumsy phrasing' about Common Core

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he didn't mean to single out white suburban moms as the critics of the new education standards. | 11/19/13 06:25:58 By - Renee Schoof

Obama says he has 1 more campaign: making Obamacare work

President Obama used a conference call to urge volunteers with his political action arm -- Organizing for Action -- to help him get people signed up for health insurance, urging them to talk about the law during holiday parties. | 11/19/13 06:25:49 By - Lesley Clark

White House still expects trouble for 20 percent of health website users

Roughly 1 in 5 visitors to HealthCare.gov won’t be able to buy insurance coverage Nov. 30 when the bulk of repairs to the troubled website are supposed to be completed, the White House announced Monday. | 11/19/13 06:13:34 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama, Clinton to mark 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

President Barack Obama will visit John F. Kennedy's gravesite and honor two of the late president's legacies this week as the U.S. marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death in Dallas. | 11/19/13 06:26:15 By - Lesley Clark

Obama’s shift in health care policy: Just what does it all mean?

President Barack Obama’s plan to allow people to keep their canceled health plans for another year has raised some nagging questions. Here are some answers. | 11/18/13 04:45:29 By - By Tony Pugh

Health care law could be Obama’s second-term curse

Every presidency faces a moment when reality catches up to perception in a bad way, particularly in second terms. The furor over the botched health care law is President Barack Obama’s moment. | 11/15/13 16:46:46 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Obama administration proposes reduction of ethanol in gasoline

The Obama Administration today proposed the first-ever reduction in the amount of ethanol in the gasoline supply, signaling retreat from the Renewable Fuel Standard passed by Congress in 2007. | 11/15/13 15:33:00 By - Sean Cockerham

Obama’s health care ‘fix’ could raise premiums in 2015

President Barack Obama’s administrative “fix” for the Affordable Care Act may solve some immediate political problems, but it will likely create other concerns by causing premiums for marketplace health plans to increase in 2015. | 11/14/13 19:29:03 By - By Tony Pugh

Roiling health care waters, Obama’s fix could make matters worse

Facing growing outrage from Americans, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and offered to let insurance companies sell existing plans even if they don’t meet the minimum standards set by his new problem-fraught health care law. | 11/14/13 19:03:50 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

Obama urges Americans to help Philippines

President Barack Obama is urging Americans to support relief efforts as the Philippines recovers from a typhoon that killed thousands and left widespread damage. | 11/14/13 05:25:43 By - Lesley Clark

Christie 43, Clinton 42, says Quinnipiac

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are neck and neck in a trial 2016 presidential run | 11/14/13 05:16:09 By - David Lightman

Obama woos tribes, says he’ll visit Indian Country in 2014

While President Barack Obama’s popularity has slipped in public opinion polls, he found plenty of support Wednesday among one key constituency: the 566 leaders of federally recognized Indian tribes. | 11/13/13 18:50:19 By - By Rob Hotakainen

The Armenian Orphan Rug: A relic or an insult?

A rug woven long ago by Armenian orphans is presenting the White House with a tough political knot. | 11/13/13 18:32:32 By - By Michael Doyle

Indian tribes get another wooing from Obama and his team

While President Barack Obama's popularity has slipped in public opinion polls, he found plenty of support Wednesday among one key constituency: the 566 leaders of federally-recognized Indian tribes. "I'd rank him as high as I can go --- a 10 really, to be honest with you," said Leo Lolnitz, first chief of the Koyukuk Native Village in Alaska. Tribal leaders got a chance to meet with the president yet again as Obama hosted his fifth White House Tribal Nations Conference. | 11/13/13 16:36:20 By - Rob Hotakainen

Obama taps new commissioner for commodities regulator

Obama moves quickly to nominate new head of Commodity Futures Trading Commission | 11/13/13 07:15:30 By - Kevin G. Hall

GOP seizes on Clinton's remarks urging Obama to keep his health care promise

Republicans couldn't help but react with glee to former president Bill Clinton's remarks Tuesday that the Obama administration ought to accept a change in the law that would allow all Americans to keep their current health insurance plan. | 11/13/13 07:14:51 By - Anita Kumar

President Obama's job approval ratings plunge

President Barack Obama's job approval ratings have sunk to an historic low in a national poll released Tuesday, following a month of bad headlines chronicling the error prone rollout of his health care law. | 11/13/13 07:08:16 By - Lesley Clark

Obama offers Philippines help in wake of super typhoon

President Barack Obama called Filipino President Benigno Aquino Tuesday to express the U.S.'s condolences of the thousands of deaths and damage caused by super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, one of the largest, strongest storms to ever hit land. | 11/13/13 07:14:51 By - Anita Kumar

Republicans release new ads mocking 'Obamacare'

Republicans released a new round of comical web ads attacking the health care law's bungled rollout. | 11/13/13 07:14:51 By - Anita Kumar

President, VA secretary tout veterans’ sacrifices, pledge support

President Obama told America’s veterans Monday that the country is indebted to them and he pledged to support them “now, tomorrow and forever.” Speaking at a Veterans Day event at Arlington National Cemetery, he and his secretary of veterans affairs asserted the need to continue providing for veterans. | 11/12/13 05:36:22 By - By Mary Faddoul

Regulation requires parity from insurers for mental illness coverage

The Obama administration on Friday issued final rules requiring insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatments in the same way that medical and surgical benefits are covered. | 11/11/13 07:20:10 By - By Tony Pugh

In New Orleans, Obama pushes plan to improve ports

President Barack Obama traveled to this waterfront city Friday to push a plan to spend more money on ports from Miami to Tacoma as a way to put Americans back to work. | 11/08/13 16:42:49 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Obama apologizes for insurance cancellations, says Biden has his back

President Obama offered a spirited defense of his vice president -- and said there's no way he would've thought of running for re election without him. | 11/07/13 21:57:08 By - Lesley Clark

Analysis: Tens of millions could be forced out of health insurance they had

Even as President Barack Obama sold a new health care law in part by assuring Americans they would be able to keep their insurance plans, his administration knew that tens of millions of people actually could lose those their policies. | 11/07/13 20:09:05 By - By Kevin G. Hall and Anita Kumar

Obama, Biden talk health care with Senate Democrats

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met behind closed doors for two hours Wednesday with Senate Democrats who are facing reelection next year in 2014 to reassure them about the troubled health care rollout last month. | 11/07/13 06:26:04 By - Anita Kumar

HealthCare.gov official resigns

Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare &  Medicaid Services, has announced his retirement, an agency official confirmed Wednesday.

The move comes as the agency undergoes intense political scrutiny over  the malfunctioning HealthCare.gov website. Trenkle is the Obama administration's first top official to depart amid the ongoing controversy.

In a phone briefing on Wednesday, CMS communications director Julie Bataille said "Tony made a decision that he was going to move to the private sector."

Trenkle's CMS biography says he "provides oversight and leadership to CMS over $1 billion (in) annual expenditures on Information Technology (IT) products and services. He chairs the CMS IT Investment Review Board and works closely with the HHS Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and CIO on overarching IT strategies."

  Bataille said Trenkle will be replaced by someone within the Department of Health and Human Services.  

| 11/07/13 06:25:12 By - By Tony Pugh

Sebelius on the hot seat again over health care website

After a longtime family friend repeated his call for her resignation during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned of “very low” numbers when enrollment figures for the troubled HealthCare.gov website are released next week | 11/07/13 06:07:52 By - By Tony Pugh

There are danger signs for Democrats in Tuesday’s elections

Voters sent Democrats sobering warnings this week: They’re not crazy about President Barack Obama, the new health care law or the state of the economy – messages that could cause the party trouble as the 2014 election campaign intensifies. | 11/06/13 17:45:47 By - By David Lightman

HealthCare.gov official questioned about website security

A top Obama administration official on Tuesday tried to assure anxious senators that Americans’ personal information was secure on the troubled HealthCare.gov website, which erroneously provided a South Carolina man’s personal information to a man in North Carolina last week. | 11/06/13 06:48:18 By - By Tony Pugh

Voters in Virginia, New Jersey leave tea party reeling

Voters sent the tea party reeling Tuesday as its star candidate lost a winnable Virginia governor’s race Tuesday while Gov. Chris Christie won big in New Jersey. | 11/05/13 21:58:23 By - By David Lightman

White House defends use of alternatives to HealthCare.gov

The Obama administration on Monday defended its request that consumers frustrated with the malfunctioning HealthCare.gov website apply for coverage by phone after it emerged that customer service operators must still use the troubled website to assist callers. | 11/05/13 07:53:51 By - By Tony Pugh and Anita Kumar

Obama celebrates hometown hockey champs at White House

President Barack Obama honored Stanley Cup winners the Chicago Blackhawks at the White House Monday, celebrating the only team from his hometown to win a big league world championship during his presidency. | 11/04/13 18:17:00 By - By Kendall Helblig

Romney: Because of health care, Obama second term 'rotting away'

2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had tough criticism Sunday of the Affordable Care Act | 11/04/13 13:09:29 By - David Lightman

Obama, Iraq’s Maliki pledge to combat al Qaida aggression

President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki met Friday to discuss how their nations might “push back” against a recent spate of violence in Iraq by al Qaida. Neither leader made any new announcements for U.S. commitments, but Obama pledged to continue counterterrorism support and help build an “inclusive” and “democratic” Iraq. | 11/01/13 18:44:21 By - By Hannah Allam and Anita Kumar

Obama issues order to combat climate change

President Barack Obama issued a series of steps Friday to help the nation combat global warming, an issue that may reignite partisan battle lines in Washington. | 11/01/13 11:28:51 By - Anita Kumar

Amid European uproar over phone monitoring, White House sees need for constraints

Under mounting pressure from new revelations that the United States collected the telephone data of tens of millions of Europeans, the Obama administration on Monday said that there is a need for new constraints on U.S. intelligence-gathering operations and a top senator announced that the spying on U.S. allies would stop. | 11/01/13 17:29:00 By - By Lesley Clark, Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay

White House celebrates Halloween

First Lady Michelle Obama is handing out more than fruit this Halloween. | 10/31/13 16:22:42 By - Anita Kumar

Sebelius shoulders blame for flawed health care website

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threw herself on a live political grenade Wednesday, taking full responsibility for the problem-riddled rollout of the federal health insurance marketplace and the decision not to delay the Oct. 1 launch of its troubled website. | 10/31/13 06:48:08 By - By Tony Pugh

GOP says Obama broke promise to let people keep health plans

Congressional Republicans broadened their attacks on the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, saying President Barack Obama misled Americans for years by claiming they could keep the health coverage they had once the new health law kicked in. | 10/29/13 20:30:54 By - By Tony Pugh and Lesley Clark

Obama heads to Boston to tout health care

With the rollout marred by a glitchy website, President Obama heads to Boston on Wednesday to deliver his latest defense of his health care law. | 10/29/13 06:48:28 By - Lesley Clark

White House, Reid press for vote on Watt nomination

Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., faces a major test this week in his potential confirmation to lead the agency that oversees the quasi-government titans of mortgage finance, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. | 10/28/13 18:26:17 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama interview to help kickoff new cable network for young Hispanics

A new cable network -- Fusion, a venture between Spanish language Univision and ABC -- will launch today with an interview with President Obama. | 10/28/13 08:40:10 By - Lesley Clark

Obama administration says it will take another month to fix health care website

The Obama administration said Friday it will take another month to work the kinks out of its balky health care website, now promising that most consumers will be able to easily navigate the site by the end of November. | 10/25/13 18:31:26 By - By Lesley Clark

Kerry addresses shutdown problems in policy speech

Secretary of State John Kerry's speech Thursday mostly sidestepped prickly foreign policy issues and focused on how the shutdown affected America's image abroad. | 10/25/13 06:03:54 By - Hannah Allam

Sharif to Obama: Stop drone attacks on Pakistani soil

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he’d told President Barack Obama on Wednesday that U.S. drone strikes in his country needed to end. The remarks came as the two leaders met in person in Washington for more than two hours in high-level talks aimed at beginning to mend a historically troubled relationship. | 10/23/13 18:52:59 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama to name former California educator to top education job

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Theodore Mitchell, a former California educator and the leader of a nonprofit philanthropic organization that funds education, as undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. | 10/23/13 18:10:38 By - By Anita Kumar and Renee Schoof

White House staffer fired for Twitter activity

A White House official working to contain Iran's nuclear program has been sacked for running a Twitter account that revealed insider administration information and mocked his colleagues, the Daily Beast reported. | 10/23/13 10:58:53 By - Lesley Clark

US defends drone use as Pakistan presses to end strikes

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets with President Barack Obama on Wednesday at the White House. | 10/22/13 19:46:30 By - By Tom Hussain

Obama says ‘no excuse’ for website foul-ups, vows to fix them

President Barack Obama said Monday that he was angry and frustrated with the failures of the federal government’s new health care website and he vowed to solve them as soon as possible. | 10/21/13 18:50:29 By - By Anita Kumar and Tony Pugh

Obama on health care law: 'No one is more frustrated than I am'

President Barack Obama said Monday that the website that supports the new health care law, healthcare.gov, is not as efficient as it should be, but a team of private sector experts are working around the clock to fix it. | 10/21/13 12:28:35 By - Anita Kumar

Obama nominates new Homeland Security chief

President Obama calls on Congress to quickly approve his pick for Homeland Security chief, saying he's confident he couldn't have made a better choice | 10/18/13 16:19:35 By - Lesley Clark

White House resumes tours

White House tours -- disrupted by budget cuts -- will resume on a limited basis | 10/18/13 16:19:24 By - Lesley Clark

Obama calls for end to ‘manufactured’ crises

President Barack Obama applauded the return of federal workers Thursday after a 16-day government shutdown, calling for an end to the partisan rift that he said “inflicted completely unnecessary damage” on the U.S. economy. | 10/17/13 18:16:48 By - By Lesley Clark and William Douglas

Next for Obama: New momentum or long fight just to keep status quo

President Barack Obama’s victory in his budget battle with congressional Republicans may be fleeting. He managed to do little more than keep intact his significant first-term achievement, the new health care law. | 10/17/13 17:09:32 By - By Anita Kumar

President Obama declares governing in Washington has to change

President Obama decries the government shutdown as a blow to America's reputation and says governing in Washington needs to change | 10/17/13 12:03:02 By - Lesley Clark

Biden says no "guarantees" government won't be back in same situation

Vice President Joe Biden greeted returning Environmental Protection Agency employees and said he hopes the government can "regain" the public's trust | 10/17/13 10:35:40 By - Lesley Clark

Administration officials -- including Joe Biden -- greet returning federal workers

Obama administration officials -- from vice president Joe Biden to President Obama's chief of staff Denis McDonough -- fanned out across downtown Washington Thursday morning to greet federal employees returning to work after a 16-day government shutdown. | 10/17/13 09:50:30 By - Lesley Clark

Federal employees head back to work as Obama signs law that reopens government

The White House sends out word that President Obama signed legislation opening the government, meaning many federal workers are back to work today | 10/17/13 07:44:57 By - Lesley Clark

Obama says he'll push for immigration reform after budget battle is resolved

President Obama tells a Los Angeles TV station he'll press for immigration reform once the budget and debt ceiling battles are resolved | 10/16/13 08:34:53 By - Lesley Clark

Army captain gets Medal of Honor for Afghanistan battle

A former Army captain was awarded the nation’s highest military honor Tuesday for his bravery, caught on video, during one of the deadliest battles in Afghanistan at a somber, sometimes emotional, White House ceremony. | 10/15/13 18:46:43 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama: Senators have made progress in negotiations

President Barack Obama said Monday that senators had made progress in their negotiations to both re-open the federal government and pay its bills. | 10/15/13 11:00:08 By - Anita Kumar

Shutdown misstep: How Obama administration plan put country at risk

It may be one of the most serious missteps of the government shutdown. After weeks of planning, the nation’s spy chief sent home nearly three-quarters of the workers at the intelligence agencies when faced with the partial shutdown. The move, James Clapper later admitted, put the U.S. at greater risk of terrorist attacks. He then reversed course and brought thousands of employees back to work. | 10/15/13 06:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Talks between White House and House break down as action shifts to Senate

With less than week to go until the federal government faces an historic default, talks between the White House and House of Representatives Republicans broke down Saturday, leaving the fate of a deal in the Senate’s hands. | 10/14/13 06:57:19 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Malala Yousafzai tells Obama drones are 'fueling terrorism'

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama met in the Oval Office Friday with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani girl who was shot in the head on her school bus by Taliban gunmen for criticizing their rule, including banning education for girls. | 10/12/13 12:17:10 By - Lesley Clark

President Obama signs bill to help families of fallen soldiers

The White House says President Barack Obama has signed legislation giving payments to the families of deceased members of the military | 10/11/13 06:02:03 By - Lesley Clark

Let’s make a deal? Obama and GOP are talking

The White House and Republican congressional leaders moved toward common ground Thursday on raising the nation’s debt limit and reopening the partially shuttered government, trading ideas and engaging in lengthy private talks for the first time since parts of the government ran out of money Oct. 1. | 10/10/13 19:51:37 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Press group: Obama is worst since Nixon in going after leaks

Despite a promise of transparency, President Barack Obama has run a secretive government that’s chilling the flow of information to reporters while it tries to channel its version of news through its own government media, according to a new report from a journalists’ group. | 10/10/13 19:58:20 By - By Steven Thomma

Obama, lawmakers scramble to help families of fallen warriors

Amid the bitter discord in Washington, there is unanimity on one thing: Political squabbling shouldn’t stop the government from honoring fallen soldiers. | 10/10/13 06:24:59 By - By James Rosen

Obama-GOP meeting is later today, but the spinning's already begun

The meeting between President Barack Obama and his chief Washington nemesis, House of Representatives Republicans, is later today, but the terse statements were already flying Wednesday. | 10/10/13 06:24:45 By - By David Lightman

President Obama warns debt ceiling default would hurt US globally

President Obama held his first government shutdown press conference, urging House Speaker John Boehner to bring up a bill to end the showdown | 10/09/13 06:24:45 By - Lesley Clark

Obama apologizes for shutdown – but says it’s other guy’s fault

President Barack Obama apologized to the American people Tuesday for the bitter fiscal impasse that’s shut down parts of the federal government, but he continued to blame Republicans for it. | 10/08/13 19:06:33 By - By Anita Kumar and William Douglas

White House open to short-term increase in debt ceiling

The White House indicated Monday for the first time that it would be open to a short-term increase to the nation’s borrowing limit, allowing the federal government to avoid a possible default on its obligations that could plunge the nation into another recession. | 10/08/13 07:40:44 By - By Anita Kumar and William Douglas

Pomp of state dinners fading even before Brazil canceled over spying

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s decision to snub President Barack Obama over a state visit to the United States is the latest blow to a ceremonial event that’s becoming increasingly rare. | 10/07/13 11:45:03 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama and Biden stroll out for lunch

President Obama and vice president Joe Biden made a rare, outside the White House gates stroll for lunch Friday, thanking a local business owner who has offered deals to furloughed workers | 10/04/13 14:11:11 By - Lesley Clark

Obama backs back pay for furloughed workers

The White House has issued a statement saying it "strongly supports" a bill to give furloughed federal workers back pay | 10/04/13 14:10:57 By - Lesley Clark

Why President Obama is shunning negotiations in budget showdown

The last time the federal government shut down over a budget impasse – in the winter of 1995-96 – lawmakers on Capitol Hill couldn’t get President Bill Clinton to leave the negotiating table. This time, lawmakers can’t get President Barack Obama to join in. | 10/04/13 12:56:52 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama cancels Asia trip citing government shutdown

President Obama has cancelled a scheduled visit to Asia due to the government shutdown | 10/04/13 06:15:32 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama: Boehner is keeping government shut down

Prospects of quickly ending a partial government shutdown seemed unlikely Thursday as President Barack Obama and Republicans continued pointing fingers at one another – and as Obama placed the blame squarely on House Speaker John Boehner. | 10/03/13 19:14:39 By - By Lesley Clark and David Lightman

Don’t look now, but Obama is getting it from left too

In recent weeks, President Barack Obama has seen a wide variety of his policy proposals – foreign and domestic – lambasted on television ads, mocked at rallies and challenged in petitions. | 10/03/13 13:17:16 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama says he's 'bent over backwards' to work with Republicans

Obama says he's kept his rhetoric "down" to work with Republicans but is "exasperated" by the government shutdown | 10/03/13 06:56:58 By - Lesley Clark

Is shortened Obama trip strike three for Asia pivot?

President Barack Obama’s decision to cut short a trip to Asia next week because of the government shutdown is a setback to the administration’s efforts to focus on the economic and strategically important region. | 10/02/13 18:41:21 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama cancels stops on Asia trip due to shutdown

The White House says President Obama will cancel two stops on a planned trip to Asia because of the government shutdown | 10/02/13 07:08:15 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama to use the bully pulpit to pressure Republicans to re-open government

President Barack Obama will meet with business leaders on Wednesday and visit a small local construction company on Thursday as he hopes to push Congress to re-open the federal government. | 10/01/13 17:25:55 By - Anita Kumar

Obama spy panel is loaded with insiders, critics charge

After a public backlash to government spying, President Barack Obama called for an independent group to review the vast surveillance programs that allow the collections of phone and email records. | 10/01/13 14:53:05 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama tells GOP: Reopen the government

President Barack Obama blamed House Republicans for forcing the government shutdown early Tuesday, saying the partial closure of government could have been avoided and will harm the economy. | 10/01/13 13:52:43 By - Anita Kumar

White House to hold health care blitz

The White House plans a full court press today on the president's health care law as the health insurance marketplaces open for business. | 10/01/13 10:35:49 By - By Lesley Clark

In case of a shutdown, Obama would retain a quarter of his staff

Just like everyone else in federal government, the White House is preparing for a shutdown. | 09/30/13 18:22:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama: Despite Israel’s worries, U.S. will pursue Iranian opening

President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States must test “in good faith” Iran’s readiness to negotiate a settlement to the feud over its nuclear program, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged that tough sanctions – and the threat of military force – be maintained against Tehran and intensified if necessary. | 09/30/13 18:44:24 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Obama, Rouhani talk on phone for 15 minutes, breaking 34-year freeze

Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani spoke Friday by telephone in the first conversation between the presidents of the United States and Iran in more than 30 years, a stunning and unexpected development that may boost prospects for settling the years-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program and other long divisive issues. | 09/27/13 21:01:07 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Anita Kumar

India’s leader, Obama to meet in visit high on symbolism, low on expectations

U.S.-India relations will take a cautious step forward Friday, when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets with President Barack Obama in what may be the last visit in a relationship marked by unmet expectations. | 09/25/13 17:06:36 By - By Ali Watkins

In budget shutdown, Obama gets big say in what stays open

Here’s the first thing you need to know about next week’s possible shutdown of the federal government: The federal government would not actually shut down. | 09/25/13 10:59:30 By - By Anita Kumar

Prepared Remarks: President Obama's speech to the United Nations

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Each year we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution. For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. Divisions of race and religion and tribe were settled through the sword and the clash of armies. The idea that nations and peoples could come together in peace to solve their disputes and advance a common prosperity seemed unimaginable. | 09/24/13 13:13:09 By -

Obama’s speech signals Middle East will remain a dominant U.S. concern

President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday at the United Nations made clear that the Middle East would be a focal point of U.S. foreign policy “for the long haul,” with renewed efforts toward resolutions on Iran’s contested nuclear program, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the civil war in Syria. | 09/24/13 20:58:04 By - By Hannah Allam

On Iran, Obama says he wants to see action, not just 'conciliatory words'

They may not have announced any breakthroughs, and there was no historic meeting. But the presidents of the United States and Iran made it clear on Tuesday that they’re ready for serious talks on a settlement to the feud over Iran’s nuclear program that could begin easing more than 30 years of hostility and estrangement. | 09/24/13 13:52:50 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Obama tells U.N. U.S. committed to Middle East 'for long haul'

President Barack Obama told the United Nations on Tuesday that his priorities in the region are resolving Iran’s contested nuclear program, pursuing a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and encouraging democratic transitions in Syria and other tumultuous Arab states. | 09/24/13 12:05:29 By - By Hannah Allam

This time, little push for gun control after mass shooting

This time, it’s different. After the December 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama launched a full-court press for gun control legislation. Lawmakers sought, though eventually failed, to reach a compromise to tighten background checks for firearms. But a week after the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, despite calls from gun control advocates, lawmakers and Obama seem disinclined to launch another significant push. | 09/23/13 18:16:09 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama playing it low key in immigration push

The last time President Barack Obama delivered a speech focused on immigration was more than three months ago. The one before that occurred when there was still snow on the ground. | 09/19/13 08:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Brazil to Obama: We’re not coming to dinner

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has scrapped a scheduled state visit to the White House amid Brazilian outrage over news that the U.S. spied on her and a Brazilian oil company. | 09/17/13 20:19:44 By - By Lesley Clark and Vinod Sreeharsha

Obama to award ‘lost’ Medal of Honor to former Army captain

President Barack Obama next month will bestow the nation’s highest military award for gallantry to former Army Capt. William Swenson for valor he displayed during a six-hour battle in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. | 09/16/13 18:40:32 By - By Lesley Clark

Did Obama stumble into – or engineer – the Syria deal?

A potential international deal to seize Syria’s chemical weapons and avoid U.S. airstrikes comes after a dizzying run of events that raises the question: Did President Barack Obama stumble into a deal with Russia or was this the work of quiet diplomacy and closed-door talks? | 09/10/13 20:34:30 By - By Lesley Clark and William Douglas

Poll: Voters reject airstrikes, question Obama’s leadership

When President Barack Obama addresses the nation Tuesday in his bid for airstrikes against Syria, he will confront the most unfriendly political landscape of his presidency, one where opposition knows no boundaries and Democrats, Republicans, whites, blacks, Hispanics, old, young, men and women all are deeply skeptical of the mission. | 09/09/13 18:55:42 By - By David Lightman

Obama to address Americans in bid for support for Syria airstrikes

President Barack Obama won qualified support from allies Friday in his charge that Syria used chemical weapons against its people, but he walked away from a summit without expanding his coalition of explicit support for a military strike. Facing a divided country at home as well, Obama said he’d address the nation Tuesday to make his case as Congress weighs its approval. | 09/06/13 17:05:03 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama’s talk on Syria ‘red line’ was spin, analysts say

President Barack Obama’s statement earlier this week that he wasn’t the one who’d set a red line against chemical weapons in Syria caught Washington by surprise and lit up the Web and social media. It was no accident. | 09/06/13 13:44:21 By - By Anita Kumar

White House says it expects a 'solid number' of US allies to back its Syria position

The White House insisted Friday that it expects to leave the G-20 economic summit with significant support for its plan to launch a military strike against Syria for its use of chemical weapons, despite deep misgivings by a number of nations. | 09/06/13 06:53:40 By - Lesley Clark

Obama shadowboxes with Putin at summit

President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged a handshake, some pleasantries and seemingly little else Thursday as they met before an economic summit overshadowed by Obama’s call for a military strike against Putin’s ally, Syria. | 09/05/13 17:46:49 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama says he didn’t draw the red line on Syria, world did

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he didn’t set the “red line” against Syria for the use of chemical weapons. | 09/04/13 17:02:18 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama heads to Russia summit seeking Syria support

President Barack Obama heads this week to a global summit in Russia, hoping to rally international support for his bid to launch a military strike against Syria. | 09/03/13 15:32:12 By - By Lesley Clark

Ever private, Obama kept even close aides in dark about plan to go to Congress

For weeks he weighed what to do about Syria. The decision to strike came more quickly. Then, in a long walk around the White House grounds, he told a close aide of a second decision, to postpone the strikes and ask Congress for approval. | 09/01/13 14:16:14 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

Obama risks embarrassing loss in Congress

President Barack Obama is taking a risk by asking Congress to approve airstrikes against Syria. | 09/01/13 10:22:55 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

Obama asks Congress for OK to hit Syria

President Barack Obama said Saturday he will ask Congress to approve military strikes against Syria’s government, a risky step likely to delay action for at least 10 days that could signal broad popular support but also could end in rejection by the legislative branch. | 08/31/13 17:17:59 By - By David Lightman, William Douglas and Anita Kumar

Obama isn’t high on changing federal marijuana laws

President Barack Obama doesn’t support changing federal laws to legalize marijuana, though a prominent physician he once was said to want as his surgeon general says the drug has "very legitimate medical applications." | 08/21/13 16:35:03 By - By Lesley Clark

As Obama debates Egypt, U.S. allies pick sides

Key U.S. allies are picking clear sides in the bloody showdown between the Egyptian military and its opponents, creating a challenge to the Obama administration’s efforts to remain neutral in Egypt’s worsening crisis. | 08/19/13 18:58:54 By - By Hannah Allam and Lesley Clark

U.S. cancels military operation with Egypt, but not aid

The United States on Thursday advised Americans to leave Egypt and canceled a joint military training exercise, but stopped short off cutting off aid, reflecting the Obama administration’s attempt to retain some influence as the situation continued to deteriorate following a lethal crackdown on supporters of the country’s deposed president. | 08/15/13 18:47:41 By - By Lesley Clark and Hannah Allam

Obama’s surveillance revisions omit limits on warrantless email searches

In pledging to make changes that could curtail the federal government’s ability to spy on Americans, President Barack Obama failed to address calls by lawmakers and experts to overhaul a law that allows the National Security Agency to search vast databases of individual Americans’ emails without court warrants. | 08/14/13 19:34:23 By - By Anita Kumar and Jonathan S. Landay

White House chief of black education is ‘passionate’ about his work

All through his years of schooling, David Johns was one of the few African-Americans in his classroom, from the high school in Los Angeles that was nearly an hour away – but that his mother insisted he attend – to Columbia University. Even when he taught elementary school in Manhattan, not a single black student sat behind one of the desks before him. Now Johns sits behind a desk – at the U.S. Department of Education, no less – where he leads a presidential effort to improve education for African-American students everywhere. | 08/14/13 15:35:18 By - By Renee Schoof

Feds told to stop stalling on Yucca Mountain nuclear waste decision

A top appeals court on Tuesday ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to end the suspense and come to a decision on the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. | 08/13/13 18:01:08 By - By Michael Doyle

Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association president resigns amid Obama-masked clown furor

Outrage over a rodeo clown’s masked performance as President Barack Obama at the Missouri State Fair spilled into Tuesday as the president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association announced his resignation. | 08/13/13 13:06:42 By - Dave Helling

Obama wants more oversight on government surveillance

President Barack Obama unveiled a series of proposals Friday that could curtail the federal government’s ability to spy on Americans, in light of eroding confidence by the public after recent leaks about the massive surveillance programs. | 08/09/13 18:23:38 By - By Anita Kumar, Michael Doyle and Ali Watkins

Obama-Putin talks are off, but the fallout is unclear

President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin reflects the White House’s growing frustration with the Russian government over its embrace of intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, as well as its reluctance to engage over a host of issues that are key to the relationship. | 08/07/13 19:15:18 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Obama trumpets housing gains, calls for affordable mortgages

Proclaiming a rebounding housing market, President Barack Obama on Tuesday pressed Congress to help more Americans secure cheaper mortgages – or affordable rentals – and stressed a need to limit government involvement in the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. | 08/06/13 18:51:49 By - By Anita Kumar, Kevin G. Hall and Lesley Clark

GOP head objects to networks’ plans for Hillary Clinton dramas

Had enough of Hillary Clinton? Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has. He sent biting letters Monday to network executives at NBC and CNN, asking them to drop their planned projects – a mini-series and a documentary, respectively – about the will-she-or-won’t-she 2016 Democratic presidential contender. Such programs, he charged, would be a "thinly veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election." | 08/05/13 17:40:06 By - By David Lightman

Obama reverses FEMA, OKs disaster relief for West, Texas

President Barack Obama overruled the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday and signed a declaration that there’s a “major disaster” in West, Texas, due to the fertilizer plant explosion in April that killed 15 people and destroyed much of the town. | 08/02/13 16:33:49 By - By Maria Recio

After explosion, Obama issues order to improve oversight of chemicals

The White House issued an executive order Thursday to improve safety and security at chemical facilities in the wake of the explosion last April at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed 15 people and created a fireball that leveled much of the town. | 08/01/13 19:05:44 By -

Dollars to diplomats: How to become an ambassador in a plush foreign outpost

There’s the vice president of global licensing and retail at the television network HBO, the senior managing partner for a consulting firm based in Chicago and a Miami trial attorney who makes a living suing insurance companies. | 07/30/13 14:38:32 By - By Anita Kumar

Americans’ frustration with gridlocked Washington grows

Americans are eager for Washington to act on a host of issues they care deeply about, but instead they’ve just witnessed another week of sharp rhetoric and political finger-pointing. They’re clamoring for their elected representatives to do something about all their concerns – or even just one – but think that they’re not. President Barack Obama’s job approval numbers this month hit their lowest level in nearly two years of McClatchy-Marist polling, and Congress’ are even worse. | 07/26/13 17:02:32 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Justice Department to take on states over voting rights

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will legally contest a series of laws around the country as part of an aggressive campaign to fight a recent Supreme Court ruling that it says could reduce minority voting. | 07/25/13 18:29:34 By - By Anita Kumar

Obamacare enrollment efforts, and message wars, heat up

Amid a resurgent effort by critics to attack the new health care law, the Obama administration and its allies are focusing on getting millions of Americans enrolled in coverage next year and making sure the new state health insurance exchanges will be ready for open enrollment in October. But convincing a skeptical public to heed the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate” will be a major challenge when the bulk of the health care overhaul is fully implemented next year. | 07/25/13 13:32:21 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama attacks GOP gridlock, says economy his ‘highest priority’

President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to use “every minute, every second” of the rest of his second term to boost the middle class, even as he took Republicans to task, arguing that an “endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals” has taken Washington’s eye off the economy. | 07/24/13 20:22:21 By - By Lesley Clark and Dave Helling

Obama’s major economy talk comes amid growing doubts about recovery

Hiring is picking up, and consumer confidence and the housing market are showing signs of life, but the U.S. economy still is lumbering to reach a full recovery, posing a political threat to President Barack Obama as he travels to Illinois on Wednesday to deliver what the White House bills as a major speech on the economy. | 07/23/13 18:00:20 By - By Lesley Clark

2016 poll: Hillary’s the Democrat to beat; Christie tops conservative-heavy GOP field

The latest McClatchy-Marist poll is a tale of two very different political parties: Hillary Clinton has a huge lead among Democrats for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, while the Republicans face a melee with no clear front-runner. | 07/23/13 17:29:59 By - By David Lightman

Obama honors Louisville Cardinals at White House

It’s been more than 25 years since the Louisville Cardinals’ men’s basketball team visited the White House. But on Tuesday, when the team finally returned to celebrate its winning season, it was greeted by a genuine basketball fanatic who just happens to be president of the United States. | 07/23/13 16:49:36 By - By Anita Kumar

Poll: Obama’s job approval plunges; Congress, especially GOP, still unpopular

Stung by Americans’ persistent worries about the economy and a capital gripped by controversy and gridlock, President Barack Obama is suffering his lowest job approval numbers in nearly two years, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. | 07/22/13 17:44:45 By - By David Lightman

Helen Thomas opened White House press corps to women

Helen Thomas, the feisty, trailblazing White House reporter who tore down historic barriers that had stymied women journalists for generations, died Saturday at 92. | 07/20/13 14:55:16 By - By David Lightman

Obama on Trayvon Martin: That could’ve been me decades ago

President Barack Obama, in his first public comments about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin shooting death, delivered on Friday some of his most extensive and personal remarks on race since entering the White House as he described what it’s like to be a black man in America. | 07/19/13 17:16:27 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama boasts of health care savings, but costs likely to rise for many

President Barack Obama assailed Republicans on Thursday for trying to dismantle his signature health care law, saying it’s already providing a benefit of one kind or another to millions of Americans, including a drop in projected premium costs in nearly a dozen states. But experts predict that premiums on individual plans will increase in most states because of the new consumer protections the sweeping legislation requires. | 07/18/13 19:22:25 By - By Lesley Clark and Tony Pugh

GOP to Obama: If you can delay health care, so can we

Republicans will make another move Wednesday to damage the national health care law they derisively call Obamacare. This time, they’re being aided by the champion of the measure, President Barack Obama. With Obama’s recent move to postpone one part of the law as an opening, the Republican-ruled House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday to delay more key parts of the contentious measure before it can take full effect. | 07/16/13 17:04:16 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama hails George H.W. Bush, ‘Points of Light’

President George H.W. Bush started the “Points of Light” program in 1989 to hail ordinary Americans doing good work. On Monday, it was Bush’s turn to be hailed. | 07/15/13 18:59:23 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama administration weighs federal charges in Trayvon Martin slaying

President Barack Obama’s administration pledged Monday to continue a yearlong investigation into Trayvon Martin’s death and determine whether to file federal charges following a state jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman. | 07/15/13 18:43:17 By - By Anita Kumar

Napolitano leaving Homeland Security to head University of California

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who was only the third person to head the sprawling department created to safeguard the country from threats ranging from natural disasters to terrorism, will leave the government to head the University of California system. | 07/12/13 18:22:56 By - By Lesley Clark

Michelle Obama praises South Carolina exercise efforts

Michelle Obama congratulated dozens of local elected officials, including councilwomen from both Richland County and Columbia, at a White House ceremony Wednesday that celebrated healthy lifestyles. | 07/10/13 18:55:48 By - By Ben Kamisar

Experts: Obama’s plan to predict future leakers unproven, unlikely to work

In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents. | 07/10/13 14:42:38 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Marisa Taylor

U.S. reviews aid to Egypt, debates whether it was a coup

The United States will review – but not automatically cut off – the $1.5 billion in aid it sends to Egypt annually in the wake of the military ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the suspension of the country’s constitution, President Barack Obama said Wednesday. | 07/03/13 20:23:09 By - By Lesley Clark and William Douglas

Obama wraps up 3-nation, weeklong Africa trip

President Barack Obama wrapped up a weeklong visit to Africa on Tuesday, a tour overshadowed at times by the legacy of his predecessor and a political hero with a bid for his own mark on the continent. | 07/02/13 17:41:09 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Obama walks in George W. Bush’s footsteps in Africa

President Barack Obama often notes that he inherited a world full of problems from predecessor George W. Bush, from a Great Recession to unpopular wars. It’s not meant as a compliment to Bush. When it comes to Africa, though, Obama also inherited Bush’s policies. On that, he has little choice but to salute his predecessor. | 07/01/13 14:39:55 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama to Africa: you need to do more

President Barack Obama challenged Africa Sunday -- especially its young -- to build on the remarkable progress the continent has made by promoting democratic and honest government and a thriving middle class. | 06/30/13 17:22:02 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama faces an Africa hostile to gay rights

As president, Barack Obama has endorsed same-sex marriage, repealed a military requirement that service members keep their sexual orientation secret and offered gay federal employees family leave. | 06/28/13 15:41:38 By - By Anita Kumar

FEMA increases aid to New Jersey for Sandy recovery

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will increase aid to New Jersey towns struck hard by Hurricane Sandy in October. | 06/26/13 18:33:37 By - By Ali Watkins

Once ebullient, a now-disappointed Africa awaits Obama’s visit

Barack Obama shares his family roots and the color of his skin with much of the African continent. The result: Africans had enormous expectations when Obama was first elected. Yet he’s never expressed much of an interest in African policy. | 06/25/13 16:43:47 By - By Anita Kumar

White House lashes out at China over Snowden, presses Russia to expel him

A frustrated White House blasted China on Monday for allowing leaker Edward Snowden to depart Hong Kong for Russia, warning that the decision would have a detrimental effect on the already-tense relationship between Washington and Beijing. | 06/24/13 18:28:06 By - By Anita Kumar

Government could use metadata to map your every move

If you tweet a picture from your living room using your smartphone, you’re sharing far more than your new hairdo or the color of the wallpaper. You’re potentially revealing the exact coordinates of your house to anyone on the Internet. The GPS location information embedded in a digital photo is an example of so-called metadata, a once-obscure technical term that’s become one of Washington’s hottest new buzzwords. | 06/20/13 15:09:54 By - By Lindsay Wise and Jonathan S. Landay

Secrets piling up faster than government can declassify some

In the darkened stacks of a nondescript building in the suburbs outside Washington, dozens of federal employees wearing protective gloves spend day after day sifting through millions of pages of secret documents, some of them nearly a century old. The 70 staffers of the National Declassification Center are charged with deciding – anonymously and quietly – which of the nation’s old secrets can be laid bare for the world to see. | 06/19/13 12:44:40 By - By Anita Kumar

IRS scandal brings out more charges of political audits

If reports of political targeting of conservatives by the Internal Revenue Service shocked the nation, they didn’t seem that surprising to many other groups who experienced problems with the tax agency in the past. | 06/17/13 14:59:03 By - By Kevin G. Hall

U.S. says Syria used chemical weapons, will send military support to rebels

The U.S. will sendmilitary support to Syrian rebels after finding the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on the opposition “multiple times,” the White House said Thursday, escalating involvement in a civil war in which President Barack Obama has resisted military involvement. | 06/13/13 20:26:11 By - By Lesley Clark

Democrats hit the road to sell public on Obamacare

Three years after it passed, President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats are still trying to sell the federal health care law to a skeptical nation. | 06/10/13 16:23:48 By - By Anita Kumar

Spying hangs over U.S.-China summit

President Barack Obama and new Chinese President Xi Jinping opened two days of talks at a California retreat with joint calls for a new relationship, even as Obama said he’d continue pressing China on its human rights record and cyber security. | 06/08/13 00:42:33 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama on spying: I am not Big Brother

President Barack Obama offered a strong defense Friday of his administration’s newly disclosed programs to monitor phone and Internet activity, insisting that secret surveillance helps prevent terrorist attacks. | 06/07/13 17:28:05 By - By Anita Kumar

Mr. Obama, meet Mr. Xi; U.S.-China summit is personal

President Barack Obama and China’s new president, Xi Jinping, will meet Friday at a sprawling California retreat for two days of talks aimed as much at fostering a rapport between leaders of the two global superpowers as at reaching agreement on a variety of crucial issues. | 06/06/13 18:11:21 By - By Lesley Clark

Intelligence Director declassifies law to explain massive phone, Internet surveillance

President Barack Obama’s administration on Thursday defended a newly disclosed National Security Agency program that gathers telephone records of tens of millions of Verizon customers, authorized under a secret court order. | 06/06/13 23:36:09 By - By Anita Kumar and William Douglas

Obama, champion Ravens mix it up; no harm, no foul, just jokes

In a welcome break from the political crises gripping his administration, President Barack Obama hosted the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at the White House on Wednesday for a congratulatory ceremony on the South Lawn. | 06/05/13 17:24:56 By -

Obama sets up clash with Republicans over court nominees

President Obama today announced his intention to nominate three judges to the nation's second highest court, accusing Republicans of blocking his selections for political reasons in remarks the White House pool report described as "fiery." | 06/04/13 12:36:14 By - By Lesley Clark

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