White House

Obama tells supporters they are doing 'God's work'

President Barack Obama rallied his political base Tuesday night, speaking to those attending a summit hosted by Organizing for Action, a group that pushes his policy agenda. | 02/26/14 05:39:49 By - Anita Kumar

Biden: 'I may be a white boy, but I can jump'

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, hosted a reception Tuesday night in honor of African-American History Month -- and the veep's reputation for the unscripted remark remains intact. | 02/26/14 05:39:49 By - Lesley Clark

Health care marketplace enrollments approach the four million mark

 

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that nearly 4 million Americans had now enrolled in health coverage on the state and federal  insurance marketplaces since October  1, 2013.

With just 34 days left in the open enrollment period, roughly 2 million people must sign up for coverage by March 31, in order to meet the Congressional Budget Office estimate of 6 million new enrollees.

“As we head into the last five weeks of this historic open enrollment period, millions of Americans are taking advantage of the new choices they now have to access affordable, quality health care, thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” wrote Medicare Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a blog post on Tuesday…”With individuals and families enrolling in coverage every day, we continue to see strong demand nationwide from consumers who want access to quality, affordable coverage.”

Tavenner said the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace is functioning properly after a problematic debut and the call center has taken more than 12 million calls to date.

Experts expect the exchanges to see a crush of procrastinating insurance buyers as the March 31 deadline nears. 

| 02/26/14 05:39:49 By - Tony Pugh

Obama plugs hometown beer as he presses Congress to expand manufacturing institutes

President Obama unveiled two new manufacturing innovation institutes in Chicago and Detroit on Tuesday, calling on Congress to expand them across the country. | 02/26/14 05:39:49 By - Lesley Clark

Obama, Boehner meet one-on-one for first time in more than a year

The president and the speaker of the House talked Tuesday. | 02/25/14 13:18:44 By - David Lightman and Anita Kumar

Obama to propose 1 percent pay raise for federal workers, troops

President Barack Obama will propose a one percent pay raise for federal employees and members of the military in his budget. | 02/24/14 15:54:54 By - Anita Kumar

Governors take parting partisan shots from White House lawn

A genteel weekend of governors’ meetings suddenly became a partisan showdown at the White House on Monday, as Republicans and Democrats accused each other of being insensitive and, in one case, criticizing a colleague’s remarks as insane. | 02/24/14 15:26:34 By - By David Lightman

Obama to announce two more manufacturing institutes

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will announce new proposals that are designed to boost manufacturing and create jobs working with private companies at the White House. | 02/24/14 14:45:30 By - Anita Kumar

Obama, Democrats rip GOP as governors gather in D.C.

President Barack Obama and Democratic governors tore into Republicans on Friday as out of touch and insensitive to ordinary Americans, a partisan broadside to open the annual Washington gathering of the nation’s governors. | 02/24/14 06:42:06 By - By David Lightman

So many changes to the health care law, but are they legal?

After President Barack Obama bowed to critics in November and allowed people with canceled health insurance policies to keep their coverage for another year, the White House quickly hit the spin cycle. | 02/24/14 06:00:00 By - By Tony Pugh

U.S. re-examining relationship with Uganda after anti-gay law

The Obama administration says it is reassessing its relationship with Uganda after that its president, Yoweri Museveni, signed into law a bill that toughens penalties against gays and defines some homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison. | 02/24/14 15:54:54 By - Anita Kumar

Al Gore brings climate change message to Kansas City

Al Gore has been known for his climate change warnings since the 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

But the former vice president, speaking Saturday in Kansas City, cited many more recent examples how heavy use of fossil fuels is contributing to extreme weather events and trends, in his view. | 02/23/14 07:59:40 By - By BRIAN BURNES

In DC, nation’s governors bash DC

Top officials of the National Governors Association expressed frustration Saturday with how the nation’s capital operates -- as they launched a three-day quest for more money and other help from Washington lawmakers. | 02/23/14 06:18:12 By - By David Lightman

Obama calls Putin, talks Ukraine and offers congrats on the Olympics

President Barack Obama called Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday, the White House said as it welcomed Russia's involvement in an agreement signed today between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders. | 02/23/14 06:17:42 By - Lesley Clark

Michelle Obama urges young 'knuckle heads' to get health insurance

First Lady Michelle Obama made her debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon -- warning that accident prone young adults need to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. | 02/23/14 06:17:42 By - Lesley Clark

Obama says midterm elections may not be 'sexy enough' to garner headlines

President Obama told Democratic governors meeting in the nation's capital that there needs to be more of a focus on events in the states -- particularly as critical midterm elections approach. | 02/23/14 06:17:42 By - Lesley Clark

China protests as Obama meets with Dalai Lama

President Barack Obama welcomed Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to the White House on Friday even as China warned that the meeting would hurt the relationship between the two nations. | 02/21/14 17:29:03 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama to meet with Dalai Lama at White House in move certain to irritate China

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday morning - their third meeting in four years and one that will be handled delicately to avoid inflaming relations with China. | 02/20/14 22:49:30 By - By Stuart Leavenworth

Bowing to seniors, liberals, Obama ditches bitter deficit medicine

In a bow to politics both in Washington and in midterm elections, President Barack Obama will propose a new budget that would increase spending on popular programs and drop a plan to slow the growth of Social Security benefits that had angered his party’s base. | 02/20/14 18:43:47 By - By Kevin G. Hall and Anita Kumar

Clinton tops Christie, other GOP rivals in crucial Ohio

Ohio doesn't look much like a swing state these days. | 02/20/14 07:53:47 By - David Lightman

Obama says US condemns in 'strongest terms' violence in Ukraine

President Obama says the US "condemns in the strongest terms" the violence rocking Ukraine and is calling on the government to peacefully negotiate with the opposition. | 02/19/14 13:34:39 By - Lesley Clark

Ukraine comments underscore how NAFTA trade partnership is drifting

President Barack Obama met Wednesday with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts but little tangible came out of the Three Amigos summit, a further sign that the world’s largest trading bloc is on autopilot, hobbled by spats between members. | 02/19/14 22:00:09 By - By Tim Johnson

White House screens The Monuments Men

The White House Tuesday night hosted a screening of the movie, The Monuments Men, a movie that looks at a small band of middle-aged art experts, artists, educators and architects who signed up during World War II to join President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s program to protect and secure European art treasures. | 02/19/14 06:25:35 By - Lesley Clark

White House predicts Dems will hold Senate

Press Secretary Jay Carney says he's confident the Democrats won't lose control of the Senate in the November election -- because of their political priorities. | 02/19/14 06:25:35 By - Lesley Clark

At a supermarket near you: President Obama, touting fuel efficiency in trucks

President Obama travels to a grocery store distribution center outside Washington today to highlight the administration's plans to improve the fuel efficiency of American trucks. | 02/19/14 06:25:35 By - Lesley Clark

Obama sends personal apology to art historian for snub; Rubio calls it 'pathetic'

President Obama has apologized for dissing America's art history majors during a speech last month in which he extolled manufacturing as a more lucrative career path. | 02/19/14 13:34:39 By - Lesley Clark

Obama says he will cut red tape for exporters

President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order that is designed to reduce the wait time for businesses exporting goods and services outside the U.S., according to the White House. | 02/19/14 13:34:39 By - Anita Kumar

African-American leaders meet with President Obama

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder met Tuesday with a group of African-American civil rights leaders, discussing income inequality and jobs, voter suppression and controversial state laws like Florida's Stand Your Ground. | 02/18/14 17:04:23 By - Lesley Clark

White House celebrates 5 year anniversary of stimulus, Republicans say it failed

Five years after it was signed into law, the White House and Republicans are still arguing about the 2009 stimulus act that was designed to jump start a faltering economy. | 02/18/14 06:07:04 By - Lesley Clark

Obama’s meetings with Congress’ Democrats reflect worries of Senate incumbents

Democrats seem to be two different parties these days. Most House of Representatives Democrats love President Barack Obama and are eager to run on his record. Senate Democrats? Some yes, some no. | 02/17/14 04:45:26 By - By David Lightman

Obama urges Congress to raise the minimum wage

In his weekly radio address, President Barack Obama renewed his call for lawmakers to pass a proposal to raise the minimum wage for all workers to $10.10 per hour by 2015. | 02/17/14 04:16:45 By - Anita Kumar

Obama, Abdullah discuss options in Syria

President Barack Obama and King Abdullah II wrapped up their talks late Friday with their primary focus on the civil war in Syria, which has brought a flood of refugees into Jordan. | 02/17/14 04:16:15 By - Anita Kumar

How does Obama spends beautiful California day? Golfing, of course.

No surprise here. | 02/17/14 04:16:15 By - Anita Kumar

Obama pledges additional aid for Jordan

President Barack Obama told King Abdullah II that he would renew a five-year aid package set to expire in September that has been providing $660 million a year, and provide another $1 billion in loan guarantees to Jordan. | 02/17/14 04:16:45 By - Anita Kumar

Obama focuses on California drought in quick visit

President Barack Obama wrapped up a quick visit to the Fresno area Friday, speaking to community leaders and touring a farm to focus on the devastating drought in the region. | 02/17/14 04:16:45 By - Anita Kumar

'There are some big things we can do,' Obama tells House Democrats

President Barack Obama gave House Democrats a big thank you Friday, and reminded them there's a lot he can't do simply by himself. | 02/17/14 04:16:45 By - By David Lightman

Romney: Judge Hillary Clinton on her own record

Remember, Mitt Romney said Sunday, if Hillary Clinton runs for president, it's not her husband who'd be on the ballot. | 02/16/14 16:09:28 By - David Lightman

Obama promises more aid to Jordan

President Barack Obama reassured King Abdullah II Friday that the United States stands ready to help Jordan cope with the destitute refugees pouring in from nearby Syria even as he acknowledges enormous frustration with that nation’s ongoing civil war. | 02/15/14 00:25:35 By - By Anita Kumar

Joel McHale to headline White House Correspondents' Dinner as group celebrates its 100th

The White House Correspondents' Association has named the entertainer for its centennial dinner on May 3 -- Joel McHale, star of NBC's Community. | 02/14/14 10:33:59 By - Lesley Clark

Obama promises money for drought relief; now the hard part begins

The easiest part of the Obama administration’s response to the California drought is now over. | 02/14/14 17:15:32 By - By Michael Doyle

Obama, Biden head for Md. Eastern Shore & Democratic retreat

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are slated to speak and take questions from House Democrats later Friday. | 02/14/14 07:37:49 By - David Lightman

Obama comes to California carrying drought aid

President Barack Obama arrives in Fresno, Calif. on Friday, carrying new drought aid for farmers and ranchers. | 02/14/14 06:19:20 By - Michael Doyle

Stephen Colbert: The First Lady of France?

The host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report says he got an unexpected honor at Tuesday's State Dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande -- he's now the First Lady of France. | 02/14/14 06:19:20 By - Lesley Clark

Biden fires up Democrats, assures them people agree with party on issues

Vice President Joe Biden gave House Democrats a pep talk Friday, assuring them that the American people agree with the party on virtually every major issue. | 02/14/14 10:33:59 By -

Snow closes DC but much of government still runs

The White House canceled its daily news briefing. Vice President Joe Biden dropped plans to attend a retreat for congressional Democrats. As a snowstorm socked the nation’s capital, much of the federal government closed Thursday for business. | 02/13/14 17:42:54 By - By Lesley Clark and James Rosen

Health care enrollment rises; more young adults sign up

Nearly 3.3 million Americans have enrolled in health coverage on state and federal health insurance marketplaces as of Feb. 1 and sign-up rates for young adults continued to grow, according to new figures released Wednesday by the Obama administration. | 02/13/14 06:25:54 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama to travel to Asia in April

President Obama, who had to scrap a trip to Asia last fall during the debate over the government shutdown, will head to the region in April. | 02/13/14 06:34:56 By - Lesley Clark

NARAL opposes Obama judicial nominee

A group that has been supportive of Barack Obama, NARAL Pro-Choice America, launched a campaign Wednesday to defeat one of the president's judicial nominees. | 02/13/14 06:34:56 By - Anita Kumar

Obama to host Netanyahu at the White House

President Obama will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu March 3 at the White House, the administration announced today. | 02/13/14 06:34:56 By - Lesley Clark

Veep and veep sit next to each other at the State Dinner

President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande saluted their country's friendship during toasts at a star-studded White House state dinner Tuesday. | 02/12/14 07:41:47 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to sign minimum wage executive order

President Obama today will push for lifting the federal minimum wage for all workers and sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees on new contracts at least $10.10 an hour. | 02/12/14 07:41:47 By - Lesley Clark

Who's coming to dinner? The guest list for the State Dinner

The guest list for French President Francois Hollande's state dinner includes a number of Obama campaign donors -- along with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert and the star of the comedy, VEEP, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who once appeared in a White House produced video with vice president Joe Biden. | 02/11/14 21:26:06 By - Lesley Clark

Obama, Hollande declare U.S. and France bosom buddies again

Just a decade after congressional cafeterias replaced french fries with freedom fries to protest France’s resistance to the Iraq War, the two countries are seemingly joined at the hip. So close that when President Barack Obama hosted French President Francois Hollande for a state visit Tuesday, a French reporter asked whether her country had replaced Great Britain as Uncle Sam’s best European buddy. | 02/11/14 17:29:16 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

White House: Expanding Medicaid helps Latinos

A new White House administration report presses states to expand Medicaid coverage in order to help Latino residents. | 02/11/14 11:58:51 By - Franco Ordonez

The Obamas welcome French President Hollande to the White House

President Barack Obama and first Lady Michelle Obama welcomed French President Francois Hollande to the White House on Tuesday with a military salute and a tribute to the deep ties between the two countries. | 02/11/14 11:54:59 By - Lesley Clark

What's for dinner? The White House State Dinner for French President Hollande

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome French President François Hollande to the White House on Tuesday for a rare, fancy, protocol laden state visit and dinner. | 02/11/14 04:47:02 By - Lesley Clark

Ahead of a state visit, Obama and France pledge cooperation

President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande open a state visit today with a visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello -- and a joint editorial in the Washington Post and Le Monde that boasts of the close ties between the two countries. | 02/11/14 04:47:02 By - Lesley Clark

White House bans trade in elephant ivory

The White House unveiled a national strategy for combating wildlife trafficking that includes a ban on commercial trade of elephant ivory. | 02/11/14 21:26:06 By - Lesley Clark

President Obama defends health care delay, vows tough moves on Iran sanctions

President Barack Obama defended the administration's latest delay in the Affordable Care Act as a way of "smoothing out" the enactment of the law for a number of companies trying to comply. | 02/11/14 21:26:06 By - Lesley Clark

Obama setting the table for State Dinner

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome France’s President Francois Hollande on Tuesday for a rare bit of pageantry the White House hopes isn’t upstaged by a scandal abroad. | 02/10/14 19:07:02 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Obama administration delays health law’s employer mandate – again

Employers with 50 to 99 workers will have yet another year, until 2016, to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide health coverage for full-time employees, the Obama administration announced Monday. | 02/10/14 18:55:05 By - By Tony Pugh

President Obama talks jobs in his weekly address -- and plugs Team USA

President Barack Obama touts "opportunity for all" in his weekly radio address -- before closing with a cheer for U.S. athletes competing in the Winter Games in Russia. | 02/10/14 04:17:35 By - Lesley Clark

Obama names delegation to the Paralympic Games

President Barack Obama has named the presidential delegation to the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. | 02/10/14 04:17:35 By - Lesley Clark

Haiti’s president tells U.S.: We’re rebuilding trust

Wrapping up a visit to Washington, Haiti President Michel Martelly said Friday he’s thankful for American support to his nation but wants the U.S. government to trust his country enough to provide direct aid to his administration. | 02/07/14 19:49:46 By - By Lesley Clark

Democrats passing the torch – will new generation be different?

Democrats are starting to shed their old guard, leaving behind a party perceived as liberal and strong largely on the two coasts _ images that cause the party big problems in more moderate and conservative areas. | 02/07/14 18:55:40 By - By David Lightman

Obama talks Olympics, says his relationship with Putin not 'icy'

President Obama says the official US delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia -- which includes openly gay athletes -- is aimed at making "it very clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." | 02/07/14 13:29:02 By - Lesley Clark

'Amtrak Joe' Biden takes seat on Northeast's new electric locomotive

Vice President Joe Biden, who famously commuted from Delaware to the U.S. Senate by train for many years, got behind the controls of Amtrak's newest electric locomotive Thursday. | 02/07/14 05:44:56 By - Curtis Tate

Obama cites progress in Haiti, calls for elections

President Obama met Thursday with Haiti President Michel Martelly and said he was encouraged with progress on scheduling long-overdue elections in the country. | 02/07/14 05:44:56 By - Lesley Clark

President Obama decries threats to religious freedom

President Obama addressed the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, pledging the U.S. will stand firm against threats to religious freedom -- and rebuking by name countries like China and North Korea. | 02/07/14 05:44:56 By - Lesley Clark

Biden sounds like he's running, says he'll make a decision next summer

Vice President Joe Biden is sounding increasingly like a 2016 presidential contender, telling CNN's New Day that "there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run." | 02/07/14 13:29:02 By - Lesley Clark

Haiti’s President Martelly meets with Obama for 1st time

President Barack Obama met Thursday with Haitian President Michel Martelly and said he was encouraged by progress on scheduling long-overdue elections in the country. | 02/06/14 17:53:30 By - By Lesley Clark and Jacqueline Charles

First lady to high school seniors: Fill out that financial aid form now!

First lady Michelle Obama visits a high school just outside Washington on Wednesday to encourage all seniors to fill out the FAFSA, the online form that determines whether students qualify for financial aid for college. | 02/06/14 05:56:44 By - Renee Schoof

Biden: There's an 'overwhelming reason' not to run for president

Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of auto workers there's one "overwhelming reason" not to run for president -- a chance to drive General Motors' new Corvette Stingray. | 02/06/14 05:56:44 By - Lesley Clark

White House hails CVS decision to scrap tobacco products

President Obama says he applauds CVS Caremark for deciding to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores, and instead begin a national campaign to help millions quit smoking. | 02/06/14 05:56:44 By - Lesley Clark

Obamacare: The political issue that keeps on giving

Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday engaged in a fierce brawl to define what the Affordable Care Act means to consumers – making it clear that Americans’ qualms about the law will remain a volatile issue throughout the election year. | 02/05/14 17:47:59 By - By David Lightman

White House to help farmers, ranchers cope with climate change

The White House will announce President Obama's latest executive order later today -- a move aimed at helping farmers, ranchers, and rural communities combat climate change and adapt to extreme weather. | 02/05/14 06:26:59 By - Lesley Clark

White House: Obama assured all steps being taken to keep Americans safe in Sochi

The White House says President Obama was "reassured by his team" that its taking "all appropriate steps" to keep U.S. athletes and spectators at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, safe. | 02/05/14 06:26:59 By - Lesley Clark

Gallup: Public opinion of health care law 'remains sickly'

A majority of Americans disapproves of Obamacare, according to a new Gallup poll. | 02/05/14 06:26:59 By - David Lightman

Thousands push Obama to reject Keystone pipeline

Thousands of activists held more than 280 vigils this week urging President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. | 02/05/14 06:26:59 By - Anita Kumar

Obama to take French President to Monticello

President Obama and French President Francois Hollande will visit Monticello on Monday as part of the French president's state visit to the U.S. | 02/04/14 19:00:58 By - Lesley Clark

CBO: Obamacare would lead employees to work less

A government analysis sparked fierce debate Tuesday, projecting that the Affordable Care Act will lead American workers to voluntarily put in fewer hours on the job, a total that would add up to the equivalent of as many as 2.5 million jobs over the next decade. | 02/04/14 18:22:16 By - By Kevin G. Hall, Lesley Clark and Tony Pugh

President Obama to launch new plan for highspeed Internet in schools

President Obama will visit a school in Maryland on Tuesday to announce a new plan to get more schools on high-speed Internet. Fewer than 30 percent of schools have the connections they now need, the White House says. | 02/04/14 06:22:24 By - Renee Schoof

Fox's Bill O'Reilly finds something to like about President Obama

President Barack Obama and Fox News' Bill O’Reilly engaged in a bit of mutual admiration Sunday amid a mostly confrontational interview as they faced off at the White House before the Super Bowl. | 02/04/14 06:22:24 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to meet with Harry Reid amid trade dispute

President Barack Obama meets today with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office -- days after Reid said he opposed legislation critical to a trans-Pacific trade pact. | 02/04/14 06:22:24 By - Lesley Clark

Obama, O'Reilly trade jabs in brief interview

President Barack Obama engaged in a brief -- but contentious -- interview with outspoken conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly Sunday before the Super Bowl. | 02/03/14 04:10:48 By - Anita Kumar

Asia experts: Obama should visit South Korea

A trip of Asian experts are calling on President Barack Obama to add Seoul, Korea to his upcoming April visit to Asia. | 02/01/14 11:42:14 By - Anita Kumar

State Dept. says Keystone pipeline would have minimal environmental impact

The State Department declared Friday that construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline would have minimal impact on the environment and climate change, a key finding as President Obama decides whether to approve the controversial project. | 02/01/14 11:42:14 By - By Sean Cockerham

Obama supporters begin to plan his presidential library

Several friends and supporters of President Barack Obama announced Friday that they have launched a foundation that will oversee the planning of his presidential library that will house his records and artifacts. | 02/01/14 11:42:14 By - Anita Kumar

White House will not say if Obama will weigh in on Keystone pipeline

White House spokesman Jay Carney sidestepped repeated questions Friday about whether President Barack Obama will weigh in on the Keystone pipeline. | 02/01/14 11:42:14 By - Anita Kumar

Obama says Clapper could have handled his congressional testimony better

President Barack Obama tells CNN that James Clapper has acknowledged that he should have been more careful about how he responded in congressional testimony. | 02/01/14 11:42:14 By - Anita Kumar

Obama asks employers, Congress to help long-term jobless

Tapping the bully pulpit, President Barack Obama used the White House backdrop Friday to urge American companies – and Congress – to help the nearly 4 million long-term unemployed. | 01/31/14 17:01:58 By - By Anita Kumar and Kevin G. Hall

Obama dismisses GOP criticism on his use of executive power

President Barack Obama said in a wide-ranging interview on CNN to air Friday that he is making an effort to use his own executive powers this year in part because he has already accomplished many major policies in his term. | 01/31/14 10:17:39 By - Anita Kumar

Obama to announce program to help long-term unemployed

President Barack Obama will announce Friday that more than 300 companies, including 80 of the nation's largest businesses, have agreed to a new policy spelling out ways they will try to recruit and hire the long-term unemployed, according to the White House. | 01/31/14 06:06:16 By - Anita Kumar

White House says it's working to repair relations with Germany

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that there's no doubt that U.S. spying has caused problems with a number of allies, but that the Obama administration is working on smoothing over relationships. | 01/31/14 06:06:16 By - Anita Kumar

Obama taps vice admiral to lead NSA

President Barack Obama will nominate Vice Admiral Michael Rogers to be the new director of the National Security Agency and the commander of the new Pentagon unit that directs the country’s offensive cyberoperations. | 01/31/14 06:06:16 By - Anita Kumar

Michelle Obama tunes into Scandal, doesn't expect a big Valentine's Day

First Lady Michelle Obama told Ryan Seacrest she's expecting a low key Valentine's Day at the White House after an epic 50th birthday party at the White House. | 01/31/14 06:06:16 By - Lesley Clark

What sticker shock? Exchange rates comparable to or less than job-based health coverage

Despite concerns about "sticker shock," marketplace health insurance costs, on average, about the same as job-based coverage - and sometimes less, according to a new study by PwC's Health Research Institute. | 01/31/14 06:06:16 By - Tony Pugh

White House 'deport Bieber' petition hits the threshold

A petition on the White House website asking that Canadian pop star Justin Bieber be deported back to Canada has hit the required 100,000 signatures required for an official response. | 01/30/14 17:45:26 By - Lesley Clark

Obama, Jordan's Abdullah to meet next month in California

President Barack Obama will meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Feb. 14 at Sunnylands, the sumptuous retreat of the late publishing magnate Walter Annenberg in Rancho Mirage, Calif. | 01/30/14 05:25:57 By - Anita Kumar

Gay activists angered by Obama's failure to sign executive order

Despite a flurry of actions, Barack Obama has not signed an executive order to bar federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. | 01/30/14 05:25:57 By - Anita Kumar

How does Obama stack up on women’s pay himself?

President Barack Obama calls it “wrong” and an “embarrassment” that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, saying women deserve equal pay for equal work. | 01/29/14 19:37:49 By - By Lesley Clark

At Costco, Obama pitches minimum wage hike

President Barack Obama traveled to a Costco store in suburban Maryland Wednesday to tout his support for raising the minimum wage, a key piece of the yearlong agenda he unveiled in his State of the Union address. | 01/29/14 16:27:56 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama Taps Executive Powers for Savings Program

Obama uses power of pen to create savings program. | 01/29/14 12:43:34 By - Kevin G. Hall

Obama urges minimum wage hike in Maryland

President Barack Obama traveled to a Costco store in suburban Maryland Wednesday to tout his support for raising the minimum wage, a key piece of the agenda he unveiled in his State of the Union address hours earlier. | 01/29/14 11:01:10 By - Anita Kumar

Biden: 'In my heart...I could make a good president'

Vice President Joe Biden says he's confident he could make a "good president," but that he hasn't yet made the decision to run. | 01/29/14 10:39:32 By - Lesley Clark

Obama calls for education help for preschoolers, young men of color

President Barack Obama makes his pitch again for early preschool and announces new foundation and corporation grants for broadband and help for young men of color. | 01/29/14 05:58:20 By - Renee Schoof

In State of the Union, Obama tries to make a place for himself in the history books

President Barack Obama on Tuesday followed a familiar script for presidents entering their sixth year, as he tried to revive his waning political clout while shaping his legacy. | 01/28/14 21:35:07 By - By David Lightman

Obama to Congress: Help the poor, or I will

President Barack Obama looked to revive his second term in a sweeping speech to the nation Tuesday, outlining an agenda that calls for creating jobs and addressing the widening gap between rich and poor. | 01/28/14 22:45:37 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Obama will force federal contractors to raise minimum wage

For years, liberal groups privately – and unsuccessfully – pressed President Barack Obama to use the power of the federal government’s purse to raise the minimum wage for employees whose companies had contracts with the federal government. Last year, after Obama again failed to act, they changed strategies, launching a public campaign complete with employee strikes. | 01/28/14 19:13:39 By - By Anita Kumar

Who gets a raise and who doesn’t under Obama’s order

Some answers to questions about President Barack Obama’s announcement that he’ll sign an executive order raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour for employees who work for companies that get government contracts. | 01/28/14 19:12:42 By - By Anita Kumar

Excerpts of the President’s State of the Union Address

Excerpts of the President’s State of the Union Address As Prepared for Delivery | 01/28/14 18:38:39 By -

Obama to raise minimum wage for federal contract workers

President Barack Obama will announce tonight in his State of the Union address that he will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts, according to a White House document. | 01/28/14 08:07:13 By - Anita Kumar

State of the Union guests include those who benefited from health care law, want an immigration overhaul

Guests of the White House at the State of the Union address Tuesday include a fourth-grader from Puerto Rico who likes to cook, the chief executive officer of General Motors Company and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. | 01/28/14 05:50:14 By - Anita Kumar

Government allows companies to disclose information on spying requests

The Obama administration announced Monday that it will allow companies to disclose for the first time what information the government has ordered them to turn over as part of its surveillance programs. | 01/27/14 18:49:46 By - Anita Kumar

Bombing victims, gay athlete will be guests at State of the Union

The White House's guests for the State of the Union address Tuesday includes survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, an Oklahoma fire chief who responded to a deadly tornado, the nation's first openly gay professional basketball player, a 16-year-old inventor and Washington, D.C.'s public school teacher of the year | 01/27/14 06:00:00 By - Anita Kumar

GOP criticizes Obama's late budget

Republicans on Monday criticized President Barack Obama's decision to release his budget on March 4, a month late. | 01/27/14 18:49:46 By - Anita Kumar

Obama to hit the road to promote policies outlined in Tuesday's speech

President Barack Obama will travel to Prince George’s County Maryland; Pittsburgh; Milwaukee; and Nashville in the next week to talk about proposals outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union address. | 01/25/14 12:00:34 By - Anita Kumar

White House engages former 'West Wing' actors to push 'Big Block of Cheese Day'

Someone at the White House thinks this is a gouda idea. | 01/25/14 07:24:56 By - Lesley Clark

Federal and state marketplace enrollment nears 3 million

With just over two months remaining in a six-month open enrollment period, nearly three million people have now signed up for health insurance on the federal and state insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Friday | 01/25/14 07:24:56 By - Tony Pugh

White House reopens political office ahead of midterm elections

The White House is restaffing its political arm as the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach and has named longtime Obama aide, David Simas, as director. | 01/25/14 07:24:56 By - Lesley Clark

White House defends ambassador despite 'jaw dropping' stumble

The White House is sticking up for President Obama's pick for ambassador to Norway, who this week made what a Norwegian website dubbed a "jaw-dropping diplomatic blunder." | 01/25/14 07:24:56 By - Lesley Clark

Kansas City, Las Vegas and others bid for 2016 GOP convention

Care for some real Kansas City air-roasted coffee? A souvenir Denver Broncos insulated bag? How about a fleece vest from Las Vegas? | 01/24/14 16:22:05 By - David Lightman

Obama looks to big State of the Union speech to jump-start second term

Eager to put the past year behind him, President Barack Obama will deliver a State of the Union address Tuesday looking to reinvigorate his presidency. | 01/24/14 15:32:31 By - By Lesley Clark and Anita Kumar

Romney praises 'unprecedented' security at Sochi Olympics

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who organized the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, says he'd be comfortable enough with Russian security to send his family to the games in Sochi. | 01/24/14 13:40:35 By - By Sean Cockerham

The Hillary cover: What does it say about her, us?

What does the New York Times's magazine cover say about Hillary Clinton, the potential Democratic frontrunner for president, or maybe our society. | 01/24/14 13:40:35 By - Anita Kumar

Obama: Mayors show you don't have to wait for Congress to make things happen

President Obama hosted mayors from across the U.S. at the White House Thursday, saying their efforts in cities prove "you don’t have to wait for the gridlock to clear in Congress in order to make things happen." | 01/23/14 20:09:00 By - Lesley Clark

Christie, Clinton are targets in unusually early opposition campaigns

The 2016 presidential campaign _ yes, 2016 _ is in full swing, as Republicans and Democrats slug it out with relentless, unusually early efforts to discredit and demonize potential rivals. | 01/23/14 11:37:44 By - By David Lightman

Obama administration says time running out for Congress to raise debt limit

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is telling Congress to raise the debt limit before Feb. 7 in order to “ensure orderly financing of the government.” | 01/23/14 06:37:20 By - By Sean Cockerham

White House says there's been an 'uptick' in threat reporting prior to Olympics

US citizens planning to attend the games in Sochi should contact the State Department, which has posted a travel warning, said Press Secretary Jay Carney. | 01/23/14 06:37:20 By - Lesley Clark

Obama targets problem of sexual assault

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will hold a meeting of the Council on Women and Girls Wednesday morning as he looks to focus on the problem of sexual assault from the military to college campuses. | 01/23/14 06:37:20 By - Anita Kumar

Obama election panel: Voters shouldn't wait more than 30 minutes

A post 2012 election panel appointed by President Barack Obama today presented Obama with a series of election law fixes -- saying voters shouldn't have to wait in line for more than 30 minutes. | 01/23/14 06:37:20 By - Lesley Clark

Bill O'Reilly to interview Obama during Super Bowl

President Barack Obama will continue a Super Bowl tradition and sit down for a pre game interview at the White House -- this time with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly. | 01/23/14 20:09:00 By - Lesley Clark

Days later, Obama’s spy speech has people scratching their heads

President Barack Obama’s response to the international uproar over the nation’s surveillance programs is leaving Americans with more questions than answers. | 01/22/14 12:33:02 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama and Putin talk Iran, Syria, Olympics

President Obama spoke with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin -- weeks before the Olympics opens in Sochi, Russia and as talks begin in Geneva to find a way to end three years of violence in Syria. | 01/22/14 06:48:23 By - Lesley Clark

FLOTUS dunks with Miami Heat

You can't say she's not a good sport: First Lady Michelle Obama teamed up with the Miami Heat to film a public service announcement for her Let’s Move! fitness and nutrition campaign, highlighting the importance of eating healthy and drinking water. | 01/21/14 15:23:18 By - Lesley Clark

Clinton zooms past Christie in new '16 White House poll

More bad news for embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: A new Quinnipiac poll shows he's fallen behind Hillary Clinton by 8 percentage points. | 01/21/14 15:22:43 By - David Lightman

Snow Day at the White House

A winter storm has prompted a snow day of sorts at the White House, where all the public events have been postponed. | 01/21/14 15:23:18 By - Lesley Clark

U.S. eases sanctions, Iran halts some nuclear work as deal begins

Iran has started suspending some its uranium enrichment as part of a deal between Tehran and world powers to rein in the nation’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of some economic sanctions, according to an international watchdog. | 01/20/14 16:33:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Fans say Snowden is vindicated, deserves amnesty for leaks

Supporters of Edward Snowden complained of a glaring omission in the White House’s pledge Friday to rein in government surveillance activities: amnesty for the fugitive leaker who’s now holed up in Russia after revealing the secrets that led to this shakeup. | 01/17/14 19:00:17 By - By Hannah Allam

President Obama signs spending bill

President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a $1.1 trillion federal spending plan that was forged through a rare bipartisan truce after years of bitter feuding over the government’s role and reach. | 01/17/14 18:58:19 By - Lesley Clark

Obama retains spying programs, with some new limits

President Barack Obama said Friday that he’d rein in a contentious federal program that collects millions of Americans’ phone records by requiring court approval each time the data is examined and barring the government from storing the information. | 01/17/14 18:28:46 By - By Anita Kumar

Former Defense Sec Gates backs Obama on Iran sanctions

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates says President Obama is "absolutely right" to oppose congressional efforts to impose additional sanctions on Iran's government -- as he negotiates with Tehran to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons. | 01/17/14 12:51:32 By - Lesley Clark

Obama calls for significant changes to phone surveillance program

President Barack Obama will call Friday for significant changes to the federal government's bulk phone collection program, moving to transition away from government control of the information and requiring the government to obtain a court order to access it, a White House official said. | 01/17/14 08:59:00 By - Anita Kumar

Obamas kick off push to make college more accessible

America needs to do more to help low-income young people succeed in college, President Barack Obama told a gathering at the White House on Thursday of educational, business and philanthropic leaders, who pledged to take on extra efforts to help more students reap the benefits of a college degree. | 01/17/14 06:38:13 By - By Renee Schoof

Obama’s changes to phone surveillance unlikely to satisfy critics

No matter what President Barack Obama announces Friday when he unveils changes to the federal government’s surveillance programs, he won’t appease critics on the most important question he faces: what to do with the massive collection and storage of phone records. | 01/16/14 17:56:29 By - By Anita Kumar

A big bash is on tap as Michelle Obama turns 50

She’s musing about becoming a grandmother and not ruling out plastic surgery as she turns 50 on Friday. But Michelle Obama can still “shake a tail feather” and plans to as she celebrates the milestone the next day at the White House. | 01/16/14 16:53:14 By - By Lesley Clark

First Lady joins with Alicia Keys to talk education

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned accolades -- and few brickbats -- for her campaigns to improve the American diet and get people off the couch. She's also championed hiring opportunities for returning veterans. | 01/16/14 07:42:25 By - Lesley Clark

Obama likely to lobby senators against additional Iran sanctions

President Barack Obama will meet with Senate Democrats Wednesday about their shared legislative priorities for the new year, but he’s also likely to aggressively lobby them to not implement additional sanctions against Iran that could sabotage his diplomatic efforts. | 01/16/14 07:42:25 By - Anita Kumar and William Douglas

U.S. District Court tosses case challenging health law tax credits

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday dismissed one of the last major legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act.

The case, Halbig vs. Sebelius, argued that the health law only allows the federal government to provide premium tax credits - the subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people purchase health coverage - in states that use the federally run marketplace.

That's because a section of the ACA says the tax credits can only be applied to coverage purchased "through an exchange established by the state." 

The lead plaintiff in the case is Jacqueline Halbig, a former policy adviser to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.

Conservative scholars Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon, who first touted the supposed loophole in the law, have said it was intentionally written that way in order to coerce states into running their own marketplaces.

The federal government argued the language was merely a drafting error, which could easily be fixed if not for the polarized state of Congress, which has made it nearly impossible to make any legislative fixes to the law.

The government maintained that other aspects of the law makes clear Congress intended to provide the tax credits in all states.

In the court's decision to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman agreed, writing:

"In sum, the Court finds that the plain text of the statute, the statutory structure, and the statutory purpose make clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally-facilitated Exchanges. What little relevant legislative history exists further supports this conclusion and certainly – despite plaintiffs’ best efforts to suggest otherwise – it does not undermine it. The Court therefore concludes that “Congress has directly spoken to the precise question” of whether an “Exchange,” includes federally-facilitated Exchanges. And that must be “the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress.”

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a liberal patient advocacy group that filed an amicus brief in the case, said Wednesday that he was thrilled by the court's decision.

He said the case was "probably the most significant existential threat to the Affordable Care Act."  

To read the court's decision, go to https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013cv0623-67

  | 01/16/14 07:42:25 By - Tony Pugh

Michelle Obama on her 50th birthday: My message to women is be healthy

First Lady Michelle Obama said she's yet to peak -- even as she celebrates her 50th birthday at the White House this week. | 01/15/14 06:12:33 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to Congress: We're not waiting for legislation

President Barack Obama sent a message to Congress Tuesday: He plans to use his executive power whenever he can to move his agenda forward. | 01/15/14 06:12:33 By - Anita Kumar

Obama will visit Pope Francis

President Barack Obama will visit Pope Francis, Secretary of State John Kerry said after he stopped at the Vatican Tuesday. | 01/15/14 06:12:33 By - Anita Kumar

Budget bill sets spending for everything from military pensions to light bulbs

Congress’ spending plan for the federal government touches almost every facet of American life, as it tackles big priorities such as health care, education and combating terrorism as well as smaller concerns such as the future of light bulbs. | 01/14/14 17:47:30 By - By David Lightman, Kevin G. Hall and Hannah Allam

Obama, Senate Democrats to meet Wednesday

President Barack Obama will meet with Senate Democrats Wednesday evening. | 01/14/14 05:52:28 By - Anita Kumar

Young adult enrollment in health care marketplaces lags

Halfway through the six-month enrollment period for private marketplace health insurance, just one in four new adult enrollees are between ages 18 and 34, the crucial demographic group whose participation rates are key to keeping monthly premiums affordable under Obamacare. | 01/14/14 05:48:41 By - By Tony Pugh and Anita Kumar

Obama is using executive power to affect immigration law

President Barack Obama didn’t wait for Congress to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws to help millions who are in the United States illegally stay in the country. | 01/14/14 06:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Obama will travel to Mexico next month

President Barack Obama will travel to Toluca, Mexico Feb. 19 to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. | 01/14/14 05:52:28 By - Anita Kumar

Supreme Court looks at a president’s power to appoint

Many federal decisions hung in the balance Monday as Supreme Court justices wrestled with a case that involved the appointments made by presidents during a congressional recess. | 01/13/14 16:07:17 By - By Michael Doyle

Smithsonian celebrates 100 years of First Ladies

Michelle Obama’s second inaugural gown will go on display to the public starting tomorrow as part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History exhibit marking 100 years of celebrating first ladies at the Smithsonian. | 01/13/14 13:00:02 By - Lesley Clark

Biden at Sharon's funeral: 'The work of trying to reach peace continues'

Vice President Joe Biden led the US delegation to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's funeral in Tel Aviv. | 01/13/14 10:05:04 By - Lesley Clark

GOP Chairman Priebus defends embattled Christie

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus defended embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Sunday, saying Christie had demonstrated leadership in his handling of the George Washington Bridge controversy. | 01/13/14 04:22:45 By - David Lightman

White House defers questions on India diplomatic row to State Department

The White House declined Thursday to wade into the increasingly contentious row over the arrest last fall of an Indian diplomat in New York. | 01/10/14 06:46:11 By - Lesley Clark

White House on Gates' book: It's not even on Obama's list

The White House says the explosive upcoming memoir by former Defense Secretary Bob Gates -- which criticizes President Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden -- is barely on the presidential radar. | 01/10/14 06:46:11 By - Lesley Clark

White House steers clear of Chris Christie bridge scandal

President Barack Obama and Republican Gov. Chris Christie developed a bond after Hurricane Sandy, but the White House steered clear Thursday of questions about the controversial bridge lane closing that has imperiled Christie's chances at holding national office. | 01/10/14 06:46:11 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to visit North Carolina in lead up to State of the Union

For the second year in a row, President Barack Obama will make an early trip to North Carolina where he’ll begin to lay out his administration’s agenda for the year. In a warm up to his Jan. 28 State of the Union address, Obama will be traveling to Raleigh on Wednesday. | 01/10/14 06:46:11 By - Franco Ordonez

Obama to unveil 'Promise Zones,' McConnell, Rand Paul in attendance

President Barack Obama today will announce his administration's first five "Promise Zones" -- designed to allow the federal government to partner with local communities and business to create jobs. | 01/10/14 06:46:11 By - Lesley Clark

Obama moving toward changes in nation’s spy network

President Barack Obama appears to be on verge of making several changes to the nation’s surveillance programs, including halting the government’s storage of mass telephone records of millions of Americans, appointing a public advocate to appear before the nation’s secret surveillance court and stopping spying on some foreign leaders, according to those familiar with the White House deliberations. | 01/09/14 18:50:27 By - By Anita Kumar and David Lightman

Obama works to craft response to surveillance uproar

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with intelligence and privacy experts Wednesday as they look to finalize the White House response to the uproar over the government's vast surveillance programs | 01/09/14 06:24:45 By - Anita Kumar

Justice Department gives new guidance on school discipline

The departments of Justice and Education combined on the release of best practices and other guidance to schools and districts on school discipline. | 01/09/14 06:24:45 By - Renee Schoof

White House denies Gates’ charge that Biden is often wrong

The White House pushed back Wednesday against a harsh critique from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who in an upcoming memoir accuses Vice President Joe Biden of being wrong on foreign policy and national security issues over the last 40 years. | 01/08/14 18:39:54 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama defends Biden after scathing criticism from former Defense Secretary

President Obama provided a passionate defense of vice president Joe Biden Tuesday -- after his No. 2 came in for scathing criticism in an upcoming book by former Obama administration Defense Secretary Bob Gates. | 01/07/14 18:15:18 By - Lesley Clark

Obama presses for jobless benefits; fate in Congress uncertain

President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Tuesday to extend jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans, dismissing the suggestion that the checks lead people to shun work and insisting there’s no need for budget offsets to pay the price. | 01/07/14 16:10:18 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Obama to press for extending aid to the jobless

President Barack Obama will make his first official 2014 appearance today as he launches an effort to press Republicans into extending aid to the longtime jobless. | 01/07/14 13:21:07 By - Lesley Clark

Activists want Obama to go easy on Snowden

Activists are asking President Barack Obama to offer amnesty or a plea bargain to former government contractor Edward Snowden, who has been releasing classified information showing the breadth of government spying. | 01/07/14 13:20:53 By - Anita Kumar

Hillary Clinton 2014: Campaigning without campaigning?

Since stepping down as the nation’s top diplomat last year, Hillary Clinton has embarked on a frenetic cross-country tour, speaking to massive crowds on a series of issues that could put her in a better position if she decides to run for president. | 01/07/14 06:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

President Obama's New Year's resolution: Working with Congress

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says he doesn't know if President Obama has any New Year's resolutions. But he said Obama -- whose poll ratings took a tumble during a turbulent 2013 -- "begins this year committed to working with Congress cooperatively and in a spirit of compromise to get things done that help the American people, that help the middle class, that help our economy grow." | 01/07/14 05:52:18 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to meet with lawmakers about spying programs

President Barack Obama will meet with a select group of lawmakers at the White House Thursday to discuss the federal government's surveillance programs. | 01/07/14 18:15:18 By - Anita Kumar

Robert Gates offers criticism of Obama, Biden, praises Hillary

President Obama lost faith in the troop increase he ordered in Afghanistan and it was ultimately "all about getting out," of the country, says his former defense secretary, Robert Gates, in an upcoming memoir, according to stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post. | 01/07/14 18:15:18 By - Lesley Clark

White House won't 'dignify' Dennis Rodman's remarks on North Korea

The White House says it has no comment on Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea -- or his emotional appearance this morning defending the trip and his exhibition basketball game. | 01/07/14 18:15:18 By - Lesley Clark

WH press secretary's facial hair creates a buzz

Press Secretary Jay Carney sparked a flurry of tweets -- and a new Twitter handle -- when he arrived for the first White House press briefing of 2014, sporting some scruff on his generally clean-shaven face. | 01/06/14 15:47:34 By - Lesley Clark

White House presses to extend unemployment benefits

The White House went on the offensive Friday seeking to renew an emergency aid program for out-of-work Americans that expired at the end of 2013. | 01/03/14 16:31:38 By - Franco Ordonez

Obama administration declares 'new day' for health care

The Obama administration said Tuesday that 2.1 million people have enrolled for health insurance through the state and federal marketplaces, just as many provisions of the Affordable Care Act begin to kick in at the start of the year. | 12/31/13 16:25:57 By - Lesley Clark

HealthCare.gov enrollment tops 1.1 million after deadline surge

More than 1.1 million Americans across 36 states enrolled in coverage from October 1 to December 24, according to new figures released Sunday by the Obama administration. | 12/30/13 07:34:21 By - Tony Pugh

Obama signs defense bill, criticizes Congress' Guantanamo restrictions

President Barack Obama Thursday signed legislation to fund the nation's defense, a measure that includes a small military pay raise and changes in how the military deals with sexual assault allegations. | 12/27/13 06:43:48 By - David Lightman

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

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