August 23, 2011 |
After taking months of heat from both political parties for its decision to assist in a NATO-led mission in Libya, the Obama administration was not only pleased with the results but also eager to tout the strategy, crediting it with weakening Moammar Kadafi's forces over time while giving rebel forces time to regroup. And the administration offered a response to criticism that Obama's plan lacked an endgame in Libya: “Six months is not a long time to bring down a 42-year dictatorship,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, in a telephone interview. “Over time, all the pressure on Kadafi built up because we were destroying his forces on the ground while denying him ability to replenish them, so he was getting steadily weaker and at the same time the opposition was getting better organized,” Rhodes said.
July 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Elderly Americans on Medicare are substantially happier with their insurance coverage than their younger counterparts who rely on commercial insurance, according to a new national survey . Only 8% of Medicare beneficiaries 65 or over rated their coverage “fair” or “poor,” the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund found. By comparison, 20% of those with employer-based coverage gave their insurance plan low marks. And 33% of people who bought insurance on their own reported unhappiness with their coverage.
September 14, 2011 |
President Obama continued to stump for his jobs plan Wednesday, traveling to the battleground state of North Carolina and again suggesting that he will blame a failure by Congress to pass the package squarely on Republicans. The president told a crowd of about 8,000 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh that the GOP was resisting the plan, in part, because Republicans don't want to “give me a win” in advance of the 2012 elections. “Give me a win? Give me a break!
August 17, 2012 |
Before the presidential campaign hurtles off to the next skirmish, take a moment to notice what happened this week: Mitt Romney vowed to increase the national debt by $716 billion, and no one so much as blinked. Romney's handling of the $716 billion in Medicare cost cuts comes close to being a perfect example of why federal spending so seldom gets cut - everyone favors restraining government spending in theory, but voters seldom love it in practice. To recap: As part of the Obama health reform law, Congress voted to reduce payments to certain hospitals, insurance companies and other healthcare providers by about $716 billion over the next 10 years.
May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's proposed mix of tax hikes and spending cuts would reduce future budget deficits more quickly than under current laws, according to a report issued Friday that could rekindle the dormant budget wars in Washington. The outlook from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office comes as the government is set to reach its debt limit on Saturday, forcing the White House and Congress back to the negotiating table to work out a long-term budget plan that raises taxes, cuts spending -- or some combination of the two. Already, Washington is on track to have a substantially lower deficit -- $642 billion -- this fiscal year than experts had expected, the budget office reported earlier this week.
July 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A proposal to extend lower interest rates for some federal student loans failed for the second time in the Senate on Wednesday, putting new pressure on Democrats to reach a compromise on the issue. A unanimous bloc of Republicans, joined by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and independent Angus King of Maine, voted against a procedural step that would have allowed the approach favored by Senate Democratic leaders to move forward. Their bill would reinstate for one year the 3.4% interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans that expired June 30. With no action in Congress so far, the rate has doubled to 6.8%.
December 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama said Wednesday that he would reject any Republican effort to tie a long-term budget deal to a vote to increase the debt ceiling, saying such a strategy would be a threat to the recovering economy. “That is a bad strategy for America, it's a bad strategy for your businesses, and it is not a game that I will play,” Obama told a group of business leaders gathered for a meeting of the Business Roundtable. The president was reacting to reports that Republicans on the Hill are considering a new way out of their standoff with the president over a massive set of tax rates and spending cuts set to take effect in the new year.
January 4, 2012 |
Mitt Romney and John McCain have a history of tense relations dating back to their vicious battle for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, but any hard feelings appear to have been put aside as McCain endorsed Romney on Wednesday to be the party's nominee to take on President Obama. “It's with some nostalgia that I return to this place that I love so well,” said McCain, a popular figure in New Hampshire who twice won GOP presidential primaries here. “I'm really here for one reason and one reason only and that is to make sure we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America.
September 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - By providing a way to avert a U.S. military strike, Russia's proposal that Syria surrender its chemical weapons has offered a host of world leaders an exit from an increasingly damaging political crisis. The plan, which is expected to be hashed out in the United Nations over the next week or longer, has quickly gained supporters in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Congress. Despite numerous complications and likely setbacks ahead, the idea has gained momentum because it offers major advantages for each of those parties.
October 4, 2012 |
President George W. Bush became an object of scorn and near-pity eight years ago for some voters watching his first debate with Democratic challenger John F. Kerry. Sitting amid a group of 100 swing voters who assembled to watch the debate at a college auditorium in Pennsylvania, I heard some laugh. Others shook their heads in dismay, as the president smirked or stammered and groped for words - particularly as he tried to defend the troublesome war in Iraq. The crowd had been given portable dial-rating devices to instantly register their feelings about the two presidential contenders.