November 9, 2013 |
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The White House is reviewing a subpoena for testimony from its top technology chief, but a spokesman called the request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee an “unnecessary” distraction from the administration's work to fix the broken health insurance website. Rick Weiss, a spokesman for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said officials will “respond as appropriate” to the subpoena issued Friday by committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista)
November 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Sixteen Senate Democrats met with President Obama on Wednesday to urge that he right his foundering healthcare website, warning of a "crisis of confidence" if he doesn't act quickly. The president's team acknowledged struggling with how to present its message to the public, but some senators left the meeting more concerned that there were no immediate fixes forthcoming more than a month after healthcare.gov went live. With reelection battles looming, fellow Democrats have been left to explain the website failures while hoping that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act are just around the corner.
November 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - While a team of techies tries to reboot the broken federal insurance website, President Obama is trying to retool efforts to promote the flailing healthcare law. The flawed launch of the new online marketplaces has forced Obama to spend time defending the insurance exchanges rather than selling them to a skeptical public, as he had planned. More than a month into the rollout, he has few bright spots to highlight and one big gaping hole to avoid: The website he planned to sell with the zeal of a late-night infomercial pitchman does not work properly.
November 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama was assured that the healthcare insurance website was ready to launch on Oct. 1, even as private contractors and some administration officials knew the site had failed in early testing, a senior White House advisor said Sunday. Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer said the president repeatedly asked about the healthcare.gov website, a key piece of his 2010 healthcare overhaul legislation, and was told it would meet his expectations. Along with the president, Pfeiffer hyped the website in the weeks before the troubled launch, promising it would “be a consumer experience unmatched by anything in government, but also in the private sector.” “We did believe that,” Pfeiffer said on ABC's "This Week.
November 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In blocking the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to head a top housing agency, Senate Republicans showed they preferred to keep oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the hands of a career bureaucrat who opposes providing more aggressive aid for struggling homeowners. Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, was nominated by President Obama to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The nomination failed a key procedural vote Thursday. The White House and congressional Democrats plan to continue to press for Watt to replace acting Director Edward J. DeMarco, who has led the housing regulatory agency since 2009.
November 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- - Even if his campaign staff may have considered replacing Joe Biden with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the ticket in 2012, President Obama would have “laughed [the idea] out of the room,” a White House spokesman said Friday. Speculation about Obama dumping his sitting vice president for his then-secretary of State was rampant during the 2012 election, and the president's reelection campaign repeatedly denied the rumors. A new book from “Game Change” authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, however, reports that senior officials researched the possibility in the early stages of the campaign, before deciding against it. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dismissed the report, saying that campaigns routinely test a number of possibilities in focus groups and polls, ranging from what the president's top priorities should be to what he should eat for breakfast.
October 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to be the regulator for housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed a key procedural vote Thursday because of strong Republican opposition. President Obama nominated Watt, a veteran Democrat from North Carolina, in May to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. But attempts to bring his nomination to a vote by the full Senate failed Thursday as supporters were unable to muster the 60 votes needed to stop a threatened Republican filibuster.
October 31, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Early in her U.S. Senate tenure, when she was chewing through staff like a rototiller, Dianne Feinstein offered one of the least apologetic, most self-aware comments of her many decades in public life. "I don't get ulcers,” she said. “I give them. " With controversy flaring anew over the National Security Agency and its regimen of eavesdropping on friend and foe alike, President Obama is just the latest to experience the stomach-acid-inducing ire of California's scolding senator.
October 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Even with its health insurance marketplace floundering for the fourth week, the Obama administration is resisting what some Democratic allies contend is the most logical response to the problem: giving consumers more time to sign up. According to insurers and the White house, delaying the deadline could undermine efforts to lure a broad, young and healthy mix of consumers to the market. That would end up costing insurers, and possibly taxpayers, money. The case against delay was outlined in a memo circulated to lawmakers by the insurance lobby last week.
October 29, 2013 |
The White House and State Department signed off on surveillance targeting phone conversations of friendly foreign leaders, current and former U.S. intelligence officials said Monday, pushing back against assertions that President Obama and his aides were unaware of the high-level eavesdropping. Professional staff members at the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies are angry, these officials say, believing the president has cast them adrift as he tries to distance himself from the disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that have strained ties with close allies.