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July 4, 2015

Posts in "Pen and Phone"

February 23, 2015

Warren Joining Obama for Retirement Security Push

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perez says the retirement security announcement is part of Obama’s longtime focus on consumer financial protections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama will be making a public push to strengthen the regulation of financial advisers who provide advice about saving for retirement.

The two Senate Democrats with perhaps the most star power, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, will join the president for the rollout of the proposal at an event hosted by the AARP. Monday’s event also will feature Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Warren advocated for creating, along with Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.

Full story

January 20, 2015

Obama Challenges New GOP Congress in State of the Union (Updated)

Updated 11:59 p.m. | A president energized by an improving economy challenged the new Republican Congress in his 2015 State of the Union address to focus on the middle class and find a bipartisan path forward — while vowing to veto efforts to undo his actions on immigration, climate or health care.

(Read the speech as prepared for delivery here. And watch the RollCall.com live stream.)

President Barack Obama declared his policies to be working — doing a victory lap on slashed deficits, lower gas prices and a shrinking unemployment rate.

Full story

Excerpts From Obama’s State of the Union Address

(Larry Downing/Reuters File Photo)

(Larry Downing/Reuters File Photo)

The following is a transcript of excerpts of President Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 State of the Union address:

“We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

But tonight, we turn the page.” Full story

January 3, 2015

Obama to Tout Economic Policy Ahead of State of the Union Address

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama isn’t waiting for the State of the Union to outline some of the policy proposals in it, seizing on recent good economic news.

The day after Congress convenes Tuesday, Obama’s hitting the road. He is scheduled to travel to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee over the course of the week, touting progress on the economy and outlining pocketbook issues like the cost of a higher education and home ownership.

“The proposals announced next week will be a mix of executive actions and legislative proposals. The President is eager to get to work, and looks forward to working with the new Congress on policies that will make sure middle class Americans are sharing in the economic recovery,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. “There are a number of issues we could make progress on, but the President is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained — particularly in areas of health care, Wall Street reform and the environment.” Full story

December 17, 2014

Obama Issues Rare Pardons, With More to Come

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama granted clemency to 20 people Wednesday in a relatively rare show of leniency from him — with the administration promising more to come.

Obama cut short prison times for eight people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and vacated the convictions of 12 others, the White House announced.

The commutations are the result of an April 23 initiative by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole with the direction of President Obama encouraging qualified inmates to petition for clemency. Full story

By Clark Mindock Posted at 9:43 p.m.
Pen and Phone

December 11, 2014

Obama Backs Cromnibus

President Barack Obama would sign the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus,” with the White House urging Democrats to help put the bill over the top with passage of the bill in doubt later this afternoon.

The rule for the bill passed narrowly 214-212 earlier Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced the president’s support Thursday afternoon, saying the 1,600-page bill represented a compromise and included items the president did not support on campaign finance and regulating banks involvement in derivatives. Full story

October 22, 2014

Is Obama About to Evolve on Marijuana?

Legalization of Pot

Holder told CNN he was “cautiously optimistic” about the Colorado and Washington’s legalization of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:26 p.m. | No, President Barack Obama isn’t about to evolve his stance on marijuana. At least not today, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at Wednesday’s briefing.

CQ Roll Call asked him about two recent developments — Attorney General Eric Holder telling CNN that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, and the hiring of ACLU lawyer Vanita Gupta, an advocate of legalizing marijuana and leading drug war critic, to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

“Should we take these as signals that the president is himself continuing to evolve on this issue?” Earnest was asked.

“No,” Earnest said. Full story

September 24, 2014

Obama’s United Nations Speech Skips Over Congress

Obama spoke at the United Nations on Wednesday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Obama spoke at the United Nations on Wednesday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama’s soaring speech at the United Nations General Assembly addressed a host of pressing issues — ISIS, Ebola, Ukraine. One word he didn’t mention? Congress.

With Congress out of town, this week has seen perhaps the purest iteration of the president’s pen-and-phone-and-podium governing style. Airstrikes in Syria were launched on the president’s authority, without a new vote in Congress. And the president is pushing for a sweeping climate change agenda for the world — though that’s something he couldn’t get through a Democratic Congress, let alone a Republican House that has passed bill after bill looking to rein in his efforts, not expand them.

On the world stage, Congress has receded. It’s Obama’s policies that will carry the day — or not — on Ukraine, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the Ebola epidemic, or fighting ISIS. Full story

September 2, 2014

Obama Hasn’t Decided When to Act on Immigration

President Barack Obama might act in the next few weeks on immigration. Or he might not. He might wait until after the November elections. But politics isn’t his top priority.

At least, that’s all according to his spokesman.

“There is the chance that it could be before the end of the summer. There is the chance that it could be after the summer,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Earnest was peppered Tuesday with questions about Obama’s previous, and possibly inoperative, declaration that he would act without delay on immigration once he received a report from his attorney general and Homeland Security secretary on his legal authority to act at the end of the summer.

The declared end date of “end of summer” has now become a fudged up timeline, with reports that the White House will delay acting — at least in part — until after the November elections to protect vulnerable Senate Democrats in red states.

Earnest said that politics wasn’t the president’s “top priority” — that getting the policy correct was.

But that increasingly sounds like someone trying to declare that there isn’t gambling going on at Rick’s.

 

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August 6, 2014

President Defends Executive Action Post-GOP Lawsuit

President Barack Obama pushed back on the idea that he’s an imperial president Wednesday, saying that while he is considering additional executive orders on immigration and in other areas, he is “bound by the Constitution.”

A reporter asked the president about a quote from his campaign railing against then-President George W. Bush acting on his own without going to Congress. Obama said he doesn’t have “a green light” to act as he chooses.

“I’m bound by the Constitution. I’m bound by separation of powers. There’s some things we can’t do,” he said at a news conference tied to a major U.S.-Africa summit. “Congress has the power of the purse, for example.” Full story

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