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February 7, 2016

Posts in "Valerie Jarrett"

January 12, 2016

Obama Urges ‘Better Politics’ to Tackle Challenges


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 12 - President Barack Obama speaks during his final State of the Union to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Behind him Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Paul Ryan listen. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

“Democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens,” Obama told Congress and a nationwide audience. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama used his last State of the Union address to prod both Congress and the American people, saying America’s political system needs an overhaul if the country is to successfully tackle a list of “challenges.”

In an unique address to a joint session of Congress, Obama laid out a mostly optimistic vision for a United States, one he said should be followed long after he leaves office to provide “prosperity and security for generations to come.”

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June 10, 2014

White House: Don’t Blame Immigration for Eric Cantor’s Shocking Loss


Updated 10:14 p.m. | The White House looked to spin the shocking loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday night, as President Barack Obama tries to salvage what appears to be sinking hopes for an immigration overhaul Tuesday night.

In a pair of tweets, two top Obama advisers, Dan Pfeiffer and David Simas, took solace in the victory of Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in a crowded Republican primary even though Graham was a key backer of the Senate immigration overhaul that Cantor had derided as “amnesty” as he sought to fend off a tea party challenger in his Virginia primary.

Backers of immigration reform also ripped Cantor for trying to have both sides of the immigration issue and plan to press on.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., also pointed to Graham as a ray of hope on immigration and for the GOP.

“Tonight’s election shows the Republican Party has two paths it can take on immigration,” he said in a statement. “The Graham path of showing leadership and solving a problem in a mainstream way, which leads to victory. Or the Cantor path of trying to play both sides, which is a path to defeat. Cantor’s defeat does not change the fundamental fact that Republicans will become a minority party if they don’t address our broken immigration system.”

But there’s no doubt that immigration was at the center of the campaign to defeat Cantor.

Of note, another Obama adviser, Valerie Jarrett, had recently pointed to the end of primary season as opening a narrow window for immigration. Privately, many Democrats and immigration advocates had eyed a Cantor win Tuesday as the starting point for an immigration sprint.

May 16, 2014

‘We Have a Commitment From John Boehner’ on Immigration, Jarrett Says (Updated)


immigration reform White House adviser Valerie Jarrett John Boehner

On immigration, a White House adviser says “We have a commitment from John Boehner.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:03 a.m. | The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the story folks are talking about: senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett telling a Las Vegas conference “we have a commitment from John Boehner” on immigration.

“I think we have a window this summer, between now and August, to get something done,” Jarrett said, noting that a vote would come after most Republican primaries. “We have a commitment from Speaker Boehner, who’s very frustrated with his caucus.”

She added, “I feel very encouraged about immigration reform. I think you’re going to see mounting pressure.”

Jarrett clarified her remark via a tweet Friday morning, after the story got lots of overnight attention.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel reiterated the speaker’s line that Obama needs to show he will enforce the law.

“Republicans are committed to reforming our immigration system, but as the speaker has said repeatedly, it’s difficult to see how we make progress until the American people have faith that President Obama will enforce the law as written,” he said.
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