Holbrooke a foreign policy 'giant'
December 13th, 2010
09:30 PM ET

Holbrooke a foreign policy 'giant'

Photo by White House photographer Pete Souza was taken on May 6, 2009

Statement from the President on Richard Holbrooke

Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Richard Holbrooke, a true giant of American foreign policy who has made America stronger, safer, and more respected. He was a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace.

For nearly 50 years, Richard served the country he loved with honor and distinction.  He worked as a young foreign service officer during the Vietnam War and then supported the Paris peace talks which ended that war.  As a young Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, he helped normalize relations with China.  As U.S. Ambassador to Germany, he helped Europe emerge from a long Cold War and encouraged NATO to welcome new members.
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Obama's first tax deal victory lap
December 13th, 2010
06:02 PM ET

Obama's first tax deal victory lap

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama made a statement in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room after Obama and Republicans received enough votes to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate that would allow voting to continue on the tax and benefits package for senators delayed by inclement weather.

"I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package, and I understand those concerns.  I share some of them," he said.  "But that's the nature of compromise - sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us."

"Taken as a whole, the bill that the Senate will allow to proceed does some very good things for America’s economy and the American people," Obama said.


Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts • The News • The Visuals
Obama to get new hot tub for Christmas?
December 13th, 2010
05:37 PM ET

Obama to get new hot tub for Christmas?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new hot tub was one of the many gift suggestions given to first lady Michelle Obama today after she read to young patients at Children’s National Medical Center.

Mrs. Obama read “The Night Before Christmas” to the group and then took questions from the audience, including what she would be giving the president for Christmas.  The first lady jokingly replied that she couldn't tell because it would no longer be a secret and she still had to figure out which list President Obama is on.

"I’m not going to tell you because it’s going to be in the paper tomorrow, and then he’s going to read it, and then it won’t be a surprise," she said.  "But first I have to see whether he’s been naughty or nice.  I’ve been trying to figure that out."

At one point she asked the kids for Christmas gift ideas for the president.  Their responses: candy, a watch, a new suit, and a new hot tub.


Topics: Bo • Michelle Obama • The Family
December 13th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

Hawaii likely delayed for Obama

By the CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will remain in Washington for as long as Congress stays in session, and that likely means later than the scheduled start of his Christmas break, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

Saturday is supposed to be the start of the Senate's Christmas recess and the day Obama and the first family head for Hawaii.

However, Gibbs told reporters that a Saturday departure appears unlikely.

"I think the Senate is going to be in longer than this week," he said, adding that Obama will stay in Washington for "as long as the Congress is here."

Check out the complete story on CNN.com.


Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts • The News • Uncategorized
December 13th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Health care ruling constitutional?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House health care adviser Nancy Ann DeParle told CNN’s Dan Lothian the ruling in Virginia is part of the legal process and said the health care reform bill is constitutional.

For more on the story, check out this story by CNN's Bill Mears on CNN.com.


Topics: Health care • The News
Obama signs child nutrition bill
December 13th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Obama signs child nutrition bill

By CNN Wire Staff

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed a sweeping overhaul of child nutrition standards Monday, enacting a law meant to encourage better
eating habits in part by giving the federal government more authority to set standards for food sold in vending machines and elsewhere on school grounds.

Among other things, the $4.5 billion measure provides more money to poor areas to subsidize free meals and requires schools to abide by health guidelines drafted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To help offset the higher cost of including more fruits and vegetables, the bill increases the reimbursement rate for school lunches.
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Obama to hit airwaves across the country
December 13th, 2010
11:47 AM ET

Obama to hit airwaves across the country

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the Senate takes up the compromise he reached with Republicans to extend the Bush era tax cuts on Monday, President Obama will sit down for interviews with four local television stations from across the country to press for quick passage in Congress.

Obama will be interviewed by reporters from stations in Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Des Moines, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

The White House says the president will also highlight other aspects of the agreement including the continuation of unemployment insurance, and other investments the White House believes will lead to job creation and economic growth.


Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts
Senate set to debate tax plan compromise
December 13th, 2010
06:50 AM ET

Senate set to debate tax plan compromise

By CNN Wire Staff

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senators are expected to open debate on the tax compromise reached by President Barack Obama and Republicans Monday, but House Democrats will likely try to change the deal, one of their leaders said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters that the package will get a vote in the House despite a threat by House Democrats last week to prevent it from reaching the floor.

"What form the bill comes to the floor in is something that's under
discussion and debate," Van Hollen said, later adding that the House "will have an opportunity to work its will, but there will be, as I say, discussions as to the form it takes when it arrives for that vote."
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Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts • The News
December 13th, 2010
06:23 AM ET

POTUS Schedule – December 13, 2010

9:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

Oval Office

10:25AM THE PRESIDENT signs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY deliver remarks

Harriet Tubman Elementary School

11:25AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors

Oval Office
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