First on CNN: Once-homeless Iraq vet will introduce Obama at unemployment event today
January 31st, 2014
09:01 AM ET
3 months ago

First on CNN: Once-homeless Iraq vet will introduce Obama at unemployment event today

(CNN) - At Friday morning’s White House event on the issue of long term unemployment, President Obama will be introduced by a California man named Erick Varela who served as a combat infantryman in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq, according to a White House official who shared Erick’s personal story with CNN.

When Erick, a skilled heavy equipment operator, left the Army in 2008 and returned home to Manteca, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the housing crisis was in full swing and he was unable to find work. He applied at fast food restaurants and in retail but couldn’t find a job. His financial situation became so dire that he and his wife, Katey, lived out of their car when they could no longer afford to pay their rent.
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Filed under: President Obama • Veterans
Obama to put women's issues 'front and center' in address
January 28th, 2014
07:10 PM ET
3 months ago

Obama to put women's issues 'front and center' in address

(CNN) - Working women and their struggles will form a major part of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, CNN has learned, underscoring the important role women play both in Obama's domestic agenda and his party's hopes for this year's midterm elections.

During his speech, Obama will call for an end to the wage gap between men and women. On average, women earn 77 cents to every dollar a man makes in the workplace
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Filed under: President Obama • State of the Union
Behind the scenes: Gearing up for the State of the Union address
January 24th, 2014
05:33 PM ET
3 months ago

Behind the scenes: Gearing up for the State of the Union address

Washington (CNN) – When President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday night, his words will have been months in the making. So will his chief speechwriter's beard.

Cody Keenan began sporting stubble in November, just before White House officials first met to discuss the big speech and plans to shave after Obama delivers his speech before Congress.
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U.S. drops contractor for work on Obamacare website
January 10th, 2014
12:13 PM ET
3 months ago

U.S. drops contractor for work on Obamacare website

Updated 1:32 p.m. ET, 1/10/14

(CNN) - The Obama administration has cut ties with CGI Federal for its work as the main contractor on the Obamacare website, a source familiar with the decision told CNN.

The contract was up and not renewed, the source said.
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Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
Source: November deadline for healthcare.gov possible
November 13th, 2013
02:11 PM ET
5 months ago

Source: November deadline for healthcare.gov possible

Washington (CNN) - A source with knowledge of the technical operations for fixing the Obamacare website pushed back Wednesday on a report in the Washington Post that said software problems with the troubled healthcare website are unlikely to be resolved by the end of the month.

The Obama administration's Chief Information Officer, Todd Park, told a congressional committee Wednesday that healthcare.gov can currently handle barely half of its intended capacity.
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Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
Behind the scenes: Fixing the Obamacare website
November 12th, 2013
05:37 PM ET
5 months ago

Behind the scenes: Fixing the Obamacare website

(CNN) - Stale Chinese food. Half eaten pizzas. Three people crammed into offices designed for one. Tech experts crowded into conference rooms and sitting with laptops on the floor. A shortage of printers.

This is the scene at the Northern Virginia site where teams of tech experts are working to fix healthcare.gov, as described to CNN by two sources familiar with the facility.
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Filed under: Obamacare
Reid, White House were at odds over shutdown meeting
September 23rd, 2013
05:22 PM ET
7 months ago

Reid, White House were at odds over shutdown meeting

Washington (CNN) - As the clock ticked toward a government shutdown last week, the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were at odds over whether President Barack Obama should sit down with congressional leaders.

According to a House Republican leadership aide, the White House and House Speaker John Boehner's office went back and forth over a time to meet to discuss averting a government shutdown – the plan was to meet this week, ahead of a Senate vote. The White House ended up nixing such a meeting, citing scheduling issues.
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Filed under: Harry Reid • President Obama