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Barack Obama

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  • Private prison companies Geo Group and competitor Corrections Corporation of America, for example, stand to gain if Congress approves any emergency funding for family detention facilities.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a $10.9 billion funding extension for highway and transit construction projects through May 2015, averting a potential cutback in federal payments to states that was due to start on Friday.

  • Congress votes final passage on highway bill Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:07 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Congress gave final approval Thursday to a $10.8 billion bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states through the summer construction season and the fall elections. The Senate passed the House-written bill on an 81-13 vote after rejecting it earlier this week.

  • Congress sends VA overhaul to White House Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 8:44 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Congress passed a landmark bill Thursday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care and fix other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. A 91-3 vote in the Senate sent the $16.3 billion measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

  • In California, however, insurers' projections of 2014 medical spending were fairly accurate. Other companies planning to sell 2015 Obamacare policies in California include Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, and Molina Healthcare. California is the largest of about a dozen states to announce proposed 2015 rates.

  • Welcome aboard: Obama lavishes praise on Castro Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:27 PM ET

    Three days after new Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was sworn in, President Barack Obama paid a rare visit Thursday to the agency's colossal concrete headquarters to welcome Castro aboard.

  • President Barack Obama on Thursday signed an executive order that requires contractors bidding for government work to disclose past labor law violations and gives screening assistance to federal agencies awarding contracts.

  • In California, however, insurers' projections of 2014 medical spending were fairly accurate. California is the largest of about a dozen states to announce proposed 2015 rates.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- U.S. consumers who purchase private health coverage through the federal Obamacare website HealthCare.gov are likely to find only modestly higher premiums but may still have technical problems signing up, a top health official said on Thursday.

  • U.S. hospitals get lift from surge in Medicaid sign-ups Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 12:40 PM ET

    CHICAGO, July 31- U.S. hospitals are getting a stronger-than-expected benefit from a new influx of low-income patients whose bills are paid by the government's Medicaid program, raising their profit forecasts as a result.

  • July 31- U.S. health insurer Cigna Corp said on Thursday that medical costs for its individual customers were higher than expected in the second quarter, adding to investor worries that spending is on the rise. Cigna shares fell 5 percent, and a sell-off begun early this week in other insurers including Aetna Inc and WellPoint Inc continued.

  • Immigration issue produces congressional disarray Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 10:53 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Once more, the tea party forced House Speaker John Boehner to blink. Minutes from a vote on legislation to deal with the immigration surge on the U.S.- Mexico border, and hours from scheduled adjournment for the summer, a conservative revolt left the speaker with no choice but to pull his border bill from the floor.

  • FREETOWN, July 31- Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims on Thursday, joining neighboring Liberia in imposing tough controls as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa. The WHO reported 57 new deaths between July 24 and July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

  • As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 AM ET

    Though the U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent, the Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the economy is the glummest it's been in seven months. At 53, Hunter now works three days a week for $9.25 an hour, mopping floors and fixing fryers at two McDonald's restaurants in Chicago.

  • Obama order presses contractors to obey labor laws Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 2:45 AM ET

    The order also requires that workers be given information each pay period to help them to determine whether their paychecks are accurate, White House officials said.

  • WASHINGTON, July 30- A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday said Japan's refusal to drop all barriers to farm imports under a Pacific trade deal was unacceptable and urged the U.S. administration to cut Japan and Canada out of the talks if they did not give ground. "We urge you to hold Japan and Canada to the same high standards as other TPP partners.

  • WASHINGTON, July 30- Under Democratic President Barack Obama, the U.S. NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin announced on Tuesday that McDonald's, not just its franchisees, can be liable for alleged labor law violations.

  • Obama order to expand labor rights for contractors Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 5:46 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is preparing to sign an executive order cracking down on labor violations by companies that contract with the federal government, the White House said Wednesday. It mirrors protections Congress has already enacted that apply to Pentagon contracts.

  • Correction: Exxon Mobil-Gay Rights story Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 5:25 PM ET

    IRVING, Texas— In a story July 22 about new federal anti-discrimination rules, The Associated Press reported erroneously the value of Exxon Mobil Corp. shares held by investors who supported amending the company's equal employment opportunity statement. Exxon Mobil says it'll follow new anti-bias rules.

  • WASHINGTON, July 30- Ten months after the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, Obamacare's federal health insurance exchange is still dogged by cost overruns and technology delays that could hamper enrollment when it resumes in November, a U.S. watchdog said.