defense-policy

Obama Pitches Budget's Cybersecurity Plan — At Length

Copies of Obama's fiscal 2017 federal budget are seen for sale Tuesday at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

After submitting his final spending plan to Congress on Tuesday, President Barack Obama touted his record and delivered a sales pitch for nearly $20 billion he says is needed to secure America’s cyber-footprint, a perhaps unexpected but entirely needed push, he said.  

Obama is pitching a 35 percent hike in cybersecurity funding across the sprawling federal apparatus, saying the United States is increasingly at risk to attacks on its information infrastructure.  

Pelosi, DCCC Use Tea Party to Fire Up Dem Voters

Pelosi cites "tea party extremism" in blast mailer to Democratic voters. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic leaders are urging their voting base to fill the party’s campaign coffers as part of an election-year battle against a “tide of tea party extremism.”  

Some political observers believe the tea party -- specifically, the House Freedom Caucus -- will keep its powder dry this year in favor of a number of policy and spending battles in 2017. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi see the conservative movement as a way to fire up their base.  

Obama, Ryan to Lunch Tuesday at White House

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House expects President Barack Obama and the Republican House and Senate leaders on Tuesday to discuss issues ranging from taxes to criminal justice to national security.  

Obama is scheduled to meet privately with Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Later, he and Ryan will have a one-on-one lunch meeting. It will be Obama’s first private meeting with Ryan since the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee became speaker in late October. Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the trio should discuss several matters on which they appear to agree. That list includes a sweeping trade pact Obama’s administration negotiated with Asian countries, battling the heroin epidemic, and authorizing the fight against the Islamic State.  

Democrats Join GOP Warnings On Iran As Sanctions Eased

Obama faces new political fire for Saturday's developments in Iran. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama's legacy became further tied to Tehran on Saturday when Iran released four American prisoners and U.N. inspectors cleared the way for the easing of some painful sanctions on the Middle Eastern power.  

Obama is taking new political fire from Republican presidential hopefuls and lawmakers -- joined by some notable Democrats -- over the nuclear deal his administration and other world powers inked with Iran that made the sanctions lifting possible. Now, he is under new attacks after swapping seven Iranians for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Americans.  

Parsing Obama’s Words Over 8 Addresses to Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Delivering his final State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama relied on key phrases and terms that dominate his previous addresses to Congress.  

Obama’s dependence on certain words, however, has changed over the years. When he first addressed Congress as president in 2009, he mentioned terms such as “government,” “tax” and “budget” 59 times. On Tuesday, such terms were used just nine times.  

Biden, McDonough Defend Obama's Last SOTU

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. Behind him, Biden and Ryan listen. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Obama deployed two of his closest advisers to defend his final State of the Union address, and they championed his shots at Donald Trump and calls for economic adjustments.  

During his likely final address to a joint session of Congress, Obama landed some not-so-subtle jabs on Trump’s chin. White House aides said the speech was not crafted as a political document meant to influence the presidential election cycle, but the president clearly wanted voters to hear an anti-Trump message from perhaps the most powerful bully pulpit in American politics.  

Obama Urges 'Better Politics' to Tackle Challenges

"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.”  

SOTU: Obama Tries to Reassure Anxious Public

Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office on Tuesday as he prepares to give his 7th and the final State of the Union address. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama will take an optimistic message about the future of America to Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening, using his final State of the Union to reassure a distressed public and challenge a restive Congress.  

Obama hopes to use his final address to lawmakers to strike a stark contrast with what the White House has described as “gloom and doom” talk from the Republican presidential candidates about the trajectory of the country. He and his top aides are previewing the prime time speech as a break from tradition, saying Obama will speak in broad terms rather than lay out a sweeping legislative agenda.

Obama and the Mythical Arab Ground Force

Pro-Iraqi government forces wait next to armored vehicles on Tuesday in the al-Aramil area before pushing into Anbar province's capital Ramadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on at least one foreign policy issue, calling for Arab countries to do more against the Islamic State. But there are reasons aplenty to see holes in what is a key part of their strategies for defeating the violent extremist group.  

Despite a new Saudi Arabian-led coalition to fight ISIS, the U.S. has gotten little in return from bipartisan calls for its friends in the Middle East to help raise an Arab ground force. And some experts and lawmakers doubt that will dramatically change, further giving the 2016 election the look of a national security referendum. Earnest: Saudi Arabia Human Rights a 'Significant Concern' 

Donald Trump, the Accidental Populist

Trump responds to a cheering crowd of supporters on Tuesday in Las Vegas. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's brash campaign-trail tactics are an accidental stumble into a brash and unprecedented populist presidential bid rather than the convictions of a true believer, campaign observers say.  

“I think he has stumbled on this populist campaigning style," said GOP political strategist John Feehery. "I don't think he's that ideological."