WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama named a bipartisan panel on Thursday to tackle exploding U.S. budget deficits and promised it broad leeway to put the country on a path to fiscal responsibility. “Everything’s on the table. That’s how this thing’s going to work,” Obama told reporters after tapping former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, and former Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican, to lead the 18-member commission.
Documents prove Toyota concealed evidence, lawyer says
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A House panel on Thursday subpoenaed confidential company documents that a former Toyota lawyer has said prove the automaker routinely concealed evidence from the courts and federal regulators, a committee staffer said. The subpoena was issued as part of an investigation by the House of Representatives Oversight Committee into Toyota Motor Corp’s response to complaints of uncontrolled engine acceleration that led to a global recall of more than 8 million vehicles, Kurt Bardella, a committee staff spokesman, told Reuters.
Summers plays down drop in China’s U.S. debt stock
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top White House adviser Lawrence Summers on Thursday played down the significance of a decline in China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries. Some saw China’s paring back of its portfolio as a possible sign of protest against U.S. policies.
Obama meets Dalai Lama, angering China
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama hosted exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House on Thursday, drawing an angry reaction from China and risking further damage to strained Sino-U.S. ties. Raising issues that quickly stoked China’s ire, Obama used his first presidential meeting with the Dalai Lama to press Beijing, under international criticism for its Tibet policies, to preserve Tibetan identity and respect human rights there.
Obama team raises pressure on health insurers
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration ratcheted up pressure on health insurers on Thursday, saying some planned double-digit rate hikes while making billions in profits and paying executives multimillion-dollar salaries. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services said: “These massive increases are disturbing examples of the problems that make reforming our health insurance system more important than ever.”
Cheney, Romney rally Republican conservatives
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney rallied fellow Republican conservatives on Thursday by predicting gains in November congressional elections and declaring that Barack Obama will be a “one-term president.” Cheney was a surprise speaker at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, joining his daughter, rising Republican star Liz Cheney, on stage.