WASHINGTON (AP) — Some call it wishful thinking, but President Barack Obama has all but declared an end to the global war on terror.
Obama isn't claiming final victory over extremists who still seek to kill Americans and other Westerners. Instead, he's steering the United States away from what he calls an equally frightening threat: a country in a state of perpetual war.
He gave a landmark speech Thursday in which he sought to refine and recalibrate his counterterrorism strategy.
The president asserted that al-Qaida is "on the path to defeat," reducing the scale of terrorism to pre-Sept. 11 levels.
That means that with the Afghanistan war winding down, Obama is unlikely to commit troops in large numbers to any conflict unless, as his critics fear, he tragically has underestimated al-Qaida's staying power.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting bipartisan criticism, President Barack Obama is conceding that his proposed budget is not his "ideal plan." But he says it offers "tough reforms" to the nation's benefit programs while closing loopholes for the wealthy.
Obama argues his approach will provide long-term deficit reduction without harming the economy.
In his first comments about a budget he is to release next week, Obama says he intends to reduce deficits while providing new spending for public works projects, early education and job training.
Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address that he's willing to compromise to move beyond what he calls "a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making."
In the Republican address, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says that ideas for fixing the federal government are coming from the states.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security as an attempt to compromise with Republicans on the budget.
A senior administration official says the budget Obama will offer to Congress next Wednesday would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years. It includes a revised inflation adjustment called "chained CPI" that would curb cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs.
The senior administration official stressed it is not the president's preferred approach but a compromise proposal to try to reach a long-term budget deal. Obama first made the offer to House Speaker John Boehner last year.
The official spoke on a condition of anonymity since the budget has yet to be released. Technically, the administration actually would be limiting the growth of Social Security.
Senate Democrats dropped the ban from the bill they plan to debate next month out of concern it could sink the whole package. But Obama says he's pushing for it.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says Americans have spoken on gun control. He says they support the ban, plus limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines, school security funding and a crackdown on gun trafficking.
In the Republican address, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah says the Senate Democrats' budget raises taxes by $1.5 trillion without saving entitlements. He says Republicans want a balanced budget.
Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says one rocket exploded in the courtyard of a house in the border town of Sderot, causing damage but no injuries. The other landed in an open field.
As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama visited Sderot, which is frequently targeted by rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip. The territory is ruled by the militant Palestinian Hamas group.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, which came as Obama was in Jerusalem. He is to visit the West Bank city of Ramallah later in the day.
Obama arrives today in Israel for his first visit to the country — and only his second to the Middle East, outside of a quick jaunt to Iraq — since taking office.
He will also be making his first trips as president to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan this week. But on an itinerary laden more with symbolism than substance, an Israel that is increasingly wary of developments in Syria and Iran will be the main focus of his attention.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama promotes a plan to direct $200 million a year into an energy security trust to fund research for alternatives like electric car batteries and biofuels. He says the trust would use revenues from federal leases on offshore drilling without adding to the deficit.
Obama says investing in clean energy will help create jobs. He's envisioning cars that can one day go coast to coast without using any oil.
In the Republican address, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says Republicans have a plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years by cutting spending.
The committee voted Tuesday to adopt the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.
Obama signed 23 executive actions in January, including orders to make more federal data available for background checks and end a freeze on government research on gun violence.
Munzlinger's bill initially would have criminalized the enforcement of all federal gun laws, even those enacted by Congress, passed after Jan. 1, 2013. But those provisions were revised to include only the enforcement of executive orders.
A House committee endorsed similar legislation last week, but that measure seeks to criminalize enforcement of all federal gun laws.
Legislation to be filed Tuesday by Rep. Jay Barnes would stop short of Obama's call to expand Medicaid coverage to adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $32,500 for a family of four. But it would add some adults to the Medicaid rolls while also removing some children whose parents earn up to three times the poverty level.
Private insurers would bid to offer managed care plans, and patients could get cash for avoiding costly medical care.
House Speaker Tim Jones says Barnes' plan is a "commonsense conservative" proposal. But he says it could be at least a two-year project.
That draft, according to USA Today, would create a visa for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years.
Obama aide Denis McDonough tells ABC's "This Week" that the White House is working with a bipartisan group of senators.
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says if such a measure was proposed, it would be "dead on arrival" in Congress.
McDonough says "let's make sure that it doesn't have to be proposed" because the White House and Congress are able to work out a deal.