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US-POLITICS Summary

Sep 6, 2011, 11:30 p.m.

Obama to propose $300 billion jobs package: reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, facing waning confidence among Americans in his economic stewardship, plans some $300 billion in tax cuts and government spending as part of a job-creating package, U.S. media reported on Tuesday. The price tag of the proposed package, to be announced by Obama in a nationally televised speech to Congress on Thursday, would be offset by other cuts that the president would outline, CNN reported, citing Democratic sources.

Romney aims at Republican center with economy plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney aimed squarely at the Republican center as he launched his economic program on Tuesday, proposing spending cuts and lower taxes and picking well-known party figures as advisers. The former Massachusetts governor unveiled a 59-point economic plan in a speech in Nevada, promising to cut corporate taxes, reduce federal regulations and get tough with China two days before Democratic President Barack Obama makes a major speech on the U.S. economy and jobs.

Obama's "smart power" plan risks death of 1,000 cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's pledge to boost America's global standing by ramping up U.S. diplomacy and development aid faces death by a thousand cuts as lawmakers prepare to carve huge chunks out of U.S. overseas spending to address budget shortfalls. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) could be chopped back significantly.

World environment programs in budget crosshairs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - What do flood prevention in Nepal, wildlife preservation in Namibia and reef fishing in Indonesia have to do with the U.S. budget? Global conservation programs like these have all gotten help from the U.S. government, and they are probably prime targets of the budget-cutting congressional "super committee," since they sit at the crossroads of two things Americans don't like spending much money on: foreign aid and the environment.

U.S. say no Iraq troop decision yet as rumors swirl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta denied on Tuesday any decision was made on keeping some U.S. troops in Iraq beyond an end-year deadline for their withdrawal as speculation mounted that the Obama administration backed keeping a small training force in the country. The New York Times reported that Panetta supported a plan to keep 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq past the year-end drawdown deadline agreed in a bilateral security pact. Fox News issued a similar report earlier in the day.

Iran revolution "matter of time": U.S. defense chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Revolution in Iran appears to be a matter of time, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta predicted on Tuesday, saying the Iranian reform movement was learning from revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. Panetta, a former CIA director who took over the Pentagon's top job in July, was asked on the Charlie Rose television show whether the Arab Spring might spread to non-Arab Iran. Panetta responded: "Absolutely."

Exclusive: Healthcare group wants debt committee to fail

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The powerful healthcare industry hopes a congressional "super committee" tasked with slashing America's debt will fail and is lobbying instead for automatic spending cuts that will kick in if the panel deadlocks. Much of the health sector believes the spending cuts, which will be triggered if the committee fails to find at least $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years, will be less draconian than any deficit-reduction deal, according to lobbyists and healthcare groups interviewed by Reuters.

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