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President Barack Obama told a Senate chairman on Monday he wants legislation ready in the Finance Committee by week's end, according to numerous Democratic officials.

These officials said Obama made his wishes known to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., at a White House meeting attended by administration officials and Democratic lawmakers.

It was not immediately clear whether Obama expressed a preference for a bipartisan measure — which Baucus has been laboring over for months — or a bill tailored more to Democratic specifications.

In a message Monday for critics who think he has lost momentum in his bid to overhaul health care, Obama said: "Don't bet against us."

House Democrats tentatively plan to unveil their legislation on today, with three committees planning to take up work on the bill this week or early next.

Terror alert system will be reviewed

The Obama administration will announce today that it will review the nation's multicolored terror alert system that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, an administration official said Monday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to appoint a panel to re-evaluate the system and determine whether it should be changed, or possibly eliminated. The five-tiered system goes from green, which signals a low danger of attack, to red, which signals a severe threat of attack.

Obama threatens veto over F-22 warplanes

President Barack Obama vowed Monday to veto a pending $680 billion military spending bill for next year if lawmakers set aside funding for more F-22 warplanes than the Defense Department says it needs.

"I will veto any bill that supports acquisition of F-22s beyond the 187 already funded by Congress," Obama said.


PHILADELPHIA: A discrimination lawsuit has been filed against a suburban Philadelphia swim club that canceled the pool memberships of dozens of minority children. The lawsuit alleges that the Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley discriminated on the basis of race.

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama's nominee to be census director, Robert Groves, was approved Monday. He a veteran survey researcher at the University of Michigan.

Afghanistan: The police chief of a district south of Kabul that the Americans had sought to make a Taliban-free model of safety was killed along with three police officers Monday in a roadside blast.

RUSSIA: President Dmitry Medvedev made a surprise visit to breakaway South Ossetia on Monday, inspecting a new Russian military base there.

Japan: Struggling Prime Minister Taro Aso called Monday for national elections in August.

Times wires

WASHINGTONOBAMA PRESSES FOR HEALTH CARE BILL 07/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 13, 2009 11:32pm]
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