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White House week ahead: After Iran deal, Obama seeks boost for domestic agenda

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Immigration,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Iran,PennAve,Economy,Middle East

President Obama will look to build momentum for immigration reform and his economic proposals this week during a West Coast fundraising swing, recasting his attention on domestic priorities after securing an initial deal to curb Iran's nuclear program.

Obama will hold policy events Monday and Tuesday in between high-dollar fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The president will deliver remarks at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco on Monday, calling on Congress to pass “common sense immigration reform.”

“The president will highlight his key principles that must be a part of any bipartisan comprehensive effort, including continuing to strengthen border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century,” a White House official said, previewing the event.

“He will urge the House Republicans to take up this issue in a bipartisan way as soon as possible,” the official added.

Obama raised eyebrows last week when he voiced a willingness to embrace House Republicans’ piecemeal approach to tackling immigration reform.

Sensing anxieties from Democrats, however, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday that Obama would not sign an immigration bill if it did not address the issue in a comprehensive way.

Democrats fear that Republicans would pass border-security measures and other provisions popular with conservatives while dismissing a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

The president will also host one fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee Monday in San Francisco before flying to Los Angeles to raise money for Democrats in Beverly Hills.

On Tuesday, the president will hold an economic event at DreamWorks Animation, a not-so-veiled favor for the film studio’s CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg — a major donor to Obama’s presidential campaigns.

Obama will also headline another DNC fundraiser Tuesday before heading back to Washington.

During his West Coast swing, Obama is also likely to reach out to lawmakers skeptical of the newly reached deal with Iran, which eases economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation in exchange for concessions over its nuclear ambitions.

“For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back,” the president said in a late-night Saturday address after the deal was finalized.

Obama said the deal crafted between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China — would prevent the Iranian regime from building a bomb. If Iran doesn't follow through on its obligations, the deal would be scrapped, Obama insisted.

However, many Republican and Democratic lawmakers prefer a hardline stance with Iran and will pursue new sanctions against Tehran despite objections from the White House. U.S. ally Israel is also adamantly against the new framework for Iran's nuclear program.

In the final hours before the Thanksgiving holiday, Obama will also partake in the annual presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey at the White House.

Also looming for the White House is the end-of-month deadline to fix healthcare.gov, the problem-ridden website that has taken a toll on the president's approval ratings and potentially imperiled Democrats up for reelection in 2014.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner