Policy: National Security

White House week ahead: Iran, NSA spying and the economy

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Politics,White House,Iran,National Security,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,NSA,Edward Snowden,Economy,Middle East,Spying

President Obama begins the week trying to stave off new sanctions legislation in Congress after his administration, along with five other world powers, finalized a deal with Iran Sunday to freeze parts of its nuclear program.

After seven weeks of negotiations with Iranian officials, the Obama administration on Sunday said they had inked the details of a pact with Iran to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for easing some U.S.-led international sanctions. The deal would go into effect Jan. 20.

White House officials will spend the week pressing Congress not to move ahead with a bipartisan sanctions bill that has been gaining momentum in the Senate. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have argued that passing a new sanctions bill would derail the deal, but several prominent Democrats are defying those warnings by supporting the measure.

On Friday, Senate aides said the bill, which has 59 co-sponsors, had gained enough support to win a veto-proof majority if it reaches the upper chamber floor for a vote.

Obama will end the week by addressing another key issue on Friday, when he unveils changes to the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs that have sparked domestic and international outrage since leaker Edward Snowden started disclosing aspects of the spying last summer.

During the week, the president will also continue to press House Republicans to pass an extension of unemployment insurance as part of his 2014 theme of fighting income inequality.

The Senate is expected to approve an unemployment insurance measure early this week, and the president will deliver a speech on the economy in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday that will undoubtedly press Republicans to stop blocking the measure in the House. He and first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday will also host a White House event on expanding college opportunity.

In addition, on Monday, Obama will host Spanish President Mariano Rajoy Brey at the White House to discuss promoting economic growth, support for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, cooperation with NATO and Latin America, as well as shared challenges in North Africa and the Middle East.

Tuesday, he plans to huddle with his Cabinet in the morning and spend the afternoon hosting the 2013 NBA champions, the Miami Heat, to the White House to honor the team on winning their second straight championship title.

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