Obama faces vets, Jon Stewart amid concerns over Iran, VA

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Barack Obama, Jon Stewart_202610

In this Oct. 18, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama talks with Jon Stewart during a taping of his appearance on “The Daily Show with John Stewart”, in New York. Stewart enters the home stretch of his 16 years on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” on Monday, July 20, 2015, with 12 more nights of […]

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. President Barack Obama is facing a convention of veterans and taking questions from Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show,” as concerns run high about Iran, veterans’ care and a shooting rampage against U.S. Marines.Obama will travel to Pittsburgh to speak to the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national convention on Thursday, the day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal with Iran. After Pennsylvania,Obama will hop a quick flight to New York to tape one of Stewart’s final episodes after 16 years hosting the Comedy Central show.On his first stop, Obama was to highlight a federal rule he’s finalizing on predatory lending and the military to make the case to the VFW that he’s working to make things better for America’s military families. Obamastarted off the week Monday signing a bill to allow all veterans to receive official IDs from Veterans Affairs even if they don’t meet certain criteria for VA services.Obama’s appearance comes amid serious persisting problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been under intense scrutiny for more than a year over waitlists and other shortcomings in the VA health system. Last week, the VA said it can’t count how many veterans died while waiting to sign up for health care, and may have to close some hospitals if Congress does not address a $2.5 billion shortfall.The military community has also been on edge over the killing of four Marines and a sailor last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Obama has pledged a prompt and thorough investigation into an attack that authorities have blamed on a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man. On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said she authorized a review of security at National Guard installations and recruitment centers, and U.S. military officials have said security at recruitment centers should be reviewed.At “The Daily Show,” where Stewart’s tenure ends Aug. 6, Obama will likely face questions about the nuclear deal he and world powers struck with Iran, to the dismay of Israel’s government, Republicans in Congress and even many Democrats. The White House is mounting a massive outreach campaign to try to win over skeptics and avert a congressional attempt to scuttle the deal, dispatching top officials daily to television shows and Capitol Hill. Obama’s appearance on the show will air Tuesday night.The predatory lending rule, which the Obama administration publicly proposed last year, expands the categories of payday and short-term loans subject to added protections under the Military Lending Act. The White House said in the past, lenders have exploited loopholes in the regulations and targeted military members with exorbitant interest rates. The revised version will cover larger or longer-term payday loans, plus title loans, installment loans and credit cards, subjecting them to interest rate caps and other protections.

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