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Obama works out, signs bills, goes hiking

December 27, 2013
By MARCO GARCIA , The Associated Press

KAILUA, Oahu - Here is how President Barack Obama spent the sixth day of his vacation in Hawaii on Thursday:

* The president woke up early for a morning workout at a gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. After about an hour, Obama returned to his vacation home.

As his motorcade passed by, people on the side of the road waved and one jogger danced in joy. Construction workers stopped their work to watch the line of about 11 vehicles, not including Honolulu police escorts.

Article Photos

President Barack Obama is seen through the tinted window of his motorcade vehicle as he is driven through the Kailua, Oahu, neighborhood where he is spending his vacation.
AP photo

* Obama signed several bills in private, including a bipartisan budget deal easing spending cuts and a defense bill cracking down on sexual assault in the military. The signings mark one of Obama's last official acts in 2013.

The budget deal alleviates the harshest effects of automatic budget cuts on the Pentagon and domestic agencies. It reduces those cuts, known as the sequester, by about one-third, restoring approximately $63 billion over two years.

The comprehensive defense bill gives military personnel a 1 percent pay raise and also covers combat pay, ships, aircraft and bases.

* After signing the bills, Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters traveled across Oahu to hike at Manoa Falls, a popular, easy tropical trail that leads to a 150-foot waterfall.

Hikers seemed surprised to see the first family arrive. Security kept many hikers from entering the trail as the family started its hike, which lasted about one hour.

Paul and Kathy Besser of Sunnyvale, Calif., said that they were excited at the prospect of hiking near the Obamas.

Kathy Besser said that she was OK with security restricting access to the trail because she thinks the Obamas deserve privacy on their vacation.

"The girls live in a fishbowl, and they should have some private moments," she said.

* Obama later played golf at Koolau Golf Club in Kaneohe, a difficult, private course with scenic views against a backdrop of lush, green mountains.



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