Friday, February 06, 2009

Obama Administration Round-up

President Obama announced his Economic Recovery Advisory Board, lead by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, help guide his efforts to rescue the economy and rebuild the shattered U.S. financial system. The team includes Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary who now heads the National Economic Council, Christina Romer who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The Obama administration also announce executive pay rules that would limit execs to taking no more than $500,000 if receiving federal bailout money after it was revealed that $18 billion had been spent on lavish bonuses.

The President also signed an executive order establishing the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, renaming the Bush administration's faith-based programs office and also ordering that discriminatory practices of charities be looked into.

In addition to signing the SCHIP expansion into law, President Obama repealed a Bush executive order that restricted states from enrolling middle-income children until they proved that at least 95 percent of poor children eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP were in the program and the higher-income children had been without health insurance for one year.

President Obama also restored a Clinton administration order - revoked by President George W. Bush - backing the use of union labor for large-scale federal construction projects. This is the fourth pro-union executive order that Obama has signed since he's been in office.

The Obama administration signaled it will seek more stringent controls from the EPA on mercury pollution from the nation's power plants. The Justice Department on Friday submitted papers to the Supreme Court to dismiss the Bush administration's appeal of the rule, which a lower court struck down last year.

Lastly, after a few initial hiccups, indicates that President Obama's policy of posting legislation five days before being made law will be fully implemented soon.

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