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Obama's First 100 Days: What He's Done So Far

President Barack Obama named Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to lead his ambitious health reform effort on Monday, kicking off a week focused on revamping an inefficient healthcare system whose cost he fears is hurting the U.S. economy.

CNBC.com

Obama also named former Clinton administration health official Nancy-Ann DeParle to serve as head of the newly created White House Office for Health Reform, the White House said. The office will help coordinate the health reform agenda with Congress.

Additionally, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown hopes to forge an alliance this week with Obama to combat the global financial crisis and reinforce what London calls its special relationship with Washington.

Brown will be the first European leader to meet Obama since he was inaugurated in January when they hold talks on Tuesday in Washington.

He hopes cooperation over the economic crisis will mirror cooperation on security, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:

Day 40: Big Budget Fight Ahead (Feb. 28)

  • A combative Obama warned he was bracing for a fight against powerful lobbyists and special interests who sought to pick apart the $3.55 trillion budget he wants to advance his agenda of reform.(Full Story)
  • Your Weekly Address: Obama explains how the budget he sent to Congress will fulfill the promises he made as a candidate, and assures special interests that he is ready for the fight. (Watch the video here)

Day 39: Obama's Tax Breaks Applauded (Feb. 27)

  • The Obama administration's autos task force demonstrated a "genuine willingness" to understand the plight of GM and the restructuring plan it has submitted to the government, the company said. (Full Story)
  • Many Americans applauded the spending plans and tax breaks set out in Obama's record budget, while others questioned the yawning deficit it would entail. (Full Story)
  • Obama nominated Jon Leibowitz to be chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, the White House said. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration is trying to walk a public relations tightrope in aiding the banking industry. On one side is an angry electorate that wants to see a wounded financial services industry embarrassed and penalized. On the other is a group of powerful institutions whose survival and revival are critical to the success of the President’s costly and controversial economic stimulus plan.(Full Story)

Day 38: Additional $250 Billion Needed to Help Financial System? (Feb. 26)

  • Obama has forecast a 2009 deficit of $1.75 trillion in a budget proposal that sets goals of overhauling the healthcare system and shoring up the US economy. (Full Story)
  • Obama will propose further tax increases on the affluent to help pay for his promise to make health care more accessible and affordable, calling for stricter limits on the benefits of itemized deductions taken by the wealthiest households. (Full Story)
  • Obama is sending Congress a "hard choices" budget that would boost taxes on the wealthy and curtail Medicare payments to insurance companies and hospitals to make way for a $634 billion down payment on universal health care. (Full Story)
  • Banks that are big enough to destabilize markets should be subject to tighter regulatory oversight, and some rules ought to be internationally agreed, said White House economic adviser Paul Volcker. (Full Story)
  • Obama penciled into his budget the possibility that he may request an additional $250 billion to help fix the troubled financial system. The figure, described as a "placeholder" and not a specific funding request, would support asset purchases of $750 billion via government financial stabilization programs, administration officials said. (Full Story)

Day 37: Obama Lays Out Reform Plans, House Approves $410 Billion Legislation (Feb. 25)

  • With one of their own in the White House, Democrats in Congress are moving to give domestic government agencies 8 percent more money, on average, to spend this year atop the whopping $787 billion in economic stimulus funds. (Full Story)
  • Obama's budget chief Peter Orszag said that economic stimulus money approved by Congress must be spent "quickly and wisely" if the administration is to boost the economy and create 3.5 million jobs. (Full Story)
  • Obama nominated Gary Locke to be U.S. commerce secretary, turning to a West Coast politician with a history of working with China after his two previous nominees backed out. (Full Story)
  • Obama called on Congress to send him legislation that places a market-based cap on U.S. carbon polluting emissions and pushes the production of more renewable energy. (Full Story)
  • Financial institutions that pose a serious risk to markets should be subject to serious government oversight, said Obama. Obama also said: "But let me be clear—the choice we face is not between an oppressive government-run economy and a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism. (Full Story)
  • Obama and Geithner plan to lay out broad principles for Wall Street regulatory reform aimed at preventing a repeat of the current financial crisis, said an administration official. (Full Story)
  • The Democratic-controlled House approved $410 billion legislation that boosted domestic programs, bristled with earmarks and chipped away at policies left behind by the Bush administration. (Full Story)

Day 36: Obama's Speech & A New Commerce Secretary (Feb. 24)

  • Obama will tell Americans in his first major speech that "we will rebuild, we will recover" from the worst economic crisis in decades. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face and take responsibility for our future once more," Obama will tell a joint session of Congress according to advance excerpts of his speech. (Full Story)
  • Former Washington state governor Gary Locke will be announced as the nominee for the Secretary of U.S. Commerce on Wednesday, according to a White House official. (Full Story)
  • Obama sought to strike a delicate balance between hope and reality on Tuesday to reassure Americans mired in economic crisis that they would survive a "day of reckoning." (Full Story)

Day 35: Obama's Economic Summit (Feb. 23)

  • Calling for fiscal restraint even while federal spending soars, President Obama pledged to dramatically slash the annual budget deficit and announced $15 billion in Medicaid money to states from his $787 billion economic stimulus package.
  • Obama summoned allies, adversaries and outside experts to a White House summit to address the nation's future financial health one week after signing into law the gargantuan stimulus measure designed to stop the country's economic free fall and, ultimately, reverse the recession now months into its second year. By Obama's own account, the new law will add to this fiscal year's deficit, which the administration projects will be $1.5 trillion.
  • Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington state, is the "likely nominee'' for U.S. commerce secretary. Locke, a Democrat, is the third nominee for the post. The first two, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican Senator Judd Gregg, withdrew their names from contention. (Full Story)

Day 34: Obama to Set Big Goals in First Budget (Feb. 22)

  • Obama's budget this week will set out big goals: to rescue the economy from freefall, expand U.S. health care coverage and move within a few years to slash huge deficits. The budget, due out on Thursday, will indicate Obama's timeline for achieving many of the domestic priorities he pushed during the campaign. (Full Story)

Day 33: Obama Begins Tax Cuts (Feb. 21)

  • Obama ordered the Treasury to implement tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans, fulfilling a campaign pledge he hopes will help jolt the economy out of recession. Obama will allow tax breaks given to wealthier Americans under his predecessor, George W. Bush, to expire in 2010 as scheduled rather than eliminate them sooner, an administration official said Saturday. (Full Story)
  • Your Weekly Address:Obama announces that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will start having an impact as soon as a few weeks from now, in the form of the quickest and broadest tax cut in history. (Watch the video here)

Day 32: Obama's Adviser: Crisis May be Worse than Depression (Feb. 20)

  • The global economy may be deteriorating even faster than it did during the Great Depression, said Paul Volcker, a top adviser to Obama. Volcker noted that industrial production around the world was declining even more rapidly than in the United States, which is itself under severe strain. (Full Story)
  • The White House is trying to help people who have been "victims of the unforeseen circumstance" with their mortgages, Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, told CNBC. (Full Story)

Day 30: Obama Unveils $275 Billion Housing Plan (Feb. 18)

  • Obama unveiled his much-anticipated plan to fight the housing crisis, pledging up to $275 billion to help stem a wave of foreclosures sweeping the country. (Full Story)
  • Obama’s decision to act as his own “car czar” means that in the next few months he faces decisions no American president has made since the invention of the automobile. The most urgent among them: whether two of America’s three surviving domestic carmakers should be forced into bankruptcy, how many more concessions should be extracted from unions that helped propel him into the Oval Office and, perhaps, even what kind of cars will be produced in the United States. (Full Story)

Day 29: Stimulus Signed into Law (Feb. 17)

  • Obama signed a $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law as global markets plunged on fears that the recession would deepen despite government action in many countries. (Full Story)
  • Financially strapped General Motors and Chrysler raced to finish restructuring plans that must be submitted to the Obama administration by the end of the day as part of efforts to keep America's biggest carmakers afloat. (Full Story)
  • Obama’s plan to reduce the flood of home foreclosures will include a mix of government inducements and new pressure on lenders to reduce monthly payments for borrowers at risk of losing their houses, according to people knowledgeable about the administration’s thinking. (Full Story)
  • Obama will release his first budget proposal on Feb. 26. The administration will release an outline of the budget for the 2010 fiscal year. A more detailed version will be released later in the year. (Full Story)

Day 28: White House Wants Changes in Exec. Pay Rules (Feb. 16)

  • Facing a stricter approach to limiting executive bonuses than it had favored, the Obama administration wants to revise that part of the stimulus package even after it becomes law, said White House officials. (Full Story)

Day 26: Your Weekly Address (Feb. 14)

  • In the weekly address, Obama celebrates the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act while keeping his eyes on the tough road ahead. (Watch the video here)

Day 25: House Approves Stimulus Package (Feb. 13)

  • The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $787 billion package of spending and tax cuts aimed at rescuing the struggling economy. (Full Story)
  • Larry Summers, a top economics adviser to Obama says the $790 billion stimulus plan set for a final congressional vote will help, but that it isn't a "silver bullet" to cure the problem. He called the bill "complex" and said getting it through Congress is a credit to the president's leadership. (Full Story)

Day 24: Key Stimulus Dispute Settled...Sen. Gregg Withdraws (Feb. 12)

  • Congressional leaders are ironing out the final details of the $789 billion economic stimulus legislation at the heart ofObama's recovery plan, resolving a dispute over school construction as they pushed toward a vote in the House. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration is hammering out a program to subsidize mortgages in a new front to fight the credit crisis, sources familiar with the plan told Reuters Thursday, firing financial markets. In a major break from existing aid programs, the plan under consideration would seek to help homeowners before they fall into arrears on their loans. Current programs only assist borrowers that are already delinquent. (Full Story)
  • Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew his nomination as commerce secretary, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama's handling of the economic stimulus and 2010 census. (Full Story)

Day 23: Stimulus Pact Reached (Feb. 11)

  • Congressional negotiators reached agreement on a $789 billion package of spending and tax cuts, handing a big victory to Obama in his effort to pull the economy out of a tailspin. But in a possible last-minute snag, negotiators delayed a meeting to vote on the compromise so lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives could be briefed. (Full Story)
  • The Treasury Department will soon release documents providing information about the lending activities of the biggest 20 financial firms receiving government aid under the TARP plan. The first so-called “TARP intermediation snapshot” documents will be released Feb. 17 and on a monthly basis thereafter, according to Treasury spokesman Isaac Baker. (Full Story)
  • Lawmakers urged Geithner to provide more details on how much taxpayer money the Obama administration's bank rescue plan ultimately will cost. Geithner declined to speculate on the likelihood the administration will ask for more funds beyond the roughly $350 billion remaining in the original $700 bailout program, but he told the Senate Budget Committee that further requests are possible. (Full Story)

Day 22: A New Bank Bailout Plan (Feb. 10)

  • The US Treasury Department unveiled a revamped financial rescue plan to cleanse up to $500 billion in spoiled assets from banks' books and support $1 trillion in new lending through an expanded Federal Reserve program. (Full Story)
  • A compromise stimulus package to revive the U.S. economy now hinges on negotiations between Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Senate and House have passed competing bills calling for $838 billion and $819 billion respectively in new spending and tax cuts. (Full Story)
  • The Treasury's latest financial-rescue plan is expected to use a variety of methods to take bad assets off of banks' books, including encouraging private firms to buy up the toxic debt, sources told CNBC. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration's financial-rescue plan will contain a number of measures meant to ease the credit crunch, including a public-private initiative to take bad assets off of banks' balance sheets, mortgage loan and foreclosure relief and a new consumer lending initiative, according to the government's summary of the plan. (Full Story)

Day 21: Stimulus Bill Passes Crucial Senate Test (Feb. 9)

  • An $838 billion economic stimulus bill backed by the White House survived a key test vote in the Senate despite strong Republican opposition, and Democratic leaders vowed to deliver legislation for Obama's signature within a few days. (Full Story)
  • The comprehensive financial plan to be announced Tuesday by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will include an expanded loan facility that will purchase newly issued and newly rated Commercial mortgage-backed securities and private-label mortgage-backed securities, all AAA rated, CNBC has learned. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration pushed back the announcement of a keenly awaited bank rescue plan until Tuesday as it pressed lawmakers to settle their differences over a huge economic stimulus package. (Full Story)
  • Obama insisted that only government can jolt the economy out of deep recession and offered an olive branch to longtime foe Iran, scrapping years of past U.S. policies. (Full Story)

Day 20: Stimulus Package This Week? (Feb. 8)

  • Top aides to Obama urged Democratic and Republican lawmakers to set aside political differences and give anticipated final approval this week to a massive economic stimulus package this week. (Full Story)
  • Geithner has postponed his bank bailout plan announcement to Tuesday to allow Congress to focus on economic stimulus legislation, the Treasury Department said. (Full Story)

Day 19: Obama Demands Speed on Stimulus (Feb. 7)

  • In the weekly address, Obama commends the progress the Senate has made on moving the recovery plan forward, and urged its completion. (Watch the video here)
  • Obama pounded Republicans for policies that fueled the U.S. economic crisis, while welcoming a Senate deal on his stimulus bill that ideologically split lawmakers hope to finish by mid-month. Obama said quick action on the package was imperative to avoid catastrophe and praised the group of moderate senators from both political parties for coming up with a compromise. Senate Democrats agreed late Friday to trim spending proposals and support tax cuts in a roughly $800 billion bill. (Full Story)

Day 18: Strengthening the Economic Stimulus Plan (Feb. 6)

  • Obama named an advisory panel led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to help guide his efforts to rescue the economy and rebuild the shattered U.S. financial system. (Full Story)
  • Geithner will announce on Monday a "comprehensive plan" to stabilize the financial system. In a news conference, Geithner will laid out a "strategy to strengthen our economy by getting credit flowing again to families and businesses." The plan will include an aid package for the banking industry, according to a well-informed source. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration is talking with automakers and their suppliers about the U.S. Treasury rescue program for the industry but has made no decision to expand aid to the auto industry. The suppliers have presented three options to U.S. officials that taken together would add up to some $25 billion in assistance. (Full Story)
  • Obama plans to participate in town hall-style meetings next week in two cities that have struggled amid the crumbling economy. Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama plans to visit Elkhart, Ind., on Monday to tell residents what his $900 billion stimulus plan would mean for them. (Full Story)

Day 17: Stimulus Bill Debate Continues (Feb. 5)

  • Obama urged action on a $900 billion stimulus bill before Congress to stave off "catastrophe", as a surge in the number of new jobless benefit claims pointed to an economy in deep recession. (Full Story)
  • The US Senate neared a vote on a huge economic rescue package of tax cuts and new spending sought by Obama, with moderate senators saying the final bill should be around $800 billion.(Full Story)
  • The Obama administration has decided on a new package of aid measures for the financial services industry, including a bad bank component, and is expected to announce it next Monday, according to a source familiar with the planning.(Full Story)
  • Geithner will convene his first meeting as Chairman of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, but the expanded gathering also will include top banking regulators and White House economic adviser Larry Summers.(Full Story)

Day 16: Obama Imposes New Pay Rule (Feb. 4)

  • Obama imposed tough new rules to rein in corporate pay, capping executive compensation at $500,000 a year for companies receiving taxpayer funds and limiting lavish severance packages paid to top officials. (Full Story)
  • Republicans tried to push back against the ballooning size of Obama's stimulus plan, even as he warned that the financial crisis will turn into "a catastrophe" if the bill isn't passed quickly. Obama summoned centrist senators to the White House to discuss a plan to cut more than $50 billion in spending from the measure, which breached the $900 billion barrier in the Senate. (Full Story)
  • An ex-aide to Commerce Secretary nominee Judd Gregg is under investigation for allegedly taking baseball and hockey tickets from a lobbyist in exchange for legislative favors. This comes at a particularly bad time for Obama's administration, a day after he had to defend his selection process because two high-profile nominees withdrew due to tax problems. (Full Story)

Day 15: Withdrawals, Withdrawals... But the Show Goes On (Feb. 3)

  • Former Senator Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name for Secretary of Health and Human Services. The action comes after Daschle admitted failure to pay past taxes. "Now we must move forward," Obama said in a written statement accepting Daschle's request to be taken out of consideration. (Full Story)
  • Obama's choice to oversee budget and spending reform, Nancy Killefer, also withdrew her nomination Tuesday because of tax reasons, according to a letter released by the White House. (Full Story)
  • A group of Republican senators offered a $445 billion alternative plan to boosting the ailing economy, about half of which would be in the form of tax cuts. The stimulus package would include cutting payroll and income taxes for a year, as well as lowering the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 25 percent and offering home buyers a tax credit worth $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration is still struggling with the details of a bad bank concept that is expected to be part of a package of industry and consumer measures to be unveiled next week, according to a source familiar with the situation.(Full Story)
  • New U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he would prosecute Wall Street crime but was not planning any "witch hunts" despite mounting outrage among Americans over corporate excess. "We're not going to go out on any witch hunts," Holder told reporters. (Full Story)

Day 14: Obama Targets CEO Pay (Feb. 2)

  • The Obama administration indicated that it will not unveil new measures to aid the financial services industry this week, but will instead move on the issue of Wall Street bonuses and executive compensation. (Full Story)
  • Fighting to save his Cabinet nomination, Tom Daschle pleaded his case in a closed meeting with former Senate colleagues after publicly apologizing for failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes. Obama said he was "absolutely" sticking with his nominee for health secretary, and a key senator added an important endorsement. (Full Story)

Day 13: Obama's Bill 'Wastes a Ton of Money': Sen. Kyl (Feb. 1)

  • The U.S. Senate's No. 2 Republican warned his party's support for Obama's economic stimulus bill was eroding and "major structural changes" were needed to win Republican support. "You have to start from scratch and reconstruct this," said Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona. He said the proposed bill, with a price approaching $900 billion, "wastes a ton of money." (Full Story)
  • Discussions between the Obama administration and financial industry representatives continued for a third day with the focus moving to new terms on lending, transparency and executive compensation for companies receiving financial aid, according to a source familiar with the situation. (Full Story)

Day 12: Your Weekly Address (Jan. 31)

  • In this week's address, Obama urged the swift passage of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan and announced that Geithner is preparing a new strategy for reviving the financial system, which will not only ensure that CEOs aren't abusing taxpayer dollars, but also get credit flowing and lower mortgage costs. (Watch the video here)

Day 11: Obama Administration Meets with Wall Street Execs. (Jan. 30)

  • Officials from the Obama administration held meetings with Wall Street executives on how to create a new government bank to buy bad assets from major financial firms. However, people with direct knowledge of the talks said there is no consensus on how such an entity would work or whether a plan could materialize any time soon or possibly ever. (Full Story)
  • Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire confirmed that Obama may nominate him as U.S. commerce secretary. A source said Obama had backed off Silicon Valley executive John Thompson, who just days ago was viewed as the front-runner. (Full Story)
  • The Obama administration said it expects the U.S. House to approve legislation that would delay until June the planned nationwide transition to digital television. The Senate has approved legislation to delay the transition because of worries that some 20 million mostly poor, elderly and rural households that have older television sets receiving analog signals are not ready for the change. (Full Story)

Day 10: Obama: Wall Street Bonuses are 'Outrageous' (Jan. 29)

  • Obama said it is "irresponsible and shameful" for Wall Street bankers to be paid huge bonuses at a time when the America is dealing with economic hardship. He reacted harshly to reports that corporate employees got paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year. Obama said he and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will have direct conversations with corporate leaders to make the point. (Full Story)
  • Vice President Joe Biden told CNBC that the final stimulus bill, which is now in the Senate, will "get better," and he "expects Republicans to vote for it." "We're not giving up on bipartisan support," Biden said. Biden went on to say that the bill may end up having additional infrastructure spending and tax cuts but didn't say what those tax cuts might be. (Full Story)
  • Gov. Rod Blagojevich was unanimously convicted at his impeachment trial and thrown out of office, ending a nearly two-month crisis that erupted with his arrest on charges he tried to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat. Blagojevich becomes the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment. (Full Story)

Day 9: Stimulus Package Passes Vote in House (Jan. 28)

  • Moving with remarkable speed, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved $819 billion in spending increases and tax cuts at the heart of Obama's economic recovery program. Unhappy Republicans, however, said the bill was short on tax cuts and contained too much spending, much of it wasteful and unlikely to help laid-off Americans. (Full Story)
  • Obama met with business leaders to keep up a lobbying campaign for passage of his economic plan, which could be the signature domestic initiative of his first term as he struggles to deal with the worst financial crisis in decades. Obama said it was important to act swiftly to boost the troubled U.S. economy, adding that it was facing "enormous problems." (Full Story)
  • Republicans in the House, however, offered an alternative proposal to boost the struggling U.S. economy. The cost of their proposal is approximately $478 billion. (Full Story)
  • Russia has halted a plan to retaliate against a proposed U.S. missile defense shield by stationing its own missiles near Europe's borders. The suspension of plans, if confirmed, would show Russia is extending an olive branch to Obama after rocky relations under his predecessor. (Full Story)

Day 8: The Stimulus Package Plan Moves Forward (Jan. 27)

  • Obama said he wants the House to pass legislation that hits his goal of spending 75 percent of the $825 billion stimulus plan within 18 months. The bill that the House is considering would only spend 64 percent of the money in that period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. (Full Story)
  • Geithner announced new rules to limit lobbying by companies that receive government financial assistance in one of his first moves after being sworn into office. The rules restrict lobbyist contacts in connection with applications for or disbursement of the Treasury's $700 billion bailout program. The rules will use as a model the protections that limit political influence on tax matters, and require the Treasury to certify each investment decision is based only on investment criteria and facts of the case. (Full Story)
  • Symantec president John Thompson is Obama's top choice for commerce secretary.White House spokesman Gibbs said a final decision had not been made. Obama had previously nominated New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to fill the commerce post, but Richardson withdrew on Jan. 4 in the face of a legal inquiry. (Full Story)

Day 7: Obama's New Climate Policies (Jan. 26)

  • Obama told the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider California's request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars, reversing the climate policies of former President George W. Bush. (Full Story)
  • Timothy Geithner won confirmation as U.S. Treasury secretary and vowed to act quickly to protect the U.S. economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.However, some lawmakers were disturbed by Geithner's late payment of $34,000 in self-employment taxes to vote against the nominee even though they felt he was well suited for the job otherwise. (Full Story)

Day 5: Your Weekly Address (Jan. 24)

  • In his first weekly address as President, Barack Obama discusses how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will jump-start the economy. (Watch the video here)

Day 4: Stimulus Package by President's Day? (Jan. 23)

  • President Barack Obama said Friday it appears Congress is "on target" to approve a massive new stimulus package by Feb. 16th, President's Day. Obama met with top Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday and said the stimulus package working its way through Congress would be only one leg of an "at least three-legged stool." He said the government needed to move "swiftly and aggressively" as the economy and the financial system struggle. (Full Story)
  • Auto industry supporters in Congress asked Obama to support another $25 billion in federal loans to help the industry make more fuel efficient cars, seeking over $4 billion in grants and loan guarantees. The White House said Obama and his advisers will evaluate the needs of automakers after reviewing their viability plans in mid-February. (Full Story)

Day 3: House Considers Obama’s Plan (Jan. 22)

  • The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday began debating $20 billion in energy tax credits and related financial incentives that are in the Obama administration's plan to revive the American economy. (Full Story)
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the house next week would consider the $825 billion economic stimulus package sought by Obama. (Full Story)
  • The Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Geithner to head the U.S. Treasury, overlooking concerns about his underpayment of some $34,000 in taxes and clearing the way for a final vote on his nomination in the full Senate. (Full Story)
  • Obama, who worried after winning office that he would have to part with his BlackBerry because of security concerns, will get to keep the email device after all. (Full Story)

Day 2: Back to Business (Jan. 21)

  • In a day flurry of activity, Obama set up shop in the Oval Office, summoned advisers to begin dealing with war and recession and ordered new ethics rules for "a clean break from business as usual." (Full Story)
  • Obama froze salaries for top White House staff members earning $100,000 or more, about 100 people in all. (Full Story)
  • In his phone calls to Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, Obama emphasized that he would work to consolidate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (Full Story)
  • Obama imposed the New Freedom of Information Act rules, making it harder to keep the workings of government secret. (Full Story)
  • Obama also imposed tighter ethics rules governing when administration officials can work on issues on which they previously lobbied governmental agencies, and banning them from lobbying the administration after leaving government service. (Full Story)
  • Geithner testifies to the Senate Financial Committee and apologizes for his tax mistakes. He also comments on Obama’s economic stabilization plan. (Full Story)

Day 1: Inauguration Day (Jan. 20)

  • The first African-American U.S. president swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against a backdrop of a deep economic downturn, a trillion dollar federal deficit and fears of more bank losses. (Full Story)
  • Wall Street ushered in the Barack Obama presidency with a record Inauguration Day slide amid fresh signs the global bank crisis was far from over. An index of bank stocks lost almost 20 percent on fears of more losses. The Dow fell over 300 points to end below 8,000. The S&P slid more than 40 points to finish around 800 and the Nasdaq tumbled over 80 points to close around 1,450. (Full Story)

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