Day 53: Obama Speaks To Business Roundtable about Banks (Mar. 15)
- Obama said the true status of bank balance sheets was not known, and he would act decisively to make sure major banks have enough money to operate.
- Obama said some of the country's largest banks are holding toxic assets, which are dragging down balance sheets and contributing to the slowdown in lending.
- "The weakened condition of some of our largest banks has implications for the entire system," he told corporate business leaders at the Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
- "Critical to that solution is an honest and forthright assessment of the true status of bank balance sheets, something that we've not yet had," he told the group of corporate business leaders.
- In this week's address, Obama makes key announcements regarding the safety of our nation's food. (Watch the Video Here)
Day 52: Geithner: Spending Hikes are Short-Term (Mar. 12)
- Obama's ambitious new budget faced bipartisan skepticism as key senators questioned the administration's long-term budget outlook and the deficits it envisions rising in the middle of the next decade. Geithner defended it in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, saying current increases in spending are short term and will have to be substantially reduced to get the country back into fiscal shape. (Full Story)
Day 51: Obama Targets 'Earmarks' in New Spending Bill (Mar. 11)
- Obama agreed to sign an "imperfect" spending bill to keep the government running, but he called for a crackdown on lawmakers adding "earmarks"—or pet projects—to legislation. Obama spoke about a $410 billion spending bill—passed by Congress earlier this week—which has been heavily criticized because of many earmarks. (Full Story)
Day 50: The Halfway Point (Mar. 10)
In his first 50 days, Obama has moved at a lightning pace, passing a $787 billion economic stimulus plan in his first three weeks, announcing financial rescue and housing plans, disclosing a $3.55 trillion budget, kick starting discussions on health care reform, and releasing a withdrawal plan from Iraq and a boost in troop numbers in Afghanistan.
He has also signed orders to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, tighten ethics rules for Executive Branch employees, raise fuel efficiency standards and lift the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
At the same time, there have also been problems with three Cabinet nominees who withdrew, the criticism that Obama is turning his back on his proposal for more bipartisanship and his calls for fewer earmarks, and the imminent fights over his budget blueprint and health care.
But despite the ups and downs during the first 50 days, experts argue that Obama seems to be ahead of the curve in terms of efficiency compared to some of his predecessors.
Obama’s 60 percent approval rating in the most recent NBC/WSJ poll also implies that many Americans remain satisfied with the president so far.
Day 49: Obama OKs Stem Cell Research (Mar. 9)
- Obama lifted some restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, angering many abortion opponents but cheering those who believe the study could produce treatments for many diseases.(Full Story)