Nearly a quarter of the Senate – 23 members from both sides of the aisle – come to the White House today. The agenda: an energy and climate bill. The President wants one by the end of the year – now the House passed a bill last year and a similar Senate bill – sponsored by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman – was introduced last month.
But like healthcare, the number of Republicans supporting the bill is a big fat zero. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks an energy & climate bill will be tougher than health care – if you can believe that. The BP oil spill is a complicating factor, but one the White House is using to make its case for 21st-century energy - wind and solar power, for instance - as opposed to oil.
Speaking of the oil spill, Vice-President Biden makes his first visit to the spill zone today. He'll visit New orleans and Pensacola, FL - but no beaches, visits to marshland or boat trips appear to be on the agenda.
In the afternoon – another tough bill is on Obama’s radar: immigration. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will visit. The dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats here: crack down on illegals and risk the election-year wrath of the fast-growing Hispanic bloc – or woo them by making concessions – which may alienate other voters.
Obama has another guest today – one who’s come a lot farther than Capitol Hill – it’s Saudi King Abdullah. The agenda includes everything from the Mideast peace process to Iran – the Saudis are very nervous about Iran and its growing power in the region. The Saudis have signaled privately they’d like to see Iran contained – a goal the White House certainly shares.
Day two of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Today she'll take questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kagan's mission: answer questions respectfully, while saying as little as possible. She and her White House handlers have been practicing answers to anticipated questions for weeks.
Meantime, Vice-President Biden makes his first visit to the oil spill zone today. He'll visit New Orleans and Pensacola, FL - but no beaches, visits to marshland or boat trips appear to be on the agenda.
9:00AM In-Town Travel Pool Call Time
9:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:00AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Economic Daily Briefing
10:50AM THE PRESIDENT meets with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year
Pool spray at the bottom (Gather Time 11:30AM – Brady Press Briefing Room)
12:00PM THE PRESIDENT receives a briefing on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill
1:05PM THE PRESIDENT has a working lunch with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Old Family Dining Room
2:10PM THE PRESIDENT holds a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Pool Spray at the Top (Gather Time 2:00PM – Brady Press Briefing Room)
3:40PM THE PRESIDENT meets with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
State Dining Room
2:30PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
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