The Cap: Will It Work?
The White House is cautious, but hopeful, that the cap put in place last night by BP is a turning point in the 84-day crisis – the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Press secretary Robert Gibbs calls it a turning point:
"Well, I think obviously a turning point in the sense that our containment capacity is likely to be equal to what is coming out of the damaged blowout preventer. Obviously, I think - well, twofold; obviously, we still, at some point, believe the permanent solution to that well is to cap it. And obviously that's going to - I wouldn’t change the original time frame of intersecting the well and capping it by mid-August."
But the White House cautions that the long, dirty work of cleaning up the muck, restoring once pristine beaches and wetlands goes on – and will go on for the forseeable future.
Meantime, the administration has issued new rules for a six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf. Some rigs will be allowed to drill if they’re proven to be safe – meaning if they can shut down quickly in an emergency. A prior moratorium on drilling was struck down in court.
On the President’s schedule today: he’ll host Senate Democratic leaders – they’ll talk about the energy/climate bill, an immigration bill – and also the next big item that could be checked off Obama’s to-do-list within days – the landmark financial reform bill.
In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. The President will then meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office. These meetings are closed press.
Later in the morning, the President and the Vice President will meet with the Senate Democratic Leadership Team in the Roosevelt Room to discuss legislative priorities before the August recess. This meeting is closed press. Expected attendees at the meeting include:
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Majority Leader
Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), President pro tempore
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Majority Whip
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Vice Chairman of the Conference
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Secretary of the Conference
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Outreach Committee
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chief Deputy Whip
Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Deputy Whip
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Chairman of the Policy Committee
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), Deputy Whip
Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Chair of Rural Outreach
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Campaign Committee
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Deputy Whip
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Vice Chairman of Committee Outreach
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of Steering and Outreach Committee
In the afternoon, the President and the Vice President will have lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press. Later in the afternoon, the President and the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Defense Gates in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.
In the evening, the President will discuss the National HIV/AIDS Strategy during remarks at a pooled-press reception to honor the work of the HIV/AIDS Community. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy is committed to making the United States a place where new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance will have unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination. To make this vision a reality, the Obama Administration is launching a comprehensive plan for fighting HIV in our country.
In-Town Travel Pool
Wires: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: FOX
9:30AM In-Town Travel Pool Call Time
9:45AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:15AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
11:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with the Senate Democratic Leadership Team
12:20PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT have lunch
Private Dining Room
4:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of Defense Gates
5:50PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
Pooled Press (Pre-set 5:00PM – Final Gather 5:30PM – North Doors of the Palm Room)
3:00PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs