President Barack Obama will get a daily economic briefing, similar to the national security briefing he receives every morning. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs yesterday said Obama wants to know the most up-to-date-information as he and his top aides work on reviving the struggling economy. The new administration is facing skyrocketing home foreclosures and job layoffs, tightening credit and a weakening dollar. Gibbs says economic adviser Lawrence Summers briefed Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other top advisers yesterday morning.
After a day off because of the excitement surrounding their father's inauguration, Obama's two daughters are back in school. Both girls returned to class yesterday at the private Sidwell Friends School. Malia, 10, is a fifth-grader at the middle-school campus in the District of Columbia, while younger sister Sasha, 7, is in second grade at the elementary-school campus in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington. The girls were allowed to skip school on Wednesday after an exhilarating, late-night scamper around their new home that ended when they opened a White House door and found their favorite musical band, the Jonas Brothers, waiting to surprise them.
A Wyoming senator is holding up confirmation of Obama's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency. A spokesman for Sen. John Barrasso said the Republican has refused to agree to a unanimous consent motion to speed up a Senate confirmation vote on former New Jersey environmental official Lisa Jackson, Obama's choice for EPA administrator. Barrasso spokesman Greg Keeley said the senator wants Jackson vetted more thoroughly. But his primary objection has to do with the newly created position of White House energy czar filled by former EPA Administrator Carol Browner.