Several senior officials in the White House have held live chats on the Internet. In the past month, Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle and special green jobs adviser Van Jones answered questions from the public in discussions streamed through White House Live.
Obama's budget outline includes $210 billion raised through international tax-enforcement efforts. CongressDailyAM (subscription) reported that one of those proposals could cut or end tax deductions for foreign-based insurance companies.
Obama's 2011 budget blueprint confirms that the administration will allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire as scheduled on Dec. 31, putting to rest rumors that the White House might temporarily extend the cuts in the face of economic uncertainty.
"While we extend middle-class tax cuts in this budget, we will not continue costly tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers, and those making over $250,000 a year," Obama said in remarks on the budget. "We just can't afford it."
Obama assembled a 47-nation summit to focus on nuclear terrorism in a post-Cold War world. After discussions that yielded few specifics, they reached a general agreement to secure all unaccounted-for nuclear material within four years.
President Obama signed the Southwest Border Security Bill, which will fund increased security along the border with Mexico.
President-elect Barack Obama announced the nomination of retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. He did not, however, make any announcements about setting up a fixed term.
Obama’s FY2011 budget proposal seeks $758 million for buildings’ energy conservation measures. This includes $231 million for the Building Technologies program, dedicated to making buildings greener.
The day after Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., told the AFL-CIO's national convention that he would support EFCA -- reversing a stance he took six months before as a Republican -- Senate Democrats walked back his prediction that it would pass this year.
Obama, speaking to the AFL-CIO on the same day as Specter, made brief mention of EFCA, saying, "We'll grow our middle class by building a stronger labor movement.... That's why I stand behind the Employee Free Choice Act -- because if a majority of workers want a union, they should get a union."
Speaking on Tax Day, Obama repeated his campaign promise to simplify income tax filing, pledging that his Economic Recovery Advisory Board would complete a set of recommendations by the end of the year.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced a joint plan with the IRS to simplify the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, eliminating 20 percent of the questions and cutting in half the number of Web pages in the application process.