Obama’s FY2011 budget proposal requests $385 million for weatherization and energy efficiency grants for states, a 43 percent increase over the previous year.
In her Senate confirmation hearing, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated Obama's pledge, saying, "We will participate in the upcoming U.N. Copenhagen Climate Conference and a global energy forum."
In a memo to Obama, Vice President Joe Biden said the administration's clean energy initiatives, including investments from the stimulus package passed early this year, will help create more than 700,000 jobs.
Fifteen historically African-American land-grant educational institutions were selected to receive $1.5 million in grants from the Department of Agriculture. "These funds help provide entrepreneurship training and benefits to rural youth," Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. "Using these funds, students will learn to take advantage of existing economic development opportunities in their communities -- such as renewable energy resources -- as well as the vast business knowledge and connections that these schools and their faculty members have." USDA hopes the grants will help spur economic development in rural communities.
The Senate confirmed Jeffrey Zients as chief performance officer and deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget. In a blog post, OMB Director Peter Orszag said Zients' responsibilities will include "reforming government hiring practices" as well as working on "contracting reform, program evaluation, and e-government."
In a speech at a Wisconsin middle school, President Obama announced that the Education Department's Race to the Top program of education grants will only be available for states that remove so-called "firewall laws" prohibiting teacher evaluations from being based on student performance.
The tax credits passed in the final version of the stimulus signed by Obama.
The tax credit was included in the final version of the stimulus signed by Obama.
Although the stimulus was created outside the normal appropriations process, it has come with repeated promises from Obama that his administration will root out wasteful spending, a pledge that is backed up in the bill with dollars and authority for staff to carry out his threats.
USA Today reports that "the stimulus bill contains $330.5 million for oversight and offers the president his first opportunity to put into practice his campaign pledge to demand greater accountability of federal spending. It provides $25 million for the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan congressional agency; $84 million to create an accountability board within the administration; and $221.5 million to the inspectors general who serve as department watchdogs."
In addition, the administration launched Recovery.gov, a Web site it says will allow citizens and government watchdogs to track where stimulus money is going.
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated their support for Israel in a joint address at the State Department. Obama said, "Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel's security."