In his 2011 budget, Obama says funding will support the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record and will expand the Department of Veterans Affairs' services for veterans who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.
In his State of the Union address, Obama ramped up his fight for full lobbyist disclosure, saying, "It's time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or with Congress." The White House intends to update the Lobbying Disclosure Act to include this requirement.
Obama has yet to delineate a plan in applying this oversight, leaving some unsure the federal government has the resources to enforce such disclosure laws.
In a press conference, Secretary Duncan tied the distribution of $4.35 billion in stimulus funds marked for education to charter schools. "States that don't have charter laws or put artificial caps on the growth of charter schools would jeopardize their application under the Race to the Top Fund," he said.
Obama requested $4 billion to $5 billion for clean and renewable energy development in his FY2011 budget proposal, according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
DOE’s proposal allocates $2.4 billion to its energy efficiency and renewable energy program, a 5 percent increase from the previous year’s budget. The additional funding for clean energy development comes from other science and R&D programs, Chu said at a briefing on the budget. DOE’s total budget request is $28.4 billion, a 6.8 percent increase from FY2010.
Compared to the previous year, this proposal increases funding for three types of renewable power: solar (22 percent), wind (53 percent) and geothermal (25 percent). Funding for biomass remains the same, while hydropower projects saw their funding slashed 19 percent -- the only renewable energy to see cuts. In total, DOE is asking for $740 million for renewable energy.
The amount of funding allocated to science research is about $5.1 billion, but not all of that is dedicated solely to clean energy development. The proposal also calls for $300 million to fund the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy program, which sponsors high-risk projects that private investors won’t support, including many clean energy projects.
In an executive order, President Obama tasked the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop first-time fuel efficiency and emissions standards for medium-sized and heavy-duty trucks. He also ordered the agencies to begin work immediately on a higher mileage standard for cars that would take effect in 2017 and stay on the books until 2025.
In remarks promoting his new education plan, President Obama encouraged educators "not only to expand effective after-school programs, but to rethink the school day to incorporate more time -- whether during the summer or through expanded-day programs for children who need it."
Vice President Joe Biden wrote in a memo to Obama that the administration's clean-energy initiatives, including investments from the stimulus package passed earlier this year, put "us on a track to meet the goal of doubling our renewable energy generation, including solar, wind and geothermal, in just 3 years."
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act aims to encourage youth volunteerism "by establishing a Summer of Service program to provide $500 education awards for rising 6th-12th graders, a Semester of Service program for high school students to engage in service-learning, and Youth Empowerment Zones for secondary students and out-of-school youth."
The White House announced that it would continue hosting community forums around the country under the fatherhood and mentoring initiative. Obama also proposed a new Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund to address "effective fatherhood and family-strengthening programs." Additionally, he has provided funding for transitional job programs that help "noncustodial parents facing barriers to employment."
Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls. The high-level body "is charged with advancing the rights and needs of women, including equal pay." Obama also declared April 28 National Equal Pay Day.