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The Obama Administration: May 1-15, 2009

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Day101/May 1st/Friday: The President interrupted White House press briefing of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. The President revealed he had “just got off the telephone” with U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, confirming Souter’s decision to retire. Transcript Video 

The President released a statement honoring World Press Freedom Day:

World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to remind us all of the vital importance of this core freedom. It is a day in which we celebrate the indispensable role played by journalists in exposing abuses of power, while we sound the alarm about the growing number of journalists silenced by death or jail as they attempt to bring daily news to the public.” Transcript

Vice President Joe Biden conducted a ceremonious swearing in Kathleen Sibelius as the 21st United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Immediately thereafter, The Vice President swore in Gary Locke as the 36th United States Secretary of Commerce. Both Sibelius and Locke had been officially sworn in previously.

Day102/May 2nd/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President discussed the government’s response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus, from school closings to activating online social networks. He urged Americans to be calm but cautious. The White House has launched pages in Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to support the ongoing efforts by the CDC to update the public as quickly and effectively as possible. Transcript Video

The President and First Lady enjoyed dinner together at the Citronelle Restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. press accounts

Day103/May 3rd/Sunday: The President issued a statement on former Republican Congressman Jack Kemp, who died May 2, 2009: “Jack Kemp was a man who could fiercely advocate his own beliefs and principles while also remembering the lessons he learned years earlier on the football field: that bitter divisiveness between race and class and station only stood in the way of the common aim of a team to win.”

Day104/May 4th/Monday: The President announced his plans to overhaul the tax system of the United States, stating: "…today, I'm announcing a set of proposals to crack down on illegal overseas tax evasion, close loopholes, and make it more profitable for companies to create jobs here in the United States. For years, we've talked about ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and giving tax breaks to companies that create jobs here in America. That's what our budget will finally do. We will stop letting American companies that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits. And we will use the savings to give tax cuts to companies that are investing in research and development here at home so that we can jumpstart job creation, foster innovation, and enhance America's competitiveness." Transcript Video

The President’s proposals would:

   (1)   eliminate deductions on overseas profits

   (2)   crack down on offshore accounts

   (3)   hire up to 800 new agents for enforcement of new tax laws

   (4)   require overseas banks to provide 1099s for their American clients

   (5)   save up to $210 billion in ten years

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to the Wilmington, Delaware train station to kick off a renovation project at the station.

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.
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