Washington Daybook: Cabinet Filling

Photograph by Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington on Nov. 28, 2012.

President Obama fills out his second-term Cabinet today by selecting Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and Gina McCarthy to run the Environmental Protection Agency. He’ll also tap Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation, to head the White House budget office, Bloomberg News reports.

Obama holds a Cabinet meeting this afternoon to lay out his plans for his second term. Topic A on the agenda may be the sequestration and how to implement $85 billion in budget cuts over the next seven months. Obama made calls over the weekend to lawmakers seeking bipartisan support for recasting the cuts while Republicans and Democrats traded blame for allowing the across-the-board reductions.

Topic B, closely related, may be discussions on averting a possible government shutdown. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said Congress will take up legislation this week to fund the government beyond March 27.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen speaks at the National Association Assn for Business Economics policy conference in Washington today. Yellen signaled Feb. 11 that the Fed may keep interest rates near zero after bond-buying ends to maintain stimulus. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker will also speak.

Vice President Joe Biden addresses an AIPAC policy conference. The FHFA releases it annual report on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s progress on meeting benchmarks for winding down operations. The Institute of International Bankers holds its annual Washington Conference. Speakers include Under Secretary of the Treasury Mary J. Miller, Fed Goverrnor Jerome Powell, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg.

Drugs to ease menopausal hot flashes from Depomed, Hisamitsu will be considered by FDA advisers today.

And Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, Kerry announced release of $250m of pledged $1b in aid for Egypt during visit to country as part of tour through Middle East


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