The First Draft: Details

May 7, 2009

OBAMA/The devil’s in the details, the saying goes, and we’ll find out plenty of details today about two big initiatives of the Obama administration: the budget and the bank bailout.

At 10:35 a.m., Obama will propose slashing $17 billion from the U.S. budget in 121 programs ranging from weapons systems to mine cleanup. Republicans are likely to say that’s not enough to tame his $3.55 trillion budget.

At 5 p.m., the Treasury Department will reveal the results of its “stress tests” of major banks, and is expected to say that about half of the 19 largest banks will need to raise more money to stay financially should.

Aside from that, there’s plenty of other things happening in Washington today.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is in town; he holds a news conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 1 p.m. and meets with Obama at 4:15.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are still kicking around as well. They hold a news conference with Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Senator John Kerry at 2:30 p.m.

Finally, Rev. Al Sharpton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich walk into a room. Sounds like the beginning to a tasteless joke, right? They’re actually meeting with Obama to discuss education reform this afternoon, and will talk to reporters about the meeting at 1:30.

photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag on Capitol Hill, March 4)

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