Economic briefing returns to Obama’s schedule
President Obama will be briefed by his economic team in the Oval Office on Wednesday, the first such meeting in more than a month.
The Hill newspaper reported last week that the once-daily economic briefings had disappeared from the president’s schedule of late, even as new data have spurred growing pessimism about the direction of the economy.
The addition of a daily economic briefing to the president’s schedule was the first announcement made by then-press secretary Robert Gibbs after Obama took office.
He said at the time that Obama asked for an economic briefing along with his daily intelligence and security briefing so he could receive “the most up-to-date information as it relates to the economy.”
A review of the president’s daily schedule finds the last formal economic briefing was scheduled for April 26. Even that briefing came after a hiatus, following back-to-back briefings on March 8 and 9.
The scheduled economic briefings appeared to become less frequent after January. In total, he’s had 15 economic briefings since last November, according to the schedule provided by the White House.
Obama has, however, had regular meetings with senior advisors, which occasionally include members of his economic team. Vice President Joe Biden’s schedule in recent months has also included a series of meetings with Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, to discuss fiscal policy.
Amid concerns about a new economic downturn, the state of the economy is far improved from those early days of the Obama administration, when daily economic briefings were more common. Still, Republicans pounced on the scheduling shift, saying it showed the president was not sufficiently focused on the economy.