Obama has just frozen salaries for two years for White House staffers who make $100,000 or more annually; that affects about 100 employees. And he's placed restrictions on lobbyists:
... Obama's new lobbying rules will not only ban aides from trying to influence the administration when they leave his staff. Those already hired will be banned from working on matters they have previously lobbied on, or to approach agencies that they once targeted.He has also already called the heads of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and Jordan about the Gaza conflict.
The rules also ban lobbyists from giving gifts of any size to any member of his administration. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ban would include the traditional "previous relationships" clause, allowing gifts from friends or associates with which an employee comes in with strong ties.
The new rules also require that anyone who leaves his administration is not allowed to try to influence former friends and colleagues for at least two years. Obama is requiring all staff to attend to an ethics briefing like one he said he attended last week.
Obama called the rules tighter "than under any other administration in history." They followed pledges during his campaign to be strict about the influence of lobbyists in his White House.
"The new rules on lobbying alone, no matter how tough, are not enough to fix a broken system in Washington," he said. "That's why I'm also setting rules that govern not just lobbyists but all those who have been selected to serve in my administration." ...
Here's the whole story.
And military judges have responded to the president's request to suspend war-crimes trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base; he is now circulating the draft of an executive order to close the detention center (story here).
Updated at 4:25 p.m.: And how could I forget this? Yesterday, the day he was inaugurated, Obama halted all of Bush's last-minute regulations until they can be reviewed by the new administration.
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