Obama takes on economy, wars during first day

President Barack Obama began his first day in office Wednesday with a prayer, followed by meetings with aides to discuss the economic crisis and foreign

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama began his first day in office Wednesday with a prayer, followed by meetings with aides to discuss the economic crisis and foreign policy.

While attending an afternoon swearing-in ceremony of the executive staff, President Obama signed an executive order freezing pay of White House employees who earn more than $100,000 a year.

Obama also announced a change in policy that will require each federal agency and departments to give full attention to Freedom of Information requests and said he expects members of his administration to be responsive to such pleas.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this administration," Obama said in a statement to reporters.

President Obama held a teleconference with top military commanders, including generals David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno, Wednesday afternoon to discuss plans to withdraw troops from Iraq within 16 months. During his campaign, Obama promised to bolster American presence in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban has been gaining ground.

In the meantime, the Senate confirmed Hillary Rodham Clinton to become secretary of state.

Republicans and Democrat alike say her swift confirmation was necessary so that President Obama could begin tackling the major foreign policy issues at hand, including two wars, increased violence in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Immediately after the vote, Clinton was to be sworn in during a private ceremony at the Capitol.

Associated Press reports contributed to this article.

Obama calls for a remaking of America News 12 Brooklyn - Historic Inauguration

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

They say the speculators are buying homes and 1 Activists rally against gentrification in Cypress Hills, East NY
VIDEO: March to help seniors apply to college 2 VIDEO: March to help seniors apply to college
News 12 viewers discuss the widow of DA 3 The Buzz: Colon cancer
A Bronx-based artist has opened a cash-optional, pop-up 4 Artist opens up cash-optional coffee shop in Williamsburg
Click PLAY for the latest weather forecast. 5 Brooklyn Weather Forecast

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Furry Friends is a weekly segment on News Furry Friends

Furry Friends is a weekly segment on News 12 Brooklyn nightside.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE