From: Jordan Fabian [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2015 2:51 PM
To: Allen, Jessica; Velz, Peter; Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: In-town print pool report #2
Pool was escorted into a packed Cabinet Room at 2:20 p.m. for POTUS & VP Biden’s meeting with Cabinet members, 15 minutes behind schedule.
Pool spray lasted just over three minutes.
News -- The president thanked the Senate for advancing the trade promotion authority bill this morning. Full statement:
“I want to thank the bipartisan group of senators who took a big step forward this morning on a trade agenda that is consistent with strong labor standards, strong environmental standards, and access to markets that too often are closed even as these other countries are selling goods in the United States.
It’s an agenda that is good for U.S. businesses, but most importantly, it is good for American workers.”
POTUS was seated between Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry. VP Biden sat across from POTUS and chief of staff Denis McDonough sat at the far left of the president at the end of the long table.
President Obama began by noting it was the first Cabinet meeting for Carter and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, earning a round of applause from the Cabinet secretaries.
POTUS said the country has seen signs of economic progress, such as a declining unemployment rate and the lowest rate of people without health insurance in decades.
“Our work is paying off, but we’ve got to build on that progress,” he said.
Obama said his administration would continue its effort to make community college more affordable and address poverty and inequality.
Other priorities POTUS noted were beating back ISIS, finishing a nuclear deal with Iran and new trade agreements.
Reporters shouted questions at POTUS, asking whether he would change his strategy in fighting ISIS. POTUS said “thank you,” but ignored the questions.
All members of the Cabinet attended the meeting, per White House. Other senior aides spotted in the room: Jen Psaki, Susan Rice, Shailagh Murray, Broderick Johnson, Cecilia Muñoz, and Brian Deese.
Jordan Fabian | White House Correspondent | The Hill