White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on "Good Morning America" today that the administration believes BP's oil containment efforts will collect more than 90 percent of oil spewing from the underwater leak by the end of June, and that cleanup efforts will "restore the Gulf not to where it was before this accident happened but to ... where it was years ago."
But many local residents along the Gulf Coast and 69 percent of all Americans, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, remain unconvinced that the government has acted aggressively or quickly enough. And a majority believe that some beaches will never recover, and more say some species of fish and birds will never return to normal levels, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll.
"I'd like to see the government get up off their keisters and do more than fly back and forth to Washington and play basketball or whatever it is they do," said Jerome Atkins of Dauphin Island, Alabama.
Republicans, meanwhile, chastised Obama for using the presidential pulpit to gain political ground and drum up support for legislation regulating carbon emissions, which some Republicans said constituted a "national energy tax."
"Since the outset of this crisis, they've clearly been more focused on identifying a scapegoat than in taking charge," Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader from Kentucky, said on the Senate floor today. "Clearly, the administration's national contingency plan was not up to the task. Why not? Did it rely too much on the oil companies to perform the cleanup?"
In the meantime, the leak continues despite a partial containment cap BP has placed on the well.
BP says it is planning to increase containment capacity, from siphoning 15,000 to 28,000 barrels per day of oil to as much as 50,000 barrels a day by the end of the month.
"What we have are physics problems," Gibbs said. "The top cap can only take so much, but they're adding additional lines ... to bring more and more of that oil to the surface and out of the Gulf."
Twenty-three more miles of the Gulf Coast were closed for fishing Monday as tar balls washed ashore and threatened sea life.
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf, George Stephanopoulos, Devin Dwyer and Huma Khan contributed to this report.