The Presidential Planner

By MichaelJames

Oct 22, 2009 7:00am

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

 

President Obama will meet with Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, via videoconference in the Situation Room this morning. 

 

The president has not had a full meeting with his national security team this week. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said there are smaller meetings of National Security Council principles and there will be a full meeting early next week.

 

On Tuesday, President Obama also spoke with Eikenberry and thanked him for his “exceptional work” after Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed to a run-off election.

 

Later, the president will have a private meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the Private Dining Room.

 

In the afternoon, the president will sign into law the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act which “guarantees a timely and predictable flow of funding for Department of Veterans Affairs medical care,” the White House said.

 

An administration official said it would make the money for Veterans Affairs dependable by taking that portion of money out of the “beltway budget battle”  and allow the agency actually to plan for medical accounts.

 

As a senator, Obama co-sponsored the legislation with Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

 

“We are very excited because it is a promise kept,” an administration official said.

 

The president will be joined by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, members of Congress, and leaders from various Veterans Service Organizations in the East Room ceremony.

 

On Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to the Department of Veterans Affairs and thanked employees for their service. She said the VA act her husband will sign will provide better care to veterans.

 

“This legislation guarantees a timely and predictable flow of funding for VA medical care,” the first lady said, according to ABC News’ Karen Travers, “because that's what's required to guarantee better care to the men and women who serve this country.”

 

Later today, the president will meet separately with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office as part of his weekly meetings with each.

 

-Sunlen Miller

 

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