President Obama travels to the Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday to assess the administration's ongoing efforts to battle the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Mr. Obama will visit Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. While this will be his 4th visit to the region since the April 20th disaster, it will be the president's first visit to these 3 gulf states - all previous trips have been to Louisiana - and his first over night in the region.
Upon the president's return Tuesday evening, Mr. Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office on the oil spill. The president will specifically talk about reform in the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, which oversees the country's gas, oil and mineral resources, as well as the recovery and restoration efforts that will continue in the months ahead.
Major Garrett reports that top White House speechwriter, Jon Favreau, is scheduled to travel with President Obama to the region, which is rare, because the president wants Tuesday night's address to have an eye witness account.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama will then meet with BP Chairman of the Board Carl-Henric Svanberg and CEO Tony Hayward, who will then testify before Congress on Thursday. According to White House adviser David Axelrod, the president is going to demand the two BP executives create an escrow account to pay damage claims by those individuals and businesses hurt of the Gulf of Mexico spill. This will be Mr Obama's first meeting with BP executives since the accident 55 days ago.
Mr. Obama was originally schedule to depart Sunday for a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia, but canceled the trip to focus on the oil spill efforts.
The president has met much criticism for the way his administration has responded to the disaster. Criticism ranging from the number of times he's been to the Gulf region, to the fact he's waited so long to speak with BP officials, to the pace of the cleanup effort. The White House maintains its been attentive to the disaster since day one and will continue to focus on the region.
"We're at a kind of reflection point in this saga," Axelrod said on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning. "We now know that what essentially what we can do and what we can't do in terms of collecting oil and what lies ahead in the next few months and he [President Obama] wants to lay out the steps that we're going to take from here to get through this, through the crisis."
The president's Tuesday remarks are scheduled for 8pmET.