Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx welcomed the progress on Capitol Hill but said a short-term solution "is still insufficient to solve our crisis." Lawmakers have kept the fund teetering on the edge of bankruptcy since 2008 through a series of temporary patches because they can't agree on a politically acceptable, long-term funding solution. Action is needed before Congress breaks for August.
Before arriving at the port, Obama stopped at the Charcoal Pit for a cheeseburger lunch with Tanei Benjamin, the single mother of a 6-year-old daughter who wrote him a letter last year about her personal situation. The White House said that after reading Benjamin's letter Obama wrote "This is the person we are working for" on the bottom and sent the letter to his senior staff.
Obama has been meeting in public venues with the authors of some of the 10 letters he reads every night, part of a concerted White House push to get him out of Washington and interacting with everyday people.
Afterward, Obama flew to New York City for two separate political events for the Democratic Party and the House Majority PAC, which tries to help Democrats win House seats. The first event was a fundraiser at a private home at the Trump Place apartments on Manhattan's Upper West Side and was attended by about 30 supporters who paid up to $32,400 each.
House Majority PAC said Obama was appearing at the second event as a special guest, but would not directly solicit donations. The super PAC said it had invited a select group of its supporters to hear the president speak. Both events were closed to media coverage.
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