Relive the first year of the Obama Presidency

September 24, 2013

Portrait of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama As we experience the first year of President Obama’s second term as the 44th President of the United States, take a look back on what was going on at this time during the first year of his first term as president with the Public Papers of the Presidents, Barack Obama 2009, Book 2. This volume covers the public messages and statements made by President Obama during the second half of his first year in office from July to December 2009.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Barack Obama, 2009, Book 2, July 1 to December 31, 2009.  ISBN: 9780160860867 and GPO Stock #069-000-00185-8Some highlights of those six months include the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as President Obama’s first nomination to the Supreme Court, the shaping of the health care law (Read our blog post: “Everything You Should Know About The Health Care Law“), and the continuing efforts to create jobs and rebuild the U.S. economy. The book also includes a section of official color photographs from events during the time period.

This book is part of the Public Papers of the Presidents series which consists of public writings, addresses and remarks made by the President and is the second volume of the Barack Obama Public Papers collection, which includes an eBook version of Book 1. (Read about the first volume in our blog post: “The First Collection of President Obama’s Public Papers.”)

As in other Public Papers volumes, the appendices provide listings of:

  • A digest of President Obama’s daily schedule and meetings, when announced, and other items of general interest issued by the White House Office of the Press Secretary;
  • President Obama’s nominations submitted to the Senate;
  • A checklist of materials released by the Office of the Press Secretary that are not printed full-text in the book; and
  • A table of Proclamations, Executive Orders, and other Presidential documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary and published in the Federal Register.

Public Papers of the Presidents series

The entire Public Papers of the Presidents series is published by the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and includes two volumes per year, each volume covering a six-month period of the presidency, with the OFR checking remarks against a recording and signed documents against the original to ensure accuracy. The series started with President Hoover and continues to President Obama, with the exception of President Roosevelt who chose to have his papers published privately.

To learn more about the process of compiling the Public Papers of the Presidents, watch this video below on the production of President Obama’s first volume at the Government Printing Office (GPO):

Video Government Printing Office The Making-of-Barack-Obama-Public-Papers-of-the-President

Image: Excerpted from the video of the Making of the Public Papers of the President. Depicts President Obama in the Oval Office being presented with the first volume in his Public Papers printed by the Government Printing Office in April 2011. Pictured from left to right are: current Public Printer of the United States, Davita Vance-Cooks; previous Public Printer, William J. Boarman; President Barack Obama; Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, and Director of the Federal Register, Ray Mosley.

The Public Papers of the Presidents series is also available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). The public can digitally access the digitized volumes starting in 1991 with President George H. W. Bush through President Barack Obama, 2009 from this page on FDsys.

GPO also makes the Public Papers of the Presidents series available in print through the agency’s online bookstore with volumes back to Herbert Hoover. The public can browse through the various volumes from different presidents on the Public Papers of the Presidents collection page in the Presidential History collection under the US & Military History category.

How do I obtain a copy of the Public Papers of the Presidents, Barack Obama 2009, Book 2?

1) Buy a printed copy

  • Shop Online: You can purchase a printed copy of Public Papers of the Presidents, Barack Obama 2009, Book 2 or any of the previous volume(s) of the Obama presidency by shopping the Barack Obama Public Papers collection on the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.
  • Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
  • Visit our Retail Store: Buy a printed copy at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
  • Find it in a Library:  GPO provides catalog records to Federal Depository libraries worldwide. Find this publication in a federal depository library.

2) View or download a PDF from GPO’s official Federal documents database, FDsys:

About the Author: Our guest blogger is Emma Wojtowicz, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs. Additional content provided by Government Book Talk Editor: Michele Bartram, Promotions & eCommerce Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division.

All the President’s Men and Women: Sourcebook of the US Executive Agencies

May 24, 2013

The size of the federal government is a consistently politicized topic. Whether you think it is too big or too small or just right, you can learn more and develop an opinion with help from a first-of-its-kind publication by the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Sourcebook-US-Executive-Agencies-2012This first edition of the Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies was published in December 2012 to break down information and numbers by what they refer to as the “executive establishment,” which is the executive branch and all the other Federal agencies, offices, bureaus, and boards that serve the President that do not fall neatly under any of the three branches of the Federal government.

From Three to Many

The executive establishment traces its roots to 1789 when the first Congress created three executive departments: Treasury, War and State. For 60 years, these three departments carried out the nation’s essential functions and responsibilities regardless of whether they fit under the departments. Then in 1849, Congress created the Department of the Interior and after that the rest of the executive departments that we know today were established, reorganized and shuffled together over time. The Department of Homeland Security is the most recently established agency that was created in 2002 combining together 22 federal agencies from various departments.

Burgeoning Bureaucracy

Regarding the number of federal government employees, the most dramatic increase happened under FDR’s administration. During the New Deal era from 1933 to 1944, federal employment expanded from 600 thousand workers to 3.3 million workers.  In 2012, the executive establishment was made up of 2.85 million civilian employees compared to the legislative branch with 31 thousand civilian employees, the judicial branch with 32 thousand civilian employees and the military with 1.4 million service members.

These numbers do not include the number of contract employees and local and state employees whose salaries are paid for with federal funding.

The Role of the Political Appointee

The publication also explains the types of political appointees and their role in the executive establishment.  The top leadership positions in the executive establishment’s departments and agencies are political appointments that must be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. In 2012, there were 1,130 positions in the executive establishment requiring Senate confirmation.

Another type of political appointee is the Senior Executive Service (SES), which is a corps made up of about 7,000 senior managers across the executive establishment. The Office of Personnel and Management determines the number of positions in each agency that will be filled by members of the SES. Then there are also Schedule C positions who serve at the pleasure of the head of the department of agency. Both SES and Schplum-book-2012edule C appointees do not require Senate confirmation.

For more information about political appointees, check out the Plum Book, to which this book is an important companion publication. Read about the Plum Book in our blog post, “A Plum Book of Political Positions”.


Thanks to the information and statistics provided in Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies, readers can develop an informed opinion about the size and organization of the government.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THE “Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies”?

About the Author: Our Guest blogger is Emma Wojtowicz, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs.

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