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President Barack Obama on Tuesday used a White House event on vehicle efficiency to offer a boost to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is embroiled in controversy over whether she was told in 2002 that the CIA was engaged in harsh interrogation techniques.In an aside, Obama said Pelosi is “cracking the whip— and “making Congress so productive.— But Obama also offered unusually animated congratulations to other officials present at the event. Also on hand was Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), who has been mentioned as a possible Obama Supreme Court pick. The White House suggested Monday that she was in town for the automobile event and not to discuss the Supreme Court, and as if to emphasize the point, she left the White House directly after the event to catch a plane.Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards requiring vehicles to achieve an average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The president appeared along with auto industry, environmental and union officials, as well as several governors and Members of Congress.

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