By Jueseppi B.
White House Tweets – September 13, 2013
— Jordan Burke (@Jordan44) September 13, 2013
— Office of VP Biden (@VP) September 13, 2013
President Obama and the Amir of Kuwait
September 13, 2013 | 10:13 |Public Domain
President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with The Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Shaykh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah.
West Wing Week 09/13/13 or, “My Fellow Americans…”
Published on Sep 13, 2013
This week, the President represented the US at the G20 in St. Petersburg, addressed the nation on the ongoing crisis in Syria, and honored the 12th anniversary of September 11th at the Pentagon and with a service project, while the Vice President highlighted infrastructure improvements and the First Lady traveled to Watertown, WI to ask Americans to drink more water
September 12, 2013 | 58:46 |Public Domain
White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.
September 13, 2013
06:06 PM EDT
Syria: On Tuesday, the President traveled to the Capitol to meet with the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference to discuss the situation in Syria.
A little after 9:00 PM that night, President Obama addressed the nation on the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.
America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.
During his address, he explained his reasons behind calling for a military strike, laid out his reasons for asking Congress to authorize the use of force, and described how the threat of U.S. action has created the potential for a diplomatic breakthrough. See the President’s remarks on Syria here.
Remembering September 11th: On Wednesday, the First and Second Families honored those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. At 8:46 AM, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were joined by White House staff to observe a moment of silence on the South Lawn—marking the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center twelve years ago.
The President then traveled to the Pentagon Memorial for the September 11th Observance ceremony, where he laid a wreath at the Zero Age Line and observed a moment of silence for the 184 victims of the attack at the Pentagon. “They left this Earth. They slipped from our grasp. But it was written, ‘What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose,’” the President said. Read the President’s full remarks here.
President Obama then volunteered at Food & Friends, a D.C. service organization that provides meals to people with serious illnesses, to commemorate the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the USO Warrior and Family Center and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence(NICoE) at Fort Belvoir, VA. The First Lady started her visit crafting with military children before touring the NICoE and meeting with recovering military personnel.
Later that evening, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a BBQ at their home to honor Wounded Warriors and their families.
Drink More Water: The First Lady traveled to Watertown, WI to launch a nationwide effort to encourage Americans to drink more water. “Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, for your energy, and the way that you feel,” she said.
Meeting with the Cabinet: On Thursday, President Obama met with his Cabinet for the third time this year. They discussed steps to improve education, how to put people back to work, along with other issues going on with the government. Check out his full remarks here.
01:32 PM EDT
Today marks the 19th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As the original author and champion of VAWA, Vice President Biden brought national attention to what had too-long been a hidden problem. Then-Senator Biden held the first hearing on violence against women in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1990 and introduced the first version of the Act that same year. After five years of hearings exposing the extent of rape, battering and stalking, the Act finally passed Congress and was signed into law by President Clinton on September 13, 1994.
The initial VAWA legislation focused on changing law enforcement practices, improving the criminal justice system, and increasing access to shelters and services for victims. VAWA strengthened the federal criminal code, creating interstate crimes of domestic violence and doubling penalties for repeat sex offenders. And, VAWA sparked the passage of hundreds of laws at the state level to protect victims and hold offenders accountable. Since 1994, VAWA has sent billions of dollars to states and local communities to develop a coordinated response to domestic violence, dating violence sexual assault, and stalking.
VAWA works because it brings people together to focus on real solutions. VAWA created a National Domestic Violence Hotline that today responds to more than 23,000 calls a month. The criminal justice reforms and victim services supported by VAWA have allowed women to reach out for help, call the police, receive protection from the courts, and leave abusive relationships. As a result, the annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped by 64% since 1994.
But rates of violence remain all too high, and one day’s glance at the headlines tells us why we still need VAWA. Through the hard work of Congress, advocates, the President and Vice President Biden, on March 7, 2013, President Obama signed the third reauthorization of VAWA into law, bringing about a wave of improvements that will protect the most vulnerable victims. VAWA 2013 ensures that American Indian Tribes, for the first time in decades, will be able to exercise their sovereign power to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence both Indians and non-Indians who assault their Indian spouses or dating partners in Indian country. And, VAWA will continue to allow immigrant victims to separate their immigration status from the person who is abusing them and to apply for special visas. In recognition that domestic violence can occur in any relationship, Congress included new protections for LGBT victims, prohibiting discrimination in VAWA-funded programs and encouraging states to develop specialized services for LGBT communities. Last night, the Vice President announced that the Department of Health and Human Services is providing a grant to the Northwest Network for the first-ever LGBT victim services institute. This institute will provide training for domestic violence shelters and community agencies on how to assist victims who identify as LGBT.
The new version of VAWA also strengthens existing programs and puts an increased focus on sexual assault. The new VAWA will provide funding to states to improve evidence collection, investigation, and prosecution of sexual assault crimes, including assaults in which the victim was incapacitated by alcohol. Given that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been sexually assaulted, this new focus will meet an urgent need. The new VAWA requires colleges and universities to provide information to incoming students about dating violence and sexual assault, and to have clear policies to address these crimes. Finally, the legislation protects victims in subsidized housing from being evicted from their homes as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Even as we commemorate the 19th anniversary of VAWA, federal agencies are working hard to implement the new 2013 provisions. Last month, HUD sent out a notice to housing providers about the new protections, and the Justice Department has assembled a working group of Tribes to focus on best practices in criminal courts. But government can’t do it all, and the hard work of advocates, law enforcement, service providers, and survivor activists will continue to be the key to making VAWA work in local communities.
Most of all, as we reflect on 19 years of progress, we look forward to the day when VAWA is no longer needed. That will be cause for a true celebration.
September 13th, 2013: Photo of the Day
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