By Jueseppi B.
November 01, 2013
05:30 PM EDT
Talking Health Care at Boston’s Faneuil Hall: The President traveled to Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall on Wednesday to speak about the Affordable Care Act. Besides just being a beautiful landmark, Faneuil Hall is where Massachusetts’s bipartisan health care law was signed into law, which served as a model for the Affordable Care Act.
The health insurance marketplace, where Americans without insurance or those who buy plans on the individual market can shop for high-quality, affordable health insurance, was also built on the Massachusetts model, President Obama said.
Now, this marketplace is open now. Insurance companies are competing for that business. The deal is good; the prices are low. But, let’s face it, we’ve had a problem. The website hasn’t worked the way it’s supposed to over these last couple of weeks. And as a consequence, a lot of people haven’t had a chance to see just how good the prices for quality health insurance through these marketplaces really are.
Now, ultimately, this website, healthcare.gov, will be the easiest way to shop for and buy these new plans, because you can see all these plans right next to each other and compare prices and see what kind of coverage it provides. But, look, there’s no denying it, right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not happy about it. And neither are a lot of Americans who need health care, and they’re trying to figure out how they can sign up as quickly as possible. So there’s no excuse for it. And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day.
President Obama said he is confident these marketplaces will work, because Massachusetts – which also had early problems in implementing its law — shows that the model works.
“It’s hard,” President Obama said, “But it’s worth it. It is the right thing to do, and we’re going to keep moving forward. We are going to keep working to improve the law, just like you did here in Massachusetts.”
Read his full remarks here.
SelectUSA Investment Summit: The President joined Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker at the first SelectUSA Investment Summit on Thursday. Nearly 1,000 business leaders from across the world convened at the event. At the summit, the President spoke on the importance of investing in the United States. “There’s no substitute for those three proud words: ‘Made in America,’” the President said.
Swearing-In New FBI Director: On Monday, President Obama traveled to the FBI Headquarters for the swearing-in of James Comey as the seventh Director of the FBI. The President praised Comey’s commitment to justice and his dedication to the motto of the FBI – fidelity, bravery, and integrity. The President also said he’d fight to restore FBI resources that had been reduced by the sequester. “I’ll keep fighting for those resources because our country asks and expects a lot from you, and we should make sure you’ve got the resources you need to do the job,” he said.
Honoring former House Speaker Tom Foley: President Obama and Vice President Biden went to the Capitol on Tuesday for a memorial in honor of former House Speaker and Ambassador Tom Foley. Elected officials filled Statuary Hall to honor the leader who worked to find common ground with his colleagues across the aisle.
When we’re standing outside these magnificent buildings, we have that sense of wonder and that sense of hope. And sometimes, the longer you’re here, the harder it is to hang on to that. And yet, Tom Foley never lost it — never lost that sense of wonder, never lost the sense of gratitude. What a privilege, he felt it was, to serve. And he never forgot why he came here — on behalf of this nation and his state and the citizens that he loved and respected so much.
Read his remarks here.
Visit to National Domestic Violence Hotline: Vice President Biden visited the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas on Wednesday to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In 1994, Vice President Biden helped found the National Domestic Violence Hotline with the Violence Against Women Act. During his visit, the Vice President toured the Hotline, met with advocates, and spoke about the importance of supporting domestic violence services. Visit www.thehotline.orgfor more information.
Celebrating Halloween: On Halloween, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama handed out treats to local students and children of military families to the White House for the annual White House trick-or-treating celebration. In honor of the holiday, the White House was lit in orange and pumpkins decorated the South Lawn.
White House Fall Garden Viewing: Over the weekend, the White House welcomed visitors from across the country to tour the gardens and grounds. Visitors had the chance to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the South Lawn and the Kitchen Garden.
On Sunday, Instagram photo enthusiasts came to the White House for the first White House InstaMeet. After a tour of the grounds – where they got a surprise visit from Bo and Sunny – these Instagramers got to sit down with Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza. Check out some of the best photos from their tour here.
Sesame Street Encourages Fresh Food: On Wednesday,First Lady Michelle Obama joined Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita and announce that Sesame Street characters will be helping promote fresh fruits and vegetables to kids. As early as 2014, Sesame Street characters will be seen on produce in stores, which enables companies to use their characters to encourage kids to eat healthier. After the announcement, the First Lady, Elmo, Rosita, and Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass met up with local students for the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest.
Secretary Sally Jewell
05:13 PM EDT
President Obama and I believe that we have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave our land, water, and wildlife better than we found it. Yesterday, I spoke at the National Press Club to build out the Administration’s vision for conservation that will strengthen our economy and ensure that we pass along our nation’s rich legacy to the next generation – a path forward that includes balanced infrastructure and energy development, conservation and engaging youth on our public lands.
At Interior, we are working to protect the places and stories that Americans care about most – particularly during this time when our natural resources are facing unprecedented challenges from climate change and a growing population.
In yesterday’s remarks, I outlined the need for commonsense, bipartisan Congressional action to support our national parks, wildlife refuges, rivers and conservation lands. I also issued my first Secretarial Order to establish a Department-wide mitigation strategy that will encourage balanced development and landscape-level planning.
Finally, I set some ambitious goals for this Department to engage the next generation through education, employment and volunteer opportunities on public lands. For the health of our economy and our public lands, it’s critical that we work now to establish meaningful and deep connections between young people – from every background and every community – and the great outdoors.
I look forward to working with the President, my colleagues in the Cabinet, Congress, and external partners such as schools, communities, tribes, non-profits and businesses to leverage our resources and turn this conservation vision into reality.
October 2013: White House Photo of the Day
President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Maliki of Iraq
November 01, 2013 | 17:55 |Public Domain
President Obama and Prime Minister Maliki speak to the press after a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office.
November 01, 2013 | 52:40 |Public Domain
White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.
#GetCovered: Because Insurers Can No Longer Impose Lifetime Limits on Health Care
November 01, 2013 | 1:58 |Public Domain
Adele’s daughter Lily was diagnosed with a severe case of cerebral palsy. By the age of 3 months she was already halfway to her lifetime maximum of health benefits. Because of the Affordable Care Act, their daughter will no longer be denied coverage for her condition and will no longer be worried with the lifetime maximums that health insurers used to place on health benefits. Get Covered http://www.healthcare.gov
Trick-or-Treat with the President and First Lady
October 31, 2013 | 19:25 |Public Domain
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome area students and the children of military families to the White House for trick-or-treating on Halloween.
Statement by the President on the Observance of Diwali
For the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists celebrating Diwali this weekend, the Festival of Lights reaffirms the things in life that matter most. Dancing, celebration, and good food remind us that life’s greatest joys are the simple pleasures that come from spending time with people we love. Contemplation and prayer remind us that that people of all faiths have an obligation to perform seva, or service to others.
And the flame of the diya, or lamp, reminds us that light will ultimately triumph over darkness. Here in the United States, Diwali also reminds us that our nation is home to many faiths and traditions, and that our diversity makes us stronger, which is why I’m proud that this year Democrats and Republicans in Congress joined together for the first-ever celebration of Diwali on Capitol Hill. Over the last five years, Michelle and I have been honored to have the chance to observe this ancient holiday, both at the White House and in India, and we wish all those celebrating this weekend a Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak.
FACT SHEET: Executive Order on Climate Preparedness
President Obama Establishes a Task Force on Climate
“We’re going to need to get prepared. And that’s why this plan will also protect critical sectors of our economy and prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that we cannot avoid. States and cities across the country are already taking it upon themselves to get ready… And we’ll partner with communities seeking help to prepare for droughts and floods, reduce the risk of wildfires, protect the dunes and wetlands that pull double duty as green space and as natural storm barriers.” – President Barack Obama, June 25, 2013
Today, President Obama established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force members include state, local and tribal leaders from across the country who will use their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to inform their recommendations to the Administration.
The President signed an Executive Order that directs Federal agencies to take a series of steps to make it easier for American communities to strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for other impacts of climate change.
President Obama has said that we have a moral obligation to our children and future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted or damaged. That is why in June, the President launched a Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge.
The Climate Action Plan recognizes that even as we act to curb the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, we must also improve our ability to prepare for the climate impacts we are already seeing across the country. Across America, states, cities, and communities are taking steps to protect themselves from extreme weather and other climate impacts by updating building codes, adjusting the way they manage natural resources, investing in more resilient infrastructure, and planning for rapid recovery from damages that nonetheless occur.
The Federal Government has an important role to play in supporting community-based preparedness and resilience efforts by establishing policies and prioritizing investments that promote preparedness, protecting critical infrastructure and public resources, supporting science and research needed to prepare for climate impacts, and ensuring that Federal operations and facilities continue to protect and serve citizens in a changing climate.
State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience
State, local and tribal leaders across the country are already contending with more frequent or severe heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms and floods, and other impacts of climate change. The Task Force will provide recommendations to the President on removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing Federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools they need to prepare.
Task Force members comprise governors, mayors, county officials and tribal leaders, representing a diverse range of communities. The members of the Task Force include:
Governor Neil Abercrombie (HI)
Governor Jerry Brown (CA)
Governor Eddie Calvo (GU)
Governor Jay Inslee (WA)
Governor Jack Markell (DE)
Governor Martin O’Malley (MD)
Governor Pat Quinn (IL)
Governor Peter Shumlin (VT)
Mayor Ralph Becker (Salt Lake City, UT)
Mayor James Brainard (Carmel, IN)
Commissioner Paula Brooks (Franklin County, OH)
Supervisor Salud Carbajal (Santa Barbara County, CA)
Mayor Frank Cownie (Des Moines, IA)
Mayor Bob Dixson (Greensburg, KS)
Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA)
Mayor George Heartwell (Grand Rapids, MI)
Mayor Kristin Jacobs (Broward County, FL)
Mayor Kevin Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
Mayor Michael Nutter (Philadelphia, PA)
Mayor Annise Parker (Houston, TX)
Mayor Patsy Parker (Perdido Beach, AL)
Mayor Madeline Rogero (Knoxville, TN)
Mayor Karen Weitkunat (Fort Collins, CO)
Mayor Dawn Zimmer (Hoboken, NJ)
Karen Diver, Chairwoman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (MN)
Reggie Joule, Mayor, Northwest Arctic Borough (AK)
An Executive Order to Protect Our Communities
The Obama Administration has taken significant steps to strengthen the climate resilience of America’s communities and economy. More than 30 Federal agencies developed their first-ever Climate Change Adaptation Plans, outlining strategies to protect their operations, programs, and investments to better serve communities and safeguard our public resources in the face of climate change. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Administration has provided resources to rebuild the affected area to be more resilient than before, including support for more climate-resilient roads and infrastructure, and projects that protect drinking water and buffer communities from flooding.
In addition, Federal agencies have partnered with states, cities, tribes, and the private sector to develop strategies to address the impacts of climate change on our freshwater resources, oceans and coasts, and wildlife. Agencies have also built new, data-driven tools to help decision makers and resource managers map and plan for future sea level rise. From Florida to Minnesota, and from Alaska to New York, Federal agencies have partnered with communities to provide funding and technical assistance to address local climate impacts such as sea level rise, flooding, and water scarcity.
To build on this progress, the Executive Order (E.O.) “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change,” signed today directs Federal agencies to:
- Modernize Federal programs to support climate-resilient investments: Agencies will examine their policies and programs and find ways to make it easier for cities and towns to build smarter and stronger. Agencies will identify and remove any barriers to resilience-focused actions and investments– for example, policies that encourage communities to rebuild to past standards after disasters instead of to stronger standards – including through agency grants, technical assistance, and other programs in sectors from transportation and water management to conservation and disaster relief.
- Manage lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience: America’s natural resources are critical to our Nation’s economy, health and quality of life. The E.O. directs agencies to identify changes that must be made to land- and water-related policies, programs, and regulations to strengthen the climate resilience of our watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them. Federal agencies will also evaluate how to better promote natural storm barriers such as dunes and wetlands, as well as how to protect the carbon sequestration benefits of forests and lands to help reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change.
- Provide information, data and tools for climate change preparedness and resilience: Scientific data and insights are essential to help communities and businesses better understand and manage the risks associated with extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. The E.O. instructs Federal agencies to work together and with information users to develop new climate preparedness tools and information that state, local, and private-sector leaders need to make smart decisions. In keeping with the President’s Open Data initiative, agencies will also make extensive Federal climate data accessible to the public through an easy-to-use online portal.
- Plan for climate change related risk: Recognizing the threat that climate change poses to Federal facilities, operations and programs, the E.O. builds on the first-ever set of Federal agency adaptation plans released earlier this year and directs Federal agencies to develop and implement strategies to evaluate and address their most significant climate change related risks.
To implement these actions, the E.O. establishes an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, chaired by the White House and composed of more than 25 agencies. To assist in achieving the goals of the E.O., these agencies are directed to consider the recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
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