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A Moment Of Silence: 2:49 PM. #BostonStrong.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Statement by the President

A year ago, tragedy struck at the 117th Boston Marathon.  Four innocent people were killed that week, and hundreds more were wounded.  Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier.  And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.

 

We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety.  Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.  And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.

 

One year later, we also stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us – learning to stand, walk, dance and run again.  With each new step our country is moved by the resilience of a community and a city.  And when the sun rises over Boylston Street next Monday – Patriot’s Day – hundreds of thousands will come together to show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again.

 

 

108 Hours: Inside the Hunt for the Boston Marathon Bombers

 

Published on Apr 12, 2014

Airdate: April 11, 2014

 

 

 

A Moment of Silence to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing

 

 

Today at 2:49 pm ET, President Obama will observe a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

2014 Boston Marathon Tribute: Joe Biden

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

http://www.UniversalSports.com 2014, Boston, Masschutes, USA, A week before the 118th Boston Marathon, the city of Boston came together to remember the tragic terrorist attack last year. And giving tribute to the heroes and the survivors of that day, Vice-President Joe Biden had these words.

 

President Obama also released a statement this morning on the tragedy.

Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.

We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.

 

 

Boston Marathon Bombing — The Hunt For Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

 

 

 

Boston and its surroundings braced for an emotional week that begins Tuesday with a large ceremony honoring the victims, first responders, medical personnel and others affected by the attack. It will be a chance to mourn the dead and remember the bloodshed, but also to proclaim that what is perhaps the world’s most famous footrace will continue for a 118th year, and to marvel at the way events have brought this community together.

 

“We’re going to turn it into a moment of unity and perseverance and [strength] as a city,” said Alison Beliveau, 25, of South Boston, who finished a run Monday morning outside Marathon Sports, where the first bomb went off one year ago. “We made it through. We’re going to make it.”

 

People stand at the site of the first Boston Marathon bombing nearly one year later at. Boston Commemorates Marathon Bombing Anniversary

People stand at the site of the first Boston Marathon bombing nearly one year later at. Boston Commemorates Marathon Bombing Anniversary

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Boston Prepares To Commemorate Year Anniversary Of Marathon Bombing

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Boston Prepares To Commemorate One Year Anniversary Of Marathon Bombing

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@VP “We will never yield. We will never cower America will never never stand down. We are Boston.” – VP #BostonStrong

@VP “We will never yield. We will never cower America will never never stand down. We are Boston.” – VP #BostonStrong

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President Obama speaks during a statement to the press following explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the briefing room of the White House April 15, 2013

President Obama speaks during a statement to the press following explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the briefing room of the White House April 15, 2013

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It’s All About Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Vice President Biden to Travel to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup

WASHINGTON, DC – The Vice President will travel to the Federative Republic of Brazil in June to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  While in Brazil, the Vice President will attend a game of the U.S. national team.

 

Additional details about the Vice President’s trip will be released at a later date.

 

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Vice President Biden Speaks at the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour

 

Published on Apr 14, 2014

Vice President Biden welcomes the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour to the State Department. April 14, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Biden, Kerry Greet World Cup Trophy in First Tour Stop

 

By BY SUZANNE GAMBOA & NBC News

 

Vice President Joe Biden plans to head to Brazil this summer to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup and cheer the U.S. national team at on of its games.

Brazil expects 600,000 foreign visitors and 3 million Brazilian tourists during the monthlong tournament, according to The Associated Press.

The trophy to be awarded the winner of this year’s World Cup soccer (fútbol) tournament made a stop Monday in Washington, D.C. at the State Department where Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were on hand to welcome it and make a few remarks.

The stop was the first of the Trophy Tour preceding the tournament that begins June 12. Before the presentation, athletes from youth soccer organizations batted around a soccer ball with Kerry and DC United players.

At the ceremony, Kerry expressed excitement at the possibility of a match between the United States and Brazil, adding, “to do that the United States has to get through Germany, Portugal and Ghana.” Those opponents have been called one of the “Groups of Death” in the tournament and U.S. faces a serious challenge in emerging the winner.

Biden said he played the other football, but his grandchildren play soccer. “One of the great advantages of being vice president, I’m able to take _ if I’m not going to a war zone _ one of my grandchildren with me … And the only thing all my girls said is they want to go to the World Cup,” Biden said.

Whether Brazil will be ready for the event is a worry. Three stadiums still are under construction and the country expects street protests, according to the AP.

Thank you SUZANNE GAMBOA & NBC News.

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Statement by Vice President Biden on the Passing of Nuala Pell

Jill and I were saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend, Nuala Pell. She and her husband, Senator Clairborne Pell, were among our closest friends. They embraced me in my earliest days in the Senate, after I had lost my wife and daughter. I spent many memorable evenings in their company, and through all the years we served together, I always knew I had a welcome home in Washington with the Pells.

 

I also remember the love and partnership that marked their marriage. Senator Pell used to keep a pillow in his office embroidered with the words, “Happiness is being married to your best friend.” Nuala and Claiborne worked side by side on every issue, whether it was on behalf of the elderly, or women’s health care, or the arts and humanities, or access to education. After Claiborne passed, Nuala continued her lifetime of service, creating the Nuala Pell Leadership Program in Public Service to give future leaders the skills to enter public service. Her lifetime of service will live on through the next generation of leaders she helped grow, and in the hearts of her many friends.

 

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Biden And Kerry Deliver Remarks At FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour Ceremony

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Biden And Kerry Deliver Remarks At FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour Ceremony

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Barack After Dark™: The West Wing Week. National Action Network. The Obama/Biden Administrations Taxes.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

This week, the President honored soldiers who lost their lives last week at Fort Hood, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and picked up his pen to take action toward ensuring equal pay. Check out what else you may have missed in this week’s wrap up.

 

 

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West Wing Week 4/11/14 or, “Love Never Ends”

 

 

This week, the President honored Equal Pay Day and signed two executive orders to support efforts to level the playing field for women, pushed for better access to skills-based high school training, hosted the Prime Minister of Tunisia, and traveled with the First Lady to the memorial at Fort Hood and then to Austin, to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

 

 

 

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President Obama Speaks at the National Action Network Convention

 

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President Obama Speaks at the National Action Network Convention

 

Published on Apr 11, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention. April 11, 2014.

 

 

 

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President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2013 Tax Returns

 

 

Today, the President released his 2013 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $481,098. The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax.

 

The President and First Lady also reported donating $59,251 – or about 12.3 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 32 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.4 percent. The President pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. In 2013, as a result of his policies, the President was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $23,328 in state income tax.

 

DOWNLOAD THE OBAMAS’ TAX RETURNS

 

 

The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2013 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident Virginia tax return. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Bidens paid $96,378 in total federal tax for 2013, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent. They also paid $14,644 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, including contributing the royalties received from Dr. Biden’s children’s book, net of taxes, to the USO.

 

DOWNLOAD THE BIDENS’ TAX RETURNS

 

 


 

 

Learn more:

Jay Carney is the White House Press Secretary.

 

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Remarks by the President Nominating Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services

 

The President Nominates Sylvia Mathews Burwell: Secretary Of Health And Human Services.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter And Senator Elizabeth Dole Hosting The Joining Forces Initiative For Caregivers.

 

Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns

 

Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate

 

President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Holy See to Attend the Canonization Mass of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II

 

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April 11th 2014: Photo of the Day

 

President Barack Obama reaches down to 6-month-old Sabina Johnson, from Beaumont, Texas, who was visiting the Oval Office with her uncle, Elbek Elibaev, for his Make-A-Wish visit at the White House, April 11, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama reaches down to 6-month-old Sabina Johnson, from Beaumont, Texas, who was visiting the Oval Office with her uncle, Elbek Elibaev, for his Make-A-Wish visit at the White House, April 11, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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Equal Pay Day At Barack’s House. There Is NO Glass Ceiling At THIS White House.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Taking Action in Honor of National Equal Pay Day

 

 

President Barack Obama signs executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women, at an event marking Equal Pay Day, in the East Room of the White House, April 8, 2014.

President Barack Obama signs executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women, at an event marking Equal Pay Day, in the East Room of the White House, April 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, President Obama signed a new Executive Order to prevent workplace discrimination and empower workers to take control over negotiations regarding their pay.

 

Just over two months after President Obama raised the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contractors, he is again leading by example and taking action to protect American workers from retaliation if they broach the topic of unequal compensation. This is a problem facing a broad range of American workers, but women in particular are too often on the receiving end of subtle or overt penalties for even mentioning their pay.

 

In addition, the President is asking the Secretary of Labor to require federal contractors to submit data on employee compensation by race and gender — which will help employers take proactive efforts to ensure fair pay for all their employees.

 

President Obama is committed to ensuring equal opportunity and empowering women in the workforce. Shortly after taking office, he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and established theNational Equal Pay Task Force. His commitment to women’s equality stems not only from his experiences as the son of a single mom, a husband, and the father of two daughters, but also as our nation’s leader, focused every day on strengthening our economy and maintaining our competitive edge in the world.

 

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Signing

President Barack Obama signs into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in the East Room of the White House. January 29, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Joyce Boghosian)

As the President said in his most recent State of the Union address, “when women succeed, America succeeds.” We truly can’t afford to have women held back or prevent them from reaching their full potential if we hope to maximize the strength and productivity of our workforce.

 

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law to combat gender-based wage discrimination, and in the decades since, women have made extraordinary progress. But there is still a great amount of work that needs to be done. Women still make just 77 cents on average for every dollar a man earns, and continue to face prejudice in the workplace. And that number hasn’t improved — the pay gap has stayed constant since 2002.

 

Women now make up roughly half of America’s workforce and graduate at a higher rate than men from college and graduate schools — but even professional women make less than men in the same occupation with equivalent degrees. And the wage gapgets worse as they get older: Until they turn 35, women earn roughly 90 percent of what men make; after that, women typically earn about 75 to 80 percent of what men make.

 

This June, the President will host the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families to discuss issues ranging from fair pay and the minimum wage to childcare and flexible workplace policies to ensure that parents can be productive workers while handling their responsibilities at home.

 

The summit will convene a diverse group of business leaders, advocates, parents, and stakeholders from across the country to share best practices, identify strategies that work, and take those ideas to scale.

 

The summit and Executive Order will build on President Obama’s ongoing commitment to strengthen the middle class, maximize opportunity for all, and put every hardworking American in a position to succeed.

 

 

Presidential Actions

 

Executive Order — Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information

 

 

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President Obama Speaks on Equal Pay for Equal Work

 

Published on Apr 8, 2014

Following an introduction by Lilly Ledbetter, President Obama announces two new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.

 

 

President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Lilly Ledbetter at an event aimed at increasing transparency about women’s pay during an event at the White House. The first law President Obama signed after taking office in 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended time periods for employees to file claims for wages lost as a result of discrimination.

President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Lilly Ledbetter at an event aimed at increasing transparency about women’s pay during an event at the White House. The first law President Obama signed after taking office in 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended time periods for employees to file claims for wages lost as a result of discrimination.

 

 

 

 

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Remarks by the President on Equal Pay for Equal Work

 

 

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East Room

11:58 A.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  All right.  Well, thanks to my friend, Lilly Ledbetter, not only for that introduction but for fighting for a simple principle:  Equal pay for equal work.  It’s not that complicated.  And, Lilly, I assure you, you remain the face of fair pay.  (Laughter.)  People don’t want my mug on there.  (Laughter.)  They want your face.

 

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As Lilly mentioned, she did not set out to be a trailblazer. She was just somebody who was waking up every day, going to work, doing her job the best that she could.  And then one day, she finds out, after years, that she earned less than her male colleagues for doing the same job.  I want to make that point again.  (Laughter.)  Doing the same job.  Sometimes when you — when we discuss this issue of fair pay, equal pay for equal work, and the pay gap between men and women, you’ll hear all sorts of excuses about, well, they’re child-bearing, and they’re choosing to do this, and they’re this and they’re that and the other.  She was doing the same job — probably doing better.  (Laughter and applause.)  Same job.  Working just as hard, probably putting in more hours.  But she was getting systematically paid less.

 

And so she set out to make sure this country lived up to its founding, the idea that all of us are created equal.  And when the courts didn’t answer her call, Congress did.

 

The first time Lilly and I stood together in this room was my tenth day in office, and that’s when we signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  (Applause.)  First bill I signed into law.  And some of the leaders who helped make that happen are here today, including Leader Pelosi and Senator Mikulski and Congresswoman DeLauro.  (Applause.)  I want to thank all the members of Congress and all the state legislators who are here  and all the advocates who are here, because you all contributed to that effort.  And I want to give a special thanks to the members of the National Equal Pay Task Force, who’ve done outstanding work to make workplaces across America more fair.

 

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We’re here because today is Equal Pay Day.  (Applause.)  Equal Pay Day.  And it’s nice to have a day, but it’s even better to have equal pay.  (Applause.)  And our job is not finished yet. Equal Pay Day means that a woman has to work about this far into 2014 to earn what a man earned in 2013.  Think about that.  A woman has got to work about three more months in order to get what a man got because she’s paid less.  That’s not fair.  That’s like adding an extra six miles to a marathon.  (Laughter.)  It’s not right.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Ain’t right.

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Ain’t right.  (Laughter.)  It’s not right and it ain’t right.  (Laughter.)

 

America should be a level playing field, a fair race for everybody — a place where anybody who’s willing to work hard has a chance to get ahead.  And restoring that opportunity for every American — men and women — has to be a driving focus for our country.

 

Now, the good news is today our economy is growing; businesses have created almost 9 million new jobs over the past four years.   More than 7 million Americans have signed up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.)

 

That’s a good thing, too.  I know it’s Equal Pay Day and not Obamacare Day — (laughter) — but I do want to point out that the Affordable Care Act guarantees free preventive care, like mammograms and contraceptive care, for tens of millions of women, and ends the days when you could be charged more just for being a woman when it comes to your health insurance.  (Applause.)  And that’s true for everybody.  (Applause.)  That’s just one more place where things were not fair.

 

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We’ll talk about drycleaners next, right — (laughter) — because I know that — I don’t know why it costs more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt.  (Laughter.)

 

But we’ve got to make sure that America works for everybody. Anybody who is willing to work hard, they should be able to get ahead.  And we’ve got to build an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top.  Restoring opportunity for all has to be our priority.  That’s what America is about.  It doesn’t matter where you started off, what you look like — you work hard, you take responsibility, you make the effort, you should be able to get ahead.

 

And we’ve got to fight for an opportunity agenda, which means more good jobs that pay good wages, and training Americans to make sure that they can fill those jobs, and guaranteeing every child a world-class education, and making sure the economy rewards hard work for every single American.

 

And part of that is fighting for fair pay for women — because when women succeed, America succeeds.  (Applause.)  When women succeed, America succeeds.  It’s true.  I believe that.  (Applause.)  It’s true.  It’s true.  It’s true.

 

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Now, here’s the challenge:  Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns; for African American women, Latinas, it’s even less.  And in 2014, that’s an embarrassment.  It is wrong.  And this is not just an issue of fairness.  It’s also a family issue and an economic issue, because women make up about half of our workforce and they’re increasingly the breadwinners for a whole lot of families out there.  So when they make less money, it means less money for gas, less money for groceries, less money for child care, less money for college tuition, less money is going into retirement savings.

 

And it’s all bad for business, because our economy depends on customers out there, and when customers have less money, when hardworking women don’t have the resources, that’s a problem.  When businesses lose terrific women talent because they’re fed up with unfair policies, that’s bad for business.  They lose out on the contributions that those women could be making.  When any of our citizens can’t fulfill their potential for reasons that have nothing to do with their talent or their character or their work ethic, we’re not living up to our founding values.  We don’t have second-class citizens in this country — and certainly not in the workplace.

 

So, tomorrow, the Senate has the chance to start making this right by passing a bill that Lilly already alluded to — the Paycheck Fairness Act.  (Applause.)  They’ve got a chance to do the right thing.  And it would put sensible rules into place, like making sure employees who discuss their salaries don’t face retaliation by their employers.

 

And here’s why this is important.  There are women here today who worked in offices where it was against the rules for employees to discuss salaries with one another.  And because of that, they didn’t know they were being paid less than men — just like Lilly didn’t know — for doing the exact same work.  For some, it was years before they found out.  And even then, it only happened because a manager accidentally let it slip or, as in Lilly’s case, a sympathetic co-worker quietly passed a note.  She only found out she earned less than her male colleagues for doing the same work because somebody left an anonymous note.

 

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We can’t leave that to chance.  And over the course of Lilly’s career, she lost more than $200,000 in salary, even more in pension and Social Security benefits — both of which are pegged to salary — simply because she was a woman.

 

And Lilly, and some of the other women here, decided it was wrong, set out to fix it.  They went to their bosses; they asked for a raise.  That didn’t work.  They turned to the law; they filed suit.  And for some, for years after waiting and persisting they finally got some justice.

 
Well, tomorrow, the Senate could pay tribute to their courage by voting yes for paycheck fairness.  (Applause.)  This should not be a hard proposition.  This should not be that complicated.  (Applause.)

 
And so far, Republicans in Congress have been gumming up the works.  They’ve been blocking progress on this issue, and of course other issues that would help with the economic recovery and help us grow faster.  But we don’t have to accept that.  America, you don’t have to sit still.  You can make sure that you’re putting some pressure on members of Congress about this issue.  And I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.  If you’re a voter — if you’ve got a daughter, you got a sister, you got a mom — I know you got a mom — (laughter) — this is something you should care about.

 

 

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And I’m not going to stand still either.  So in this year of action I’ve used my executive authority whenever I could to create opportunity for more Americans.  And today, I’m going to take action — executive action — to make it easier for working women to earn fair pay.  So first, I’m going to sign an executive order to create more pay transparency by prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other.  (Applause.)  Pay secrecy fosters discrimination and we should not tolerate it — not in federal contracting or anywhere else.

 

Second, I’m signing a presidential memorandum directing the Department of Labor and our outstanding Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, to require federal contractors to provide data about their employee compensation so pay discrimination can be spotted more easily.

 

Now, I want to be clear:  There are great employers out there who do the right thing.  There are plenty of employers out there who are absolutely certain that there’s no pay discrimination happening in their offices.  But then sometimes when the data is laid out, it paints a different picture.  Many times they then do everything they can to fix the problem, and so we want to encourage them to fix these problems if they exist by making sure that the data is out there.

 

So everybody who cares about this should pay attention to how the Senate votes tomorrow on this paycheck fairness act, because the majority of senators support this bill, but two years ago, a minority of Senate Republicans blocked it from getting a vote.  Even worse, some commentators are out there saying that the pay gap doesn’t even exist.  They say it’s a myth.  But it’s not a myth; it’s math.  (Laughter and applause.)  You can look at the paychecks.  You can look at the stubs.  (Applause.)

 

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I mean, Lilly Ledbetter didn’t just make this up.  (Laughter.)  The court, when it looked at the documents, said, yep, you’ve been getting paid less for doing the same job.  It’s just the court then said, you know, it’s been — as Lilly said — it’s been happening so long, you can’t do anything about it anymore — which made no sense and that’s why we had to sign another bill.  It’s basic math that adds up to real money.  It makes a real difference for a lot of Americans who are working hard to support their families.

 

And of course, the fact that we’ve got some resistance from some folks on this issue up on Capitol Hill just fits with this larger problem, this vision that the congressional Republicans seem to be continually embracing — this notion that, you know what, you’re just on your own, no matter how unfair things are.  You see it in their budget.  The budget the Republicans in Congress just put forward last week, it’s like a bad rerun.  It would give massive tax cuts to households making more than a million dollars a year, force deep cuts to things that actually help working families like early education and college grants and job training.

 

And, of course, it includes that novel idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act.  (Laughter.)  Fiftieth time they’ve tried that — which would mean the more than 7 million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance, they’d lose their health insurance; and the 3 million young adults who’ve stayed on their parents’ plan, they’d no longer have that available; take us back to the days when insurers could charge women more just for being a woman.

 

On minimum wage, three out of four Americans support raising the minimum wage.  Usually when three out of four Americans support something, members of Congress are right there.  (Laughter.)  And yet here, Republicans in Congress are dead set against it, blocking a pay raise for tens of millions of Americans — a majority of them women.  This isn’t just about treating women fairly.  This is about Republicans seemingly opposing any efforts to even the playing field for working families.

 

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And I was up in Michigan last week and I just asked — I don’t understand fully the theory behind this.  I don’t know why you would resist the idea that women should be paid the same as men, and then deny that that’s not always happening out there.  If Republicans in Congress want to prove me wrong, if they want to show that they, in fact, do care about women being paid the same as men, then show me.  They can start tomorrow.  They can join us in this, the 21st century, and vote yes on the Paycheck Fairness Act.  (Applause.)  Vote yes.

 

And if anybody is watching or listening, if you care about this issue, then let your senators know where you stand — because America deserves equal pay for equal work.

 

This is not something we’re going to achieve in a day.  There’s going to be a lot of stuff that we’ve got to do to close the pay gap.  We got to make it possible for more women to enter high-paying fields that up until now have been dominated by men, like engineering and computer science.  Women hold less than 6 percent of our country’s commercial patents — that’s not good enough.  We need more parents and high school teachers and college professors encouraging girls and women to study math and science.  We need more businesses to make gender diversity a priority when they hire and when they promote.  Fewer than five percent of Fortune 500 companies have women at the helm.

 

I think we’d all agree that we need more women in Congress. (Applause.)  Fewer than 20 percent of congressional seats are held by women.  Clearly, Congress would get more done if the ratio was — (laughter) — evened out a little bit.  So we’ve got to work on that.

 

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And we’ve all got to do more to make our workplaces more welcoming to women.  Because the numbers show that even when men and women are in the same profession and have the same education, there’s still a wage gap, and it widens over time.  So we’re going to keep making the case for why these policies are the right ones for working families and businesses.  And this is all going to lead up to this first-ever White House Summit on Working Families on June 23rd.

 

So, ultimately, equal pay is not just an economic issue for millions of Americans and their families.  It’s also about whether we’re willing to build an economy that works for everybody, and whether we’re going to do our part to make sure that our daughters have the same chances to pursue their dreams as our sons, and whether or not we’re willing to restore to the heart of this country that basic idea — you can make it, no matter who you are, if you try.

 

And that’s personal for me.  I’ve said this before — I’ve got two daughters and I expect them to be treated just like anybody’s sons.  And I think about my single mom working hard, going to school, trying to raise two kids all at the same time.  And I think about my grandmother trying to work her way up through her career and then hitting the glass ceiling.  And I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked, and I’ve seen how they’ve sucked it up.  And they put up with stuff and they don’t say anything, and they just take care of their family and they take care of themselves, and they don’t complain a lot.  But at a certain point, we have the power to do something about it for the next generation.  And this is a good place to start.

 

So, for everybody out there who’s listening, ask your senator where you stand on paycheck fairness.  (Applause.)  If they tell you that there’s not a pay gap out there, you tell them to look at the data, because there is.  It’s time to get this done.  And I’m going to do my small part right now by signing this executive order and presidential memoranda.  (Applause.)

 

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FACT SHEET: Expanding Opportunity for All: Ensuring Equal Pay for Women and Promoting the Women’s Economic Agenda

When women succeed, our families succeed and America succeeds. President Obama believes that ensuring that women earn equal pay for equal work is essential to improving the economic security of our families and the growth of our middle class and our economy.  Women compose nearly half of the American workforce – yet, according to the latest U.S. Census statistics, on average, full-time working women still earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men.

The first piece of legislation that the President signed into law after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which empowers women to recover wages lost to discrimination by extending the time period in which an employee can file a claim.  Yet a central challenge that remains to enforcing equal pay laws is that many women do not even know that they are underpaid, and therefore cannot take steps to ensure equal pay for equal work.

That’s why the President is taking two new executive actions to help combat pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws:

  • The President is signing an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation.  The Executive Order does not compel workers to discuss pay, nor does it require employers to publish or otherwise disseminate pay data – but it does provide a critical tool to encourage pay transparency, so workers have a potential way of discovering violations of equal pay laws and are able to seek appropriate remedies.

 

  • In addition, the President is signing a Presidential Memoranduminstructing the Secretary of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race.  The Department of Labor will use the data to encourage compliance with equal pay laws and to target enforcement more effectively by focusing efforts where there are discrepancies and reducing burdens on other employers.

 

This week, the Senate is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the President believes Congress must pass to ensure the standards put forward by the executive order he will sign are applied to all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The President is using the power of his pen to act where he can on this issue, and will continue to urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure all employers are held to the same high standard working women deserve.

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Building on Progress

Since day one, President Obama has been laser-focused on ensuring women have the fundamental rights they deserve when it comes to earning a fair and equal wage.

For example, President Obama has fought for an increase in the national minimum wage, including signing an executive order that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.  Raising the national minimum wage would give millions of hard working Americans a raise and would especially benefit women:

  • While women account for about half of the workforce, 55 percent of non-tipped workers benefiting from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour are women – and women are even more disproportionately represented in predominantly tipped occupations.

 

  • Women account for a higher concentration of workers in low-wage sectors of the labor force such as food preparation, sales and personal care workers.

 

  • Raising the minimum wage would increase the average wage among the bottom quartile of female workers by 93 cents (from $8.78), compared to 60 cents (from $9.65) for the bottom quartile of male workers.

 

Women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households but are bringing home 23 percent less than their male counterparts – which means less for families’ everyday needs, less for investments in our children’s futures, and, when added over a lifetime of work, substantially less for retirement.   And the pay gap is significantly greater for women of color, with African-American women earning 64 cents and Latinas earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. That is why the Obama Administration is:

  • Combating pay discrimination.  The President made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the first bill he signed into law, which extended the time period in which claimants can bring pay discrimination claims and enabled countless victims of pay discrimination to seek redress where they otherwise could not.

 

  • Created a National Equal Pay Task Force.  In 2010, the President created the National Equal Pay Task Force to crack down on violations of equal pay laws.  Under this Administration, the government has strengthened enforcement, recovered substantial monetary recoveries, and made critical investments in education and outreach for both employers and employees.

 

  • Promoting the Paycheck Fairness Act.  The President continues to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would give women additional tools to fight pay discrimination.

 

  • Encouraging State Paid Leave Initiatives. In addition, the President’s Budget provides support for States that are considering establishing paid leave programs, as California, New Jersey and Rhode Island have done.

 

  • Leveraging Technology to Close the Pay Gap.  DOL, in conjunction with the Equal Pay Task Force, launched the “Equal Pay App Challenge” and invited software developers to create applications that provide greater access to pay data, deploy interactive tools for early career coaching or online mentoring, or disseminate data to help inform pay negotiations.  The winning teams created tools that (1) provide easy access to U.S. wage estimates by city, state and job title, empowering employees or applicants for employment with reliable and specific compensation information to support informed salary negotiations; and (2) supply users with current wage data and interview, resume and negotiation tools, as well as connect users to relevant social networks.

 

  • Expanding the EITC for Childless Workers. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a proven tool to increase and reward work among low-income families with children.  However, childless workers – including noncustodial parents – can receive only up to $500 and must be at least 25 years old, so the credit does little to encourage work, particularly during the crucial years at the beginning of a young person’s career. The President has proposed doubling the maximum credit to $1,000, raising the income eligibility standard so the credit is available to a full-time minimum wage worker, and lowering the age limit from 25 to 21. The proposed expansion would be fully paid for within his budget and would benefit 13.5 million workers, including 6.1 million women.

 

 

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Where In The World Is Barack™: Bladensburg High School, Maryland. Maria Contreras-Sweet Gets Sweared In.


 

By Jueseppi B.

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

Rethinking High School: President Obama Announces New Youth CareerConnect Grants

 

 

“How do we start making high school … more interesting, more exciting, more relevant to young people?”

 

That’s the idea behind the Youth CareerConnect grant program, which President Obama discussed this morning during his visit to Bladensburg High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In his remarks, the President announced that Bladensburg High was part of a three-school team in Prince George’s County that won a $7 million Youth CareerConnect grant.

 

 

The grant will give students at Bladensburg High access to individualized college and career counseling, as well as paid work experiences with employer partners such as Lockheed Martin. What’s more, students concentrating in health professions will be able to earn industry-recognized certifications in nursing and pharmacy, and biomedical students will be able to earn college credit from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

 

 

President Barack Obama meets with students working in a biomedical sciences classroom at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, April 7, 2014.President Barack Obama meets with students working in a biomedical sciences classroom at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

All told, the grant will help prepare 2,500 students at Bladensburg High and other Prince George’s County schools to succeed academically and graduate career-ready in the high-demand fields of information technology and health care.

 

Youth CareerConnect is a national competition, backed by the Departments of Education and Labor, to start redesigning America’s high schools for the 21st century economy. The program is offering $107 million in new grants — ranging from $2.2 million to $7 million — to local partnerships of local education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education, and employer partners.

 

We challenged America’s high schools to … say what can you do to make sure your students learn the skills that businesses are looking for in high-demand fields. And we asked high schools to develop partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on real-life applications for the fields of the future — fields like science and technology and engineering and math.

 

 

President Barack Obama shakes hands with the students on stage following remarks and announcing the winners of the Youth CareerConnect Competition, at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, April 7, 2014.President Barack Obama shakes hands with the students on stage following remarks and announcing the winners of the Youth CareerConnect Competition, at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

As President Obama explained, these grants will help ensure that more of America’s youth receive a world-class education, which will prepare them “with the skills they need for college, for a career, and for a lifetime of citizenship.”

 

“From preschool for every 4-year-old in America, to higher education for everybody who wants to go, every young person deserves a fair shot,” said the President. “And I’m going to keep on doing everything I can to make sure you get that shot and to keep America a place where you can make it if you try.”

 

To learn more about the Youth CareerConnect program, click here.

 

 

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Remarks by the President on Opportunity for All — Bladensburg High School

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Education and High School Redesign

 

Published on Apr 7, 2014

At Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, President Obama announce the winners of a competition he launched last fall to bring together educators and employers to redesign the high school experience to give students access to real-world career skills and college-level courses. April 7, 2014.

 

 

FACT SHEET: Youth CareerConnect

 

 

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President Obama looks over a student’s work as he visits a classroom at Bladensburg High School, Md., April 7

President Obama looks over a student’s work as he visits a classroom at Bladensburg High School, Md., April 7

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All smiles at Bladensburg High School

All smiles at Bladensburg High School

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Remarks by the President, Vice President, and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet at Swearing-In Ceremony

 

The President and Vice President Speak at the Swearing-In of Maria Contreras-Sweet

 

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Published on Apr 7, 2014

President Obama says he nominated Maria Contreras-Sweet as Administrator of the Small Business Administration because “she knows first-hand the challenges that small businesses go through — and she has a proven track record of helping them succeed.”

 

 

 

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FACT SHEET: Strengthening Entrepreneurship At Home and Abroad

 

 

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4/7/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Apr 7, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

 

“The New Yorker” April 14, 2014 Magazine Cover

“The New Yorker” April 14, 2014 Magazine Cover

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