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Remarks By The President At FEMA Headquarters


 

By Jueseppi B.

Was4186770

 

 

President Obama Delivers Remarks at FEMA Headquarters

October 07, 2013 | 10:40 |Public Domain

 

President Obama visited FEMA Headquarters in washington, D.C. to thank employees for their work responding to weather events around the country and discuss the ongoing government shutdown.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President at FEMA Headquarters October 07, 2013

 

U.S. President Obama makes remarks during a meeting on hurricane preparedness at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington

 

Remarks by the President at FEMA Headquarters

FEMA Headquarters
Washington, D.C.

12:30 P.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  I’m here at FEMA for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I want to thank Craig Fugate and his entire team, and the incredible workers who are here at FEMA.  They are having to, under less than optimal situations, still respond to Mother Nature, which doesn’t stop just because the government has shut down.

 

I wanted to get initially a briefing on what had happened with Hurricane Karen, became Tropical Karen, and then fortunately dissipated, so we dodged a bullet there.  In the meantime, we’re on tornado watch here in the Mid-Atlantic states because of severe weather patterns.  And we’ve got blizzards up north, we’ve got some weather patterns in the middle of the country that we’re still monitoring.  And so I just want to say thank you to all of you for the incredible work that you’re doing.

 

I think it’s important to understand that the people here at FEMA have been doing everything they canto respond to potential events.  Here at FEMA, they’re in touch with their state and local partners in case resources are needed.  FEMA remains prepared for natural disasters year around, with supplies pre-positioned in distribution centers across the country.

 

But their job has been made more difficult.  Thanks to the folks at FEMA, we were prepared for what might have happened down in Florida.  Nevertheless, the government is still shut down, services are still interrupted, and hundreds of thousands of hardworking public servants, including many FEMA professionals, are still furloughed without pay, or they’re not allowed to work at all.

 

So Craig was just explaining to me here at FEMA — about 86 percent of the FEMA workforce is furloughed.  In response to the potential event that might have happened down in Florida and along the coasts, Craig called back 200 of those workers.  Keep in mind, calling them back doesn’t mean they were getting paid, it just means they had the privilege of working without pay to make sure that they were doing everything they can to respond to the potential needs of their fellow citizens.

 

Now that this particular storm has dissipated, Craig is going to have to re-furlough at least 100 of those folks who were called back.  So think about that.  Here you are, somebody who’s a FEMA professional dedicated to doing your job; at a moment’s notice you’re willing to show up here in case people got in trouble and respond to them, even though you’re not getting paid, even though you don’t have certainty.  And now you’re being put back on furlough because the government is shut down.  That’s no way of doing business.

 

That, by the way, just speaks to the day-to-day emergencies that may come up and that is FEMA’s job to respond to.  Craig was also explaining the fact that when it comes to training first responders, for example, we have on a weekly basis already scheduled training for first responders that now have to be rescheduled.  It will probably end up ultimately costing the government more money for us to put those things back together again.  And so not only is this shutdown hurting FEMA workers, not only is it making it more difficult for us to respond to potential natural disasters, but it may actually end up costing taxpayers more than it should.

 

Right now, Congress should do what’s in the best interest of the economy and the American people, and that’s move beyond this manufactured crisis and work together to focus on growth, jobs, and providing the vital services that Americans all across the country depend on, including the services that FEMA provides.

 

I heard a lot of talk over the weekend that the real problem is, is that the President will not negotiate.  Well, let me tell you something — I have said from the start of the year that I’m happy to talk to Republicans about anything related to the budget.  There’s not a subject that I am not willing to engage in, work on, negotiate, and come up with common-sense compromises on.

 

What I’ve said is that I cannot do that under the threat that if Republicans don’t get 100 percent of their way, they’re going to either shut down the government or they are going to default on America’s debt so that America for the first time in history does not pay its bills.  That is not something I will do.  We’re not going to establish that pattern.

 

We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of further harm to our economy and middle-class families.  We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of a prolonged shutdown until Republicans get 100 percent of what they want.  We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of economic catastrophe that economists and CEOs increasingly warn would result if Congress chose to default on America’s obligations.

 

Now, the other thing I heard over the weekend was this notion that Congress doesn’t have the capacity to end this shutdown.  The truth of the matter is there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House of Representatives right now to end this shutdown immediately, with no partisan strings attached.  The House should hold that vote today.  If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove it.  Let the bill go to the floor and let’s see what happens.  Just vote.  Let every member of Congress vote their conscience and they can determine whether or not they want to shut the government down.

 

My suspicion is — my very strong suspicion is that there are enough votes there.  And the reason that Speaker Boehner hasn’t called a vote on it is because he doesn’t, apparently, want to see the government shutdown end at the moment unless he’s able to extract concessions that don’t have anything to do with the budget.  Well, I think the American people simply want government to work.  And there’s no reason that there has to be a shutdown in order for the kinds of negotiations Speaker Boehner says he wants to proceed.  Hold a vote.  Call a vote right now, and let’s see what happens.

 

The second thing Congress needs to do is to raise the debt ceiling next week so the Treasury can pay the bills that Congress has already spent.  That’s what most Americans do if they buy something — if they buy a car or if they buy a house, if they put something on a credit card, they understand they’ve got to pay the bills.

 

This is something routine.  It’s been done more than 40 times since Ronald Reagan was President.  It has never before been used in the kind of ways that the Republicans are talking about using it right now.  We can’t threat an economic catastrophe in the midst of budget negotiations.

 

So authorize the Treasury to pay America’s bill.  Pass a budget, end the government shutdown, pay our bills, and prevent an economic shutdown.

 

And as soon as that happens, I am eager and ready to sit down and negotiate with Republicans on a whole range of issues:  How do we create more jobs?  How do we grow the economy?  How do we boost manufacturing?  How do we make sure our kids are getting a first-class education?  All those things will be on the table.  I’m happy to talk about health care; happy to talk about energy policy; how do we deal with our long-term fiscal situation.

 

All those things I’ve been eager and anxious to talk to Republicans about for the last seven months, and I’ve put out a budget that specifically lays out my vision for how we’re going to grow this economy.  And I expect the Republicans should do the same, and we can negotiate it.  But we shouldn’t hurt a whole bunch of people in order for one side to think that they’re going to have a little more leverage in those negotiations.

 

Last point I’m going to make:  The bill that is being presented to end the government shutdown reflects Republican priorities.  It’s the Republican budget.  The funding levels of this short-term funding bill, called the CR, is far lower than what Democrats think it should be.  Nevertheless, Democrats are prepared to put the majority of votes on to reopen the government.  So when you hear this notion that Democrats aren’t compromising — we’re compromising so much we’re willing to reopen the government at funding levels that reflect Republican wishes, don’t at all reflect our wishes.

 

For example, here at FEMA, they’re still subject to the sequester, so even before the shutdown they were having trouble making sure that everybody was staying on the job and fulfilling all of their various functions.  We need to get that sequester lifted that’s been hanging over the head of the economy and federal agencies during the course of this entire year.

 

This short-term legislation to reopen the government doesn’t even address that.  That has to be done in a broader budget framework.

 

So Democrats have said we are willing to pass a bill that reflects the Republicans’ priorities in terms of funding levels.  That’s a pretty significant compromise.  What we’re not willing to do is to create a permanent pattern in which unless you get your way the government is shut down or America defaults.  That’s not how we do business in this country, and we’re not going to start now.

 

So, again, I want to thank everybody at FEMA here for the extraordinary work that you’re doing.  You show each and every day that you take your responsibilities seriously.  You do your jobs with consummate professionalism.  And hopefully you’re setting a good example for members of Congress.  They need to be doing the same thing.  And if they do, then there’s no reason why we all can’t move forward and make sure that we’re taking care of America’s business.

 

Thank you very much, everybody.

 

END
12:41 P.M. EDT

 

Obama’s remarks came during a lunchtime visit Monday to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Washington headquarters, which like other federal agencies has seen its staff cut down during the budget stalemate. Obama said some 86 percent of the workforce has been furloughed because of the government shutdown that began last Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

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President Obama Pays Unannounced Visit To FEMA Headquarters Thanks Staff For Working Without Pay.


 

By Jueseppi B.

U.S. President Obama makes remarks during a meeting on hurricane preparedness at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington

At FEMA headquarters, President Obama will use remarks to again urge House to vote on cleancontinuing resolution to re-open government

 

 

President Obama Delivers Remarks at FEMA Headquarters

 

Published on Oct 7, 2013

President Obama visited FEMA Headquarters in washington, D.C. to thank employees for their work responding to weather events around the country and discuss the ongoing government shutdown. October 7, 2013.

 

 

 

President Obama on Monday dared House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to call an immediate vote on a clean spending bill that would reopen the federal government after a week-long shutdown.

 

Obama also strongly pushed back against Boehner and other Republicans who say he is not negotiating during the budget stalemate, saying he is “happy” to negotiate but refuses to do so under the threat of a shutting down the government or defaulting on the nation’s debt.

 

“I’m happy to talk to Republicans about anything related to the budget,” Obama said. “There’s not a subject that I am not willing to engage in, work on, negotiate and come up with compromises.” But, the president added, “We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of further harm to our economy and middle class families.”

 

Obama added that Democrats effectively already have compromised in the budget debate by agreeing to a budget bill that has lower spending levels reflecting Republican priorities.

 

“It’s the Republican budget,” Obama said. “That’s a pretty significant compromise.”

 

 

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Obama visits FEMA to pressure Boehner on budget stalemate

 

 

 

Obama’s remarks came during a lunchtime visit Monday to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Washington headquarters, which like other federal agencies has seen its staff cut down during the budget stalemate. Obama said some 86 percent of the workforce has been furloughed because of the government shutdown that began last Tuesday.

 

On Sunday, Boehner suggested that there would not be enough votes in the House to pass a clean continuing resolution – a no-strings-attached budget bill that would effectively re-open the government. But Obama believes otherwise, and on Monday dared Boehner to “prove it.”

 

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“Call a vote right now, and let’s see what happens,” Obama said, adding that members of Congress should be allowed to vote their conscience on the budget issue.

 

Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck responded to Obama’s visit to FEMA by highlighting a bill the House passed last week that would restore funding to FEMA to maintain “normal operations.” Noting that Obama has threatened to veto the legislation, Buck said the bill is awaiting action in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

 

“If the president and Washington Democrats want FEMA up and running, they have the ability to make it happen today,” Buck said in a statement to reporters.

 

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President Barack Obama again pressured House Republicans to put a “clean” government spending bill up for a vote Monday, challenging House Speaker John Boehner’s claim that the funding bill lacks sufficient support to pass.

 

“My very strong suspicion is there are enough votes there” to pass the government funding legislation, he said during an unannounced stop at FEMA National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. “Hold a vote. Call a vote right now. Let’s see what happens.”

 

“If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there aren’t enough votes, then they should prove it,” he said. “Let the bill go to the floor and let’s see what happens. Just vote.”

 

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House Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday a funding bill that would reopen the government but would not make substantial changes to the president’s health care law would not pass the GOP-dominated House. The administration – as well as numerous whip counts by media outlets, including NBC News – disputes that claim.

 

As the Senate came back into session after a Sunday recess, Senate Majority Harry Reid suggested that Boehner is “afraid” that the clean funding bill would pass.

 

“Are you afraid this measure will pass, the government will reopen and the American people will realize you took the country hostage for no apparent reason?” Reid said of Boehner.

 

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Vice President Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr. Tours Flood-Affected Areas In Colorado


 

By Jueseppi B.

Colorado-Flooding-Biden-fema

 

 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

September 26, 2013
11:45 AM EDT

 

Vice President Biden on Colorado Floods

 

Published on Sep 24, 2013

After an ariel survey of flood damage in Colorado, and visiting a recovery center in Greeley, Vice President Biden speaks on the damage caused by flooding in Colorado and the response to the disaster.

 

 

 

After the Flood: Recovery in Colorado

 

Uploaded on Sep 26, 2013

Vice President Biden, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate take an aerial survey of damage caused by devastating floods in Colorado and visit a FEMA Disaster recovery center in Greeley, CO.

 

 

 

On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Colorado to view damage from the recent flooding and survey recovery efforts.

 

Severe storms and heavy rains that started around September 11 dumped a record-setting 10 to 18 inches of rain in parts of northern and central Colorado, causing widespread flooding, landslides and mudslides across a wide swath of the state .

 

Vice President Joe Biden does an aerial tour of the flood damage with Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperVice President Joe Biden does an aerial tour of the flood damage with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper over Greeley, Colorado, Sept. 23, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

On September 12, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration that provided direct federal assistance to threeaffected counties.  This Declaration was later extended to 12 additional counties impacted by the flooding.  Additionally, the President declared a major disaster in the state of Colorado which authorized federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts as well as provide Individual and Public Assistance.

 

“When President Obama issued the disaster declaration for the state, as you all know, that provided additional assistance — everything from cleaning up debris to helping people with their housing costs to boots on the ground that are providing technical assistance and helping the search and rescue,” the Vice President said.

 

In addition “FEMA is able to provide temporary housing, home repair that’s not covered by your insurance, medical expenses, transportation needs, moving and storage and other support for those directly impacted,” he said.

 

“The thing I find most often visiting disaster sites is, first of all, people are absolutely devastated,” he said. “They cannot believe everything that they have literally has been washed away. And the last thing they need is to be confronted with a group of alphabet agencies” to contact for help.

 

Vice President Joe Biden give Champ the stuffed animal to Alahy Cerrillo, 5Vice President Joe Biden give Champ the stuffed animal to Alahy Cerrillo, 5, of Evans, Colorado at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Greely, Colorado, Sept. 23, 2013. More than 15,600 people have applied for FEMA aid so far in response to the flooding, at $19.6 million and rising. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

…you walk in here and it’s one-stop shopping.  You have a group of people inside, and in the other centers around this state, that are looking to find an answer for you.  They’re not giving you a telephone number.  They’re not saying, “If you need this help, call this number.” They’re saying, “Walk three chairs down to the table at the end of the table and we’ll get this done for you.”

 

The Vice President called the progress made over the last week “remarkable,” but promised the people of Colorado that efforts to rebuild the homes, roads and bridges washed away from the storm would continue as long as it was needed.

 

“When the cameras leave, the help is going to remain.”

 

Joe Biden, John Hickenlooper

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Massive flooding continues all along the foothills and front range of Colorado affecting 14 counties and towns from Boulder to Lyons, to Greeley to Fort Morgan.

Colorado Flooding

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It’s Barack’s World…KetchingUp At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue


 

By Jueseppi B.

barackworld

 

 

White House Tweets – September 15, 2013

 

 

 

The Latest From Barack’s Blog


 

By Jueseppi B.

baracksblogchair

 

 

 

Steve VanRoekel and Todd Park
July 08, 2013
01:49 PM EDT
President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement on management agenda for his second term, in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 8, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement on management agenda for his second term, in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 8, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

One of the President’s first priorities after taking office in 2009 was to bring a government built for the 20th century into the 21st century. Over the last four years, we’ve made great progress to advance this goal, thanks in large part to the integration of new technologies and innovations across the Administration.

 

This morning, the President held a meeting with his Cabinet and senior officials to lay out his vision for building a better, smarter, faster government over the course of his second term. During the meeting, the President directed Cabinet members and key officials in his Administration to build on the progress made over the first term, and he challenged us to improve government even further.

 

To help members of the Cabinet and Administration officials find more innovative ways to deliver better results, the Administration recently welcomed a second class of Presidential Innovation Fellows – 43 highly talented and motivated individuals chosen out of more than 2,000 applicants. The first class of 18 Presidential Innovation Fellows worked hand-in-hand with top government innovators to develop solutions that are delivering smart-government solutions to taxpayers at a lower cost.

President Obama Speaks on the New Management Agenda

July 08, 2013 | 13:46 | Public Domain

 

President Obama discusses his vision for smarter government during his second term.

 

Today, President Obama highlighted innovations taking place in our government that are already making a difference:

 

  • Digitizing disaster recovery: FEMA use of data analytics and internet/mobile apps to deliver better results:  In response to Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered with the U.S.Geological Survey, Civil Air Patrol, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to utilize imagery and data that identified inaccessible and destroyed homes, which enabled FEMA to expedite assistance funds to eligible applicants. FEMA has also succeeded in getting 304,000 survivors (57% of applicants) registered for assistance following Hurricane Sandy through internet and smartphone apps. The FEMA disaster recovery app also tell users how to assemble basic emergency kits and help them locate disaster recovery centers and apply for financial assistance following a disaster. This has enabled better, faster service delivered at lower costs.

 

  • Ushering out old technologies, bringing in new: The Administration has eliminated duplicative systems and accelerated the adoption of new technology used by agencies through “PortfolioStat”—a comprehensive look at agencies’ IT portfolios to identify savings. To date, the initiative has identified more than $2.5 billion in cost reductions.  Read more about this effort in this blog post.

 

  • Opening government data to fuel innovation and problem-solving:For the first time in history, the Administration opened up huge amounts of government data to the American people, and put it on the internet for free. At Data.gov, you can search through and download more than 75,000 data sets – data on everything from what different hospitals charge for different procedures, to credit card complaints, to weather and climate measurements. And entrepreneurs and business owners are using that data to create jobs and solve problems that government can’t solve by itself.  Learn more about the Open Data Initiative in this blog post.

 

This morning, the President stated, “We need the brightest minds to help solve our biggest challenges. In this democracy, we, the people, realize this government is ours. It’s up to each and every one of us to make it work better. And we all have a stake in our success.” Read the President’s full remarks here, and see all the graphics from his speech below.

 

The Management Agenda for Government Innovation by The White House

 

 

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We look forward to working with all of you as we create an ever smarter, more innovative, more accountable government.

 

Learn more about these innovations:

 

 

Steve VanRoekel is the Acting Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Chief Information Officer.  Todd Park is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

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See more about Technology
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Press Briefing

July 08, 2013 | 46:52 | Public Domain

 

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

 

 

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

 

 

President Obama Updated on the Plane Crash in San Francisco

 

 

Readout of the President’s Meeting with the National Security Council Regarding the Situation in Egypt

 

 

 

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