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Immigrants Ain’t The Enemy TeaTardedRepubliCANTS Fear


By Jueseppi B.






White Board


Animated and explained:
Why immigration reform is good for the economy.


White House White Board: Why Immigration Reform Is Good For Our Economy


Published on Jul 11, 2013

It’s clear commonsense immigration reform is good for the economy as a whole. Don’t take our word for it — study after study has shown that commonsense immigration reform will strengthen the economy, spur innovation, reduce the devotion and increase US trade and exports.






Cecilia Muñoz, Gene Sperling, Alan Krueger, Sylvia Mathews Burwell
July 10, 2013
01:20 PM EDT


America has always been a nation of immigrants, and throughout the nation’s history, immigrants from around the globe have kept our workforce vibrant, our businesses on the cutting edge, and helped to build the greatest economic engine in the world. However, America’s immigration system is broken and has not kept pace with changing times. Today, too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living and working in the shadow economy. Neither is good for the economy or the country.


The Senate’s Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) represents the best chance that our country has had in years to modernize our immigration system. The President urges the House of Representatives to take action and move this bill or similar legislation forward, and stands willing to work with all parties to make sure that commonsense immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible.


During a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this morning, the President released a White House report highlighting the extensive economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform – and the significant costs to our country and our economy of failing to act at this critical time.


Economists, business leaders, and American workers agree – we must take advantage of this historic opportunity to fix our broken immigration system.  At stake is a stronger, more dynamic, and faster growing economy that will foster job creation, higher productivity and wages, and entrepreneurship.


Download the full White House report: The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System





Commonsense immigration reform strengthens the overall economy and grows U.S. GDPIndependent studies affirm that commonsense immigration reform will increase economic growth by adding more high-demand workers to the labor force, increasing capital investment and overall productivity, and leading to greater numbers of entrepreneurs starting companies in the U.S.

  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that enacting the Senate immigration reform bill will increase real GDP relative to current law projections by 3.3 percent in 2023 and 5.4 percent in 2033 – an increase of roughly $700 billion in 2023 and $1.4 trillion in 2033 in today’s dollars.
  • The bipartisan Senate bill will increase the labor forceby 3.5 percent in 2023 and 5 percent in 2033, according to CBO, which will boost capital investment and lead to increased productivity and higher overall average wages.



Commonsense immigration reform fosters innovation and encourages more job creation and job growth in the U.S.The bipartisan Senate bill makes meaningful improvements to the existing employment-based green card system and strengthens the United States’ ability to attract and retain highly-skilled talent from around the world. Recent studies have shown that immigrants promote productivity and innovation, both directly and indirectly through positive spillover effects on American workers.

  • According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, immigrant-owned small businesses generated a total of $776 billion in receipts and employed an estimated 4.7 million peoplein 2007.
  • The Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants started 28 percent of all new U.S. businesses, despite accounting for only 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2011. Notably, more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. These American companies represent 7 of the 10 most valuable brands globally, collectively employ more than 10 million people and generate annual revenue of $4.2 trillion.
  • The Senate bill creates a new Startup or INVEST visa thathelps foreign entrepreneurs build their businesses in the U.S. by creating a temporary visa and a permanent green card option, as well the potential for permanent resident status for those entrepreneurs whose companies create jobs for American workers.



Commonsense immigration reform increases the productivity of workers and adds new protections for American workers. According to CBO and other independent studies, immigration reform will increase overall U.S. productivity, resulting in higher GDP and higher wages. The bipartisan Senate bill also provides a host of protections for American workers and ensures that new worksite enforcement and border security measures deter future illegal immigration.

  • CBO estimates that real wages will be 0.5 percent higher in 2033 — the equivalent to an additional $250 of income for the median American household — as a result of enacting the Senate bill.
  • The Senate bill raises the “wage floor” for all workers—particularly in industries where large numbers of easily exploited, low-wage, unauthorized immigrants currently work.
  • Studies of the 1986 immigration reform law found thatlegalizing immigrants saw wage increases of about 10 percent, due in part to increases in workers’ productivity that benefited the economy as a whole.



Commonsense immigration reform would reduce the federal deficit, balance out an aging population, and strengthen Social Security.  According to CBO, the additional taxes paid by new and legalizing immigrants would much more than offset the estimated costs of the bill– enacting the bill would actually improve the federal budget outlook in both the short- and long-term.  Additional immigration would help balance out an increase in retirees-per-worker as the baby boom generation retires, providing essential financial support for U.S. social insurance programs.

  • CBO found that the enacting the Senate immigration reform bill will reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20 years.
  • Based on CBO’s analysis of the bill’s budgetary and economic effects, enacting the Senate bill would reduce the federal debt as a share of the economy by three percentage points in 2023, relative to current law.
  • The independent SSA Actuary estimates that the Senate’s immigration reform bill will add nearly $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund over the next decade and would improve Social Security’s finances over the long run, extending Social Security solvency by two years.



Comprehensive immigration reform will contribute to our housing market recovery and strengthen the technology, agriculture, and tourism industries, among others. In addition to the benefits described above – increasing total economic growth, boosting worker productivity, increasing innovation, and strengthening our fiscal health – the bipartisan Senate bill would bring specific benefits to a range of economic sectors.

  • A recent study from the Americas Society/Council for the Americas and Partnership for a New American Economy found that the 40 million immigrants currently in the U.S. have created $3.7 trillion in housing wealth.
  • According to a USDA simulation of a similar policy, an expanded agriculture temporary-worker program, wouldincrease long-run agricultural output by between 0.2 percent and 2.0 percent, depending on the crop, and would increase agricultural exports by between 0.2 percent and 3.2 percent.
  • Travel and tourism comprise the largest service-export industry in the U.S., setting a record $165.6 billion in exports and supporting 7.8 million jobs in 2012, according to the International Trade Administration. The industries’ continued growth depends on America’s ability to compete with other countries for international tourists (particularly those from emerging economies), which the Senate bill aims to do through numerous provisions that will facilitate increased travel and tourism to the United States while simultaneously strengthening our national security.


Cecilia Muñoz is the Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Gene Sperling is the Director of the National Economic Council. Alan Krueger is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. Sylvia Mathews Burwell is the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget 
Related Topics: EconomyImmigration



Get the Facts on immigration reform.












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More On Immigration: Cecilia Muñoz Director, Domestic Policy Council The White House

By Jueseppi B.





Hi, all!


This week, we got some big news about the immigration reform bill. It’s a little wonky, but it’s so great that I couldn’t wait to share it with you.


The nonpartisan experts who estimate the financial impact of legislation for Congress concluded that because undocumented immigrants will start paying more in taxes for things like education and Social Security, the immigration proposal in the Senate will make the economy fairer for middle class families while cutting the U.S. deficit by almost $1,000,000,000,000 over the next two decades.


With every passing day, it’s becoming clear that we can’t afford not to act. Now we know exactly how much is at stake, and it’s the kind of news that can help to change the policy conversation in Washington.


So we’ve put together a graphic that explains exactly how this works, and we need your help to share it. If more people get the facts, it’ll be easier to build a nationwide, bipartisan consensus to get this done.



Take a look, then share this graphic with folks you know:









Thank you so much!



Cecilia Muñoz
Director, Domestic Policy Council
The White House










Love This Image…..

Artist Yadegar Asisi was pleased with the visit of the President’s family to see his panorama at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. “That was quite an honor,” said Asisi whose artwork conveys an impression of the wall. While the elder daughter Malia had asked many questions, Sasha had long been quiet and thoughtful. “Then she said: ‘It is very sad’ – from the heart.”

Artist Yadegar Asisi was pleased with the visit of the President’s family to see his panorama at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
“That was quite an honor,” said Asisi whose artwork conveys an impression of the wall.
While the elder daughter Malia had asked many questions, Sasha had long been quiet and thoughtful. “Then she said: ‘It is very sad’ – from the heart.”








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A Little 411 From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue….Until The 1st Family Returns Home

By Jueseppi B.


President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk on a balcony overlooking Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk on a balcony overlooking Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



State and Local Officials in the South Speak Up to Fix the Broken Immigration System


David Agnew
David Agnew

June 19, 2013



Across the country, Democratic and Republican state and local officials are speaking out about the need for commonsense immigration reform. This week, we’ll share thoughts from governors, mayors, county executives, state legislators, attorneys general, treasurers and more about why they support immigration reform and how fixing the broken immigration system would impact their communities.


Miami-Dade, Florida Mayor Carlos Gimenez

“For too many years our country has struggled to find an effective solution to immigration reform, with the central issue being the question of how to deal with undocumented workers.  We have been encouraged, however, that in recent months a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators has been working together to establish a path that allows those workers, the great majority of whom are hard-working dignified individuals, to become lawful tax-payers.  It is important for the continued growth and competitiveness of our country that we find a solution to this issue, and I urge Congress to continue working together to establish a fair, but humane, solution that establishes such a path.”


Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Kasim Reed

“There is no doubt that the economic, social and cultural contributions of immigrants continue to enrich our cities and communities. We cannot ever forget that immigrants have helped make our nation stronger. This is an issue of great importance here in Georgia, and as such, I support President Barack Obama’s proposal to achieve meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform.”


Birmingham, Alabama  Mayor William Bell

“In Birmingham, we recognize the value of diversity. We strive to be inclusive and to give a sense of respect for all cultures and all races. Here in the cradle of the Civil Rights struggle, our history mandates that we embrace all cultures and ensure that all are treated equally and fairly and with the honor they deserve.”


Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer

“Louisville is a growing international city in the heartland of America. Comprehensive immigration reform is essential for us to spur entrepreneurism and grow jobs. America’s population represents all of the immigrants of the world. The quicker immigration reform is addressed and resolved, the quicker our international competitive economic advantage will accelerate.”


Memphis, Tennessee Mayor AC Wharton

“Tennessee has become one of our nation’s new destination states for immigrants. For Memphis and our entire region, the need for immigration reform is one that has crystallized around our community’s persistent need for a qualified workforce. With the South remaining extremely viable in economic development, we have come to better understand how creating a pathway to citizenship is a real opportunity to strengthen our workforce and our local economy.”


Little Rock, Arkansas Mayor Mark Stodola

“As Arkansas recorded the nation’s fourth-largest percentage increase in immigrant population during the last decade, it’s important that we have policies that welcome our new neighbors rather than relegate them to a second-class status. Our country was built on the American Dream in which anyone could build a good life for their family, regardless of who they are or where they came from. Unfortunately, our immigration policy has not lived up to that noble ideal. It’s time for Congress to act and come up with a commonsense immigration policy.”


Alexandria, Virginia Mayor William Euille

“America’s success as a nation has been due to the ‘diversity’ of our population by immigrants coming to this country, our cities and towns for an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their families and others. They bring with them energy, vibrancy and the will to survive and succeed, in addition to the economic, social and cultural benefits for all. To this end, I fully support President Obama’s four point Immigration reform proposal, which calls for comprehensive immigration reform to help stimulate the economy, grow the nation’s workforce, and remain competitive in the 21st century global marketplace.”


Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mayor Kip Holden

“I am calling on my colleagues and others to join me in support of comprehensive immigration reform.  A well regulated system leads to greater economic opportunities for immigrants and strengthens family ties which in turn help to build stronger communities. Many families throughout our history were composed of sons and daughters of immigrants.  They were only looking for a hand up and not a hand out.  Their contributions to this country are unlimited. A comprehensive immigration system ensures liberty and justice for all.  It will take a strong bipartisan effort for this to occur.  We have achieved many great things in this country.  It is not time to turn the hands of change backward.”


Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Harvey Johnson

“I stand with President Obama on common sense immigration reform.  We have an opportunity to create an immigration system that is both fair for Americans and for those immigrants wanting to be a part of our great nation. Now is the time to address this critical issue.”


South Carolina State Representative Todd Rutherford

“It is no secret that the immigration system in the United States is broken. Fortunately, passing comprehensive immigration reform has never been more attainable than it is right now. We all agree that we must strengthen our borders, crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers and provide a reasonable path to citizenship. It is so important that we bring the 11 million undocumented workers in this country out of the shadows and require them to learn English, pay taxes and penalties, and pass background checks before they can obtain citizenship. These are non-partisan, common-sense approaches to solving our nation’s immigration problems.”


Durham, North Carolina Mayor Bill Bell

“Durham is a city with a creative class and a city of entrepreneurs, which we encourage and support.  Immigration reform would be a tool that would work to allow many of these international students to remain in our city upon graduation to practice their learned skills, while facilitating the continued progressive entrepreneurship of our city specifically and our state and nation in general.”





For more information:



David Agnew is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs 
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President Obama Speaks to the People of Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate


Megan Slack
Megan Slack

June 19, 2013
04:30 PM EDT
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Barack Obama’s Remarks from Brandenburg Gate in Berlin


Published on Jun 19, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed crowds gathered in Berlin in front of the Brandenburg Gate, a historic location for past U.S. presidents. It is the spot where John F. Kennedy delivered his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963 and where Ronald Reagan called for then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this Wall.” Watch their speeches:



In his address, President Obama renewed focus on reducing nuclear weapons, calling for a one-third reduction of the world’s nuclear stockpiles.





Nearly 50 years to the day after President John F. Kennedy delivered his historic speech to a city divided by the Cold War,President Obama spoke to the people of Berlin about the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Germany, and the values we share.


A symbol of the Germany’s progress since President Kennedy’s visit, President Obama spoke from the east side of Brandenburg Gate – something that would have been impossible if not for the collapse of the Berlin Wall.


“While I am not the first American President to come to this gate, I am proud to stand on its Eastern side to pay tribute to the past,” President Obama said.

For throughout all this history, the fate of this city came down to a simple question:  Will we live free or in chains?  Under governments that uphold our universal rights, or regimes that suppress them?  In open societies that respect the sanctity of the individual and our free will, or in closed societies that suffocate the soul?


This is what was at stake here in Berlin, President Obama said.

And because courageous crowds climbed atop that wall, because corrupt dictatorships gave way to new democracies, because millions across this continent now breathe the fresh air of freedom, we can say, here in Berlin, here in Europe — our values won. Openness won. Tolerance won. And freedom won here in Berlin.



President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Brandenburg Gate in BerlinPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



But two decades later, this work is not yet done, President Obama said. “Today’s threats are not as stark as they were half a century ago, but the struggle for freedom and security and human dignity — that struggle goes on.”


I say all this here, in the heart of Europe, because our shared past shows that none of these challenges can be met unless we see ourselves as part of something bigger than our own experience. Our alliance is the foundation of global security. Our trade and our commerce is the engine of our global economy. Our values call upon us to care about the lives of people we will never meet.


When Europe and America lead with our hopes instead of our fears, we do things that no other nations can do, no other nations will do.  So we have to lift up our eyes today and consider the day of peace with justice that our generation wants for this world.


President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in BerlinPresident Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



Advancing the values our two nations believe in also means pursuing a world without nuclear weapons, which is why President Obama announced new steps today to reduce our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.


While in Berlin, President Obama also held bilateral meetings with German President Joachim Gauck, and the country’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel. President Obama and Chancellor Merkel held a joint press conference following their discussion.



For more information:






President Obama and Chancellor Merkel Hold a Press Conference

June 19, 2013 | 46:32


President Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany hold a press conference.







We the Geeks: Building a 21st Century Resume


Posted by Thomas Kalil on June 19, 2013
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Watch “We the Geeks” on a 21st Century Resume live on Thursday, June 20th, at 2:00 p.m. EDT at WH.gov/WeTheGeeks. Join the conversation and ask your questions with the hashtag #WeTheGeeksSign up to get email updates about future hangouts.


In the same way that “merit badges” have been used by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and medals have been used by the military to demonstrate achievement, a growing number of foundations, government agencies, companies and non-profits are exploring “digital badges” as the 21st century equivalent of a resume-builder that students and workers can use to showcase their skills, encourage their peers, and find meaningful educational and employment opportunities.


With support from the MacArthur Foundationthe Mozilla Foundation, and others, digital badges are being used to:

  • Recognize student accomplishments in technical fields such as computer science and robotics;
  • Help veterans get jobs by demonstrating the valuable real-world skills they’ve acquired in the military;
  • Inspire students as part of a larger effort to reduce the number of high-school dropouts, which today number more than 1 million per year.


While much work is yet to be done to build an evidence base for the value of badges in various contexts, the badges movement is growing. In March, the City of Chicago, Mozilla, MacArthur, and 143 other organizations launched the “Summer of Learning.” The effort will recognize student learning whether it occurs at a park, museum, library or online course – and give learners digital credentials that communicate the skills they have developed. And just last week, MacArthur announced a major multi-year goal: to work with partners to give two million more students and adults access to compelling digital badges that help them achieve education and employment goals.


Building on the President Obama’s call to action to look for new and creative ways to engage students in hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities, as well as his ConnectEd plan to deliver high-speed Internet to 99% of American students, some Federal agencies are exploring the potential of badges as well. From a major topic at the Department of Education’s Reimagining Education conference last month to the work byNASA to create space explorer badges, a number of Federal agencies are exploring digital badges in both education and employment.


On Thursday, June 20th, at 2:00 p.m. EDT, the White House will host a “We The Geeks” Google+ Hangout on digital badges. During a conversation moderated by OSTP’s Tom Kalil, we’ll be talking about the potential of digital badges to help students and adults with:

  • Erin Knight, Sr. Director of Learning & Badges, Mozilla Foundation
  • Connie Yowell, Director of Education for U.S. Programs, MacArthur Foundation
  • Bryan Norato, student, University of Rhode Island
  • Richard Culatta, Acting Director, Office of Educational Technology, Department of Education



Watch the “We the Geeks” Hangout live on WhiteHouse.gov/WeTheGeeksand on the White House Google+ page on Thursday. Got questions and comments? Use the hashtag #WeTheGeeks on Twitter and on Google+ and we’ll answer some during the live Hangout.


Thomas Kalil is Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at OSTP


See more about EducationTechnology
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White House Rural Council Growing Rural Economies, Creating Jobs


Karen Mills, Secretary Tom Vilsack
June 19, 2013
05:40 PM EDT
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This week is National Small Business Week. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), along with agencies across the Obama Administration, are hosting events in five cities. These events provide expert advice, mentoring and explore topics ranging from access to capital to exporting. Small businesses across the country can tune into these events via livestream at sba.gov.


America’s small businesses create two out of three net new private sector jobs in our economy. And today more than half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business. Our goal is to ensure that the positive economic benefits of entrepreneurship can reach every corner of the country.


That’s why today the White House Rural Council is announcing new commitments to increase access to capital and to provide additional training and counseling services to rural small businesses and entrepreneurs.


For Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have committed to support a combined $175 million in microloans to small businesses in rural areas, in addition to new business training and counseling opportunities. To date, in FY13, we have already supported nearly $85 million to rural small businesses. Since 2009, USDA and SBA have provided over 19,000 loans and grants, helping more than 60,000 rural small businesses through programs like USDA-Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program and SBA’s Microloan Program.


Twenty-five percent of SBA’s microloans go to rural entrepreneurs. And the SBA provides nearly 30 percent of its in-person training and counseling sessions in USDA-designated rural communities. Our goal, at SBA, USDA and across the Obama Administration, is to continue to fill the gaps for loans in underserved rural communities and to ensure that rural entrepreneurs have the resources and training they need to turn a great business idea into a viable and growing business.


As President Obama wrote in his proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, “America’s small businesses reflect the best of who we are as a Nation — daring and innovative, courageous and hopeful, always working hard and looking ahead for that next great idea. They are our economy’s engine and our biggest source of new jobs.”


By taking an inclusive view of entrepreneurship, one that expands access and opportunity to more rural communities, we can spur new business formation, innovation, job creation and build strong regional economies across Rural America.


Karen Mills is the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Association.


Tom Vilsack is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Related Topics: JobsSmall BusinessEconomyRural


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The Daily Word From Barack’s House: DREAMers Share Their Stories


By Jueseppi B.






Moore, Oklahoma Strong.







DREAMers Share Their Stories


Yesterday, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting in the Oval Office with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants, as well as a group of young immigrants known as DREAMers. These young immigrants are Americans in every way except on paper, and they emphasized the need for comprehensive immigration reform so that they can meaningfully contribute to the country they call home.


Find out more about these DREAMers.



President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with DREAMers who have received Deferred Action and U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants, in the Oval Office, May 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with DREAMers who have received Deferred Action and U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants, in the Oval Office, May 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)







In Case You Missed It


Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:


President Obama Responds to the Tornadoes in Oklahoma
Overnight, the President continued to receive updates from his team on the ongoing response in Oklahoma. Following yesterday’s call to the Mayor of Moore Oklahoma, Glenn Lewis, the President spoke again to Governor Fallin expressing his concern for those who had been impacted and to reiterate that he had directed his Administration to provide all available resources to support the response led by the Governor and her team.


Building Opportunities in Indian Country: Congratulations to the Graduates of Navajo Technical College
Dr. Biden addresses a class of graduates at Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, New Mexico.





Today’s Schedule


All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).


9:45 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing.



11:00 AM: The Vice President delivers the commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy.



1:30 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney.



4:15 PM: The President meets with Secretary of the Treasury Lew.



7:25 PM: The President and the First Lady host the Gershwin Prize Concert








The White House

Next Up…
May 22, 2013 3:00 PM EDT

Harvey Milk Champions of Change




The White House

May 22, 2013 7:25 PM EDT

President Obama and First Lady Obama Host the Gershwin Prize Concert

The White House










President Barack Obama receives a briefing on the ongoing response to the devastating tornadoes and severe weather that impacted Oklahoma, in the Oval Office May 21, 2013. The President meets with, from left: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Richard Serino, FEMA Deputy Administrator; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



Speeches and Remarks


May 22, 2013

Remarks by the First Lady at Decatur House Visit





May 21, 2013

Remarks by the President on the Tornadoes and Severe Weather in Oklahoma



Overnight, the President continued to receive updates from his team on the ongoing response in Oklahoma. Following yesterday’s call to the Mayor of Moore Oklahoma, Glenn Lewis, the President spoke again to Governor Fallin expressing his concern for those who had been impacted and to reiterate that he had directed his Administration to provide all available resources to support the response led by the Governor and her team. Last night, the President also spoke with Senator James Inhofe to make clear that FEMA stood ready to continue to support the people of Oklahoma through the immediate response phase as well as the recovery, and to let the Senator know that Oklahomans remained in his thoughts and prayers.


On Tuesday, at the President’s direction, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate arrived in Oklahoma to ensure that federal resources were effectively supporting the response efforts. Administrator Fugate is on the ground again today, and this morning Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will also travel to the affected area to meet with local officials and see ongoing response efforts first hand.


As of this morning, FEMA has more than 400 personnel already on the ground supporting the response, including three national Urban Search and Rescue Teams, an Incident Management Assistance Team, as well as personnel focused on helping survivors register for and receive the federal assistance made available by the major disaster declaration signed by the President on Monday night. As of 2 a.m. this morning, more than 1,000 individuals affected by the tornadoes and severe weather in Oklahoma had registered for assistance with FEMA.


The President received a briefing this morning by his team, and will continue to be updated on the response throughout the day.


President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the ongoing response to the devastating tornadoes and severe weatherPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks on the ongoing response to the devastating tornadoes and severe weather that impacted Oklahoma, in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 21, 2013. Vice President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino accompany the President. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)



Update 3: As response and recovery efforts continue on the ground in Oklahoma, the Department of Homeland Security announced this afternoon that Secretary Janet Napolitano will travel to the area tomorrow to meet with state and local officials and ensure first responders are receiving the assistance they need to help those affected by the tornadoes.


Update 2: This morning, President Obama delivered a statementon the devastating tornadoes and severe weather that impacted Oklahoma. He described the response efforts underway, and assured the people of Moore and all the affected areas that they “would have all the resources that they need at their disposal.”

For there are homes and schools to rebuild, businesses and hospitals to reopen, there are parents to console, first responders to comfort, and, of course, frightened children who will need our continued love and attention. There are empty spaces where there used to be living rooms, and bedrooms, and classrooms, and, in time, we’re going to need to refill those spaces with love and laughter and community.


“Americans from every corner of this country will be right there with them, opening our homes, our hearts to those in need,” President Obama said. “Because we’re a nation that stands with our fellow citizens as long as it takes. We’ve seen that spirit in Joplin, in Tuscaloosa; we saw that spirit in Boston and Breezy Point. And that’s what the people of Oklahoma are going to need from us right now.”



Statements and Releases


May 22, 2013

President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Dan Tangherlini as Administrator of the General Services Administration




Dr. Jill Biden
Dr. Jill Biden

May 22, 2013
09:00 AM EDT


Dr. Jill Biden is the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, a mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, a proud Blue Star mom, and an active member of her community.


Dr. Jill Biden walks with the procession of graduates of the Navajo Technical College Class of 2013Dr. Jill Biden walks with the procession of graduates of the Navajo Technical College Class of 2013, Navajo Tech President Elmer Guy, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and the Board of trustees on the Navajo Tech campus in Crownpoint, New Mexico. May 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)



On Friday, I had the honor of addressing a class of graduates at Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, New Mexico. The Navajo Tech graduating Class of 2013 earned certificates in 34 fields that will provide the tools they need to serve their community as teachers, nurses, engineers, mechanics, bankers, chefs and countless other opportunities all made possible by their commitment and dedication to improving themselves through the pursuit of a higher education.


Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) play a key role in President Obama’s educational goal of making the United States home to the best-educated, most competitive workforce in the world. TCUs are critical institutions that build tribal communities, create good jobs across Indian Country, and provide Native Americans with the skills they need to do those jobs.


As a community college teacher, I love seeing what a tremendous difference a community like the one I saw at Navajo Tech can make in the lives of its students.


The impressive class of graduates included veterans like Jerrilene Kenneth, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army mechanic, before she became the first college graduate in her family with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. It also included Navajo Tech Student of the Year Sherwin Becenti, who dropped out of college more than ten years ago but returned to school in order to build a better life for his family and set a good example for his children. Dwight Carlston, who grew up with no running water or electricity, was also among the graduates. Dwight maintained a 3.8 grade point average, ran cross country, served as Student Senate President and was recently elected as the Student Congress president of all 38 tribal colleges.


The Class of 2013 also marked a key milestone for Navajo Tech itself as they celebrated their first student to graduate with a Baccalaureate Degree.  Dody Begay received his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology-Computer Science – a path many other students are now planning to follow.


It is thanks to students like Jerrilene, Sherwin, Dwight, and Dody, and their dedicated faculty and administrators, that for the second year in a row Navajo Tech was recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 120 community colleges in the United States. It was the only TCU and the only college in New Mexico to receive this distinction.


During my trip to the Navajo Nation, I also had the privilege of taking part in a traditional blessing by Medicine Man Robert Johnson who shared the traditions and spirituality of the Diné people. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and his wife First lady Martha Shelly also provided a wonderful welcome to their community with an introduction to the leadership of the tribal government. Students from the Diné Bi Olta Language Immersion Elementary School and Miyamura High School performed the traditional basket and ribbon dances at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona.



Dr. Jill Biden listens to Medicine Man Robert JohnsonFrom a traditional hogan in Window Rock, Arizona, Dr. Jill Biden listens to Medicine Man Robert Johnson along with Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, First Lady Martha Shelly, Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council Johnny Naize and Barbara Naize. May 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)



Thank you to the Navajo Nation, and the faculty, staff and students of Navajo Technical College for welcoming me into your community. Your drive to improving yourselves and the generations who will follow you through a continued commitment to education sets an example for not just Indian Country, but for communities all across America. Congratulations to the graduates of 2013. But above all, congratulations to your parents, your grandparents and your ancestors for having the vision and commitment to strengthen their community by building your college and investing in all of our futures.






Press Briefing

May 21, 2013 | 1:02:47 | Public Domain


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
























A Word On Immigration From Mayor Julian Castro


By Jueseppi B.






President Obama Speaks at a Naturalization Ceremony


Published on Mar 25, 2013

President Obama delivers remarks at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians at the White House. March 25, 2013.






Julian Castro  Mayor, San Antonio, Texas


Very soon, comprehensive immigration reform will be introduced — and could be passed — in Congress.


Passing immigration reform is something that has been years, even decades, in the making. If legislators in both parties can put aside political posturing and summon the courage to do the right thing, we will make history together.


It’s up to you and me to make sure our lawmakers find that courage — and that they know if they step up and fix our broken system, we’ll get their backs.



This is our moment — join the grassroots effort to help pass comprehensive immigration reform.



President Obama and a growing number of bipartisan lawmakers have laid the framework for the path forward on immigration. They’ve identified three things we need to do right away:


We need to strengthen border security, streamline the legal immigration process so law-abiding companies can get the workers they need, and create an earned path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows.


These are tough issues for politicians to wrestle with. But for myself and for millions of our friends and neighbors, immigration isn’t just political — it’s intensely personal.


My grandma came to the United States as an orphan from Mexico. She never made it past the fourth grade — she had to drop out of school to work and support her family. As an adult, she scraped by, working hard to give my mother a shot, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one.


People like my grandma — men and women in all corners of the United States, of all ages and origins — have helped build this country.


They deserve a system that works — and our country’s economy depends on it.


We know what’s broken, and we know how to fix it.


Say you’re ready to fight for immigration reform. Add your name today:




America is watching — let’s get this done.


Julian Castro
Mayor, San Antonio, Texas




















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