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Raise The Minimum Wage: Barack Speaks At Michigan University, Ann Arbor – Full Speech.


 

By Jueseppi B.

raisethewage

 

 

Obama Speaks At Michigan University, Ann Arbor – Full Speech

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

President Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage while visiting the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

 

 

 

 

 

baracksays

 

Add Your Name: America Deserves a Raise

 

 

This afternoon, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez sent the following message to the White House email list, explaining why we need to raise the minimum wage.

 

Didn’t get the email? Make sure you’re signed up for White House updates.

 


 

Hey, all –

 

Last Friday, I spoke at a rally in Cleveland about raising the minimum wage. While I was there, I had the opportunity to talk with 11-year-old Jesseca Hudson, who came out to show her support.

 

Before I’d even boarded my plane back to D.C., she had already emailed me, telling me how she wanted to help in the fight to give millions of workers the wages they deserve.

 

Jesseca doesn’t think that someone working full-time should struggle to make ends meet. But full-time workers earning the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 only earn about $14,500 a year in wages — below the poverty line for a family of two.

 

That’s unacceptable. And it’s why the President has called on Congress and state governments to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour — and on businesses to act on their own to increase the pay of their workers.

 

If you agree, then add your name, and share why you think we need to raise the wage.

 

 

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Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will benefit about 28 million workers across the country. And it will help businesses, too — raising the wage will put more money in people’s pockets, which they will pump back into the economy by spending it on goods and services in their communities.

 

The bottom line: America deserves a raise.

 

And it’s not just 11-year-olds that understand why it’s a problem that the minimum wage has lost nearly a third of its value since its peak in 1968. Nearly three out of four Americans agree we should raise the wage.

 

If you agree it’s time that we answer the President’s call to increase the minimum wage and reward honest work, add your name and share why.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Secretary Tom Perez
Department of Labor

 

 

baracksays

 

 

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, and announced he would issue an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts.

 

Raising the minimum wage nationwide will increase earnings for millions of workers, and boost the bottom lines of businesses across the country.

 

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Today, the real value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly one-third since its peak in 1968. And right now, a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year, which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet.

 

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“No one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA

 

 

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Remarks by the President on Minimum Wage — Ann Arbor, MI

 

 

President Obama Entering the IM Building

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

The President of the United States visited the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus to talk about minimum wage. We captured the moment Mr. President entered the Intramural Sports Building in this short clip.

 

 

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

2:52 P.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Michigan!  (Applause.)  Go Blue!  (Applause.)  This is a good-looking crowd.  (Applause.)  Just happy to be out of class.  (Applause.)  I’m sure that’s not true. I’m sure these are all outstanding students.  (Applause.)  Good to see you.

 

First of all, give Mira a big round of applause for the great introduction.  (Applause.)  I want to say thanks to your president, Mary Sue Coleman, for her years of outstanding leadership here at Michigan.  (Applause.)  We’ve got a few other Michigan leaders who are here today.  We’ve got Congressman John Conyers.  (Applause.)  We’ve got Congressman Gary Peters.  (Applause.)  We’ve got your mayor, John Hieftje.  (Applause.)   Former Congressman Mark Schauer.  (Applause.)  Your Congressman, the legendary John Dingell, could not make it, but his wife Debbie is here.  Give her a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

 

Now, most importantly I know to all of you, we’ve got some Wolverines in the house here.  (Applause.)  We’ve got Greg Robinson III.  (Applause.)  We’ve got Jordan Morgan.  (Applause.) We’ve got Big Ten Player of the Year, Nik Stauskas.  (Applause.) And we’ve got quarterback, Devin Gardner.  (Applause.)  These guys were outstanding this year.  Give them a bigger round of applause than that.  (Applause.)

 

You guys had a great run.  That last game was as good of a game as we’ve seen the entire season.  I know you wish that that turned out a little bit later — if you’d had five more seconds, it would have been helpful.  (Laughter.)  But I wanted to congratulate the coach, Coach Beilein, and the team for a great season.  (Applause.)

 

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And I understand that Jordan wanted me to talk about my bracket.  (Laughter.)  My bracket is a mess.  (Laughter.)  I’ve learned my lesson — I will not pick against the Wolverines.  (Applause.)  It’s not going to happen.  This is the problem with doing these brackets — people just trash-talk you non-stop.  (Laughter.)  It’s terrible.

 

And I think it’s worth mentioning, I want to congratulate Jordan for playing more games at Michigan than any other player in history — not only earning an undergraduate degree in engineering — (applause) — pursuing a graduate degree in engineering as well.  That’s the kind of student athlete we’re talking about.  (Applause.)

 

Now, do some of you guys have chairs?  Because if you’ve got chairs, feel free to sit down.  But if you don’t, don’t sit down, because I don’t want you getting hurt.

 

Before I came here today, I stopped at Zingerman’s, which is the — (applause) — which is the right thing to do when you’re in Ann Arbor.  (Laughter.)  I stopped for two reasons.  The first is the Reuben is killer.  (Laughter.)  So I ordered like the small — (laughter) — and it didn’t look that small.  So I gave half to Valerie Jarrett, who’s traveling with us.  And then after I finished the half, I wanted the half back.  (Laughter.)  But it was too late.  All she had left was the pickle.  (Laughter.)  So I took the pickle.  (Laughter.)

 

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So one of the reasons I went was because the sandwiches are outstanding.  The second reason, though, is Zingerman’s is a business that treats its workers well, and rewards honest work with honest wages.  (Applause.)  And that’s worth celebrating.  And that’s what I’m here to talk about today:   How do we rebuild an economy that creates jobs and opportunities for every American?  And I want to focus on something a lot of people in Michigan are working very hard to accomplish right now, and that is raising the minimum wage to help more folks get ahead.  (Applause.)

 

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Now, here’s the context.  Our economy is doing better.  It’s growing.  Our businesses are creating jobs — 8.7 million new jobs over the past four years.  (Applause.)  Our manufacturing sector, which had been losing jobs throughout the ‘90s and throughout the — what do you call it — aughts?  (Laughter.)  You know, the 2000 to 2010, whatever you call that.  (Laughter.)
But manufacturing had been losing jobs — about a third of manufacturing had lost — and obviously that hit Michigan really hard.  But we’re now seeing the manufacturing sector add jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  So that is good news.  (Applause.)

 

The housing market is recovering.  Obviously the stock market has recovered, which means people’s 401(k)s, if they have them, are doing a lot better.

 

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Troops that were fighting two wars, they’re coming home.  (Applause.)   We just went through the first month since 2003 where no U.S. soldier was killed in either Afghanistan or Iraq.  (Applause.)

 

Today you’ve got companies looking to invest in the U.S. instead of sending jobs overseas.  They want to create more jobs and invest right here in the United States.  We’re more competitive.  We’re more productive.

 

Oh, and by the way, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.  (Applause.)  That’s a lot of people — 7.1.  That’s enough to fill up The Big House 65 times.  (Applause.)  And by the way, that doesn’t count the more than 3 million young people who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans. (Applause.)

 

So we have seniors here who graduate and then it may take a couple months to find a job, or you’re doing an internship or something that does not provide health care, you’re going to be covered until you get that job that actually provides health insurance.  So it provides you the kind of protection you need.  (Applause.)

 

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So that’s the good news.  We fought back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes.  We’ve laid the foundation for America’s future growth.  But here’s the problem:  There’s been a long-term trend that has really been hitting middle-class folks and folks trying to get into the middle class, and that’s been going on since before most of you were born.  The economy increasingly has folks at the top doing really well, but then middle-class families, people who are struggling to get into the middle class, they’re working harder, but their wages, their incomes aren’t going up.

 

And we’re a better country than that.  In America, we do not believe in opportunity just for the few.  We believe that everybody should have a chance at success.  Everybody.  (Applause.)  And we believe our economy grows best not from the top down, but from the middle out, and from the bottom up.  (Applause.)  And we want to make sure that no matter where you’re born, what circumstances, how you started out, what you look like, what your last name is, who you love — it doesn’t matter, you can succeed.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

 

We believe that what matters is the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams and our willingness to take responsibility for ourselves, but also for ourselves.  That’s what America is about.  That’s the promise that this country is built on.  And for the sake of your generation, we got to make sure that that continues to be the case; that that’s not just something we’re nostalgic about; that that’s something that we project out into the future.

 

So I had a State of the Union a while back and I laid out a four-part Opportunity Agenda to make sure everybody has a shot.  And that starts with something I know graduating seniors are thinking about:  More good jobs paying good wages; jobs in high-tech and manufacturing and energy and innovation.  And there are things we can do to create jobs — rebuilding our infrastructure in this country, investing in R&D, closing wasteful loopholes that don’t create jobs.  So we’re providing tax breaks to companies that are creating jobs right here in the United States. Those are things we can do right now.

 

Opportunity means training more Americans for the skills needed to fill those jobs.  We got to make sure everybody is ready with the skills they need.  Not everybody is going to be lucky enough to be a Wolverine and graduate from Michigan.  (Applause.)  But everybody can get a good, solid base so that they can have a job and a career.

 

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Opportunity means guaranteeing every young people access to a world-class education, and that’s got to start with pre-K, all the way through higher education.  (Applause.)  And it means making college more affordable.  (Applause.)

 

Some of you may not know this, but before a lot of you even entered college, we took on the student loan system.  It was giving billions of taxpayer dollars to big banks to serve as middlemen in the student loan process.  We said, why do we need the banks?  We cut them out.  We used the savings that were generated, billions of dollars, to expand the grants that help millions of low-income students pay for college.  And we’re offering millions of students who are graduating the chance to cap monthly student loan payments at 10 percent of your income.  (Applause.)

 

This is something you need to talk to your counselors about, especially if you’re going into teaching or social work, or other professions where it’s a passion but you’re not going to be an investment banker salary situation.  So make sure you find out about this.  You can cap — I mean, I know Stauskas has got the contract coming up, so he’ll — (laughter) — he doesn’t have to worry about these things.  But I’m saying later — I’m not telling him to leave.  (Laughter.)  I wasn’t editorializing on that.  (Laughter.)

 

My point is we got to make sure that everybody can afford to do things that may not pay huge sums of money but are really valuable to society.

 

And the good news is more young people are earning college degrees than ever before.  But we’ve still got to do more work to rein in tuition costs.  I talked to your president about this. And we got to help more students who are trapped by student loan debt — because this country cannot afford striving young people to be priced out of a higher education.  Everybody has got to be able to afford it.  (Applause.)

 

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Finally, opportunity means rewarding the hard work of every American — not just some Americans, every American.  That means making sure that folks are paid equal for doing equal work.  (Applause.)  I do not want my daughters paid less than somebody else’s sons for doing the same job.  (Applause.)

 

It means making sure that there are decent benefits and, at minimum, that every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance.  It means paychecks and wages that allow you to support a family.

 

All of which brings me back to this issue of the minimum wage, giving America a raise.  Now, raising the minimum wage is not going to solve all of our economic challenges.  The majority of folks who are working get paid more than the minimum wage.  As Americans we understand that some people will earn more than others.  But here’s one thing we do believe:  Nobody who works full-time should be raising their family in poverty, right?  (Applause.)  If you’re working, if you’re responsible, you should be able to pay the rent, pay the bills.  (Applause.)

 

But that’s what’s happening right now.  All across the country, you can work full-time on the minimum wage and still be in poverty.  And that’s why, in the year since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, we’ve seen six states on their own pass laws to raise their minimum wage.  Last week, Connecticut became the first state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  (Applause.)  Congratulations, Connecticut.

 

President Barack Obama speaks on raising the national minimum wage at the University of Michigan on April 2, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Obama unveiled a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour in his State of the Union address in January. / JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama speaks on raising the national minimum wage at the University of Michigan on April 2, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Obama unveiled a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour in his State of the Union address in January. / JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

 

You’ve got more states and counties and cities that are working to raise their minimum wage as we speak.  That includes your state legislators from Ann Arbor — Adam Zemke and Jeff Irwin — who are trying to raise it here in Michigan.  (Applause.)  We’re proud of them.  Stand up, guys.  Come on.  There they are.  (Applause.)  See, I used to be in the state legislature, so I was kind of partial to — (laughter.)

 

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But raising wages is not just a job for organizers, it’s not just a job for elected officials, it’s also a job for business.  It was here in Michigan 100 years ago that Henry Ford announced he was doubling his workers’ wages.  And at the time, some of his fellow business leaders thought he had lost his mind.  But Henry Ford understood it was going to be good for business.  Not only did it boost productivity, not only did it reduce turnover, not only did it make employees more loyal to the company, but it meant that the workers could afford to buy the cars that they were building.  (Applause.)  So you were building — so by paying your workers more, you were building your own market for your products.

 

And hugely successful companies today, like Costco, they take the same approach.  And it’s not just big businesses; small businesses, too.  In my State of the Union address, I called on more business leaders to boost their employees’ wages, give them a fair wage.  And since then, you’ve seen businesses across the country — small ones, like an ice cream parlor in Florida, to a marketing agency in Georgia, to a pizzeria in St. Louis — they’ve all said, you know what, this is the right thing to do.

 

Recently, the Gap decided to raise its base wages, and that benefited about 65,000 workers in the United States — and it led me to go shopping at Gap.  (Laughter and applause.)  Some of you may have seen the very attractive sweaters that I purchased for my daughters.  (Laughter.)  They have not worn them yet, so if they’re listening, make me feel good, just wear it one time.  (Laughter.)

 

University of Michigan LSA freshmen, fromleft, Sydney Grant, Meredith Gillies, and Litong Pei wait in line in to see President Obama speak Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/The Ann Arbor News, Brianne Bowen) / AP

University of Michigan LSA freshmen, fromleft, Sydney Grant, Meredith Gillies, and Litong Pei wait in line in to see President Obama speak Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/The Ann Arbor News, Brianne Bowen) / AP

 

Now, Zingerman’s does not have as many workers as the Gap, obviously, but they try to do right by each and every one of them.  You’ve got some big businesses who go to Washington to lobby for special treatment for themselves.  So one of Zingerman’s owners, Paul Saginaw, flew to D.C. to lobby for his workers, to lobby for better treatment for workers through a higher minimum wage.  (Applause.)  That’s the kind of folks who are running Zingerman’s.

 

For the AAers: Pres Obama at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For the AAers: Pres Obama at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

Then afterwards, he held a sandwich summit here in Ann Arbor to help build support for Michigan’s minimum wage going up.  And Paul’s point is simple:  Fair wages and higher profits are not mutually exclusive; they can go hand-in-hand.  That’s what Henry Ford understood.  And Paul opened Zingerman’s doors 32 years ago last month so he knows a little bit about business.  But he and business owners like him believe higher wages are good for the bottom line.

 

I happen to believe the same thing.  So I decided several months ago that the federal government should follow their lead. And so I issued an executive order that requires federal contractors, folks who are doing business with the government, to pay their employees on new contracts a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.  It’s the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

 

And I’m determined to do my part to lift wages, improve take-home pay any way I can.  My attitude is if you cook our troops’ meals, you wash their dishes, your country should pay you a living wage.  (Applause.)

 

President Obama Speaks On Raising The Minimum Wage At The University Of Michigan

 

Now, here’s the challenge.  What Zingerman’s can do on its own, what even I can do as the head of the executive branch of the federal government, that doesn’t reach everybody.  If we’re going to do right by our fellow Americans, we need Congress to get onboard.  (Applause.)  We’ve got to have Congress to get onboard.  We’ve got to have state legislators to get onboard.  (Applause.)

 

Because even though we’re bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, we’re creating more good-paying jobs in education and health care and business services, there are always going to be folks who do critical work, who bust their tails every day — airport workers, restaurant workers, and hospital workers, and retail salespeople — who deserve an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.  They’re doing necessary jobs — they should be able to make a living.

 

So right now there is a bill before Congress that would boost America’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  It’s easy to remember:  10-10.  10-10.  Passing this bill would not just raise wages for minimum-wage workers; it would help lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans, including nearly a million people right here in Michigan.  It would lift millions of people out of poverty right away.  It would help millions more work their way out of poverty right away.  (Applause.)

 

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It wouldn’t require any new taxes.  It doesn’t require new spending.  It doesn’t require new bureaucracy.  But what it would do is help those families and give businesses more customers with more money to spend.  And it would help grow the economy for everybody.

 

So you would think this would be a no-brainer.  Politically, you’d think that folks would be rushing to do this.  Nearly three in four Americans support raising the minimum wage — nearly three in four.  Here’s the problem.  Republicans in Congress — not Republicans out in America, because some of them get paid the minimum wage, so they want to see it raised — Republicans in Congress don’t want to vote to raise it at all.  In fact, some want to just scrap the minimum wage.  One House Republican said, “It’s outlived its usefulness.”

 

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AUDIENCE:  Booo –

 

THE PRESIDENT:  No, that’s what he said.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPANT:  Booo –

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo, organize.  (Applause.)  That’s what you need to do, because they may not hear the boos, but they can read a petition and they can see votes.  (Applause.)

 

You’ve got some Republicans saying we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage because — they said this — because, well, it just helps young people.  Now, first of all, I think it’s pretty good to help young people.  (Applause.)  I don’t know what’s wrong with helping young people.  Folks who say that, next thing you know they’ll say, “Get off my lawn.”  (Laughter.)  I think it’s okay to help young people.

 

But the fact is most people who would benefit from a higher minimum wage are not teenagers taking on their first job.  The average age of folks getting paid the minimum wage is 35.  A majority of lower-wage jobs are held by women.  Many of them work full-time, often to support a family.

 

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And, by the way, what’s wrong with helping young people get ahead?  (Laughter.)  Mira puts herself through college on a base wage of less than $3 an hour, because she’s working in a restaurant.  She works hard — she does.  So we should be making it easier for your generation to gain a foothold on the ladder of opportunity.  We shouldn’t be making it harder.

 

Now, the truth is the Republicans’ refusal so far to raise the minimum wage is pretty consistent with their general worldview — (laughter) — which says — it says basically you’re on your own; government doesn’t have a role to play in making sure that the marketplace is working for everybody.

 

Just yesterday, Republicans in Congress put forward a budget for the country that I believe would shrink opportunity for your generation.  It starts by giving a massive tax cut to households making more than $1 million a year, the very folks who’ve benefited the most over the last 20 years from this economy that is benefiting people at the top.  Then, so they don’t blow a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids.  Then they’d force deep cuts to the investments that help our economy grow, like research and clean energy, and investments in middle-class families, like education and job training.

 

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When they put these budgets together, usually they don’t tell you exactly what they’d cut because they know you wouldn’t like it, so you have to kind of do the math.  But compared to my budget, if they cut everything evenly in the amount that they’re talking about, within a few years about 170,000 kids would get cut from early childhood education.

 

About 200,000 new moms and children would get cut off from the programs that help them to get healthy food.  Funding for 21,000 special education teachers would be cut off.  And if they wanted to make smaller cuts in any of these — in any one of these areas, they’d have to make bigger cuts in others.  It even cuts Pell grants, which makes it harder for students to pay for a college education.

 

Now, to give them credit, they do have one original idea, which is to repeal Obamacare — (laughter) — because they haven’t tried that 50 times.  (Applause.)  Fifty times they’ve tried to do that.  (Laughter.)  So that means they would take away health coverage not only for more than 7 million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing, signed up, bought health care for themselves and their families, but for the 3 million young adults who’ve been able to stay on their parents’ plan under this law.  What I just told you about being able to stay on your parent’s plan — the Republicans don’t like that.

 

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And their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect middle-class families from another financial crisis like the one that we’ve endured.  So if this all sounds familiar, it should be familiar because it was their economic plan in the 2012 campaign, it was their economic plan in 2010.  It’s like that movie Groundhog Day — (laughter) — except it’s not funny.  (Applause.)  If they tried to sell this sandwich at Zingerman’s, they’d have to call it the Stinkburger, or the Meanwich.  (Laughter and applause.)

 

Look, here’s the truth.  They’re not necessarily cold-hearted, they just sincerely believe that if we give more tax breaks to a fortunate few and we invest less in the middle class, and we reduce or eliminate the safety net for the poor and the sick, and we cut food stamps, and we cut Medicaid, and we let banks and polluters and credit card companies and insurers do only what’s best for their bottom line without the responsibility to the rest of us, then somehow the economy will boom, and jobs and prosperity will trickle down to everybody.

 

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And when I say it that way, I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating — except I’m not.  This is their theory.  They’re pretty unabashed about it.  And it’s not a new theory.  They’ve held it for decades, through good times and bad.  They were making the same argument against FDR when he was setting up Social Security.

 

And, look, it does create opportunity for a handful of people who are already doing really, really well.  But we believe in opportunity for everybody.  More good jobs for everybody.  More workers to fill those jobs.  (Applause.)  A world-class education for everybody.  Hard work that pays off with wages you can live on and savings you can retire on and health care you can count on.  That’s what “opportunity for all” means.  (Applause.) That’s what it means.

 

Now, next week, members of Congress have a fresh chance to show which side they’re on.  They’re going to get a yes or no vote on raising the minimum wage all across this country.  And they’ve got to make a clear choice:  Talk the talk about valuing hardworking families, or walk the walk and actually value hardworking families.  (Applause.)  You’ve got a choice.  You can give America the shaft, or you can give it a raise.  (Applause.)

 

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Here in Michigan, your Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow — (applause) — your Representatives, John Dingell and John Conyers and Gary Peters, they are already onboard.  But every American deserves to know where their elected representatives stand on this choice.  So those of you — if you’re going back home for spring break or something or — did that already happen, spring break?

 

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

 

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m sorry.  (Laughter.)  Everybody is all, aw, yeah.  (Laughter.)  Well, I hope you had a good time.  (Laughter.)  But if you have the chance to talk to a congressman who’s not supporting it, you need to ask him, do you support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour?  If they say yes, then you should say thank you — (laughter) — because elected officials do not hear that very often.  When they do the right thing, you should reward them.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you, President Obama!

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  You’re welcome.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

Now, if they say no, you shouldn’t yell at them.  Be polite.  Ask them why not.  Ask them to reconsider.  Tell them to join the rest of the country.  For once, instead of just saying no, say yes.  It’s time for $10.10.  It’s time to give America a raise.

 

And as I’m looking out at all of you I’m reminded, four years ago I had the privilege of delivering the commencement address at the university, over in the big stadium.  (Applause.) And I said our democracy, it’s always been noisy, it’s always been messy.  We have big arguments.  But in the end, we’ve always had the ability to look past our differences and our disagreements and forge a common future.  And we’ve got common values — hard work, responsibility, pursuing your individual dreams.

 

What the argument is right now about is whether we also affirm the values that make sure we’ve giving everybody a chance; making sure our fellow citizens can also pursue their dreams; that we’re not just looking out for ourselves all the time, but we’re also looking out for the person next to you.  That’s also what America is about.  That’s what we have to do again.

 

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We’ve got more jobs to create.  We’ve got more kids to educate.  We’ve got more clean energy to create.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more troops to bring home.  We got more veterans to care for.  We got an immigration system we got to fix.  (Applause.)  We got to build a middle class.  We got to give opportunity for everybody who strives for it.  We got to make sure everybody — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, with or without a disability, folks in the inner city, folks outside the borders of the city — everybody has got a chance.  (Applause.)   America is a place for everybody.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s what I need you to go out there and talk about.  (Applause.)

 

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

 

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END
3:26 P.M. EDT

 

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President Barack Obama, followed by Rep. Gary Peters. D-Mich., waves as they arrive on Air Force One at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The president will speak at the University of Michigan about his proposal to raise the national minimum wage. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) / AP

President Barack Obama, followed by Rep. Gary Peters. D-Mich., waves as they arrive on Air Force One at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The president will speak at the University of Michigan about his proposal to raise the national minimum wage. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) / AP

Ann Arbor students camped out in line the night before to get tickets to see Barack speak.

Ann Arbor students camped out in line the night before to get tickets to see Barack speak.

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Off To Chicago!!!

Off To Chicago!!!

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President Obama is welcomed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn after arriving aboard Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

President Obama is welcomed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn after arriving aboard Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

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President Barack Obama Visits Powell Elementary School In Washington, D.C.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Today, after sending his 2015 budget to Congress, President Obama visited a local elementary school to discuss what he called a “roadmap” for the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union address to restore opportunity for all Americans.

 

“These kids may not be the most excited people in town on budget day,” President Obama said, “but my budget is designed with their generation and future generations in mind.”

 

The budget I sent Congress this morning lays out how we’ll implement this agenda in a balanced and responsible way. It’s a roadmap for creating jobs with good wages and expanding opportunity for all Americans. And at a time when our deficits have been cut in half, it allows us to meet our obligations to future generations without leaving them a mountain of debt.

 

This budget adheres to the spending levels that both parties in both houses of Congress already agreed to. But it also builds on that progress with what we’re calling an Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative that invests in our economic priorities in a smart way that is fully paid for by making smart spending cuts and closing tax loopholes that right now only benefit the well-off and the well-connected.

 

“Our budget is about choices,” President Obama said. “It’s about our values. As a country, we’ve got to make a decision if we’re going to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, or if we’re going to make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy, and expand opportunity for every American.”

 

The American people have made clear time and again which approach they prefer. That’s the approach that my budget offers. That’s why I’m going to fight for it this year and in the years to come as President.

 

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Statements And Releases From The President Of The United States, Barack Hussein Obama


 

By Jueseppi B.

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FACT SHEET: President Obama to Sign Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses

 

In his State of the Union address, President Obama set an ambitious agenda to make 2014 a year of action: using his pen and his phone to take steps that expand opportunity for America’s middle class – including helping small American businesses compete in a global economy.  Today, aboard Air Force One, the President will sign a new Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses.

 

Specifically, the Executive Order cuts processing and approval times from days to minutes for small businesses that export American-made goods and services by completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.  Today, businesses must submit information to dozens of government agencies, often on paper forms, sometimes waiting on process for days to move goods across the border.  The ITDS will allow businesses to electronically transmit, through a “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.  This new electronic system will speed up the shipment of American-made goods overseas, eliminate often duplicative and burdensome paperwork, and make our government more efficient.

 

This Executive Order is especially important to small and medium companies that depend on global trade.  Once fully implemented, the ITDS will dramatically reduce the time and expense for businesses to move the more than 50 million containers and $3.8 trillion worth of goods that cross our borders each year.

 

Development of a “Single-Window

The Executive Order mandates the completion of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.  The ITDS creates capabilities that will allow businesses to transmit, through an electronic “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.

 

At present, businesses must submit data to multiple agencies through various channels, often in paper form.  The ITDS will save businesses time and money, and dramatically reduce the number of forms a business has to fill out to import or export.

 

The ITDS will allow more efficient government decision-making associated with goods arriving at the border, reducing the time for clearing goods from many days to, in some cases, seconds.  This will dramatically speed the flow of legitimate commerce across our borders.

 

Coordinated and automated messaging about these decisions will increase predictability for the private sector and allow them to plan supply chain movements with greater confidence and less cost.

 

Though the development of the ITDS has been underway for some time, the Order establishes a deadline for completion, requires relevant agencies to transition from paper-based to electronic data collection, and calls for enhanced transparency by requiring public posting of implementation plans and schedules.

 

Creation of More Efficient Business Processes through Partnership

The new Executive Order also charges the government to partner with non-government stakeholders to build more efficient business processes and improve border management policies.

 

A newly expanded group, the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC) will be responsible for improving coordination among the dozens of agencies with import and export requirements and with outside stakeholders.  The BIEC is charged with cutting red tape and reducing supply chain inefficiencies, while managing the risks presented by goods flowing in and out of the United States.

 

The ITDS Board of Directors will continue to oversee the development of the ITDS automated capabilities.

 

 

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Statement from the President on the Retirement of Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod

Gloria Negrete McLeod has been a strong advocate for hardworking families and farmers in California’s 35th district and across the country.  She has been a key partner in promoting access to affordable health care and bringing quality employment and higher education opportunities to all Americans.  Gloria has consistently supported working women and their families and has championed programs to help our nation’s veterans find jobs and enroll in college. Michelle and I thank Congresswoman Negrete McLeod for her service and send her, her husband Gilbert, and their family our warmest regards.

 

 

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Statement from the President on the Retirement of Congressman Rush Holt

Over his 15 years in Congress, Rush Holt combined a relentless focus on building a brighter future with an unwavering commitment to improving the everyday lives of the New Jerseyans he represents, especially the veterans he works tirelessly to support.   Just the second research physicist elected to Congress, no one has worked harder to keep America on the cutting edge of innovation than Rush.  Time and time again, he has led efforts to fund science education and basic research.  His legacy will live on in our labs, our universities, and our classrooms, where countless math and science teachers have been able to afford college thanks in part to the TEACH grants he helped create.  Michelle and I thank Congressman Holt for his leadership and service, and we wish him, his wife Margaret, and their children and grandchildren the very best in the future.

 

 

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On-the-Record Call by Jason Furman and Betsey Stevenson on the CBO Report on Minimum Wage

 

 

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Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Vice President Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych today to express grave concern regarding the crisis on the streets of Kyiv.  He called on President Yanukovych to pull back government forces and to exercise maximum restraint. The Vice President made clear that the United States condemns violence by any side, but that the government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the situation. The Vice President further underscored the urgency of immediate dialogue with opposition leaders to address protesters’ legitimate grievances and to put forward serious proposals for political reform.  The United States is committed to supporting efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the crisis that reflects the will and aspirations of the Ukrainian people.

 

 

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FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All: Improving the Fuel Efficiency of American Trucks – Bolstering Energy Security, Cutting Carbon Pollution, Saving Money and Supporting Manufacturing Innovation

 

 

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North American Leaders’ Summit

 

The North American Leaders’ Summit is the official name of the trilateral annual summit between the prime minister of Canada, and the presidents of Mexico and the United States. It started as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a continent-level dialogue, founded on 23 March 2005. The summit is often referred to as the Three Amigos Summit in the popular press. This year, February 19, 2014, the summit is held in  TolucaMexico State, Mexico.

 

 

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White House Schedule – Wednesday February 19th, 2014

 

 

On Wednesday, the President will travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. At the Summit, the President will discuss a wide range of issues including economic competitiveness and citizen security with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper. The President will return to The White House around 2 AM EST.

 

In the morning, the President will depart Washington, DC for Toluca, Mexico to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. The departure from the South Lawn is open press.

 

In the afternoon, the President will arrive in Toluca, Mexico. Upon arrival, the President will participate in an official arrival ceremony at the Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos International Airport. The official arrival ceremony will be open press.

 

After the official arrival ceremony, the President will visit Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico and be welcomed by President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. There will be pre-set pool coverage of the President’s arrival at Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico. Following his arrival, the President will hold a restricted bilateral meeting followed by an expanded bilateral meeting with President Nieto. There will be a pool spray at the top of the restricted bilateral meeting and the expanded bilateral meeting will be closed press.

 

Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in a leader photo before having a working lunch with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper of Canada. There will be a pool spray of the leader photo while the working lunch is closed press.

 

Following the working lunch, the President will then take part in a walk and talk with Prime Minister Harper, before delivering remarks to North American business, civil society and education leaders with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper. There will be a pool spray during the walk and talk, while the President remarks are pooled press.

 

In the evening, the President will participate in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit meeting and a joint press conference . There will be a pool spray at the top of this meeting, while the press conference is open to pre-credentialed media.

 

Later in the evening, the President will depart Toluca, Mexico for Washington, DC. The departure from the Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos International Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn are open press.

 

 

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 All Times ET

 

1:00 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks highlighting the need for continued investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow our economy, Local Event Time: 12:00 PM, Granite City, Illinois.

 

 

1:35 PM: The President greets President Nieto, Local Event Time: 12:35 PM, Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

1:55 PM: The President holds a restricted bilateral meeting with President Nieto, Local Event Time: 12:55 PM, Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

2:10 PM: The President holds an expanded bilateral meeting with President Nieto Local Event Time: 1:10 PM, Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

3:40 PM: The President accompanies North American leaders for a family photo, Local Event Time: 2:40 PM, Cosmovitral – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

3:45 PM: The President attends a working lunch, Local Event Time: 2:45 PM, Cosmovitral – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

5:20 PM: The President participates in a walk and talk with Prime Minister Harper of Canada, Local Event Time: 4:20 PM, Cosmovitral – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

5:50 PM: The President delivers remarks with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper, Local Event Time: 4:50 PM, Salon del Pueblo – Palacio de Gobierno – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

6:30 PM: The President participates in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting, Local Event Time: 5:30 PM, Courtyard, Palacio de Justicia -Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

7:00 PM: The Vice President attends an event for the Democratic National Committee, Local Event Time: 6:00 PM, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

 

8:15 PM: The President, President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper hold a press conference, Local Event Time: 7:15 PM, Palacio de Gobierno – Toluca – Mexico, Patio Cental.

 

 

9:50 PM: The President departs Mexico en route Washington, DC, Local Event Time: 8:50 PM, Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos International Airport – Toluca, Mexico.

 

 

1:50 AM EST: THE PRESIDENT arrives Joint Base Andrews.

 

2:05 AM EST: THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House, South Lawn. South Lawn.

 

Briefing Schedule

Press Secretary Jay Carney will gaggle aboard Air Force One

 

 

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Next Up…

February 19, 2014 5:50 PM EST

President Obama Speaks with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper

Toluca, Mexico, White House LIVE!!! Streaming Schedule.

 

 

 

February 19, 2014 8:15 PM EST

President Obama, President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper Hold a Press Conference

Toluca, Mexico, White House LIVE!!! Streaming Schedule.

 

 

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Barack heads from His House to Marine On for trip to North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca, Mexico

Barack heads from His House to Marine On for trip to North American Leaders’ Summit in Toluca, Mexico

Wheels Up For The Trip To Toluca, Mexico

Wheels Up For The Trip To Toluca, Mexico

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For HuMpDaY The 19th Of February, 2014. North American Leaders Summit In Toluca, Mexico.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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White House Schedule – Wednesday February 19th, 2014

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19th, 2014

 

On Wednesday, the President will travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. At the Summit, the President will discuss a wide range of issues including economic competitiveness and citizen security with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper. The President will return to The White House around 2 AM EST.

 

 

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 All Times ET

 

8:15 am:  The POTUS departs White House.
12:10 pm CT: The POTUS Arrives Toluca, Mexico.

 

12:35 pm CT: The POTUS Greets Mexican President Nieto and begins bilateral meetings; Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Mexico.

 

2:45 pm CT: The POTUS Attends a working lunch; Cosmovitral, Botanical Gardens, Toluca, Mexico.

 
4:20 pm CT: The POTUS Participates in a walk and talk with Prime Minister Harper of Canada.

 
4:50 pm CT: The POTUS Delivers remarks with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper.

 
5:30 pm CT: The POTUS Participates in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting Courtyard, Palacio de Justicia, Toluca, Mexico.

 
7:15 pm CT: The POTUS Holds a press conference with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper; Patio Cental, Palacio de Gobierno, Toluca, Mexico.

 
8:50 pm CT: The POTUS Departs Mexico, for the United States.

 
2:05 am: The POTUS Arrives White House.

 

 

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North American Leaders’ Summit

 

U.S. President Barack Obama at the North American Leaders' Summit

U.S. President Barack Obama at the North American Leaders’ Summit

 

The North American Leaders’ Summit is the official name of the trilateral annual summit between the prime minister of Canada, and the presidents of Mexico and the United States. It started as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a continent-level dialogue, founded on 23 March 2005. The summit is often referred to as the Three Amigos Summit in the popular press. This year, February 19, 2014, the summit is held in  TolucaMexico State, Mexico.

 

 

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Pres. Obama Joint News Conference w/ Mexican/Canadian Leaders

President Obama will hold a joint news conference in Toluca, Mexico with his North American counterparts, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

 

 

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Readout of the President’s Call to President Peña Nieto of Mexico

This morning President Obama spoke by phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss progress on the bilateral agenda the two leaders set when they met in May 2013.  The President congratulated President Peña Nieto on the important reforms he has undertaken in his first year in office.

 

The President noted he is looking forward to traveling to Toluca, Mexico on February 19, 2014, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit.  At the Summit, the President looks forward to discussing with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper a range of issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, and citizen security

 

 

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President Obama to visit Mexico in February for leaders summit

 

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will visit Mexico in February to attend a North American leaders’ summit, the White House said on Monday.

 

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would travel to Toluca, Mexico, on February 19.

 

Obama will attend the annual North American leaders summit along with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

 

The U.S. president visited Mexico last May and held talks with Pena Nieto and the two leaders emphasized economic issues in a relationship that has long been dominated by security concerns.

 

Carney said the leaders will discuss a range of issues such as economic competitiveness, trade and investment and citizen security.

 

Obama called Pena Nieto on Monday to congratulate him on “the important reforms” the Mexican leader has undertaken in his first year in office, the White House said in a statement.

 

Pena Nieto last month signed into law a radical reform of the country’s energy market, ending a 75-year oil and gas monopoly in hopes of attracting investments to boost production.

 

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s raised its credit rating for Mexico by a notch on the energy reform, calling it a watershed moment that boosts the country’s long-term growth prospects.

 

The energy sector overhaul is a centerpiece of a broad range of reforms pushed by the Mexican leader as part of an effort to boost growth in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

 

Pena Nieto has overseen passage of a major education overhaul, shaken up oversight of the telecommunications market, and pushed through reforms of the tax system and banking rules.

 

 

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White House Week Ahead Schedule – February 20th &21st, 2014

 

 

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On Thursday, the President will return from Toluca, Mexico and attend the Democratic Governors Association dinner.

 

On Friday, the President will meet with the Democratic governors in town for the annual National Governors Association Winter Meeting to discuss his Opportunity for All agenda and the Year of Action.

 

 

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Biden to visit Granite City, Ill. on Wednesday.

 

WASHINGTON–Vice President Joe Biden travels to Granite City, Illinois on Wednesday to visit America’s Central Port, a rail, river road shipping complex on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

 

From the White House: “The Vice President’s visit will mark the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and highlight the need for continued investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow our economy. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will also attend.”

 

 

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The White House Blog

 

New Funding to Increase Access to Mental Health Services and New Protections Under the Health Care Law

 

Stefanie Feldman
February 18, 2014
07:22 PM EST

 

So far this year, the Administration has taken three key steps as part of our ongoing effort to increase access to mental health services.

 

First, the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill, securing $115 million for new mental health initiatives that the President and Vice President proposed in January 2013 as part of their comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence. This funding will have a real impact in communities across the country, where it will be used to train more mental health professionals and help educators and other adults who work with youth recognize the early signs of mental health problems and refer young people to appropriate help when needed.  The funds will also be used for a new initiative which will support innovative state-based approaches to making sure young people ages 16 to 25 who are at high risk for mental illness don’t fall through the cracks of our mental health system when they leave school or home.

 

Second, on January 31, with funding from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made $50 million available to help Community Health Centers across the country establish or expand mental and behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction. Using these funds, Health Centers can hire new mental health professionals and add mental health and substance use disorder services. This new funding was first announced by Vice President Biden last December. At that time, the Vice President also announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a new goal of financing $50 million for the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years.

 

And finally, on January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act went into full effect. For the first time ever, Americans across the country can no longer be denied health insurance or charged more based on a pre-existing mental illness. Health plans offered through the new Health Insurance Marketplace are now required to cover ten categories of essential health benefits, including mental health and substance use disorder services.

 

The Administration will continue to look for steps we can take to help prevent mental health problems and make sure people experiencing mental health problems get the help they need. As the Vice President said in December, “The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable. The President and I have made it a priority to do everything we can to make it easier to access mental health services.”

 

A Look At What They’re Saying About myRA Across the Country

 

Kicking Vehicle Efficiency into High Gear

 

Congressional Budget Office Report Finds Minimum Wage Lifts Wages for 16.5 Million Workers

 

We the People Response: Reaffirming the White House’s Commitment to Net Neutrality

 

The Fifth Anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

 

Administration-Wide Response to the Drought

 

 

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President Obama Speaks on Improving Fuel Efficiency for American Trucks

 

Press Briefing

 

President Obama Responds to the California Drought

 

President Obama Participates in a Roundtable Discussion on the California Drought

 

 

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President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.

President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on improving the fuel efficiency of American trucks, at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Feb. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on improving the fuel efficiency of American trucks, at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Feb. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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Barack After Dark™: The Prez Is As Busy As Ever. CongrASS Is AS Invisible AS Usual.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Obama Speaks on Improving Fuel Efficiency for American Trucks

February 18, 2014 | 16:20 |Public Domain

 

President Obama lays out additional details for the plan he announced in the 2014 State of the Union to improve the fuel efficiency of American trucks and bolster energy security, cut carbon pollution, and spur manufacturing innovation.

 

 

FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All: Improving the Fuel Efficiency of American Trucks – Bolstering Energy Security, Cutting Carbon Pollution, Saving Money and Supporting Manufacturing Innovation

 

Remarks by the President on Fuel Efficiency Standards of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

 

 

Press Briefing

February 18, 2014 | 53:55 |Public Domain

 

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

 

 

 

Lie Witness News — Presidents’ Day Edition

 

Published on Feb 18, 2014

We went out onto Hollywood Blvd. to tell people that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died today. He actually died in 1945 but that didn’t stop people from remembering him fondly.

 

 

 

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The White House Blog

 

 

A Look At What They’re Saying About myRA Across the Country

 

Brandi Hoffine
February 18, 2014
06:20 PM EST

 

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from Treasury Notes, the official blog of the U.S. Department of the TreasurySee the original post.

 

Last month in the State of the Union, President Obama laid out specific executive actions he will take to put more Americans back to work and expand opportunity so that every American can get ahead. Speaking about the importance of securing a dignified retirement, the President announced that he would direct Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings. According to independent estimates, about half of all workers and 75 percent of part-time workers lack access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. That is why the Obama administration designed myRA (my Retirement Account) – a simple, safe, and affordable retirement savings account that will be offered through employers to help low- and moderate- income Americans begin to save for retirement.

 

Below is a look at what newspaper editorial boards and financial columnists across the country are saying.

 

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Kicking Vehicle Efficiency into High Gear

 

Dan Utech
Dan Utech

February 18, 2014
03:45 PM EST

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on improving the fuel efficiency of American trucks, at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Feb. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on improving the fuel efficiency of American trucks, at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Feb. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

 

When the President took office, the fuel efficiency standards for our cars had been stuck at 27.5 miles per gallon for twenty years – two decades of lost time when it comes to developing new technologies that can get more miles per gallon out of every tankful of gas. That’s why one of the very first actions the President took in office was to direct the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to work with the auto industry to develop new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. It was guided by a belief that if this industry was truly going to come back stronger than before – and thrive over the long term – then we had to build the cars of the future right here in America. After all, improving fuel efficiency represents one of the best opportunities we have to reduce our dependence on oil.

 

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With the President’s leadership, we were able to move forward. Taken together, the standards the Administration has put in place for cars and light trucks span model years 2011 to 2025 and they represent the toughest fuel economy standards in history. Under this first-ever national program, average fuel efficiency for cars and trucks will nearly double, reaching an average performance equivalent of about 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

 

In 2011, the President also established the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, covering model years 2014 through 2018. Over the lifetimes of the vehicles covered, trucks and buses will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons, saving vehicle owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs.

 

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Today, the President directed the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to set the next round of fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by March 2016. This next round of fuel efficiency standards will build on the historic work done to date, support American manufacturing innovation, and spur the development of new technologies. After years of idling on fuel efficiency, America’s truck fleet is on a straight road to lower emissions, fuel savings for drivers, and leading the world in advanced vehicles.

 

Check out our progress report, Improving the Fuel Efficiency of American Trucks, to learn more about today’s announcement and find out how the President is taking action on climate change by improving the efficiency of our vehicles.

 

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  • We the People Response: Reaffirming the White House’s Commitment to Net Neutrality

     

    Gene Sperling and Todd Park
    February 18, 2014
    02:06 PM EST

     

    Ed. note: Earlier today, the White House issued its response to a We the People petition on net neutrality. You can read it below, or see the response here.

     


     

    Thank you to everyone who has signed on to this petition in support of a free and open Internet. Since his days as a United States Senator, President Obama has embraced the principle of net neutrality. As the President recently noted, his campaign for the White House was empowered by an open Internet; it allowed millions of supporters to interact with the President and each other in unprecedented fashion. That experience helped give rise to the creation of this very platform – the We The People website– where Americans can express their opinions on any topic and receive a response from the White House. Rights of free speech, and the free flow of information, are central to our society and economy — and the principle of net neutrality gives every American an equal and meaningful opportunity to participate in both. Indeed, an open Internet is an engine for freedom around the world.

     

    Preserving an open Internet is vital not to just to the free flow of information, but also to promoting innovation and economic productivity. Because of its openness, the Internet has allowed entrepreneurs — with just a small amount of seed money or a modest grant — to take their innovative ideas from the garage or the dorm room to every corner of the Earth, building companies, creating jobs, improving vital services, and fostering even more innovation along the way.

     

    Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries. The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide.

     

    A wide spectrum of stakeholders and policymakers recognize the importance of these principles. In the wake of last month’s court decision, it was encouraging to hear major broadband providers assert their commitment to an open Internet.

     

    It was also encouraging to see Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, whom the President appointed to that post last year, reaffirm his commitment to a free and open Internet and pledge to use the authority granted by Congress to maintain a free and open Internet. The White House strongly supports the FCC and Chairman Wheeler in this effort.

     

    The petition asked that the President direct the FCC to reclassify Internet service providers as “common carriers” which, if upheld, would give the FCC a distinct set of regulatory tools to promote net neutrality. The FCC is an independent agency. Chairman Wheeler has publicly pledged to use the full authority granted by Congress to maintain a robust, free and open Internet — a principle that this White House vigorously supports.

 

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The Fifth Anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

 

Dive into the Presidency for President’s Day

 

Administration-Wide Response to the Drought

 

Weekly Address: Calling on Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage

 

Weekly Wrap Up: the French Visit, the President Raises the Wage for Federal Contractors, and More

 

First Lady Michelle Obama: “I Need You to See This”

 

 

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White House Week Ahead Schedule – February 19th to the 21st, 2014

 

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On Wednesday, the President will travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. At the Summit, the President will discuss a wide range of issues including economic competitiveness and citizen security with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper.

 

On Thursday, the President will return from Toluca, Mexico and attend the Democratic Governors Association dinner.

 

On Friday, the President will meet with the Democratic governors in town for the annual National Governors Association Winter Meeting to discuss his Opportunity for All agenda and the Year of Action.

 

 

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Biden to visit Granite City, Ill. on Wednesday.

 

WASHINGTON–Vice President Joe Biden travels to Granite City, Illinois on Wednesday to visit America’s Central Port, a rail, river road shipping complex on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

 

From the White House: “The Vice President’s visit will mark the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and highlight the need for continued investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow our economy. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will also attend.”

 

 

!!!!!!barackphotooftheday

 

President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.

President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.

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President Obama Speaks At Safeway Distribution Center In Maryland

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President Barack Obama said he wants the environmental protection agency and the transportation department to implement a new round of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles by March 2016.

President Barack Obama said he wants the environmental protection agency and the transportation department to implement a new round of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles by March 2016.

Barack Obama

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