The Last 24™


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President Obama Speaks on the Fight Against Ebola

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Published on Dec 2, 2014

On December 2, 2014, President Obama visited the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discuss the progress we’ve made and the work we still need to do to contain and combat the Ebola outbreak.

 

 

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., about the fight against Ebola. The president is highlighting advances in research for an Ebola vaccine and pushing Congress to approve his request for $6.2 billion to confront the disease abroad and to secure against its spread in the United States

 

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FACT SHEET: Update on the Ebola Response

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Remarks by the President on Research for Potential Ebola Vaccines

 

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FACT SHEET: Strengthening Community Policing

 

Remarks by the President After Meeting with Elected Officials, Community and Faith Leaders, and Law Enforcement Officials on How Communities and Law Enforcement Can Work Together to Build Trust to Strengthen Neighborhoods Across the Country

 

President Obama Discusses Communities and Law Enforcement Working Together

On December 1, 2014, President Obama met with elected officials, community and faith leaders, and law envorcement officials to talk about how communities and law enforcement can build trust and work together.

 

 

 

2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference

 

Today’s White House Schedule (all times Eastern)

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11:15 AM: The President delivers remarks to members of the Business Roundtable and answer questions, Washington.

 

1:00 PM: White House Press Briefing.

 

2:40 PM: The President meets with Senate Minority Leader Turtle McConnell.

 

4:00 PM: Delivers remarks at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference, Washington.

 

5:35 PM: Meets with Combatant Commanders and Military Leadership, Cabinet Room.

 

7:30: Hosts a dinner for Combatant Commanders and Military Leadership, The Blair House.

 

It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

Documents show Bill Cosby tried to conceal assault claims

 

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Another Victim

Another Victim

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NFL Won’t Apologize For Rams’ “Hands Up” Demonstration

 

 

Joe Scarborough’s Michael Brown Meltdown

 

 

Raw: Three Dead in Tenn. School Bus Crash

 

 

3 dead after school buses collide in Tennessee

 

 

Three dead in Tennessee crash between school buses

 

 

Police: School Bus Crossed Divider, Hit 2nd Bus

 

 

Police protect Darren Wilson from death threats

 

 

Riot probe targets Michael Brown’s stepfather

 

 

Obama picks new Pentagon chief: Carter to replace Hagel if confirmed by Senate

 

 

Post-Ferguson: President Obama Wants a Body Camera on Every Cop

 

 

Will Obama’s Police Reforms Bring Change?

 

 

The President, in 3D

 

The Twitter Storm™

The Twitter Storm™

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Jill Biden’s 2014 Trip To Africa: Official White House Photos.


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Dr. Jill Biden’s 2014 Trip to Africa

 

Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and U.S. Ambassador Catherine Russell to Travel to Africa

Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone from June 30 – July 7, 2014. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will also travel with Dr. Biden.

 

During their travel, Dr. Biden, Administrator Shah, and Ambassador Russell will highlight how girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society can accelerate economic development, improve health and educational outcomes, strengthen democratic governance, and foster peace and security. These themes will also be woven throughout the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. in early August.

 

Granddaughter Finnegan Biden will accompany The Second Lady on this trip.

 

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Dr. Jill Biden Arrives in Lusaka, Zambia to Highlight Women’s Empowerment

 

Dr. Jill Biden Arrives in Sierra Leone

 

DrJill Biden Arrives in the Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Shalom Community School in Zambia – On Board with Dr. Biden

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

Shalom Community School in Lusaka, Zamba is a primary and secondary school established in 2008. A total of 558 students attend the school. Part of the population of the school is 39 orphans, 173 children who have lost one parent and 239 highly vulnerable children.

 

 

 

Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden at Shalom Community School

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

Wednesday July 2nd 2014, Lusaka, Zambia.
Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden speaks to students at Shalom Community School in Kanyama Township about the importance of education and gender equality in their lives and for the future of Zambia.

 

 

Dr. Biden’s trip to Africa will highlight the importance of girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society in accelerating economic development; improving health and educational outcomes; strengthening democratic governance; and fostering peace and security.

 

 

Dispatch from Dr. Biden

Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone from June 30 to July 7, 2014. During her travel, Dr. Biden will highlight how girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society can accelerate development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Road in the DRC – Dr. Mukwege & Panzi Hospital

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

Bukavu is home to Panzi Hospital, which has cared for more than 19,000 victims of sexual and gender-based violence, a widespread problem in the DRC affecting millions of Congolese women and children.

 

Dr. Biden met with survivors, heard their stories, and saw firsthand the response services provided to them. She also met with U.S. government partners who are working to prevent and respond to this dire situation.

 

 

 

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White House Blog Updates™: Dr. Jill Speaks At Shalom Community School. The Francis Scott Key Bridge. States NOT Expanding Medicaid.


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White House Blog Updates™

 

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by Dr. Jill Biden at Shalom Community School in Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia
Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hi, everyone! Thank you, Martha, for that great introduction! Dr. Scott, thank you for joining me today. I can see very quickly that we share many of the same passions.

 

Provincial Education Officer Ngosa Korati and District Education Board Secretary Ruth Phiri – thank you for honoring us with your presence today. Head Teacher George Kaamba and students – thank you for such a warm welcome!

 

It’s a pleasure to be here at Shalom Community School and to meet all of you – and to be joined by Administrator Raj Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Cathy Russell, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and David Young, our Charge d’Affaires in Zambia.

 

I don’t want to keep you from your studies so I just want to say a few quick words. I am very lucky – as Second Lady of the United States, I have the opportunity to travel all around the world.

 

And as a lifelong teacher, one of my favorite things to do when I travel is to meet students, like all of you.

 

What all of you are doing – putting your education first – is so important. By focusing on your studies, you are creating a lifetime of opportunities for you and your families.

 

So on my trip over the next few days, one of the areas I will be focusing is education.

 

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Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden at Shalom Community School

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

Wednesday July 2nd 2014, Lusaka, Zambia.
Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden speaks to students at Shalom Community School in Kanyama Township about the importance of education and gender equality in their lives and for the future of Zambia.

 

 

 

 

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Being Biden Vol. 16: “50 Years Later”

 

 

In the latest installment of Being Biden, the Vice President reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and shares a photo of himself with Representative John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, and other leaders of the civil rights movement.

 

It was 50 years ago today that President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. And Vice President Biden reminds us that, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we must also celebrate and remember the struggles of a generation that pushed to make the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights — of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — a reality for all Americans.

 

The Vice President reminds listeners what these civil rights leaders faced in 1965 on Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge — recounting a walk met by “billy clubs and beatings, at the hand of state police officers.”

 

 

Vice President Joe Biden marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Congressman John Lewis, during the 48th annual Bridge Crossing Ceremony in Selma, Alabama, March 3, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

Want to get the latest edition of Being Biden delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up.

 

 

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as “public accommodations”).

 

The bill was called for by President John F. Kennedy in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963, in which he asked for legislation “giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments”, as well as “greater protection for the right to vote”.

 

 

50 Years After The Civil Rights Act African Americans Face a Different Kind of Segregation

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

Bob Moore and Dayvon Love – How American Civil Rights have Failed the American People

 

 

 

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The President Heads to D.C.’s Key Bridge to Talk Infrastructure and the Economy

 

 

Yesterday afternoon, President Obama talked about infrastructure and the economy, with Washington, D.C.’s Francis Scott Key Bridge serving as the backdrop.

 

On a hot and muggy day, the President quickly got down to business, talking about the merits of the Highway Trust Fund, established by Congress in the 1950s, which helps states build and repair roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects across the country.

 

But funding for the Highway Trust Fund is in danger of running out by the end of the summer, jeopardizing nearly 700,000 American jobs. Putting that in more tangible terms, the President noted that it “would be like Congress threatening to lay off the entire population of Denver, or Seattle, or Boston. That’s a lot of people. It would be a bad idea.”

 

 

 

Some projects are already running out of money, and our failure to adequately fund infrastructure projects is also hurting us on a global scale. “We spend significantly less as a portion of our economy than China does, than Germany does, than just about every other advanced country,” President Obama said. “They know something that I guess we don’t, which is that’s the path to growth, that’s the path to competitiveness.”

 

Earlier this year, the President put forth a plan to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. It’s a plan that wouldn’t add to the deficit — and we would pay for it in part by closing tax loopholes for corporations that are shipping their jobs overseas.

 

The President reminded the audience that this issue is not out of the ordinary:

 

“It’s not crazy, it’s not socialism. It’s not the imperial presidency — no laws are broken. We’re just building roads and bridges like we’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 50, 100 years.”

 

But House Republicans have refused to act — and this obstructionism has real consequences for working-class Americans.

 

So far this year, the President noted, “Republicans have said no to raising the minimum wage, they’ve said no to fair pay, they’ve said no to extending unemployment insurance for over 3 million Americans looking for a new job.” But where Congress refuses to act, the President is going to continue to do what he can to strengthen the middle class and move our country forward.

 

Already this year, President Obama has signed executive actions that ensure Americans earn a decent wage, attract new manufacturing jobs, speed up construction projects, build 21st-century workplaces, and make it easier for students to pay off their loans.

 

“And they criticize me for this,” the President said. “Boehner sued me for this.”

 

And I told him, I’d rather do things with you, pass some laws, make sure the Highway Trust Fund is funded so we don’t lay off hundreds of thousands of workers.  It’s not that hard.  Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff.  So sue me.  As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the Georgetown Waterfront Park President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C. July 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

The President went on to note the flaws in Republicans’ theory of how the economy works, saying that “they believe that all we should be doing is giving more tax breaks to those at the top, eliminating regulations that stop big banks or polluters from doing what they want, cut the safety net for people trying to work their way into the middle class, and then somehow the economy is going to get stronger and jobs and prosperity trickle down to everybody.”

 

“It’s just not accurate,” the President countered. “It does not work. We know from our history our economy doesn’t grow from the top down; it grows from the middle out.”

 

“We could do so much more if we just rallied around an economic patriotism,” he continued, “a sense that our job is to get things done as one nation and as one people.”

 

Economic patriotism says that instead of stacking the deck in the favor of folks just at the top, let’s harness the talents and ingenuity of every American and give every child access to quality education, and make sure that if your job was stamped obsolete or shipped overseas, you’re going to get retrained for an even better job.

 

Economic patriotism says that instead of making it tougher for middle-class families to get ahead, let’s reward hard work for every American. Let’s make sure women earn pay that’s equal to their efforts. Let’s make sure families can make ends meet if their child gets sick and they need to take a day off. Let’s make sure no American who works full-time ever has to live in poverty.

 

This is the sort of economic patriotism that we should all be able to get behind — where everybody is worth something, and everybody has a stake in the future economic growth of this country. So in order to move forward, we need to all be in this together.

 

And so I just want everybody here to understand that as frustrating as it may be sometimes, as stuck as Congress may be sometimes, if the American people put pressure on this town to actually get something done and everybody is looking at some commonsense agenda items that we should be able to do because Democrats and Republicans were able to do them in the past, we can grow our economy, we can lift people’s incomes, we can make sure that people who are fighting hard can get into the middle class and stay there. But it’s going to take you. It’s going to take you. This is not going to happen on its own. And I’m confident if that’s what we do, if all of you are fighting alongside me every single day instead of just giving up on this place, then we’re going to make America better than ever. That’s a promise.

 

President Barack Obama greets audience members after he delivers remarks on the economy at the Georgetown Waterfront ParkPresident Barack Obama greets audience members after he delivers remarks on the economy at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C. July 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 

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What They’re Saying Around the Country: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid

 

 

Today, the Council of Economic Advisers released a report,Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid, which shows the effects of state decisions regarding Medicaid expansion on access to care, financial security, overall health and well-being of residents, and state economies.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states had the opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage to give citizens in their states access to affordable health care, and in return receive 100 percent of federal funding to cover those costs for the first three years and no less than 90 percent federal support in the years ahead.

A number of governors and legislators in both parties decided to put people over politics by expanding Medicaid in their states. To date, 26 states have chosen to do the right thing by expanding coverage, and in those states, 5.2 million Americans have gained access to affordable health care through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Unfortunately, some governors and legislators are still holding hostage a Medicaid expansion that we know would help thousands of their residents, reduce the rate of uninsured, and could have significant economic benefits for their states.

And now, in this report, we can see the opportunities that these states are missing out on.

Read The State By State Report

White House Report: Missed Opportunities and the Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid

 

Today, the Council of Economic Advisers released a report, Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid, which details the effects of state decisions regarding Medicaid expansion on access to care, financial security, overall health and well-being of residents, and state economies.

 

The Affordable Care Act has expanded high‐quality, affordable health insurance coverage to millions of Americans. One important way in which the Affordable Care Act is expanding coverage is by providing generous financial support to States that opt to expand Medicaid eligibility to all non‐elderly individuals in families with incomes below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

 

To date, 26 States and the District of Columbia have seized this opportunity, and since the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, 5.2 million people have gained Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage in these States, a tally that will grow in the months and years ahead as Medicaid enrollment continues. In contrast, 24 States have not yet expanded Medicaid—including many of the States that would benefit most and sometimes because State legislatures have defied even their own governors—and denied health insurance coverage to millions of their citizens. Researchers at the Urban Institute estimate that, if these States do not change course, 5.7 million people will be deprived of health insurance coverage in 2016. Meanwhile, these States will forgo billions in Federal dollars that could boost their economies.

 

This analysis uses the best evidence from the economics and health policy literatures to quantify several important consequences of States’ decisions not to expand Medicaid. That evidence, which is based primarily on careful analysis of the effects of past policy decisions, is necessarily an imperfect guide to the future, and the actual effects of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act could be larger or smaller than the estimates presented below. However, this evidence is clear that the consequences of States’ decisions are far‐reaching, with implications for the health and well‐being of their citizens, their economies, and the economy of the Nation as a whole.

 

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Conversation with Osama al-Nujaifi

This morning, Vice President Biden spoke with Osama al-Nujaifi, who served as Speaker of the previous session of Iraq’s Council of Representatives. The Vice President expressed the United States’ strong support for Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and concern for those Iraqis affected by the current crisis. The two agreed on the importance of Iraqis moving expeditiously to form a new government capable of uniting the country.

 

 

July 1st 2014: Photo of the Day

 

President Barack Obama and staff watch the U.S. soccer team vs Belgium in World Cup action in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, July 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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In Case You Missed It: LGBT Pride at the White House

 

President Obama Speaks at Pride Month Celebration

June 30, 2014 | 14:56 | Public Domain

 

President Obama delivers remarks at a reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month in the East Room of the White House.

 

 

 

Obama’s Biggest Disappointment As President

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

President Barack Obama answers a question about gun control and his frustration with congress’ inaction on the issue during a town hall-style Q&A in Minnesota.

 

 

 

Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

It’s an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In a riveting and funny talk, he answers the question, “Which country does the most good?” The answer may surprise you (especially if you live in the US or China).

 

 

 

U.S. bridges in danger of collapse on the brink of a highway crisis 

 

Published on Jul 2, 2014

The nation may be on the brink of a highway crisis and lawmakers are scrambling to avoid a “transportation fiscal cliff.”

 

 

 

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The Late Edition Of The Daily Word From Barack’s House.


By Jueseppi B.

 

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Tom Kalil, Robynn Sturm Steffen
June 24, 2013
07:49 PM EDT

 

Geeks have had a lasting positive impact on the lives of millions of people in the developing world—from the innovations and insights that fueled the Green Revolution, to the historic scientific achievements that have marked the “Beginning of the End of AIDS.” Today, geeks are playing a central role in building technologies, making discoveries, building businesses, and engineering solutions that benefit people and communities around the world.

 

As President Obama and the First Lady travel to Africa next week, the White House will host a “We The Geeks” Google+ Hangout this Thursday, June 27 at 1:00 pm EST to discuss innovation for global good with some of the creative minds making it happen. These individuals are harnessing their science, engineering, and entrepreneurial skills to answer the President’s call to eradicate extreme poverty in the next two decades. The Hangout will be moderated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation, Tom Kalil. Speakers include:

 

Hangout participants will hear from leaders within and outside government, who are working together to spur game-changing innovations in global development. USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program, for example, is seeding, testing, and scaling the next generation of powerful innovations in development from geeks the world over.

 

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Megan Slack
Megan Slack

June 24, 2013
06:38 PM EDT

 

Ask President Obama About Student Loans: Text PREZ to 38383

Ask President Obama About Student Loans: Text PREZ to 38383

 

Have a question for President Obama about student loans? Now’s your chance to ask him.

 

Text PREZ to 38383, and submit your question. Each day this week, the President will pick one question to answer, and text back with his response. Here’s more about how it works.

 

President Obama is committed to keeping college within reach for all Americans, which is why he’s already made historic investments in college affordability, including expanding Pell grants and creating a tax credit worth up to $10,000 to help families cover the cost of college.

 

But, unless Congress acts soon, interest rates on new subsidized student loans are set to go up on July 1. Higher interest rates will leave millions of students who rely on loans to finance their education with higher loan payments as they work to graduate, begin their careers, or buy a house.

 

President Obama has put forward a plan that would keep interest rates from doubling in July, cut rates on nearly all new student loans, and make sure all students have access to affordable loan repayment options.

 

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Megan Slack
Megan Slack

June 24, 2013
05:50 PM EDT

 

 

President Barack Obama meets with business owners and entrepreneurs to discuss immigration reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, June 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with business owners and entrepreneurs to discuss immigration reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, June 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

President Obama Speaks at an Immigration Reform Roundtable

June 24, 2013 | 4:28 | Public Domain

 

President Obama meets with CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs, to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform.

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon, the President met with CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs to discuss the economic benefits of fixing our broken immigration system. The President and business representatives discussed their shared belief that achieving immigration reform holds meaningful economic promise for the United States, creating a fair playing field for employers and workers alike.

 

“All of these business leaders recognize the degree to which immigration is a contributor to growth, a contributor to expansion, a creator of jobs,” President Obama said, “but they also recognize that the immigration system that we currently have is broken.”

We have a system in which we bring outstanding young people from all across the world to educate them here, and unfortunately, too often, we send them right back so that they can start companies or help to grow companies somewhere else instead of here.

We have a situation in which millions of individuals are in the shadow economy, oftentimes exploited at lower wages, and that hurts those companies that are following the rules, because they end up being at a disadvantage to some of these less scrupulous companies.

And so, all of us I think recognize that now is the time to get comprehensive immigration reform done.

 

 

Read More

 

 

Press Briefing

June 24, 2013 | 41:25 | Public Domain

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

June 24, 2013

 

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs on Economic Impact of Immigration Reform

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on Principal Deputy Commissioner Werfel’s Report

 

 

East Wing Announcement

 

 

Remarks by the President Before Immigration Reform Roundtable

 

 

 

Jennifer Pahlka and Dan Tangherlini
June 24, 2013
04:14 PM EDT

 

We are thrilled to welcome 43 incredible Americans as new Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIFs), here to serve 6- to 12-month intensive “tours of duty” in the US Government, where they will work hand-in-hand with top government innovators to develop solutions that can save lives, save taxpayer money, and help fuel private-sector job creation.

 

The PIF program was created in 2012 to tackle five inaugural projects—each focused on making a part of the Federal Government work better for the American people.  In keeping with the “lean startup” philosophy of the PIF program, the 18 individuals who were selected from around the Nation to take on those challenges produced significant results in a matter of months, not years.

 

A case in point is RFP-EZ, a new system created by one of the inaugural PIF teams that simplifies how the Federal Government asks for bids on services like building websites.  Before RFP-EZ, most such Requests for Proposals contained highly specialized language that only seasoned government contractors understood, and companies seeking to bid on projects were asked to fulfill a myriad of bureaucratic requirements before even being considered.  By removing these obstacles, RFP-EZ has opened up the bidding process to hundreds of small businesses offering services at significantly lower prices.  RFP-EZ has yielded very promising results and is already saving taxpayer dollars, with prospects for even more savings going forward.

 

Read More

 

 

 

Minh Le
June 24, 2013
12:30 PM EDT

 

 

Solar Powered Classroom

 

Published on Jun 23, 2013

More About the Solar Powered Classroom:http://go.usa.gov/b77H

The students in Aaron Sebens’ fourth grade class are installing solar panels on their classroom roof for a project that goes above and beyond a normal day in school. From researching solar panel installation, to generating funds for the project via Kickstarter, these are students who put their plans into action. Their accomplishments go beyond the classroom and stress the importance of getting people of all ages involved in renewable energy.

 

 

 

 

 

A group of fourth graders in Durham, North Carolina, are showing America the way to a clean energy future.

 

After learning all about solar and other energy sources, Aaron Sebens — a teacher at Central Park School for Children — and his fourth grade class came up with a bold idea: make their classroom solar-powered.

 

The video above documents the students’ journey from idea to reality — leading up to a celebratory party where Aaron and his students officially “flip-the-switch” on their solar-powered classroom. To fund the project, Aaron’s class launched a crowd-funding campaign that garnered support across America and around the world. The students originally hoped to raise $800 but significantly beat expectations — raising more than $5,000.

 

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Leaders Across the Southwest Say It’s Time to Fix the Broken Immigration System

 

David Agnew
David Agnew

June 24, 2013
03:00 PM EDT

 

Last week, we heard from state and local officials from across theSouthNortheast, and Midwest United States about why they support immigration reform and how it will help their communities. Today, officials in the Southwest explain why the time is now to fix the broken immigration system.

 

 

Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock

“Federal immigration policies have a direct impact on Denver’s residents and Denver’s economy. We need long-overdue reforms that keep our communities strong, keep families together, ensure an adequate labor force for a growing economy and maintain the safety of all of our residents. I applaud President Obama for moving forward with fortitude and pushing Washington to rise above partisan gridlock and craft reasonable, sensible changes.”

 

 

Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith

“I thank the President for starting the formal consideration of immigration reform by laying out his vision and principles.  This is an important economic and social issue that has languished unresolved for too long. Now is the time for Washington to come together and take action.”

 

 

Santa Fe, New Mexico Mayor David Coss

“Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform. It is both a practical and a human necessity. In Santa Fe, New Mexico hard-working immigrant families make important contributions to our community every day. They are business owners, workers, students, artists, musicians, parents, police officers and members of our Armed Services. I want all immigrant family members in Santa Fe and across our country to have their basic rights and be able to become full participants in our communities.  They need a legal path to citizenship. It will make my town and our country stronger.”

 

 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Mayor Mick Cornett

“I would like to see a bipartisan solution that results in immigration policies that can be enforced and respected by those on both sides of our borders. We appreciate the cooperative work being done in that regard by President Obama and the Senate.” 

 

 

Salt Lake City, Utah Mayor Ralph Becker

“In Salt Lake City, we laud and support the effort to construct and enact comprehensive federal immigration reform. We hope a fundamental re-working will recognize the important role our immigrant population plays in our economy, work to keep families unified, establish an earned but attainable path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and keep our borders secure. In Salt Lake City, as in cities and towns across the nation, our immigrant population is an integrated part of our community –finding a humane approach to this reality will say much about our commitment as a nation to a free, civil and tolerant society.” 

 

 

Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall

“Like many Nevadans, I’m the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. When my grandfather came to the US, he came with nothing. My great grandmother sewed Levi jeans; and he cleaned fireplaces after school. They wanted a better life and they were willing to work hard to get it. Eventually they were able to work their way into the middle class. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, but I could never have achieved my dreams if they hadn’t been able to reach for theirs. This is what America is all about – hard work, opportunity, fairness and security for every family.  I support common sense immigration reform that is tough, fair and practical; reform that provides a path for citizenship, broadens our tax base, and ensures the safety and security of all our residents. Inaction is not an option. We must keep the vision and values of America alive and well.” 

 

 

San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julián Castro

“I’m the Mayor of San Antonio, and at the local level, we see every day what happens when people put aside their ideology and partisan labels and actually get things done.  And what we have here is the opportunity for Democrats and Republicans — people on both sides of the aisle — to actually get something done in Washington, D.C. that’s going to boost America’s economy and fix our broken immigration system, and they ought to get it done soon.”

 


 

For more information:

David Agnew is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs 
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The Daily 411 From Barack’s Blog


By Jueseppi B.

 

Barack'sblog

 

 

 

The White House LIVE….

 

January 31, 2013 1:00 PM EST

White House Fireside Hangout with Cecilia Muñoz on Immigration Reform

The White House

 

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Watch Live: A Fireside Hangout on Immigration Reform

 

Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, will join the latest “Fireside Hangout” – a 21st Century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses – to talk about immigration reform.

 

Watch the hangout live on WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration, or tune in to the White House’s Google+ page today, January 31 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

 

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Today’s Schedule

All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

 

10:00 AM: The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing.

 

 

1:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney.

 

 

1:00 PM: The Vice President will attend the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Lunch.

 

 

 

President Obama Signs New Directive to Strengthen our Work to Advance Gender Equality Worldwide

 

By Valerie Jarrett and Samantha Power  January 30, 2013  The White House Blog

 

 

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches as President Barack Obama signs a Presidential memorandum, “Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally,” in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 

President Obama knows that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls at home and abroad is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do, as Secretary Clinton has famously said.  A growing body of evidence- and our own experience- shows us that families, communities and countries are more prosperous and secure when, as President Obama said this month, “you unleash the power of everyone, not just some”.

 

That’s why we’ve taken steps to achieve that simple and profound goal, from establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls, to launching a multilateral initiative to expand women’s political and economic participation, to developing a new strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women, to implementing a national action plan to promote the inclusion of women in conflict resolution and peace processes, to focusing on women and girls for greater impact in our global health and food security initiatives.

 

And Secretary Clinton’s leadership in integrating the advancement of women and girls into U.S. foreign policy has been indispensable.  With the tireless assistance of our first-ever Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, she has elevated these issues in our diplomacy and ensured progress for women and societies for generations to come.

 

Today, President Obama took a critical step to institutionalize all these efforts by signing a Presidential Memorandum to strengthen and expand U.S. government capacity and coordination across all agencies to better promote gender equality and empower women and girls. In the Memorandum, President Obama reaffirmed that “promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives.”

 

President Obama recognizes that in order to translate our commitment into impact we need dedicated professionals with the expertise and stature to lead our efforts and hold us accountable, which is why the Memorandum directs the Secretary of State to designate an Ambassador at Large reporting directly to the Secretary to head the office of Global Women’s Issues.

 

Secretary-designate Kerry is equally committed to ensuring the continued elevation of these issues at State. He welcomed today’s news, saying, “In the Senate I’ve made promoting the rights of women and girls a priority, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because societies that empower the talents of their entire populations are more stable and more prosperous. It’s why we created a sub-committee in the Foreign Relations Committee to specialize on these issues and give it the attention it deserves. Last week at my confirmation hearing, I spoke with Sen. Boxer about the importance of maintaining the momentum Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Melanne Verveer have built through their innovative office and laser-like focus. I applaud the President for institutionalizing these efforts and ensuring these issues continue to receive the high-level attention they deserve at the State Department, at USAID, and across the U.S. government.”

 

President Obama’s Memorandum also affirms the critical linkages between gender equality and our broader development goals, and ensures that the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue to play a prominent role in advising the USAID Administrator on key priorities for U.S. development assistance.  Finally, the Memorandum establishes an inter-agency working group on international gender issues, chaired by the National Security Advisor, which will provide strategic guidance, promote government-wide coordination, and spur new action across agencies from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to Peace Corps to the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

As we move forward, we are grateful for the continued leadership and unwavering commitment of champions in Congress and so many advocates inside and outside governments the world over who are advancing a future in which the dreams of our daughters and sons are equally within reach. Together, building on decades-long movements for equality, we have made tremendous strides over the last four years. And as long as women and girls continue to suffer violence daily, are barred from owning land or running for office, are kept from schools and vital health services, and are unable to access credit and skills to run businesses and earn a living, our work will continue with increasing urgency.

 

Valerie Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

 

Samantha Power is the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council.

 

 

 

A Record Year for the American Wind Industry

 

Heather Zichal
By  Heather Zichal  January 30, 2013  The White House Blog

 

Since taking office, President Obama has been focused on building an energy economy in the United States that is cleaner as well as more efficient and secure. As part of that effort, the Administration has taken historic action over the past few years to support the development and deployment of renewable energy that will create new jobs and jumpstart new industries in America. And we are making significant progress towards those goals.

 

Today, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has released its Fourth Quarter Market Report for 2012, which highlights a number of exciting milestones.

 

The American wind industry had its best year ever in 2012, with more than 13,000 MW installed. In the fourth quarter alone, more than 8,000 MW were deployed – an all-time record for the industry and twice as much wind as the previous record set in the fourth quarter 2009.

 

Thanks to this growth, the wind industry was able to achieve another milestone in 2012: achieving 60 GW of cumulative wind capacity in the United States. To put it another way, the United States today has more than 45,000 wind turbines that provide enough electricity to power 14.7 million homes – roughly equivalent to the number of homes in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio combined.

 

To underscore how quickly wind power is taking root in America, consider this: it took 25 years to reach 10 GW, which occurred in 2006. But it only took four years to grow from 20 GW (2008) to 60GW (2012). And last year – for the first time ever – wind power provided the largest share of new electric capacity (42%) in the United States. Of course, more wind also means less carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. With 60 GW installed, it’s like taking 17.5 million cars off the road.

 

All of this progress builds on the encouraging trends in renewable energy over the past few years. Since 2008, the U.S. has doubled renewable generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources, and America is now home to some of the largest wind and solar farms in the world. Wind power currently contributes more than 10% of total electricity generation in six states, with two of these states above 20%. And nearly seventy percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last year – including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears, and generators – was made here in the United States, up from just 35 percent in 2005.

 

This is what we can achieve when we commit ourselves to smart and effective policies that promote clean energy technologies, create jobs, and grow our economy. That’s why, in addition to making the largest investments in clean energy in American history, President Obama fought for – and secured – an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). If the PTC had expired at the end of last year, it would have landed a punishing blow to the domestic wind industry resulting in layoffs for tens of thousands of American workers.

 

But the President refused to let that happen. So instead of layoffs, we are hearing stories from wind companies all across the country – from Iowa and Colorado, to Ohio and Illinois – that are retaining and re-hiring workers. Instead of moving business overseas, these companies are investing in the next generation of American-made wind technology and are poised for additional growth in the years ahead.

 

 

 

Advance Estimate of GDP for the Fourth Quarter of 2012

 

Alan Krueger
By  Alan Krueger  January 30, 2013  The White House Blog

Alan B. Krueger is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

 

According to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis today, real GDP edged down 0.1 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, amid signs that Hurricane Sandy disrupted economic activity and Federal defense spending declined precipitously, likely due to uncertainty stemming from the sequester.  This was the first quarterly drop in real GDP in three-and-a-half years (see first chart below). Over the last fourteen quarters, the economy has expanded by 7.5 percent overall, and the private components of GDP have grown by 10.9 percent. During the four quarters of 2012, real GDP grew by 1.5 percent, the third consecutive year of economic expansion.  Over this period, real GDP growth has been led by an expansion in the private sector (see second chart below).

 

Several private sector components of GDP continued to make positive contributions to growth in the fourth quarter.  Personal consumption expenditures, the single largest component of GDP, increased by 2.2 percent at an annual rate in 2012:Q4, as compared with 1.6 percent in the previous quarter. Residential investment grew by 15.3 percent last quarter and has increased for seven consecutive quarters, the longest streak since 2004-2005. Business investment in equipment and software grew at its fastest pace in more than a year, rising 12.4 percent.

 

Federal defense purchases declined at an annual rate of 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the largest quarterly decline in 40 years.  A likely explanation for the sharp decline in Federal defense spending is uncertainty concerning the automatic spending cuts that were scheduled to take effect in January, and are currently scheduled to take effect on March 1st. The decline in government spending across all levels reduced real GDP by 1.33 percentage points in the quarter.

 

In addition, a decline in exports of goods and services and slower inventory investment both subtracted from real GDP growth in the fourth quarter.  Both international trade flows and inventory accumulation could have been affected by disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, although a precise estimate of the effect of the hurricane on GDP is not available.  Nonetheless, the BEA reported that Hurricane Sandy destroyed $44 billion worth of fixed capital, which indicates one of the storm’s significant economic effects.

 

Although GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity, other indicators of economic performance suggest that the economy continued to recover in the fourth quarter, despite the impact of Hurricane Sandy and uncertainty surrounding fiscal issues.  For instance, at an annual rate, aggregate production-worker hours increased by 2.2 percent and industrial production rose by 1.0 percent.  Moreover, as the Administration stresses with each economic report, indicators of economic performance can be volatile and are subject to substantial revision.  The average absolute revision from the “advance” estimate of real GDP growth to the most current data is 1.3 percentage points.

 

Some of the fiscal issues that may have weighed on the economy in the fourth quarter of 2012 were resolved with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act in early January, which provided more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses with the certainty that their income taxes will not rise. Today’s report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy.  The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending, and replaces the sequester, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protect our most vulnerable citizens.

 

 

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