Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog

  • Georgia State Representative Scott Holcomb: Serving Those Who Serve Us

    Last week, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Fort Stewart in Georgia where the President signed an Executive Order to help ensure all of America’s service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions.

    Georgia State Representative Scott Holcomb, who served at Fort Stewart, reflects on the President’s commitment to veterans:

    Just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I received an email from my father.  A combat veteran from Vietnam, my father was a quiet man who did not write much, but what he did write was important.  It was, “Look after your fellow soldiers and you’ll be ok.” 
    Looking out for each other is a core value for those who serve, and the President and First Lady understand this.  I had the honor of meeting with the President and First Lady during their visit with the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart and time and time again they said to the soldiers, veterans, and their families: “we’ve got your backs.”

  • Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall: The Buffett Rule is a Step in the Right Direction

    America is facing a make or break moment for the middle class.  President Obama strongly believes in building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.  This core belief is why the President proposed the Buffett Rule which advances the basic notion that those making more than $1 million per year, should pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle class families. 

    Unfortunately, just last week, Senate Republicans blocked this common sense proposal despite the fact that Americans of all backgrounds support this plan.  One proponent with a unique perspective is Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall, who had this to say in the Reno Gazette Journal:

    This piece of legislation was meant to even the playing field and have everyone pay their fair share. Simply put: "If you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay at least the same percentage of taxes on your income as middle class families do"…

  • State and Local Officials Say #DontDoubleMyRate on Student Loans

    This week, President Obama traveled to North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa to launch an effort to get Congress to stop the interest rate on student loans from doubling this summer.

    More than 7.4 million students with federal student loans will see their interest rates double on July 1, unless Congress steps in to keep them low. President Obama is calling on Congress to take action and asking Americans to raise their voices with the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate.

    State and local elected officials took to Twitter to explain how important it is in their community to keep student interest rates low:

    New Orleans, Louisiana Mayor Mitch Landrieu ‏ @MayorLandrieu
    The 78,000+ students in #nola universities and colleges will see loan interest rates double, unless Congress acts now. #DontDoubleMyRate

    Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker ‏ @CoryBooker
    Best long-term investment we can make in our economy is in the education of our youth. #DontDoubleMyRate

    Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley ‏ @GovernorOMalley
    We need to keep college affordable if we want our students to be able to compete in the new economy #DontDoubleMyRate

    North Carolina State Representative Pricey Harrison ‏ @priceyharrison
    College is one of the best investments America can make for our future #dontdoublemyrate

    Columbus, Ohio Mayor Mike Coleman ‏ @MichaelBColeman
    Interest rates on student loans could double in July if Congress doesn't act. How will this affect You? #DontDoubleMyRate

    North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue @ncgovoffice
    Working families need access to an affordable education. Kudos to Pres. Obama for trying to prevent student loan interest rate hikes.

    Texas State Representative Garnet Coleman @GFColeman
    Americans owe more on student debt than credit cards. Support President Obama's efforts to keep student loan debt low. #DontDoubleMyRates

    Read more online at and see what other Americans are saying about student interest rates.

  • Urban County Officials Discuss Priorities With Obama Administration

    NACo leaders

    County officials discuss transportation issues during a briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, April 19, 2012. (Photo by Office of Intergovernmental Affairs)

    On Thursday, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs hosted a delegation of urban county officials for a discussion on important issues facing county governments. Leaders with National Association of Counties’ Large Urban County Caucus met with senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development to talk about TIGER Grants, Sustainable Communities and more.

    White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett also stopped by the discussion to stress the importance of continuing to work together to move America's economy forward.

    Read more about the Administration’s work with county officials and check out the video of President Obama stopping by a meeting of county officials last year. 

  • Shreveport Mayor Joins First Lady in Celebrating Joining Forces

    Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will visit Shreveport, Louisiana to highlight the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces, their initiative to recognize, honor and serve military families.

    Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover writes in the Shreveport Times about how the Joining Forces initiative will help his community:

    Our desire to assist the outstanding men and women who populate Barksdale Air Force Base provides us with a natural motivation to support "Joining Forces." But I know we also have military personnel from other branches of service and ensuring their respective livelihoods is equally important to our success…

    …Our veterans have served and sacrificed for our nation. So it's only fitting to embrace this effort to ensure that local businesses have the resources they need to help provide these patriots and their families the opportunity to create happy, productive lives when they come home.

    Read the full article and find out more about Joining Forces.

  • How the JOBS Act Will Help Cities

    President Barack Obama signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

    President Barack Obama signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which includes key initiatives the President proposed last fall to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    On Thursday, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bipartisan bill that enacts many of the President’s proposals to encourage startups and support our nation’s small businesses.  The JOBS Act will allow Main Street small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from investors more efficiently, allowing small and young firms across the country to grow and hire faster.

    Charlotte City Council Member and Past President of the National League of Cities James Mitchell Jr. joined the White House for the signing and shared his thoughts:

    I was thankful to be invited to attend President Obama’s signing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. The President has shown great leadership with his clear and consistent effort to make this Act a reality, beginning with the inclusion of the JOBS Act in the State of the Union.

    Small businesses are the lifeblood of America’s hometowns. The JOBS Act will help these businesses gain much needed capital to make new investments and will encourage them to expand their operations. This Act will assist our nation’s hometowns by helping entrepreneurs and start-ups outside the traditional geographic venture capital areas to find investors to create the next generation of innovative products and services.

     Read more about the JOBS Act and President Obama’s plans to support American businesses.