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March 07, 2014
07:45 PM EST
This week, the President announced his 2015 budget, and addressed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. YouTube Stars visited the White House, and more. Check out what you missed in this week's wrap up.
The President traveled to Powell Elementary School on Tuesday after sending his 2015 budget to Congress. There, he discussed what he called a "roadmap" for the opportunity agenda he laid out in his State of the Union address.
“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.”
Megan SlackMarch 07, 2014
07:27 PM EST
Today, President Obama and the First Lady visited Coral Reef High School in Miami to discuss the President's plan to equip all Americans with the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.
“By working hard every single day, every single night, you are making the best investment there is in your future,” President Obama told the students. “And we want to make sure you’ve got everything, all the tools you need to succeed.”
President Obama talked about one tool that’s helping give more students the opportunity to afford, attend, and graduate from college: the Free Application for Student Aid or FAFSA.
It is a simple form. It used to be complicated; we made it simple. It doesn’t cost anything -- that’s why the word “free” is right there in the name. It does not take a long time to fill out. Once you do, you’re putting yourself in the running for all kinds of financial support for college -- scholarships, grants, loans, work-study jobs.
Over the last five years, the Obama administration has been working to make college more affordable for more students. And today, more young people are earning college degrees than ever before. But we have to do more, President Obama said.
Kasie CoccaroMarch 07, 2014
12:30 PM EST
Don't miss your chance to join the First Family for the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The big event is on Monday, April 21 and more than 30,000 people will join in on the fun. Guests will have a chance to participate in activities including games, stories, singing, dancing, and of course, the traditional egg roll - all on the White House South Lawn.
This year's theme "Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape," encourages children to lead healthy, active lives in support of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative. In addition to the fun and games, the day's activities will help educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines.
Starting today, you can enter the lottery at www.recreation.gov for a chance to join in on the fun. The event is open to children ages 13 years and younger and their families. Be sure to enter the lottery before it closes on Monday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Families and schools who can't make the trip to Washington, D.C. but want to participate in the festivities can enter the annual poster contest. The First Lady will select the winning design to be used as part of the White House 2014 Easter Egg Roll program.
Kori SchulmanMarch 07, 2014
11:00 AM EST
Next week, President Obama will sit down for his first-ever interview with WebMD, the leading source of health information for consumers and health care professionals, to discuss the importance of signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. During a conversation with the site's health care reform expert Lisa Zamosky, the President will answer questions about health care and the ACA directly from WebMD users in an interview that will air on March 14.
What’s your question for President Obama? Ask now at WebMD.com/AskObama
The President's interview with WebMD continues efforts by the administration to encourage as many Americans as possible to sign up for health insurance for 2014 by the end of open enrollment on March 31.
And it's just one of many innovative and targeted strategies used by the White House to speak with Americans directly -- especially women, young adults and the uninsured -- about quality, affordable health care options available. As the leading source for health information, WebMD has enormous reach. According to WebMD, the site's more than 156 million unique visitors per month is made up of 60 percent women, 33 percent of its audience is ages 18-34 and 38 percent of those younger users are uninsured.
So, go ahead and submit your questions now – then tune in on March 14 to watch the full interview and find out if the President answered your question.
Jason FurmanMarch 07, 2014
09:38 AM EST
February 2014 was the 48th straight month of private-sector job growth, with businesses adding 8.7 million jobs over that time. Despite a major snowstorm that hit the East Coast during the reference week for the labor market surveys, the rate of job growth picked up from the December and January pace. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate remains elevated, and for too many Americans, wages have been slow to rise.
This week, the President put out a budget that can make progress on these issues by investing in education, job training, and innovation, by expanding tax credits for working Americans, and by extending the emergency unemployment benefits that has expired for 2 million Americans. And while the President encourages Congress to act on his proposals, he will also continue to take action on his own wherever possible to support job growth and expand economic opportunity.
FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY'S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
1. The private sector has added 8.7 million jobs over 48 straight months of job growth. Today we learned that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, with 162,000 of that increase in the private sector. Revisions to private employment in the previous months were small and offsetting, so that that over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by 2.2 million, or an average of 183,000 a month. This is almost identical to the pace of job gains over the preceding twelve-month period (182,000 a month).
Adam GarberMarch 07, 2014
12:00 AM EST
This week, The White House hosted its first ever White House Student Film Festival, while the President addressed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, presented his budget for Fiscal Year 2015, urged Congress to raise the minimum wage, and held a town hall on Latinos and the Affordable Care Act.
Brad L. JenkinsMarch 06, 2014
04:29 PM EST
This year, the President is committed to using the power of his phone and pen to create opportunity for all Americans. One ways he’s doing that is through raising awareness about policies and priorities through non-traditional platforms, like YouTube.
Last week, senior administration officials sat down with some of the most popular content creators on YouTube to talk about the issues that they care the most about, including access to quality, affordable health care. This group of influencers has developed innovative ways to engage with tens of millions of young people in a way that few other media platforms can accomplish. To learn from the YouTube community, we're starting a dialogue with these leaders to continue the conversation about issues that are important for their audiences including anti-bullying, education, economic opportunity, and health care.
Megan SlackMarch 06, 2014
03:19 PM EST
Today, President Obama delivered a statement on efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine from the Brady Press Briefing Room.
Since the Russian intervention, we’ve been mobilizing the international community to condemn this violation of international law and to support the people and government of Ukraine.
This morning I signed an executive order that authorizes sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people.
According to my guidance, the State Department has also put in place restrictions on the travel of certain individuals and officials. These decisions continue our efforts to impose a cost on Russia and those responsible for the situation in Crimea. And they also give us the flexibility to adjust our response going forward based on Russia’s actions.
Katherine VargasMarch 06, 2014
10:21 AM EST
Ed. note: This event has now concluded
Today, President Obama will take part in a town hall at the Newseum in Washington, DC to discuss the Affordable Care Act and how the law benefits the Latino community. The town hall is hosted by Univision, Telemundo, impreMedia and the California Endowment.
The town hall, which will be televised and livestreamed in both English and Spanish, will provide an opportunity for Latinos across the country to learn more about how to enroll in affordable, quality health care via the Health Insurance Marketplace.
March 06, 2014
09:00 AM EST
Today, we are very excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the third round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. This initiative pairs talented, diverse individuals from outside government with top Federal innovators to implement game-changing projects that make the Federal Government work better for the American people.
At its core, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is as strong as the incredible people that are willing to join this effort and serve their country. That’s why we want the best and brightest individuals—original thinkers, gifted designers, tech-savvy strategists, private-sector doers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and talented developers and engineers—to offer up their skills and expertise to create huge value for the American public.
Megan SlackMarch 05, 2014
05:49 PM EST
Today, President Obama traveled to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut to speak about the importance of raising the minimum wage.
Joined by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, along with Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, Rhode Island Governer Lincoln Chafee, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, the President addressed a crowd filled with students to dicsuss his plan to expand opportunity for all Americans.
He detailed the four parts of his opporuntity agenda: 1) create more new jobs; 2) train Americans with the skills to fill those jobs; 3) guarantee every young person access to a world-class education; and 4) make sure hard work pays off.
Ensuring that hard work pays off means that women should receive equal pay for equal work, that Americans can save and retire with dignity, that people have health insurance when they need it most, and that the wage you make is enough to support yourself and your family.
"Nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. That violates a basic sense of who we are. And that’s why it’s time to give America a raise," said President Obama. "What every American wants is a paycheck that lets them support their families, know a little economic security, pass down some hope and optimism to their kids. And that’s worth fighting for."
That's why President Obama isn't waiting for Congress to take action. Last month, he used his pen to sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.
Secretary Thomas E. PerezMarch 05, 2014
05:02 PM EST
This afternoon, Secretary Tom Perez sent the message below to the White House email list, asking people to add their name in support of raising the federal minimum wage.
Didn't get the email? Make sure you sign up for updates from the President and other White House officials.
Several weeks ago, I met Semethia and Anna.
Semethia's a 36-year-old single mom. Her son hopes to go to college one day. Her daughter wants to take gymnastics lessons. But with a service job that pays just $8.25 an hour, Semethia relies on food stamps and help from friends and family just to keep food on the table -- much less build the future she'd like for her kids.
Anna works as a tip server at two local D.C. restaurants. She doesn't yet have to support a family, but she still struggles to make ends meet when she's relying on tips to get by -- and she sees the tough decisions her colleagues make every day. One of her coworkers recently missed her son's birthday party in order to cover a shift -- that's how badly she needed the money to support her family.
You see, when we talk about the kind of folks whose lives will be made better by raising the minimum wage, we're not talking about a couple teenagers earning extra spending money to supplement their allowance. We're talking about providers and breadwinners. Working Americans with bills to pay and mouths to feed.
And right now, millions of them are trying to do that on just $7.25 an hour.
We can change that. We can raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, we can do it right now, and we should. If you agree that it's high time we do -- that America's workers deserve a raise -- then add your name right here.
Michelle ObamaMarch 05, 2014
12:41 PM EST
We never know what curveballs life is going to throw at us. But we do know that those curveballs come. That’s why it’s so important that everyone – including healthy young adults – sign up for health insurance and get our friends and family to sign up too. Today, I'm traveling to Miami to meet with folks doing extraordinary work on the ground to get more people health coverage — and I'm taking over the @MichelleObama Instagram account to share it all with you.
I hope you'll follow along and help me get the word out.
Hi everyone, it's Michelle! I'm taking over the Instagram account today during my trip to Miami to talk about the health of our country's families, and why it's so important for everyone to #GetCovered. I hope you follow along. -mo
Kasie CoccaroMarch 04, 2014
06:18 PM EST
First Lady Michelle Obama joined Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom at the Department of State today to honor recipients of the International Women of Courage Award.
"This is the sixth time that I’ve had the pleasure of attending this event, and it is one of the highlights of my year because I always walk away feeling inspired by these women, determined to reflect their courage in my own life,” Mrs. Obama said. “And I know I’m not alone in that feeling because every day, with every life they touch and every spirit they raise, these women are creating ripples that stretch across the globe."
Megan SlackMarch 04, 2014
02:02 PM EST
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."
Katherine VargasMarch 03, 2014
02:19 PM EST
Ed. note: Tune in right here at WhiteHouse.gov/LatinoTownHall on Thursday, March 6 at 11:30 am ET to watch the town hall live.
This Thursday, March 6, at 11:30 am ET, President Obama will participate in a historic town hall on Latinos and the Affordable Care Act at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The town hall “Tu Salud y La Nueva Ley: Conversación con el Presidente” (Your Health and the New Law: A Conversation with the President) will be an opportunity for you to ask the President questions about the Affordable Care Act. You can join the conversation and submit questions on social media using the hashtag #TuSaludyObama (Your Health and Obama) and #Asegurate.
The town hall will be hosted by the Asegúrate campaign, also known as “Get Covered”, a partnership between the California Endowment; Covered California, and the largest Spanish-language media outlets in the U.S., including Univision, Telemundo, and La Opinion-impreMedia. The town hall with President Obama which will be televised, livestreamed and broadcast over radio, digital and social platforms in Spanish, will provide an opportunity for Latinos across the country to learn more about how to enroll in affordable, quality health care via the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Michelle ObamaMarch 03, 2014
11:22 AM EST
Note: Visit WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Visit to sign up for email updates from the First Lady and get the latest news about the trip.
On March 19th, I’ll be heading to China for an official visit – and I want young people like you across America to join me.
Over the past five years as First Lady, I’ve traveled around the world – to countries like Mexico, India, South Africa, Ireland and others across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – and China is another important stop on this journey. With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous country on earth, and it plays an important role on the world stage.
My husband and I take the time to visit countries like China because we know that today, more than ever before, our lives here in America are connected to the lives of people around the world.
Gina McCarthyMarch 03, 2014
10:55 AM EST
Today I’m thrilled to announce EPA’s new clean fuel and vehicle standards that are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our wallets. These “Tier 3” emission standards for cars and gasoline will significantly reduce harmful emissions, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, and encourage innovation and technological improvements in the cars and trucks we drive.
By reducing gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60% (down from 30 to 10 parts per million (ppm) in 2017), vehicle emission control technologies can perform more efficiently, both on existing vehicles and on new ones. The new Tier 3 standards will also slash a range of harmful pollutants that can cause premature death and respiratory illnesses. They will reduce smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) by 80%, establish a 70% tighter particulate matter standard (PM2.5), and virtually eliminate fuel vapor emissions.
David HudsonMarch 01, 2014
06:00 AM EST
In his weekly address, President Obama said he took action this week to launch new manufacturing hubs and expand a competition to fund transformative infrastructure projects. Both are policies aimed at expanding economic opportunity for all by creating jobs and ensuring the long-term strength of the American economy. Congress can boost this effort by passing a bipartisan proposal to create a nationwide network of high-tech manufacturing hubs and taking steps to invest in our nation’s infrastructure – rebuilding our transportation system, creating new construction jobs, and better connecting Americans to economic opportunities.
Megan SlackFebruary 28, 2014
07:47 PM EST
This week, the White House hosted its first-ever film festival. The President and Vice President showed us how they move, and the VP gave Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers some gifts. Check out what you missed in this week's wrap up.
Students and celebrities walked the White House red carpet earlier today as they entered the first-ever White House Film Festival.
Kal Penn, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson were on hand to showcase the 16 Official Selections, chosen from over 2,500 submissions -- all celebrating the role of technology in the classroom. As you can see, a Presidential selfie was in order.