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April 17, 2014
06:18 PM EDT
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki welcome the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride to the South Lawn of the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This morning, on the South Lawn of the White House, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcomed riders participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.
Today was the fifth time President Obama has welcomed Soldier Ride to the White House. The ride begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Friendship, Maryland, spanning a total of 58 miles.
Lindsay HolstApril 17, 2014
03:58 PM EDT
Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.
What's more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected:
Yohannes AbrahamApril 17, 2014
02:59 PM EDT
When President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in February, the response from communities across the country was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. We quickly began hearing stories of creativity, collaboration, and triumphs from community leaders and organizations doing grassroots work to enhance opportunities for boys and young men of color. Some organizations, having done this work for a while, shared what types of programs and coordinated efforts they have seen work through the years, while others have responded to the President’s call to action with new initiatives and commitments of their own.
We heard from a financial services firm in Long Beach, California which has partnered with an 8th grade mentoring program to arrange field trips to their office. Students fill out applications, interview with managers, and go through mock hiring processes. They are then connected with mentors, and offered serious rewards (like laptops) when they reach GPA goals set by the company.
Dan UtechApril 17, 2014
09:40 AM EDT
Since President Obama took office, we have made significant advances in clean energy. Last year alone was record-breaking for new installations, and the amount of solar power installed in the United States has increased around eleven fold. Just this past week, the U.S. Army announced plans to start development on a historic solar array at Fort Huachuca in Arizona – the biggest Defense Department solar array on a military installation to date, and HUD is increasing solar on multifamily housing.
And for good reason. Solar is a smart investment. The average cost of solar panels has dropped by more than 60%, and the cost for a solar photovoltaic electric system has declined by about 50%. The numbers tell an important story: There has never been a time when solar is more affordable and more available to so many Americans. Solar is not just a prospect; it’s a reality.
David HudsonApril 16, 2014
08:38 PM EDT
In this year's State of the Union address, President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead a reform of America's job training programs, making sure that these programs "train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now."
This afternoon, the President and Vice President visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania to announce progress on that reform.
April 16, 2014
05:04 PM EDT
As part of the lead up to the White House Summit on Working Families, we have been seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders to identify best practices for developing workplaces that work for all Americans and better meet the needs of women and working families. We did not think this goal could be achieved without thinking of the business leaders of tomorrow, and that is why today, we met with a group of deans from our nation’s leading business schools to discuss best practices for business schools that can better prepare their students for the increasing importance of women in the labor force and the prevalence of employees with families where all parents work.
April 16, 2014
03:15 PM EDT
PG&E, like utilities across the country, faces a wave of retirements over the next five years, with nearly 40 percent of its 21,000 employees eligible to trade paychecks for pension checks. This is a trend that concerns me as Chairman and CEO of PG&E.
To help build a pipeline of new skilled workers, PG&E created a workforce training program in 2008 called PowerPathway. The program is a partnership with community colleges and workforce investment boards in PG&E’s service area, which covers much of Northern and Central California.
Last year, nearly 250 students graduated from PowerPathway, and more than 81 percent of them were offered jobs at PG&E or elsewhere in the utility industry.
Kori SchulmanApril 16, 2014
01:01 PM EDT
Today, we’re excited to announce the Office of the Vice President is joining Instagram to give followers a unique look inside the Vice Presidency. This new social media presence continues efforts by the Vice President’s Office to connect with citizens online, adding to his official Twitter handle and the Being Biden audio series.
The VP's Instagram followers will have access to behind-the-scenes photos from the road and around the White House. And today, as the Vice President joins President Obama in Pennsylvania to announce grants that will spur job training and apprenticeship programs, you’re invited to follow along on Instagram.
Stay tuned for photos and videos from the Vice President – and don't forget to check out our other official Instagram accounts, including: The White House, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza.
Megan SlackApril 15, 2014
11:37 AM EDT
Today at 2:49 pm ET, President Obama will observe a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
President Obama also released a statement this morning on the tragedy.
Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.
We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.
Ezra MechaberApril 14, 2014
05:08 PM EDT
Want to know how your federal taxes are spent?
President Obama is keeping his promise to make sure Americans like you can easily see what you're getting for your taxes.
Just enter a few pieces of information, and the Taxpayer Receipt gives you a breakdown of how your tax dollars are spent on priorities like education and veterans benefits.
David HudsonApril 14, 2014
02:24 PM EDT
This morning, President Obama welcomed religious leaders to the White House for the fifth-annual Easter prayer breakfast, marking the beginning of Holy Week.
At the start of his remarks, the President took a moment to reflect on yesterday's tragic shootings at two Jewish facilities — a community center and a retirement home — in Kansas. As he said today, "nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."
As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims; we've got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society. And we have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and to violence, because we're all children of God.
April 14, 2014
10:41 AM EDT
What do you do when nearly 50,000 young Africans apply for 500 spaces in President Obama’s inaugural Washington Fellowship program, the opportunity for young African leaders to learn new skills and build lasting partnerships in the United States?
President Obama announced his answer to this question today:
The Young African Leaders Initiative Network – or YALI Network – is a virtual community that connects young African leaders with resources from the U.S. government and to one another. Thousands of young Africans have already joined the YALI Network. They have participated in virtual programs, signed up for online courses, and are eager to shape Africa’s future.
That’s why President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the United States are committed to helping them succeed.
Megan SlackApril 12, 2014
06:00 AM EDT
April 11, 2014
06:21 PM EDT
This week, the President honored soldiers who lost their lives last week at Fort Hood, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and picked up his pen to take action toward ensuring equal pay. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.
On Wednesday, President Obama spoke at a memorial service for the soldiers who lost their lives during last week's shooting at Fort Hood Military Base.
In his remarks, the President explained that we must honor their lives "not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth." Watch his full remarks here.
Megan SlackApril 11, 2014
03:17 PM EDT
Today, President Obama announced that Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget would follow Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Secretary Sebelius’s work over the last five years have been critical to the health and welfare of the American people, and will benefit our families and this country for decades to come, President Obama said.
She has fought to improve children’s health, from birth to kindergarten; expanded mental health care; reduced racial and ethnic disparities; brought us closer to the first AIDS-free generation. She’s been a tireless advocate for women’s health.
And, of course, what Kathleen will go down in history for is serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America.
April 11, 2014
02:00 PM EDT
Today, the President released his 2013 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $481,098. The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax.
The President and First Lady also reported donating $59,251 – or about 12.3 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 32 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.4 percent. The President pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. In 2013, as a result of his policies, the President was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $23,328 in state income tax.
The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2013 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident Virginia tax return. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Bidens paid $96,378 in total federal tax for 2013, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent. They also paid $14,644 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, including contributing the royalties received from Dr. Biden’s children’s book, net of taxes, to the USO.
Adam GarberApril 11, 2014
12:00 PM EDT
This week, the President honored Equal Pay Day and signed two executive orders to support efforts to level the playing field for women, pushed for better access to skills-based high school training, hosted the Prime Minister of Tunisia, and traveled with the First Lady to the memorial at Fort Hood and then to Austin, to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
April 11, 2014
10:24 AM EDT
Information sharing is a key part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) important mission to create shared situational awareness of potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities. DHS, through our National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), actively collaborates with public and private sector partners every day to make sure they have the information and tools they need to protect the systems we all rely on.
When a cybersecurity industry report was published three days ago about a vulnerability known as “Heartbleed” – affecting websites, email, and instant messaging – that can potentially impact Internet logins and personal information online by undermining the encryption process, the Department’s U.S.-Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) immediately issued an alert to share actionable information with the public and suggested mitigation steps. Subsequently, our Industrial Control System-Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) published information and reached out to vendors and asset owners to determine the potential vulnerabilities to computer systems that control essential systems – like critical infrastructure, user-facing, and financial systems. The National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC) also provided situational awareness to communications sector partners for their review and action.
Importantly, the federal government’s core citizen-facing websites are not exposed to risks from this cybersecurity threat. We are continuing to coordinate across agencies to ensure that all federal government websites are protected from this threat.
While there have not been any reported attacks or malicious incidents involving this particular vulnerability confirmed at this time, it is still possible that malicious actors in cyberspace could exploit un-patched systems. That is why everyone has a role to play to ensuring our nation’s cybersecurity. We have been and continue to work closely with federal, state, local and private sector partners to determine any potential impacts and help implement mitigation strategies as necessary.
Megan SlackApril 10, 2014
06:24 PM EDT
Today, 50 years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, President Obama spoke at the LBJ Presidential Library to honor the work and legacy of our nation’s 36th president.
“As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we honor the men and women who made it possible,” President Obama said. “We recall the countless unheralded Americans, black and white, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers -- whose names are etched not on monuments, but in the hearts of their loved ones, and in the fabric of the country they helped to change.”
Ezra MechaberApril 10, 2014
05:58 PM EDT
The audio series Being Biden is an opportunity for the Vice President to give you a window into his daily life, and share some of his most memorable experiences.
In this episode, Vice President Biden talks about what it was like to meet with Trevor, a Navy SEAL, and his military dog Chopper. The two served together in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Chopper saved Trevor's life. Military dogs perform a hugely important service, helping our wounded heal -- in addition to serving them in combat zones.
Listen to this edition of Being Biden: