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Kori SchulmanMarch 05, 2015
11:15 AM EST
Calling all Instagram users: For the first time ever, the White House is joining a Worldwide InstaMeet!
On the weekend of March 21, people all over the world will meet up and take photos together as part of the 11th Worldwide InstaMeet. To celebrate, we’re inviting some of our Instagram followers to filter their way through the White House and share its history, art, and architecture with their followers.
Here's what you need to know:
- We're hosting an InstaMeet at the White House on Saturday, March 21.
- Right now, you can apply to join at WhiteHouse.gov/social. (Don't wait! The form closes at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, March 6.)
- Spread the word using #WHInstaMeet.
President Obama and the First Lady are committed to opening the doors of the White House and truly making it the "People’s House." Our InstaMeet continues a series of online and offline engagement events that invite citizens around the country to engage with their government.
Tanya SomanaderMarch 04, 2015
07:18 PM EST
Nick Martin is the co-founder of The Pro's Closet, an online used-cycling business. He sent the following email to the White House list to highlight why a better trade deal means a brighter future for online businesses like his. Didn't get the email? Sign up for email updates here.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership isn't just President Obama's proposed trade deal -- it's mine, too. It's a trade deal that millions of other online small business owners in this country would be proud to add their name to. I want to tell you why:
Every time I step through the doors of one of our 4,000-square-foot warehouses in Boulder and Denver, Colorado -- every time I see the bikes and cycling parts that line those walls and take in the energetic buzz of our 30-member team -- I take a step back and reflect on a simple fact: I own a business. It’s a "pinch-me" moment -- every time.
I am a cyclist and the proud co-owner of The Pro's Closet, an online used-cycling store. And thanks to the Internet and the availability of e-commerce platforms like eBay, we've gone global. After all, when it’s not cycling season in the U.S., it’s peak season somewhere else in the world.
International customers aren't just good for business abroad; they’re great for my Colorado communities. Why? Because selling in more markets means I can hire more people here at home. In fact, more small businesses are using the Internet to grow their business by reaching new customers they couldn't reach before.
This is why trade is so important to me. If the success of American businesses in the global economy is important to you, say you’re an ambassador for a better trade deal that delivers a brighter future for all of us.
March 04, 2015
06:01 PM EST
President Obama and the First Lady have teamed up with the Peace Corps to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world through the Let Girls Learn initiative.
“A good education can lift you from the most humble circumstances into a life you never could have imagined.”
— First Lady Michelle Obama
70% of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty are women. Education can change that.
Education is not a privilege, it is a fundamental human right for all. Through a global network of support, the Let Girls Learn initiative will put lasting community-led and community-generated solutions in place for the more than 62 million girls across the globe are not receiving an education. The Peace Corps will be expanding the number of volunteers focused on advancing universal access to education and will continue to break down the barriers to girls' education in the communities they serve.
The positive effects that an education has not just for girls, but also for their families, communities and countries are boundless. As a global community, we are making progress. While we don’t yet live in a world where every women has an opportunity to learn, we do have numbers telling us why we need too.
Dr. Jill BidenMarch 04, 2015
03:06 PM EST
Community colleges have entered a new day in America. They lead the way in preparing graduates in the fields of green technology, health care, teaching, and information technology — some of the fastest-growing fields in America and the rest of the world. Community colleges are able to meet the needs of their community and provide students and workers with the education and skills they need to succeed and to get good-paying jobs to support their families.
That’s why I am excited to attend SXSWedu 2015 to discuss the importance of community colleges to America’s future. I have been an educator for more than 30 years, and I have spent the last 20 years teaching at community colleges. And, as Second Lady, I have traveled across the country to see firsthand the critical role community colleges play in creating the best, most-educated workforce in the world.
Before I get to SXSWedu 2015, I want to hear from you. Starting today, you can tweet your questions about community colleges to me @DrBiden using the hashtag #AskDrBiden. Then, watch here on Tuesday, March 10 at 9 a.m. CST/10 a.m. EST as I respond to some of your questions during a live event moderated by a community college student.
Cecilia MuñozMarch 04, 2015
02:44 PM EST
Today, the Senate voted to pass S.J.Res. 8, which would overturn a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule streamlining and simplifying how workers vote on whether or not they want to join or form a union. This congressional resolution of disapproval takes aim at a modest update of rules that increase transparency and remove barriers to workers getting timely union elections.
I joined with other senior advisors to the President in recommending that he veto this resolution if it is passed by Congress. We did so because it would make it harder for Americans to make their voices heard in the workplace. And that’s exactly the opposite of what working families need and deserve.
Tanya SomanaderMarch 04, 2015
12:19 PM EST
Trade is embedded in the foundation of a strong, 21st century economy. It’s been central to our economic resurgence, contributing nearly one-third of our economic growth in the recovery and supporting 11.7 million American jobs in 2014 alone.
Right now, America is in a race with China to secure a trade deal with countries in the Asia Pacific -- the fastest-growing markets in the world. The countries that would be part of our trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), received 62% of U.S. goods exports in 2014.
So the question is not whether we will trade, but how?
March 03, 2015
05:55 PM EST
This afternoon, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the White House is ramping up its efforts to Let Girls Learn with a new initiative focused on supporting girls’ education around the world.
The Obama administration has partnered with the Peace Corps to take on the challenge of keeping girls in school. Even in 2015, more than 62 million girls across the globe are not receiving an education, and even more are fighting to stay there. In many countries around the world, a girl risks dangerous walks to school, pressure to give up her education, and a lack of support for the resources she needs in her schooling.
March 03, 2015
12:05 PM EST
President Barack Obama, with First Lady Michelle Obama, delivers remarks during a reception celebrating Black History Month in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
In 1926, the great historian and author Carter G. Woodson pioneered "Negro History Week" — a time set aside to honor African Americans and their contributions to our history.
"If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition," Woodson once wrote. "It becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."
That week would later become Black History Month — and this year, the White House hosted a number of events and activities to celebrate the contributions and the accomplishments of African Americans both past and present.
Tanya SomanaderMarch 03, 2015
09:53 AM EST
"Thank you for the Affordable Care Act. Because of it, I have been able to get health insurance for just about $52 a month."
She wasn't going to sign up. But on the last day of Open Enrollment last year, Lori's mom insisted that she at least check out HealthCare.gov. Surprised by the reasonable rates, Lori signed up for an affordable plan that covers almost everything she would need.
March 02, 2015
06:05 PM EST
Thursday was a historic day for the Internet. The FCC voted in favor of a strong net neutrality rule to keep the Internet open and free. This didn’t just happen over night and by no means was it easy. It happened because millions of Americans across the country didn’t just care about securing an open and free Internet, spoke out.
More than 4 million people wrote in to the FCC to call for the protection of a free and fair Internet. Others added their names to petitions, spoke out on social media, and talked with peers about why this issue couldn’t wait any longer. Prior to being elected in 2008, President Obama pledged support for net neutrality. On Thursday, he thanked Americans for their hard work.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 26, 2015
Since then, both individuals and groups have joined the President in showing support for the net neutrality decision. Here's what they're saying:
Holy cow. Net neutrality is official. Congrats, thank you, and !!! to everybody on the internet. http://t.co/ejGEobz3UC
— Tumblr (@tumblr) February 26, 2015
March 02, 2015
04:16 PM EST
Earlier today, President Obama met with the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to discuss their recommendations to help communities and law enforcement agencies across the country to strengthen trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime.
The Task Force was announced in December, and has been co-chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. Joining them on the Task Force is a diverse array of experts from the law enforcement community, academia, youth activists, as well as community and civil rights leaders. Their recommendations for helping to keep police officers and neighborhoods safe were released today, as called for by the Executive Order that established the Task Force.
David HudsonMarch 02, 2015
03:34 PM EST
Throughout February, a number of Departments and Cabinet Secretaries held special events and participated in activities to commemorate Black History Month. Take a look at a few of the highlights below.
Secretary Perez sat down with Rep. John Lewis to talk about the Civil Rights Movement.
Last Friday, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. John Lewis sat down for an in-depth conversation and Q&A about the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the Department of Labor’s role in the movement.
Watch some of the highlights of the conversation below -- or listen to the full conversation here.
Tanya SomanaderMarch 02, 2015
10:27 AM EST
"The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for my family to be covered at more than a reasonable price."
Jason T. is "just a regular guy with a wife and two kids." A native of Holland, Michigan, Jason wrote a letter to the President simply to tell him that the Affordable Care Act works.
Jason and his family went through a financial upheaval a few years ago, going into bankruptcy and facing foreclosure. Thankfully, he and his family are back on their feet, but they still needed ways to get ahead.
Finding affordable coverage on HealthCare.gov "helped close a huge gap in my finances." So he wrote the President to say thanks, and offer an invitation:
"If you ever find yourself in the Midwest with some time to spare, the Medici or Lou Malnati's Pizza and Garrett's is on my family."
March 02, 2015
09:30 AM EST
Continuing the Administration’s active engagement in Central America, the Vice President is traveling to Guatemala City on Monday to meet with the Presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank.
Last November in Washington D.C., the leaders of these countries rolled out their Alliance for Prosperity plan to tackle the endemic violence and poverty that have held the region back while the rest of the hemisphere has prospered. The Vice President also outlined how the United States, the international community, and the private sector could support the plan’s implementation.
This week in Guatemala City, the presidents will update Vice President Biden on their progress. The presidents of the countries have already taken courageous steps to target criminal smuggling groups, root out corruption, and promote the transparency of their institutions.
March 01, 2015
04:12 PM EST
Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the United States has stood firmly as its closest ally in the Middle East. The first country to recognize Israel, the United States has forged a deep and unshakable bond with Israel through a multifaceted relationship that reflects the depth and breadth of the ties between our people and the values that we share.
Under President Obama’s leadership, American engagement with Israel has grown and strengthened to an unprecedented degree. From meeting frequently with Israeli leaders to ensuring that Israel remains the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, the President is deeply committed to helping Israel maintain its strength and security.
Here are the five key facts you need to know about the U.S.-Israel relationship under President Obama:
David HudsonFebruary 28, 2015
01:44 PM EST
Yesterday evening, the President spoke at the portrait unveiling ceremony for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The event marked Holder's anticipated departure from the Department of Justice after more than six years of service as Attorney General.
David HudsonFebruary 28, 2015
06:00 AM EST
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Library of the White House, Feb. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
In this week’s address, the President reiterated his commitment to middle-class economics, and to ensuring that all hardworking Americans get the secure and dignified retirement they deserve.
While most financial advisers prioritize their clients’ futures, there are some who direct their clients towards bad investments in return for back-door payments and hidden fees. That’s why, earlier this week, the President announced that he is calling on the Department of Labor to update rules to protect families from conflicts of interest by requiring financial advisers to put their clients’ best interest before their own profits.
The President emphasized his promise to keep fighting for this policy and for others that benefit millions of working and middle-class Americans.
February 27, 2015
07:05 PM EST
This week, the President announced a new initiative to protect Americans' retirement savings, hosted governors at the White House, thanked advocates for their work in securing a free and open Internet, and celebrated the first anniversary of the My Brother's Keeper initiative.
Find out more about the past week at the White House in our latest weekly wrap-up.
On Monday, the President announced major actions to update the rules in place to protect you and your retirement savings. Under our current system, financial advisors can accept a back-door payment or hidden fees for directing you toward a retirement plan that's not in your best interest. On average, these conflicts of interest cost Americans $17 billion in total losses every year.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 23, 2015
That's why the President is directing the Department of Labor to crack down on this kind of behavior. Check out this quick explainer video and see what the President is doing to help.
Tanya SomanaderFebruary 27, 2015
04:20 PM EST
With less than one day left before the Department of Homeland Security's funding expires, House Republicans continue to threaten a shutdown of a department that keeps Americans safe. Set to run out tomorrow, this critical funding pays for more than 30,000 American workers, helps keep our cities safe and our border secure, and is essential to our overall national security.
That's why President Obama has continually pushed Congress to pass a clean bill that funds the Department without any strings attached. Here are five things you need to know about the House Republicans' threat to shut down the Department of Homeland Security:
1. It would furlough thousands of employees who keep us safe, and would force many to work without pay.
If the Republicans follow through on their threat to shut down the Department, at least 30,000 employees who keep us safe would be forced to go on furlough. Also, hundreds of thousands of employees would be forced to work without pay. This includes:
- More than 40,000 Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers
- More than 50,000 TSA aviation security screeners
- More than 13,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement law enforcement agents and officers
- More than 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard military members
- More than 4,000 Secret Service law enforcement agents and officers
David HudsonFebruary 27, 2015
03:00 PM EST
In September 2009, the President announced that — for the first time in history — White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in November 2014. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 4.32 million — all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.