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  • Earlier today, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent this message to the White House email list previewing President Obama's week ahead. Didn't get it? Make sure you sign up for email updates here.


    Hey,

    Last week at the United Nations, President Obama laid out a forceful case that in an uncertain world, American strength and leadership is the one constant.

    The United States is leading an international coalition in the fight to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine, and to contain and combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

    As the President said on Sunday night: That's how we roll.

    This Thursday, speaking to Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, the President will make the case for what has always fueled America's leadership -- and that's America's economic greatness. He'll take a step back from the rush of current events to explain what we've done to recover from the Great Recession and what we need to do to ensure that more middle-class Americans feel that progress in their own lives.

    Make sure you're watching. RSVP to watch the speech here -- and we'll email you on Thursday morning with an exclusive set of materials so you have the facts before the President speaks.

  • If you watch one video today, this should be it:

     

    Whenever challenges face the world, one fact is clear: The world looks to the United States.

    Last night, in an interview with 60 Minutes, President Obama explained why the United States is "the indispensable nation" when trouble arises in the world. From responding to humanitarian crises to confronting terrorism, America leads.

    Because -- as the President said -- "that’s how we roll."

  • Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Labor blog. See the original post here.

    Motlow State Community College in Tennessee is working with Bridgestone Tire Company and other employers to expand their mechatronics program, creating a training facility on-site at Bridgestone to prepare students to move quickly into high-skill jobs.

    Estrella Mountain Community College is leading a consortium of five Arizona colleges to develop the workforce and talent pipeline required by the region’s energy and mining industries.

    Bellevue College in Washington state, together with eight other schools, is launching a program to train veterans and their eligible spouses in the high-demand, high-wage field of health information technology.

    All three of these efforts – and many more – are the result of a bold, unprecedented investment the Obama administration has made to expand job-driven training at community colleges nationwide.

    The program is called TAACCCT -- that stands for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training. As acronyms go, I’m not going to say it’s our very best work. But as a commitment to building a 21st century workforce, as a tool to prepare people for the jobs of today and tomorrow, it is second-to-none.

  • President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Sept. 25, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Sept. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week’s address, the President reiterated the forceful and optimistic message of American leadership that he delivered in his speech before the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week. America is leading the world against the most pressing challenges, including the fight to degrade and destroy ISIL, the effort to stop the Ebola epidemic, and the movement to confront the threat from climate change.

    The world looks to America and its commitment to freedom in the face of uncertainty, and as the President said, it will continue to do so for generations to come.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • This week, President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly on issues that demand the attention of the global community -- including climate change and violent extremism. We celebrated the third birthday of We the People, wished the Jewish community a Happy New Year, and said goodbye to Attorney General Eric Holder.

    Interested in seeing what happened this week at the White House? Check out this week’s Weekly Wrap Up.


    President Obama on Climate Change: “We Have to Answer the Call”

    On Tuesday, at the U.N. Climate Summit, the President highlighted the ambitious clean energy investments and carbon emission reductions the United States has made. And while we’ve stepped up to act on climate change, President Obama made it clear that it’s time for our global partners to stand up too, because “no nation is immune to climate change”.

    “We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid. And we have to work together as a global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.”

    Check out the chart below and see why we can’t wait to act on climate change:

  • 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 June 2014. Today’s release also includes visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in August 2014 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 3.96 million -- all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

  • Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    This week, the President unveiled the "It's on Us" campaign, signed the America's Promise Summit Declaration, and headed to New York City for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. That's September 19 to September 25, or "Stronger When We Stand United."

    Watch on YouTube

  • A good way to build a stronger economy is to create a fairer and more efficient tax code -- one that promotes business investment and job creation in the United States. That is why the President has proposed business tax reform that will simplify the tax code by lowering the corporate tax rate and closing wasteful loopholes.

    Congress has yet to act on the President’s proposal, and in the meantime, some companies continue to exploit unfair tax loopholes. One such loophole allows U.S. corporations to undertake an "inversion," whereby a company relocates their tax residence overseas, while changing very little else about its operations or business, in order to avoid paying taxes. With a simple change of paperwork, these companies can dramatically reduce their taxes, leaving other businesses and middle-class taxpayers to pick up the tab.

    Dozens of U.S. corporations have taken advantage of the inversions loophole in recent years, and more are looking to follow suit. By renouncing their U.S. citizenship, these companies will cost our country nearly $20 billion over the next decade -- critical dollars that could be used to grow and expand the middle class.

    The Treasury Department is using its authority to take initial, targeted steps to discourage American companies from inverting by limiting the benefits they would receive from such action. You don’t get to pick your tax rate, and neither should corporations.

    Take a look at why the President has called on Congress to close the inversion tax loophole:

     

  • The nations of the world, along with key international organizations, gather at the White House today to advance a Global Health Security Agenda that will help keep the world safe from infectious disease threats.

    This meeting is a critical opportunity to increase international commitment and, more importantly, action to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the infectious disease threats to come.

    Ebola is a critical issue for the world community. There’s a real risk to the stability and security of societies, as governments are increasingly challenged to not only control Ebola but to provide basic health services and other government functions. The stability of these countries and their economies, as well as those of their neighbors and of others, is at increasing risk.

    Ebola is the most recent tragic example of why it is imperative to work together to make the world safer from infectious disease outbreaks. Ebola is precisely the kind of health threat the Global Health Security Agenda could have prevented. We and our partner countries have agreed to work together so that effective prevention, detection, and response mechanisms are present in every country around the world.

  • Today’s revision confirms that economic growth in the second quarter was strong, and other recent data suggest that this momentum has continued into the subsequent months. While these indicators demonstrate that the economy has come a long way in recovering from the Great Recession, there is more work to do to both boost growth and ensure that growth translates into greater financial security for working families. The President will continue to do everything in his power to support investments in job creation and encourage higher incomes for workers.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.6 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2014, the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The strong second-quarter growth represents a rebound from a first-quarter decline in GDP that largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. Growth in consumer spending and business investment picked up in the second quarter, and residential investment increased following two straight quarters of decline. Additionally, State and local government spending grew at the fastest quarterly rate in five years. However, net exports subtracted from overall GDP growth, as imports grew slightly faster than exports. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 5.2 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. 

  • Watch on YouTube

    In remarks from the White House State Dining Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that Eric Holder will be stepping down from his current position as U.S. Attorney General.

    Assuming office in February 2009, Holder's nearly six-year tenure makes him one of the longest-serving Attorney Generals in U.S. history. He will continue to serve as Attorney General until the President nominates his successor, and the successor is confirmed by the Senate.

  • Watch on YouTube

    The Ebola outbreak afflicting West African countries is now an epidemic of unprecedented proportions. President Obama has made combating this terrible disease a top national security priority and today, at the United Nations, he called on the world to join the United States in this effort.

  • Ed. note: Applications are now being accepted for the Summer 2015 White House Internship Program. This blog post introduces readers to Larry Hailsham, a former intern who worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence in the summer of 2014. When asked about his internship experience, here's what Larry wrote.


    I remember starting my application to apply for the White House Internship Program and the hesitations that I had. I wondered if I should even apply. But the moment I hit submit, there was no going back. A few short weeks later, I was interviewed and accepted into the program, something I would have never expected.

  • Watch on YouTube

    Today, President Obama led the United Nations Security Council in unanimously passing a binding resolution to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into -- and out of -- Iraq and Syria.

    In its nearly 70-year history, the United Nations Security Council has only met six times at the Head of State level. "We convene such sessions to address the most urgent threats to peace and security," the President said, who called the meeting to specifically address this growing threat: 

    Our intelligence agencies estimate that more than 15,000 foreign fighters from more than 80 nations have traveled to Syria in recent years. Many have joined terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda’s affiliate, the Nusrah Front, and ISIL, which now threatens people across Syria and Iraq. And I want to acknowledge and thank Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq for being here today. 

    In the Middle East and elsewhere, these terrorists exacerbate conflicts; they pose an immediate threat to people in these regions; and as we’ve already seen in several cases, they may try to return to their home countries to carry out deadly attacks.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the special keynote address at the United Nations' Global Education First Initiative's high-level event at the U.N. Headquarters

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the special keynote address at the United Nations' Global Education First Initiative's high-level event at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Every young woman on our planet should have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. That was the message delivered earlier today by First Lady Michelle Obama at the U.N. Global Education First Initiative in New York City. The initiative brings together heads of state and government, leading international advocates, and U.N. principals to focus on the importance of a quality education as a way to build a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable world.

    The First Lady noted that we’ve made significant progress in achieving the goal of educating all young women, particularly in primary education. As of 2012, every developing region in the world has achieved, or was close to achieving, gender parity in primary education.

    But despite this accomplishment, the First Lady said that we shouldn’t be satisfied:

  • President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a meeting on the Open Government Partnership at the United Nations

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a meeting on the Open Government Partnership at the United Nations in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    The Open Government Partnership (OGP) began three years ago with eight countries committing to be more transparent and to fight corruption alongside civil society. Today, the OGP has grown into a partnership that includes 64 nations and hundreds of civil society organizations, who together have made more than 2,000 commitments to advance open government for more than 2 billion people around the world.

    To mark the OGP’s third anniversary today, President Obama joined with heads of state from other participating countries to celebrate these steps to improve the ability of citizens to engage with their governments and better harness the power of transparency to drive growth:

  • After the President's address at the United Nations General Assembly this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following message to the White House email list.

    Didn't get the email? Make sure you're signed up to receive updates from the White House and senior Administration officials.


    Good afternoon,

    Each and every year, the world's leaders gather in New York for a session of the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier today, President Obama spoke to them directly in an address that warrants the attention not only of those leaders, but of all Americans. It was clear, candid, and compelling. The President talked about the world as it is, and the world as we all hope it can be.

    The President said that, for all the hard-won progress we see in the world, there is also what he today called a "pervasive unease."

    A deadly Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the group of medieval murdering terrorists known as ISIL, which, left unchecked, could pose a growing threat beyond the region -- including our homeland.

    So when President Obama addressed the leaders of more than 140 nations this morning, he posed two fundamental questions that will help define both the world's future and our own: Can the major powers set aside their differences and meet their responsibilities as leaders? And can the world reject the cancer of violent extremism?

    The President knows the answer is yes -- if we make it so. The way he answers these questions is an important illustration of the principles we stand for as Americans, and a window into the future we look to help build. See what he had to say.

  • A number of recent reports point to one clear conclusion: The Affordable Care Act is working and making health care more affordable, accessible, and of a higher quality for families, seniors, businesses, and taxpayers.

    For starters, a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust shows that the average premium for employer-provided family health coverage only went up 3% this yearThat's tied for the lowest rate on record since the survey began in 1999.

    What's more, if premium growth since 2010 had followed the average growth seen from 2000-2010, the average premium for job-based family coverage would have been $1,800 higher in 2014.

  • Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Labor blog. See the original post here.

    Today, more than 30 million of America’s working families have young children, and more than 25 million workers provide unpaid care for elderly relatives and loved ones every year. The needs that they tend to aren’t always the kind that can be addressed in a day here or there.

    While caregiving roles in the U.S. are changing, with more fathers and sons taking up primary caregiving responsibilities, the majority of family caregivers are women. In 2011, BLS data documented more than 5 million working women with children under three years old, translating into more than 5 million births or adoptions in the preceding three-year period – major life events that require absences from work.

  • Last Friday, President Obama and Vice President Biden joined leaders from universities, media companies, the sports world, and grassroots organizations to launch the "It’s On Us" campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. "It’s On Us" is a rallying cry, inviting everyone to step up and realize that the solution begins with us. It seeks to reframe the conversation surrounding sexual assault in a way that inspires everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something, big or small, to prevent it.

    Studies estimate that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Most often, the act occurs in her freshman or sophomore year, usually by someone she knows. And only 13 percent of rape survivors report their assault. The culture of violence and silence at our college campuses contradicts everything we stand for as a country.

    In launching "It’s On Us" last Friday, President Obama said, “To the survivors who are leading the fight against sexual assault on campuses, your efforts have helped start a movement.  I can only imagine how long and lonely your fight must feel.  And that’s why we’re all here today -- to say that it’s not on you; it’s not your fight to wage alone; it’s on us -- all of us -- to fight campus sexual assault.  You are not alone. We’ve got your back.”  And as a groundswell of interest and momentum that we’ve seen in just the initial first days of launching this campaign, it’s clear that Americans across the country really do have their back.

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