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November 24, 2014
03:34 PM EST
On November 15, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for the 2015 enrollment season, giving current Marketplace enrollees a chance to compare their options for 2015 and others the chance to think about purchasing affordable coverage through the Marketplace for the first time. Individuals can find a plan that meets their needs and their budget at HealthCare.gov.
But November 15 also saw the beginning of online shopping through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Historically, small businesses have paid as much as 18 percent more than their larger competitors for the same coverage, reflecting high broker fees, administrative costs, and other factors.
Tanya SomanaderNovember 24, 2014
03:17 PM EST
Everyone knows that our immigration system has been broken for decades. So, like many presidents before him, President Obama is taking new steps to do what he can to fix the system while the country waits for Republicans to Congress to act.
1. So what are the actions the President is taking?
President Obama is using his executive authority to fix as much of the broken system as he can, and ensure that everyone is held accountable and has the opportunity to play by the rules and contribute to the United States. You can read the full details of the plan here, but here's a breakdown of what the President’s plan will do:
- Continue to strengthen our border security by deploying more resources to bolster enforcement
- Make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy
- Hold more than 4 million undocumented immigrants accountable if they want to temporarily stay in the United States
For undocumented immigrants who are living in our country illegally, this is the deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents; if you pass a criminal background check, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation and be required to pay taxes.
Tanya SomanaderNovember 24, 2014
01:26 PM EST
"My husband and I own and operate a semi-truck. For the past 3 years, we have been paying $1200 a month for health coverage. Under the ACA exchanges, we found a plan with the same insurer for $89. Plus our deductible went from $10,000 to $300! That is a huge savings!"
Amy and her husband are self-employed, operating a semi-truck out of Augusta, GA. As self-employed Americans, they had to purchase health insurance on their own. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, they were able to keep a significant amount of their business profits in their pocket by purchasing an affordable, quality plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Now Amy has another job -- helping others just like her get covered. By working with organizations, calling into radio shows, and spreading the word on Facebook, she helps answer questions people have and directs them to where they need to go for more information: HealthCare.gov. "We have made a difference," she says.
Read more stories about Americans whose lives are being made better by health reform.
November 24, 2014
10:25 AM EST
Ed. note: Applications are now being accepted for the Summer 2015 White House Internship Program. This blog post introduces readers to Huma Shah, a former intern who worked in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the summer of 2014. When asked about her internship experience, Huma writes:
My internship at the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs showed me that at the crux of public service is a mindset of teamwork and cooperation. From my first day until my last, every moment I spent in the White House was an enriching opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge myself. The internship taught me that every small contribution -- editing a memo, scheduling a phone call, or staffing an event -- truly makes a difference and is appreciated.
Lindsay HolstNovember 22, 2014
06:00 AM EST
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
In this week’s address, the President laid out the steps he took this past week to fix our broken immigration system. Enacted within his legal authority, the President’s plan focuses on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border; deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks and taxes. These are commonsense steps, but only Congress can finish the job.
As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill -- like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago -- that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.
Learn more about the President's action on immigration here.
David HudsonNovember 21, 2014
07:23 PM EST
Following his address to the nation last night, President Obama traveled to Las Vegas today to detail the new steps he's taking to start fixing America's broken immigration system.
November 21, 2014
05:08 PM ESTThe Weekly Wrap Up
It's been a busy week here at the White House. In case you've missed some of our top stories this week, here's a recap.
Photo of the Week:
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 15, 2014
Tanya SomanaderNovember 21, 2014
04:01 PM EST
In an address to the nation last night, President Obama announced new steps he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system and ensure nearly 5 million people will be held accountable and have the opportunity to play by the rules.
Using his executive authority, the President is making it easier for high-skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to the economy, as well as allowing certain undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years to get right by the law.
Alongside those steps, the President is also continuing to strengthen our border security. In fact, the Obama administration’s investment in border technology, manpower, and resources represents the most serious and sustained action to secure our border in our nation’s history.
Today, there are more than 18,000 border patrol agents at our southwest border alone, the miles of fencing and barriers have more than doubled, unmanned aircraft systems have more than doubled, and ground surveillance has almost doubled -- making our border more secure than it has been in decades.
As a result of the President’s focus on security over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Check out this chart to see how the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s:
David HudsonNovember 21, 2014
03:51 PM EST
Last night, President Obama addressed the nation and laid out the steps he'll be taking -- within his executive authority as President -- to start fixing America's broken immigration system:
- Building on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel.
- Making it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as many business leaders have proposed.
- Dealing responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.
"I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common-sense law," the President said. He noted, however, that House Republicans continue to block a bipartisan immigration bill that the Senate passed a year and a half ago.
"To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed," he said, "I have one answer: Pass a bill."
Already, a number of people -- ranging from prominent politicians and members of Congress to media personalities and other organizations -- have voiced their strong support for the President's action. Take a look what they had to say on Twitter:
Adam GarberNovember 21, 2014
03:43 PM EST
This week, the President visited Burma for the second time in his presidency, attended the G20 Summit in Australia, worked to expand access to broadband and 21st century technology in our schools, and addressed the nation about the steps he is taking to fix our broken immigration system. That's November 14th to November 20th or, "Mingalarbar!"
Tanya SomanaderNovember 20, 2014
09:25 PM EST
"Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger -- we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too."
-- President Obama, November 20, 2014
Since the founding of our nation, we've weaved a tradition of welcoming immigrants into the very fabric of who we are. It's what keeps us dynamic, entrepreneurial, and uniquely American.
But, as we know all too well, America's immigration system is broken. So tonight, President Obama addressed the nation on the executive actions he is taking to help fix what he can:
1. We will build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel.
Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.
2. We will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.
3. We will take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.
Read more about the details of the President's actions at WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action.
Tanya SomanaderNovember 20, 2014
06:00 PM EST
Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, the President will address the nation on the new steps he's taking to increase accountability and fix what he can in our immigration system. You can watch his address live here.
As everyone knows, our immigration system has been broken for decades, and the President is doing his job to address the problems that he can with his executive authority. He will continue to work with Congress to pass comprehensive and common-sense immigration reform that will offer a long-term and much-needed solution.
So what exactly is the President's plan for immigration? Take a look at what the President plans to do:
Every U.S. president since President Eisenhower has used his executive authority to address immigration issues. However, President Obama cannot fix the system on his own -- Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform in order to enact a long-term solution. The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill more than 500 days ago, but House Republicans are still refusing to bring it up for a vote.
The President is doing his job, and it's time for Republicans in Congress to do theirs so we can build a system that lives up to our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
To learn more about the President's actions, watch his address live tonight at 8 p.m. ET here: WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action
November 20, 2014
05:41 PM EST
Today, in the East Room of the White House, President Obama awarded National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation to 19 of our nation’s top thinkers, discoverers, and innovators -- marveling both at the amount of brainpower packed into the room and the magnitude of the laureates' achievements.
“The results of the work of the people we honor today have transformed our world,” President Obama said.
November 20, 2014
05:18 PM EST
While many issues divide Washington, we have seen bipartisan progress -- in both the House and the Senate -- in the effort to combat Ebola. These steps forward are encouraging, and hopefully suggest positive momentum for the President’s vital $6.2 billion emergency funding request to fight Ebola here at home and in West Africa.
Yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to accelerate the development of Ebola-fighting vaccines and treatments. The legislation leverages a longstanding federal program to incentivize vaccine and therapeutic development by promising prompt regulatory review for drug makers.
Already, teams at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are doing incredible work researching, testing, developing, and approving vaccines to prevent Ebola; large-scale clinical tests of the first two vaccines for Ebola are only weeks away in Liberia and Sierra Leone. But because these vaccines remain unproven, and because others might be even better, the Harkin-Alexander bill could be a valuable tool in this fight.
November 20, 2014
02:55 PM EST
Welcome to your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s three-country, five-day visit to Morocco, Ukraine, and Turkey.
November 22-23, 2014 Vice President Biden Wraps Up His Trip in Turkey
The Vice President wrapped up his three-country trip last week with a visit to Istanbul, Turkey.
David HudsonNovember 20, 2014
01:03 PM EST
Yesterday, in the Oval Office, President Obama signed S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, into law.
"One of my top priorities," the President said, "is making sure that we've got affordable, high-quality child care and early childhood education for our young people across the country. Today, I am pleased to sign a bill into law which is going to bring us closer to that goal."
Cameron BrenchleyNovember 19, 2014
04:05 PM EST
Earlier today, speaking to more than 100 school superintendents in the East Room of the White House, President Obama launched a new effort to assist school leaders in their transition to digital learning with the Future Ready Digital Pledge.
The Future Ready Digital Pledge is part of the President’s ConnectED initiative, which empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content. ConnectED also seeks to connect 99 percent of America’s students with high-speed broadband internet in their schools and libraries.
Josh EarnestNovember 19, 2014
01:00 PM EST
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration reform at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, NV. January 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Our immigration system has been broken for decades -- and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.
So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
John PodestaNovember 19, 2014
11:41 AM EST
Yesterday at the White House, Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and I got to see American innovation in action, as Pacific Gas & Electric demonstrated their new plug-in hybrid bucket truck — a utility vehicle with emissions nearly 80% lower than a conventional truck.
Not only does PG&E’s plug-in hybrid utility vehicle run cleaner, it provides up to 120 kW of exportable power — meaning that the trucks can actually be used to shorten or end power outages by plugging their reserves into the grid.
This is the kind of innovation we need to take action on climate change — reducing emissions on the one hand and finding creative ways to boost community resilience on the other.
November 19, 2014
11:26 AM EST
Ed. Note: This is a cross post from ED's Homeroom Blog. You can find the original post here.
Our nation’s prosperity depends on individuals having the education and skills to obtain good jobs and progress along their career pathways, and employers finding workers with the skills to support their growth and the nation’s economic prosperity. How well we educate our citizens and help hard-working Americans in entry-level jobs gain the skills they need to advance in the workplace matters. Together, businesses, working with the nation’s public workforce system, can support our ability to transform low-wage and entry-level jobs into gateways to the middle class.
Vice President Biden recently emphasized the importance of business engagement in his landmark report, Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity. The report highlighted seven key elements within a new “Job-Driven Training Checklist.” This checklist will continue to make our federal education, workforce, and training programs more responsive to business needs and more focused on evidence-based practices. Engaging employers is one of the key elements on that checklist, and all federal agencies are being asked to integrate the element across grant programs in workforce education and training.