Our Top Stories
Dr. Jill BidenJuly 04, 2010
01:00 PM EDT
Last night, my husband Joe and I flew to Iraq to celebrate the Fourth of July with our troops. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Independence Day than spending it with Americans who are bravely serving our country.
Kori SchulmanJuly 04, 2010
09:00 AM EDT
This Independence Day, First Lady Michelle Obama has a special message for all Americans about supporting our military families:
The First Lady is asking 100 percent of Americans to support the brave men and women in uniform and their families back home. Here are some things you can do in your community to get started:
Jesse LeeJuly 03, 2010
06:00 AM EDT
As part of the explosion of Recovery Act projects this summer and as a move towards a clean energy future, the President announces nearly $2 billion in conditional commitments to key solar companies. Learn more from the White House fact sheet.
Macon PhillipsJuly 02, 2010
07:26 PM EDT
HealthCare.gov, the new consumer-oriented portal for health insurance coverage information, went live yesterday. But it’s just getting started.
Jesse LeeJuly 02, 2010
01:25 PM EDT
Yesterday afternoon, just a couple hours after the President's speech, we held a first-of-its-kind event here at the White House -- maybe anywhere? -- in which we took questions from the public on every side of the immigration debate. We hosted Cecilia Muñoz, White House Director of Intertgovernmental Affairs and one of the President’s closest advisors on the issue, along with representatives from online media outlets examining several angles of the immigration issue will be there posing the questions on the minds of their readers. Forbes, which focuses on business and economic issues; the Examiner.com network which has citizen reporters in every state including more than 50 border state communities; CNET which focuses on the tech community; and Univision.com, which has covered the immigration debate as closely as anybody for years -- all of them came with questions directly from their readers.
Watch the full video below, or jump to any question you're interested in by clicking the links underneath:
Jesse LeeJuly 02, 2010
11:34 AM EDT
This morning, we received the June employment report. It reflected the planned phase out of 225,000 temporary Census jobs. But it also showed the sixth straight month of job growth in the private sector. All told, our economy has created nearly 600,000 private sector jobs this year. That’s a stark turnaround from the first six months of last year, when we lost 3.7 million jobs at the height of the recession.
Now, make no mistake: We are headed in the right direction. But as I was reminded on a trip to Racine, Wisconsin, earlier this week, we’re not headed there fast enough for a lot of Americans. We’re not headed there fast enough for me, either. The recession dug us a hole of about 8 million jobs deep. And we continue to fight headwinds from volatile global markets. So we still have a great deal of work to do to repair the economy and get the American people back to work.
Speaking at Andrews Airforce Base on his way to Charleston, West Virginia for the Senator Byrd’s memorial service, the President also emphasized another key point: the Recovery Act is still in action, and still putting people back to work. The President took the opportunity to announce yet another component of the “Summer of Recovery”:
Christina RomerJuly 02, 2010
09:30 AM EDT
Today’s employment report shows continued signs of gradual labor market recovery. Private nonfarm payroll employment increased by 83,000 in June and the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 9.5%. June marks the sixth month in a row that private sector employment has increased. These continued signs of healing are important, particularly given the recent volatility in world markets and the mixed behavior of other recent economic indicators. However, much stronger job gains are needed to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and put the millions of unemployed Americans back to work.
Total payroll employment fell 125,000 in June. This decline had been widely anticipated because some of the temporary employment related to the Census began to wind down last month. Temporary Census employment dropped 225,000 in June. Non-Census employment rose 100,000, reflecting a rise in private employment of 83,000 and a rise in other types of Federal employment. Private employment rose at an average monthly rate of 119,000 in the second quarter of 2010, up from 79,000 in the first quarter, and up dramatically from the average decline of 752,000 in the first quarter of 2009. Private employment has increased 593,000 since its low point in December 2009.
Employment gains were spread broadly across industries. The biggest gains were in professional and business services (including an increase of 20,500 in temporary help services), leisure and hospitality, and education and health. Manufacturing also added employment for the sixth month in a row. Besides the decline in Federal employment related to the Census, the industries losing jobs were construction, finance, information, and state and local government. Average weekly hours for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls also declined one-tenth of an hour in June. Hours, however, are still up four-tenths from their low in October 2009.
The unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point for the second month in a row. At 9.5%, the unemployment rate is now six-tenths of a percentage point below its high last year. However, the drop in the unemployment rate was driven in large part by a substantial decline in the labor force, which we expect to be reversed as employment prospects continue to improve. The household survey also found that the number of workers working part-time for economic reasons declined substantially for the second month in a row. The number of such workers has fallen 525,000 over the past two months.
While this report suggests a continuation of gradual labor market repair, it is important to emphasize the magnitude of the damage that remains from the recession. Payroll employment is still down 7.5 million from its pre-recession peak and the unemployment rate is more than 5 percentage points above its pre-recession low. It is essential that we focus on accelerating job growth. That is why the President continues to work with the Congress to pass targeted jobs measures such as an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, a program for small business lending that will enable small firms to get the credit they need to expand and create jobs, and more aid for troubled state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police. These are fiscally responsible measures that would have a substantial impact on the rate of job growth.
As always, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative. The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and subject to substantial revision. Emphasis should be placed on persistent trends rather than month-to-month fluctuations.
Christina Romer is the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
Arun ChaudharyJuly 02, 2010
12:00 AM EDT
Thanks for checking out the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, walk step by step with President Obama as he gets a lesson in mathematics in the Oval Office, attends the G8 and G20 summits in Canada, meets with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, hosts King Abdullah in the White House and much more.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
- The President on loss of Senator Robert Byrd: "A voice of principle and reason"
- 2010 MATHCOUNT Winners Visit the President
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
- President meets with Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Ben Bernake
- The President meets with bipartisan Senators to discuss climate and energy legislation
- President Obama meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the White House
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Arun Chaudhary is the official White House videographer
July 01, 2010
06:11 PM EDT
On Tuesday, Vice President Biden traveled to the Gulf Coast to assess the ongoing efforts to counter the BP oil spill. During the trip, the Vice President visited New Orleans, Louisiana, and Pensacola, Florida, to survey the response efforts, visit with gulf residents impacted by the spill, and meet with area officials.
July 01, 2010
06:08 PM EDT
When President Obama came into office, he committed to providing the best value for the American people while spending less money. That’s why, on his first full day on the job, the President froze the salaries of senior White House staff, and then expanded that freeze to all senior Administration appointees this year. And he is breaking with past administrations’ practice by eliminating bonuses for Executive Branch political appointees.
Jesse LeeJuly 01, 2010
04:29 PM EDT
Few issues have stirred more passions than immigration in this country, and this morning the President made clear what many already know: all sides must come together to address it, including those Republicans who have backed away from the table since the failed effort a few short years ago. In his speech at American University, the President again emphasized, comprehensive reform is the only solution to our broken immigration system – and that rests on accountability:
Now, once we get past the two poles of this debate, it becomes possible to shape a practical, common-sense approach that reflects our heritage and our values. Such an approach demands accountability from everybody – from government, from businesses and from individuals.
Jesse LeeJuly 01, 2010
12:06 PM EDT
When we posted our first batch of reactions yesterday to Elena Kagan’s testimony, words like “candid,” “responsive,” and “forthright” came up a lot. Those reactions didn’t change with her second day of questioning – Senator Arlen Specter reiterated that she’s been “more forthcoming than most” for example -- but this time there was even more focus on just how impressive she has been. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, having held a notably interesting and substantive exchange with Kagan, closed out his remarks telling her, “You have handled yourself well… I wish you well and I know your family's proud of you and I think you've accorded yourself well for the last several days.” Similarly, Republican Senator Tom Coburn told her “you're doing quite well.”
Perhaps the foremost reason she earned those reactions was her sheer mastery of the law. CNN Contributor Jeffrey Toobin noted that, “every time she is asked a question about a subject area in the law, say separation of church and state, which is a subject she dealt with this morning, she displays enormous mastery of the subject.” Jonathan Adler was even more stark, writing that “Without the benefit of staff-scripted questions or talking points, she demonstrated greater command of the legal questions, demonstrating why she was the only person in the room under consideration for the nation's highest court.”
So where does that leave Elena Kagan? There was perhaps more consensus on that point than anything. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said flatly that “she will be confirmed,” an assessment that Republican Senator John Cornyn shared. McClatchy headlined their piece “Kagan Cruises on Day 3 Toward Easy Confirmation,” the AP went with “Kagan Hearings Near End With Confirmation Likely,” and Reuters wrote “Supreme Court Pick Kagan Sailing Through Senate Hearing.”
Here was the Boston Globe’s take:
Kagan Sails Through Last Day of Questioning.” “Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan emerged yesterday from her last day of Capitol Hill testimony on track to join the nation’s highest court, as key senators on both sides of the aisle said they anticipated her full Senate confirmation after she breezed through two days of meticulous and often aggressive questioning by members of the Judiciary Committee. Over some 17 hours of direct questioning, the former dean of Harvard Law School demonstrated a wide command of constitutional law, deftly deflected Republican attacks on her record, and charmed the committee with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
Secretary Kathleen SebeliusJuly 01, 2010
05:00 AM EDT
Today, our Administration is launching HealthCare.gov a new consumer website that provides unprecedented transparency into the health care marketplace. Through HealthCare.gov, individuals will have more control over their health care as informed and empowered consumers.