Office of Public Engagement

President Obama Calls Student Body Presidents

Two weeks ago, the President received a letter from over 120 Student Body Presidents from Colleges and Universities all around the country expressing the need for a bipartisan solution to the debt ceiling crisis.

After President Obama received the letter, he met with University of Maryland Student Body President Kaiyi Xie to thank him for the work he and his colleagues are doing to move our nation forward and keep Washington focused on what is important.  The President also reiterated the need for the balanced solution that was called for in the letter.

President Obama wanted to make sure all the signees had an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of the administration.  Last Tuesday, President Obama, as well as Gene Sperling, the Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Ronnie Cho, the White House Liaison to Young Americans, and Kalpen Modi, the former White House Liaison to Young Americans, joined these young leaders on a conference call to discuss the negotiations and the potential ramifications of not raising the debt ceiling. 

During the call, the students asked about how they could continue to get their peers involved with this debate to spread the word about the need for a bipartisan approach to solve the debt deal.  They also discussed the importance of organizing, and looked to keep young people engaged on important issues in the future. 

President Obama jumped on the call to speak with these young Americans about the need for a solution that finds a shared sacrifice for all Americans.  Just as was pointed out in the letter, he said that solving this problem is about investing in our future and making sure young people today have the same chances past generations had.

Thanks to young leaders like these all around the country, we averted a catastrophic economic crisis this week and did the right thing for future generations.  Their tireless belief in the ability of Washington to come together and solve our nation’s problems will continue to guide President Obama as we move our nation forward. These student body presidents have once again proven that young people are not simply the leaders of tomorrow.

Isaiah Nelson is an Intern in the White House Office of Public Engagement

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