Read all posts from September 2011

  • Today, Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor, answered your questions on the American Jobs Act during a session of White House Office Hours. See a transcript of the question and answer below, or over on Storify.

    If you didn't have a chance to join us live, there are more Office Hours focused on the American Jobs Act this week. Take a look at the schedule and be sure to follow @WHLive for more chances to engage.

    Stephanie Cutter 9.14.2011 Office Hours

    Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor Stephanie Cutter answers Twitter questions on the American Jobs Act during a session of White House Office Hours. September 14th, 2011 (Photo by Mori Rothman)

     

  • Last night, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden held a reception at the Naval Observatory to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) being signed into law, as well as call on a new generation to take action to reduce the high rates of violence and assault that continues to threaten young men and women across the country.

    Speaking before a crowd that included many of the men and women who supported the Vice President’s efforts to see the Act become law on September 13, 1994, the Vice President remarked on how it was VAWA that exposed a “flaw that lay as part of the fabric of American society”– the fact that the mere discussion of violence and abuse being committed against women was considered by many to be taboo.

    Beyond shattering this notion, the law redefined the way domestic violence is handled through changes in law enforcement, improvements in the criminal justice system and the establishment of shelters and services for victims.

  • Ed note: this article has been cross-posted from the OMB blog

    When he launched the Campaign to Cut Waste in June, President Obama asked the Vice President to take on a new role holding the Cabinet accountable for cutting waste in their agencies to help make government more efficient and responsive to the American people. As a part of that effort, the Vice President today convened the first Cabinet waste reduction meeting and announced over $2 billion in anti-waste measures.

    In these challenging budgetary times, ensuring that every agency is rooting out waste and saving taxpayer dollars is more important than ever. We have made great strides in the last two years – shrinking contract spending for the first time in 13 years, identifying $3 billion in cost reductions from IT projects across government, and getting rid of property we no longer need and working aggressively to realize the President’s goal of saving $3 billion in real estate costs by the year 2012 – but we must continue to be vigilant and innovative about driving efficiency. That’s why the President and Vice President have made the Campaign to Cut Waste an Administration-wide priority.

  • President Barack Obama tours WestStar Precision in N.C.

    President Barack Obama is shown a piece of cut aluminum during a tour of WestStar Precision, a small business that will benefit from the proposed American Jobs Act, in Apex, N.C., Sept. 14, 2011. With President Obama are, from left, employee Barry Blackman, co-owners, Ervin and Susan Portman, and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    While in North Carolina today, President Obama met with Erv Portman, the owner of WestStar Precision, a company that creates parts for airplanes and one of the 170,000 small businesses in North Carolina alone that would benefit from the American Jobs Act. The jobs bill that President Obama sent to Congress this week will help companies like Erv's by cutting taxes when they hire new employees and raise the salaries of their current employees and by cutting their payroll taxes in half. The President also announced a new policy that will accelerate payments to small business government contractors so they can reinvest that money in the economy and drive job growth.

    After talking with employees at WestStar Precision, President Obama headed over to North Carolina State University where he was greeted by over 9,000 people who are ready to get the economy moving again, including many students. Here's what the President said:

    I came to talk about how America can get back to a place where we’re creating good middle-class jobs again -– jobs that pay well; jobs that offer some security; jobs that are available for all the young people who are going to be graduating from N.C. State.  Because I know that’s what the students are thinking about.  And we can do that if we can finally get Washington to act -– if we can get folks to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying a little more about your jobs. 

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act in N.C.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act in the William Neal Reynolds Coliseum at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., Sept. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Today, the President announced a new policy that will accelerate payments to small business contractors so they can reinvest that money in the economy and drive job growth. 

    Small businesses are the primary engine of job creation and job growth across the country. However, in today’s economic climate many face tight budgets and limited resources. With these challenges in mind, last week in his address to Congress the President emphasized the need to take common sense steps to give small businesses the flexibility they need to invest and hire. And that is what we are doing today.

    The Federal Government pays small businesses nearly $100 billion each year for goods and services. By taking actions that will enable these payments to be made as promptly as possible, we will improve cash flow for small businesses and provide them with a more predictable stream of resources. 

  • When he launched the Campaign to Cut Waste in June, President Obama asked the Vice President to take on a new role holding the Cabinet accountable for cutting waste in their agencies to help make government more efficient and responsive to the American people. As a part of that effort, the Vice President today convened the first Cabinet waste reduction meeting and announced over $2 billion in anti-waste measures.

    In these challenging budgetary times, ensuring that every agency is rooting out waste and saving taxpayer dollars is more important than ever. We have made great strides in the last two years – shrinking contract spending for the first time in 13 years, identifying $3 billion in cost reductions from IT projects across government, and getting rid of property we no longer need and working aggressively to realize the President’s goal of saving $3 billion in real estate costs by the year 2012 – but we must continue to be vigilant and innovative about driving efficiency. That’s why the President and Vice President have made the Campaign to Cut Waste an Administration-wide priority.

  • I’m writing today about a very special project, the Joining Forces Community Challenge.

    In that past few years, the First Lady and I have seen incredible examples of people and organizations reaching out to our military families in creative and meaningful ways.  Individuals and groups are coming together in communities all across this country to make a difference in the lives of our service members by hosting baby showers, providing free accounting help during tax season, or recognizing military families during community events.  As an Army mom, I am especially grateful for this outreach.

    To recognize and celebrate these individuals and organizations, the First Lady and I launched the Joining Forces Community Challenge earlier this summer.  The challenge will award several national prizes later this year that recognize citizens and organizations for their efforts in support of military families.

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Greet People at the Warrior and Family Support Center

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet people while visiting the Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, Texas, April 13, 2011. The First Lady and Dr. Biden met with service members and their families during their visit to the facility, which helps care for family members of Wounded Warriors whose recovery is expected to last a long period of time. The center was built with private donations and is run by volunteers from the surrounding community. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

  • Ed. Note: The event has now ended. Watch video and see photos from the event.

    Today, President Obama will visit Raleigh, North Carolina to continue the conversation with Americans on why Congress needs to pass the American Jobs Act to put workers back to work. Watch the President live beginning at 12:55 p.m. EDT at WhiteHouse.gov/live.

    In advance of the President’s visit, Governor Beverly Perdue and mayors across North Carolina explained the importance of passing the American Jobs Act. Governor Beverly Perdue said, "My top priority is creating jobs. I'm pleased that the President put forward the American Jobs Act. Congress should pass a plan quickly that encourages companies to hire, helps unemployed people get back to work, and puts more money in the pockets of working families."

  • Ed note: This post has been cross-posted from treasury.gov

    Foreclosure can have a devastating effect on families and communities. According to recent data, roughly one in 11 homeowners has missed two or more mortgage payments. As many Americans struggle with their mortgage payments and don’t know where to turn for help, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have joined forces with the Ad Council to launch a new phase of the Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Public Service Advertising (PSA) Campaign.

    Watch the PSA on Making Home Affordable here.

  • The purpose of the American Jobs Act, which President Obama sent to Congress this week, is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. The President's plan will rebuild the economy the American way -- based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street. 

    The American Jobs Act reflects a commitment to strengthen the recovery and help increase access to jobs for all Americans. To see what impact the Jobs Act will have on your community, click on the link below.