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Matt ComptonNovember 09, 2012
02:40 PM EDT
There are 53 days left to find a solution that stops taxes from going up on 140 million American families and helps us reduce our nation's deficits in a smart and responsible way.
And that's what brought President Obama to the East Room of the White House this afternoon -- where he laid out his strategy for finding the right approach to move the country forward.
"I’m committed to solving our fiscal challenges," he said. "But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I'm not going to do that."
In the days and weeks ahead, the President plans to reach out to members of Congress, labor and business leaders, and citizens from all walks of life to gather ideas and input.
In fact, next week, he's invited leaders from both parties to come to the White House to begin discussing solutions. But he intends for those conversations to unfold with a minimal amount of drama.
"What the American people are looking for is cooperation," he said. "They're looking for consensus. They're looking for common sense. Most of all, they want action. I intend to deliver for them in my second term, and I expect to find willing partners in both parties to make that happen."
Watch the full video here.
Megan SlackNovember 09, 2012
12:00 PM EDT
Ed. note: Tune in to whitehouse.gov/live on Sunday, November 11 at 11:00 am EST to watch the President and First Lady pay tribute at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sunday, November 11 will mark Veterans Day, a time show thanks to the men and women whose service and sacrifice have helped secure more than two centuries of American progress.
Since taking office, President Obama has remained committed to making sure our returning heroes share in the opportunities they have given so much to defend. On Veterans Days past, the President has that “while it is important and proper that we mark this day, it is far more important we spend all our days determined to keep the promises that we've made to all who answer this country's call.”
In 2009, the President spoke at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery about upholding that sacred trust with our veterans. “Just as the contributions that our servicemen and women make to this nation don't end when they take off their uniform, neither do our obligations to them,” he said. “And when we fulfill those obligations, we aren't just keeping faith with our veterans; we are keeping faith with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which this republic was founded."
Samantha PowerNovember 09, 2012
10:01 AM EDT
Yesterday’s announcement that President Obama will become the first U.S. President to visit Burma marks an historic step in the United States’ engagement with Burma. In the past year, since President Obama first noted “flickers of progress” in Burma – and since Secretary Clinton became the most senior U.S. official to visit since 1955 – we have seen continued progress on the road to democracy. Several opposition political parties have been permitted to register legally for the first time and their members – including Aung San Suu Kyi – have been elected to parliament. Restrictions on the press have been eased. Legislation has been enacted to expand the rights of workers to form labor unions, and to outlaw forced labor. The government has signed an action plan aimed at ridding its army of child soldiers; it has pledged to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to help ensure that Burma’s natural wealth is not squandered to corruption; and it has announced fragile ceasefires in several longstanding ethnic conflicts.
Seeing these signs of progress, we have responded in kind, with specific steps to recognize the government’s efforts and encourage further reform. We have eased sanctions, appointed our first ambassador in 22 years, and opened a USAID mission. At the same time, we have also updated sanctions authorities that allow us to target those who interfere with the peace process or the transition to democracy, and we created a ground-breaking framework for responsible investment from the United States that encourages transparency and oversight.
Adam GarberNovember 09, 2012
12:00 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President urged Americans to contribute to the recovery efforts in the Northeast, met with governors, mayors, and other local officials, as well as his Homeland Security team to talk about the response to Sandy, and addressed the nation on election night.
Secretary Ray LaHoodNovember 08, 2012
06:00 PM EDT
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on the Fast Lane, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Despite the arrival of another storm last night, hurricane recovery efforts continue throughout the Northeast. For DOT, this means working with state and local officials to help commuters get where they need to go and ensure families have access to housing and other resources they need.
For example, our Federal Highway Administration is working with our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) to speed up permitting for carriers moving temporary mobile housing units from Maryland and Alabama to New Jersey.
Under normal circumstances, carriers have to work with states to get permits from each state they travel through. In this instance, FHWA is coordinating with AASHTO to cut through some of the red tape and get all necessary permits at the same time. In addition, FHWA is also working with states to allow nighttime moves, which aren’t normally allowed.
This partnership will help people move into badly needed temporary housing even faster.
Working with the Department of Homeland Security, our Maritime Administration has provided FEMA with several nearby ships to provide lodging, food, and power for emergency response teams who have traveled to New York.
November 06, 2012
08:27 PM EDT
Ed Note: This post was originally published on the official blog of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA currently has more than 5,100 personnel working alongside our state and local partners. We are supporting disaster response and recovery operations throughout the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We’re also standing ready to deploy additional resources if needed to respond to the Nor’easter that is forecasted to impact the region in the coming days. This new coastal storm is predicted to impact the region beginning after midnight Tuesday with impacts continuing Wednesday and into Thursday.
Megan SlackNovember 05, 2012
12:11 PM EDT
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? As Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills explains, “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA,” which is why the Small Business Administration has resources to help you rebuild your business or your home.
Businesses of any size, as well as homeowners and renters in areas within a disaster declaration (New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut), may be eligible to apply for SBA disaster assistance.
Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow funds to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets, or to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind. And Disaster loans are available for homeowners and renters to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate or personal property.
Colleen CurtisNovember 04, 2012
10:05 AM EDT
Following a briefing with FEMA leaders and Cabinet officers on Saturday in Washington DC, President Obama stressed the importance of making sure all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy know that help is available for them, and asked all Americans to spread the word that anyone looking for assistance -- from housing to childcare, medicine and a whole range of support -- should call 800-621-FEMA.
The President reiterated that making sure making sure those who suffered loss get the resources they need to rebuild and recover is his number one priority, and outlined the steps being taken to restore normalcy in the region:
Number one, that it is critical for us to get power back on as quickly as possible. And just to give people an example of the kind of work we're doing -- the military, DOD, thanks to the work of Leon and others, have been able to get military transport facilities to move cherry-pickers and personnel from as far away as California to get that equipment into the area so we can start getting some of the power back on as quickly as possible. It is a painstaking process, but we're making progress.
Number two, we're getting assets in to pump as much water out as possible. Lower Manhattan obviously is a particularly acute example, but there are problems with flooding that are affecting substations throughout the region. That's going to continue to be a top priority.
Number three, making sure that people's basic needs are taken care of. As we start seeing the weather get a little bit colder, people can't be without power for long periods of time, without heat for long periods of time. And so what we're doing is starting to shift to identify where we can have temporary housing outside of shelters so people can get some sense of normalcy. They can have a hot meal; they can have the capacity to take care of their families as their homes are being dealt with.
Number four, debris removal still important. Number five, making sure that the National Guard and other federal assets are in place to help with getting the transportation systems back up and running -- that's going to be critical.
Megan SlackNovember 03, 2012
05:30 AM EDT
In this week’s address, President Obama thanks the brave first responders and National Guardsmen for their tireless work following one of the worst storms in our nation’s history, and reassures the millions of Americans affected by Hurricane Sandy that their country will be there for them during the long road to recovery.
November 02, 2012
06:00 PM EDT
Here's the week in review of the federal response to Hurricane Sandy:
Sunday: President Obama traveled to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington D.C. to meet with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, and the FEMA regional directors, to ensure federal resources were pre-positioned and plans were in place to support state and local response efforts.
Monday: The President convened a meeting in the White House Situation Room, and received updates from FEMA and the National Hurricane Center on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy. Following the briefing, the President urged residents in the path of Hurricane Sandy to follow the directions of their state and local officials.
Matt ComptonNovember 02, 2012
01:48 PM EDT
Recovery and cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Sandy has now started along much of the East Coast. As survivors of the storm begin to deal with the aftermath of the giant storm, people across the country are asking what they can do to offer aid to their fellow Americans, and the federal governent remains committed to providing all available resources to support affected areas, as directed by President Obama.
We've put together this page to help you find the information you're looking for, whether you want to get help, or get involved in the recovery process.
Alan KruegerNovember 02, 2012
09:30 AM EDT
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
Most pressing, President Obama has proposed, and the Senate has passed, an extension of middle class tax cuts that would prevent the typical middle class family from facing a $2,200 tax increase at the beginning of next year. In addition, the President has proposed a plan that will enable responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgage and take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates. To create more jobs in particularly hard-hit sectors, President Obama continues to urge Congress to pass elements of the American Jobs Act, including further investment in infrastructure to rebuild our Nation’s ports, roads and highways, and assistance to State and local governments to prevent layoffs and to enable them to rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers.
Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that private sector businesses added 184,000 jobs last month, the biggest monthly gain in eight months. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 171,000 jobs in October. Revisions to the previous two months added another 84,000 jobs. The economy has now added private sector jobs for 32 straight months, and a total of 5.4 million jobs have been added during that period, taking account of the preliminary benchmark revision.
Adam GarberNovember 02, 2012
12:00 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, with the arrival of the historic Superstorm Sandy, the President worked alongside FEMA officials and the American Red Cross, addressed the nation and federal agencies on emergency preparedness and recovery, and visited with some of those affected by the storm.
November 01, 2012
12:30 PM EDT
Yesterday, the President was in New Jersey to witness first-hand the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and comfort the Americans affected by the storm. With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he surveyed the damage from Marine One, walked the streets of Brigantine, and visited a community center now serving as shelter for displaced residents.
After speaking with residents and hearing their stories, the President spoke, alongside Governor Chris Christie, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and other officials, to reassure those affected by the storm of recovery, and pledge the full support of the federal government every step of the way. He reminded the American people of our remarkable ability to come together as a country when we go through tough times, and the importance of never leaving anybody behind:
And when you see folks like that respond with strength and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you're reminded about what America is all about. We go through tough times, but we bounce back. And the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don’t leave anybody behind. And so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community, and the people of this state is that that same spirit will carry over all the way through until our work is done.
Take a look at the President’s tour of New Jersey: