Weekly Wrap Up: “We Stand Together”

Watch the West Wing Week here.

Middle East Trip: On Wednesday, President Obama embarked on a five day journey to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. The President began his visit with an arrival ceremony at the Ben Gurion airport followed by a visit to an Iron Dome defense battery in Tel Aviv. In the evening, President Obama flew to Jerusalem to talk with Israeli leaders and joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a working dinner.

On Thursday, the President visited the West Bank, where he held meetings in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad, and attended a cultural event at Al-Bireh Youth Center. The day also included a tour of the Israel Museum and a speech from the Jerusalem International Convention Center.

The President wrapped up his busy day at the residence of President Peres for a dinner in Jerusalem. Check back this weekend for coverage on the rest of President Obama’s Middle East Trip.

Watch some of the President’s Trip Now:

St. Patty’s Day Celebrations: On Tuesday, President Obama welcomed Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the White House. The two discussed their “incredibly strong partnership” on issues such as the economy and security. The President also noted a deal to sell American-made planes to Ireland, which helps grow our economy and create American jobs. After the bilateral meeting, the pair traveled to Capitol Hill for a St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon. To end the day, the President and First Lady held a reception to mark the holiday.

New Labor Secretary Nominee: On Monday, President Obama announced the nomination of Thomas Perez for Secretary of Labor. Perez will work on behalf of American wage earners, job seekers, and retirees so they can enjoy improved working conditions, advanced employment opportunities, and guaranteed workplace benefits and rights.

As the son of Dominican immigrants worked his way through college as a garbage collector and at a warehouse in order to become a lawyer and dedicate his life to public service, the President said Perez’s life reminds us of our “country’s promise.”

“If you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your last name is -- you can make it if you try,” said President Obama. “Tom’s made protecting that promise for everybody the cause for his life.”

Women’s History Month: On Monday, President Obama delivered remarks at the Women’s History Month reception at the White House. The First Lady and leaders from various sectors joined the President as he celebrated the progress women have made:

“And when I look around this room, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental right:  the right to vote, to have a say in our democracy. And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters.”

At the event, President Obama also announced that he would nominate longtime women’s advocate Cathy Russell, who has served as Dr. Jill Biden’s Chief of Staff, as the next Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women Issues.

Learn more on the Administration’s Commitment to Women:

Three Years of the Affordable Care Act: This week marked the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and we identified meaningful ways the health care law is helping everyday Americans. In a series of blog posts throughout the week we discussed how the Affordable Care Act holds insurance companies accountable, protects consumers, protects against insurance discrimination, maintains a focus on quality care, increases savings for seniors, and expands access to millions of young adults.

The President’s Bracket: On Wednesday, the President released his bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. President Obama’s Final Four includes Louisville, Ohio State, Florida, and Indiana, while he predicted Indiana to win it all. Today, he released his picks for the women’s tournament with Baylor topping Notre Dame in the final.

Download the men’s bracket here and the women’s bracket here.

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