Weekly Wrap Up: "All of Them Deserve a Vote"

Watch West Wing Week here.

Call for Action: On Monday, President Obama traveled to Connecticut to assure Newtown families and all Americans he has not forgotten about that community’s tragedy. The President urged Americans to press Congress to vote on gun legislation:

And now they’re going to start denying your families a vote when the cameras are off and when the lobbyists have worked what they do? You deserve better than that. You deserve a vote.

On January 16, President Obama issued 23 executive actions to help reduce gun violence, and called on Congress to pass laws that would help keep guns out of the wrong hands and make our schools safer. The President and Vice President have worked for common-sense measures to protect our children and our communities. Both have spoken with families of gun violence, mayors, law enforcement officers, community leaders and Americans across the country.

Movement on Gun Violence legislation: On Thursday, after the Senate moved forward on legislation to reduce gun violence, President Obama called family members of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said in Thursday’s press briefing, "the President congratulated the families on this important step forward, noting that the bipartisan progress would not have been possible without their efforts.”

You can take action now by joining the White House call for action on social media. The White House is using a third-party service called Thunderclap. Simply, use this easy tool to pre-set a post to Twitter and/or Facebook that will publish simultaneously with thousands of other gun safety advocates. Be sure to also check out President Obama's proposals to help reduce gun violence

The President’s Budget: On Wednesday, President Obama released the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget. Although 6.5 million jobs have been created the past three years, there is more work to be done.  To keep building our economy, he sent Congress “a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth.”

His budget invests in manufacturing, cutting-edge research, energy independence and infrastructure investments – to help make America a magnet for jobs. The President also plans to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America – fully paid for by raising the tax on cigarettes by 94 cents per pack.

“My budget makes these investments to grow our economy and create jobs, and it does so without adding a dime to our deficits," said the President. "If anyone thinks I’ll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term, they should think again.”

Medal of Honor: On Thursday, President Obama honored Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun by presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to his nephew, Ray Kapaun. Chaplain Kapaun was recognized for his extraordinary heroism while serving during combat operations against an armed enemy and as a prisoner of war in the Korean War.

“Father Kapaun has been called a shepherd in combat boots. His fellow soldiers who felt his grace and his mercy called him a saint, a blessing from God,” said the President. “Today, we bestow another title on him -- recipient of our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.”

Watch the full ceremony here and read the full remarks here.  

FLOTUS in Chicago: On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to her hometown to address Chicago business and community leaders on the importance of creating ladders of opportunity for every child. Speaking on behalf of the city’s young people, Mrs. Obama discussed the essential need to craft alternatives to gangs and drugs.

Memphis Soul Workshop: On Tuesday, Mrs. Obama hosted an interactive student workshop celebrating Memphis Soul. Musicians including Justin Timberlake joined students from across the country in a lesson on the history of this uniquely American music, and a question and answer session.

“But I want you all to remember that nothing happens without hard work, and I want you all to recommit yourselves to the work that you're going to do in your lives because we need you all to be the next generation of leaders in whatever you do,” said the First Lady. “And we have complete faith that you all will.”

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