The White House Blog: The First Lady
- Posted byon April 14, 2014 at 1:24 PM EDT
Three years ago this month, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a national initiative to support America’s service members and military families – before, during and after deployment.
One of the best ways we can support those who serve is by providing them with tools and resources to help them pursue an education or find a good-paying job. We know that veterans make some of the very best students and employees; they bring the same determination and focus to their studies and their jobs that they brought to serving our country.
As more than one million service members transition back to civilian life over the next five years, many of them will pursue their education by using the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they have earned.
That’s why resources like the VA’s GI Bill® Comparison Tool are so important. Veterans, service members, survivors, and eligible dependents can quickly and easily calculate their GI Bill benefits at more than 10,000 approved schools and job training programs.
- Posted byon April 11, 2014 at 2:00 PM EDT
Today, the President released his 2013 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $481,098. The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax.
The President and First Lady also reported donating $59,251 – or about 12.3 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 32 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.4 percent. The President pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. In 2013, as a result of his policies, the President was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $23,328 in state income tax.
The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2013 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident Virginia tax return. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Bidens paid $96,378 in total federal tax for 2013, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent. They also paid $14,644 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, including contributing the royalties received from Dr. Biden’s children’s book, net of taxes, to the USO.
- Posted byon April 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM EDT
This week, the President honored Equal Pay Day and signed two executive orders to support efforts to level the playing field for women, pushed for better access to skills-based high school training, hosted the Prime Minister of Tunisia, and traveled with the First Lady to the memorial at Fort Hood and then to Austin, to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
- Posted byon April 11, 2014 at 10:26 AM EDT
On June 7, 2012, Linda Mills received a phone call that changed her life forever: Linda’s husband, Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Mills, had been seriously injured when an IED exploded in Afghanistan.
Almost immediately, Linda quit her job to become Andrew’s full-time caregiver. In the weeks and months after the explosion, Andrew underwent more than 30 surgeries. The two of them moved from North Carolina to Virginia, so that Andrew can rehab at a state-of-the-art military hospital. And every single day, Linda has stood by her husband’s side, helping with physical therapy, assisting with daily personal care, and managing the family’s legal and financial responsibilities.
Today, after two years in her new role as a caregiver, Linda considers herself not just a military spouse, but a nurse, an advocate, a scheduler, and a coach. And as she often says, even a tragedy can lead to a new beginning – in a few weeks’ time, she and Andrew will welcome their first child into the world.
- Posted byon April 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM EDT
Last month at the White House, the President and First Lady honored great “foremothers” of American music -- music legends and contemporary artists whose songs express the struggles and achievements of women. The program, “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul,” included performances by Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott, with Greg Phillinganes as music director.
Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the event, then tune to PBS tonight at 9:00 pm ET to watch the full program. Check your local listings for times and channel information.
- Posted byon April 4, 2014 at 5:59 PM EDT
This week, the President announced that 7.1 million Americans got covered, and the First Lady worked with students to plant the Kitchen Garden. Plus, 2014 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians visited the White House. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.
The numbers don't lie -- the Affordable Care Act is working. By the end of open enrollment on March 31, 7.1 million Americans had signed up for coverage.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 1, 2014
In a Rose Garden speech, President Obama celebrated the news: "the bottom line is this: under this law, the share of Americans with insurance is up and the growth of health care costs is down, and that’s good for our middle class and that’s good for our fiscal future."
- Posted byon April 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Registration for this event is now closed. For more information about the 2014 Easter Egg Roll check out WH.gov/EasterEggRoll.
On Monday, April 21, 2014, the First Family will host the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape,” and more than 30,000 people will assemble on the South Lawn to join in the fun. For our next White House Social, we are giving our followers of @LetsMove and @FLOTUS on Twitter, or @MichelleObama on Instagram, a chance to attend.
Interested in attending the White House Easter Egg Roll? Sign up for your chance to join us and learn more about the history of the White House Easter Egg Roll at WhiteHouse.gov/EasterEggRoll. All applicants must have children ages 5 to 13.
After you sign up, help spread the word! Let your followers know that you submitted your entry for the #EasterEggRoll Social.
- Posted byon April 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM EDT
This week, the President wrapped up a six day trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia, spoke on the success of the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, traveled to Michigan to highlight the importance of raising the federal minimum wage, and honored both the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, and the 2014 US Olympic and Paralympic teams. That's March 28th to April 3rd or, "The Rosies."
- Posted byon April 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM EDT
This afternoon, the President and First Lady hosted members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House, in honor of their performance in this year's Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
At an event in the East Room of the White House, the First Lady told the athletes that she was "truly amazed" by their performances in Sochi:
I am really in awe of everything you do, as so many people here in America and across the globe are. Again and again, you all showed us that being an Olympian is about heart; it’s about guts; and it’s about giving it your all no matter what stands in your way. And that’s a message that I try to convey to young people all the time — the idea that if you work hard and commit yourselves to a goal, and then pick yourself up when you fall, that there is nothing that you can’t achieve.
- Posted byon April 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM EDT
Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed local students and FoodCorps leaders on the South Lawn for the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. The garden was first planted in 2009 to commence a nationwide conversation on healthy eating and inspired the First Lady to launch Let’s Move!
At this year’s planting, the First Lady hosted the founders of FoodCorps, a program dedicated to teaching our nation’s children about healthy food while ensuring they have access to it during the school day. This fall, FoodCorps members will serve D.C.-area schools including Cleveland Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School, and Kimball Elementary School — and students from these schools accompanied FoodCorps at the garden planting. In addition, students from Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School who have participated in previous White House Garden events also attended this year’s planting.