The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • Join Us: 2014 White House Spring Garden Tours

    This Spring, the White House will once again welcome guests from across the country to the South Lawn to view the White House Kitchen Garden and grounds. This special tour features the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, and the South Lawn, including the  White House Kitchen Garden, the first vegtable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden.

    These special tours are open and free to the public on Saturday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET and Sunday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET.


  • West Wing Week: 4/18/14 or, “Pull Together, Fight Back, and Win”

    This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a Passover Seder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.


  • Post-9/11 GI Bill Beneficiaries: Estimate Your Education Benefits in Just a Few Clicks

    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.


  • President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2013 Tax Returns

    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.

    DOWNLOAD THE OBAMAS' TAX RETURNS

    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.

    DOWNLOAD THE BIDENS' TAX RETURNS


  • West Wing Week 4/11/14 or, “Love Never Ends”

    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.

     


  • Joining Forces Third Anniversary

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted from Military Spouse magazine. See the original post here.

    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. 


  • Behind the Scenes: “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul”

    Watch on YouTube

    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.


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Millions Get Covered, Team USA Visits, and More

    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.


    7.1 Million Americans: Covered

    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.

    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."


  • You're Invited: White House Easter Egg Roll Social

    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. 

    White House Easter Egg Social 2014

    After you sign up, help spread the word! Let your followers know that you submitted your entry for the #EasterEggRoll Social.


  • West Wing Week: 4/4/14 or, “The Rosies”

    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."