The White House Blog: The President

  • Judicial Nominations: Accomplishments and the Work That Lies Ahead

    Before the Senate adjourned last night, it confirmed 12 federal district court nominees, for a total of 307 lifetime-appointed federal judges confirmed during President Obama’s first six years. These confirmations include two Supreme Court Justices, 53 circuit court judges, 250 district court judges, and two Court of International Trade judges. Over the past two years, the Senate has confirmed 134 judges—44% of President Obama’s judicial confirmations, and the most in a two-year Congress since 1979-1980. We’re proud of all of our nominees and grateful to the Senate for its action.

    President Obama will continue to consult with Senators—Democrats and Republicans—to identify lawyers with the necessary intellect, integrity, temperament, and commitment to equal justice under law to serve as lifetime-appointed judges. He also will continue his unprecedented commitment to expanding the gender, racial, sexual orientation, and experiential diversity of the men and women who enforce our laws and deliver justice.

    President Obama’s judges have broken barriers across the nation, including four who were confirmed last night:

    • Loretta Biggs, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, is the first African American female judge to serve on her court.
    • Elizabeth Dillon, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, is the first female judge to serve on her court.
    • Amit Mehta, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is the first Asian American Pacific Islander judge to serve on his court.
    • Robert Pitman, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, is the first openly gay lifetime appointed federal judge in Texas.


  • What They're Saying: The President's Action on Cuba Policy

    Today, the President announced the most significant changes to our Cuban policy in more than 50 years -- ending an outdated approach that has failed to advance our interests for decades.

    People and organizations from around the world are weighing in. Take a look at what they're saying, and then add your voice to the conversation using hashtag #CubaPolicy.

    Read more here.

     


  • President Obama Charts a New Course on Cuba: 5 Things to Know

    Watch on YouTube

    "Change is hard -- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations. And change is even harder when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders. But today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today, American chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future -- for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world." 

    -- President Obama, December 17, 2014


  • 5 Things You Need to Know About Alaska's Bristol Bay

    President Obama just took action to protect one of Alaska's most powerful economic engines and one of America’s greatest national treasures: Bristol Bay.

    Today, he signed a Presidential Memorandum that withdraws these beautiful and pristine waters from all future oil and gas drilling. "These waters are too special and too valuable to auction off to the highest bidder," the President said.


  • The Economy in 2014

    The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones. American businesses set a new record for the most consecutive months of job growth: now 57 straight months and counting. By November, the economy had already added more jobs than in any full calendar year since the 1990s. And crucially, the pickup in job growth during 2014 occurred primarily in higher-paying industries, while nearly all of the employment gains have been in full-time positions. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell below 6 percent for the first time since 2008.


  • The Nation's Doctor: Dr. Vivek Murthy Is Confirmed as Surgeon General

    The Surgeon General is America's doctor, responsible for providing Americans with the best scientific information on how to improve our collective well-being. Now, Dr. Vivek Murthy will be the next physician to don the lab coat of the Surgeon General after the Senate confirmed his nomination today. 

    "I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General," the President said following the confirmation. "As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong."

    Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know about our next Surgeon General:

    What does the Surgeon General do? 

    The Surgeon General's chief responsibility is to protect, promote, and advance our nation's public health. He or she provides Americans with the best scientific information available on how to improve our health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.

    On top of overseeing 6,700 members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the Surgeon General is also the Chair of the National Prevention Council, a group of 20 federal departments and agencies that is committed to prevention and wellness for individuals, families, and communities. 


  • President Obama Thanks America's Troops and Marks a Milestone in the Afghanistan War

    "The message I’m here to deliver on behalf of the American people is very simple: It’s just to say thank you."

    President Obama traveled to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey today to offer his thanks to the U.S. military members and families stationed there and across the world for their service to our country: 


  • President Obama: "Nashville Shows How Immigrants Benefit All"

    Earlier today, The Tennessean published the following op-ed from President Obama. In it, he discusses his executive actions to help make America's immigration system smarter and fairer, and why we still need Congress to pass a common-sense law to fix the system.

    Learn more about the actions the President is taking on immigration.


    Many Americans think of Nashville as the home of country music, barbecue, and a hit TV show. What they may not realize is that, in recent years, Music City also has had one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in the country.

    "New Nashvillians" are from Somalia and Nepal and Laos. They're from Mexico and Bangladesh. Nashville even boasts the largest Kurdish community in the United States. They work as teachers in our schools, doctors in our hospitals, and cops in our neighborhoods. They start small businesses and create jobs making this city a more prosperous, more innovative place. "They" are "us."

    When done right, immigration benefits everyone. But our immigration system has been broken for a long time. Families who try to come here the right way can get stuck in line for years. Business owners who treat their workers right see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants. None of us likes the idea that someone could reap the rewards of living in America without its responsibilities. And folks who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities have no way to come out of the shadows and get right with the law.


  • Weekly Address: Giving Thanks for Our Troops

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2014

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    In this week's address, the President thanked the men and women in uniform who serve and sacrifice to protect the freedom, prosperity, and security that we all enjoy as Americans. On Monday the President will visit troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and voice his appreciation in person for their incredible service.

    These troops, as well as the many who are still overseas, have met every mission they have been tasked with, from bringing a responsible end to our war in Afghanistan, to working to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, to saving lives by fighting to contain the spread of Ebola. During this holiday season, a time of blessings and gratitude, the President reminded everyone to find a way to thank and serve the members of the military who serve us every day.

    Transcript  | mp4 | mp3


  • West Wing Week: 12/12/14 or, "Zeros & Ones"

    This week, the President nominated a Secretary of Defense, coded with a group of budding computer scientists, took over as host of The Colbert Report, pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, hosted a summit on high quality early education, and welcomed this year's Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House. That's December 5th to December 11th or, "Zeros & Ones."