The White House Blog: The President

  • Dan Pfeiffer: "House Republicans Just Voted to Sue President Obama"

    Today, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list. Didn't get it? Sign up for updates.


    The House of Representatives just took a vote -- and it wasn't to raise the minimum wage, put in place equal pay, create jobs, or reform our broken immigration system.

    Instead, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to sue the President for using his executive authority. This lawsuit will waste valuable time and potentially millions of taxpayer dollars.

    This is the least productive Congress in decades. And instead of doing their job, they are suing the President for doing his.

    The President is committed to making a difference for the millions of hardworking Americans trying to do right by their families and communities. While Republicans in Congress continue to waste taxpayer money, this President is going to keep doing his job.

    If you’re doing your own job -- and you support President Obama doing his -- add your name.


  • President Obama in Kansas City: “Let’s Get Some Work Done Together”

    President Obama Outside Arthur Bryants

    President Barack Obama talks with a youngster outside Arthur Bryant's Barbeque in Kansas City, Missouri, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Yesterday, President Obama traveled to Kansas City, Missouri for a short one-day trip to have dinner with several people who had written him letters, and to give a speech today on ensuring that the economy works for everyone.

    Last night, the President had dinner at Arthur Bryant’s BBQ in Kansas City with four local residents who had written to him to share how they're working hard to get ahead in America.

    Watch Press Secretary Josh Earnest call to invite the letter writers to dinner.

    This is just the latest stop the President has made while on the road to meet with hardworking Americans who have written him, and to let them know he’s listening.


  • President Obama: "Russia Is Once Again Isolating Itself from the International Community"

    Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn about the situation in Ukraine, in the wake of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly two weeks ago.

    "In the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, and countries around the world," he said, "families are still in shock over the sudden and tragic loss of nearly 300 loved ones senselessly killed when their civilian airliner was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine."

    Noting that those families and their nations are America's friends and allies, the President made clear that the U.S. "continues to do everything in our power to help bring home their loved ones, support the international investigation, and make sure justice is done."

    President Obama then explained that Russia, along with its proxies in Ukraine, are neither cooperating with the investigation, nor pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine:


  • Press Secretary Josh Earnest: "The President Wants to Meet You"

    This summer, President Obama is traveling across the country to meet with everyday Americans who have written him about what's going on in their lives.

    Ahead of the President's trip to Kansas City this evening, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest called a few people in the area and invited them out to dinner with the President.

    Watch the Press Secretary give them a call, and hear their reactions -- we're sure you'll enjoy it:

    Watch on YouTube

    (And of course, if you want to write the President a note, you can do that right here.)


  • A Day in Ohio: Secretaries Perez and Duncan Go to Toledo

    Labor Secretary Tom Perez is traveling with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Toledo, Ohio, today to see first-hand model programs and partnerships that are equipping Americans with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education they need to get on the pathway to a successful career.

    We want to make sure you see what they see, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from their day.

    First stop: The Toledo Technology Academy.

    The path to good jobs begins in grade school. Students in grades 7 – 12 receive an intense integrated academic and technical education that prepares them for a rewarding, life-long career in engineering or manufacturing technologies. Along with more “typical” high school classes, they receive hands-on training in plastics technologies, automated systems, manufacturing operations, computer-automated design, electronics and other manufacturing technologies. The academy works closely with employers – including the local GM plant – to provide students with industry recognized credentials and certification. Students also can earn advanced credit at local 2- and 4-year colleges. In April, the Toledo Public School System was awarded a $3.8 million Youth CareerConnect grant that will expand the Toledo Technology Academy’s model to serve more students.

    ...Where students on the robotics team earn a varsity letter.


  • President Obama Awards the 2013 National Medals of Arts and Humanities

    Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon, the President and the First Lady honored the 2013 National Medals of the Arts and Humanities recipients at the White House. The President told the recipients that their "accomplishments enrich our lives and reveal something about ourselves and our country."

    This year's recipients consisted of a diverse array of indidivuals and groups who have done groundbreaking work in the arts and humanities, including architecture, choreography, East Asian Studies, and documentary filmmaking – all of whom have made significant contributions to the human experience.


  • Empowering Africa's Next Generation of Leaders

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Young African Leaders Initiative town hall

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Young African Leaders Initiative town hall in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    President Obama’s town hall today with 500 of Africa’s most promising young leaders provided an inspiring window into what the future holds for Africa, and the world.

    The 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship program were selected from nearly 50,000 applicants from across Africa, as part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched by President Obama in 2010, as part of a long-term investment in the next generation of African leaders. It aims to sharpen their skills, to improve their networks, and to strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa for years to come.

    The President announced during the town hall that the Washington Fellowship was being renamed as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, in honor of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Mandela Washington Fellows represent the best and brightest from communities across Africa, and fields ranging from education, medicine, law, business, and beyond. These are the young leaders whose skills, passion, and visions for the future, will help shape the fate of their countries and the world. It is in everyone’s best interest to help them prepare with the tools they need to build a healthier, more secure, more prosperous, and more peaceful Africa, which is why President Obama launched YALI in the first place. 


  • Boosting Our Global Competitiveness: It’s Time to Invest in America’s Roads, Rails, and Bridges

    When it comes to investing in our infrastructure, the President’s message has been loud and clear: We must upgrade our roads and rails and bridges to grow our economy and create good American jobs. Over the last five decades, U.S. investments in transportation have fallen by nearly 50 percent as a percentage of GDP. So it is not surprising that in the most recent World Economic Forum rankings, the U.S. has fallen from 7th to 18th overall in the quality of our roads in less than a decade.

    Earlier this month, we released a report that shows our transportation infrastructure system is in dire need of investment. The data tells an important story: 65 percent of America’s major roads are rated in less than good condition; one in four bridges require significant repair or cannot handle today’s traffic; and 45 percent of Americans lack access to transit.

    We know what we need to do – and there are two compelling reasons for doing it right now. First, our global competiveness is directly linked to the strength of our infrastructure – investing in it can serve as a clear source of competitive advantage. Second, these investments will create jobs, help American businesses, and grow our economy. The President has put forth a long-term proposal that would make these investments and pay for them by closing unfair tax loopholes and making commonsense reforms to our business tax system. The President’s GROW AMERICA Act would support millions of jobs and position our economy for lasting growth. 


  • Training a Workforce for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Jobs

    It’s no secret that the American economy is changing, and some of the most in-demand skills today barely existed a generation ago. The average worker graduated high school around twenty years ago, when the personal computer was in its infancy, and only the most technical professions demanded a fluency in information technology (IT).

    But times have changed, and some of the best ladders to well-paying, middle-class jobs are in IT fields across our economy. That’s because the average salary in a job that requires IT skills -- whether in manufacturing, advertising, hospitality, or banking -- is more than one and a half times higher than the average private-sector American job.

    This week, the President and Vice President are announcing important reforms in the way Federal programs train and retrain workers. To meet the demand for IT and cybersecurity skills, we will also be kicking off a significant new effort focused on bridging the gap between workers, technology skills, and employers.


  • Watch Live: Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

    Today, President Obama kicks off a three-day Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The Washington Fellowship gives 500 of sub-Saharan Africa’s most prominent young leaders the opportunity to engage with U.S. government officials, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives, as well as leaders in international development.

    Watch President Obama's town hall -- and tune in for events throughout the week with First Lady Michelle Obama, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and more.