The White House Blog: The President

  • Reforming America's Job-Driven Training Programs

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    In this year's State of the Union address, President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead a reform of America's job training programs, making sure that these programs "train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now."

    This afternoon, the President and Vice President visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania to announce progress on that reform.


  • A Moment of Silence to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing

    President Barack Obama, with senior advisors observes a moment of silence at 2:49 P.M. to mark the one-year anniversary since the Boston Marathon bombings

    President Barack Obama observes a moment of silence during his meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office at 2:49 P.M. to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, April 15, 2014. Pictured from left, are Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer, Press Secretary Jay Carney, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, and Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today at 2:49 pm ET, President Obama will observe a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. 

    President Obama also released a statement this morning on the tragedy.

    Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.

    We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.

    Read the full statement here.


  • President Obama Hosts Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House

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    This morning, President Obama welcomed religious leaders to the White House for the fifth-annual Easter prayer breakfast, marking the beginning of Holy Week.

    At the start of his remarks, the President took a moment to reflect on yesterday's tragic shootings at two Jewish facilities — a community center and a retirement home — in Kansas. As he said today, "nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."

    As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims; we've got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society. And we have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and to violence, because we're all children of God.


  • Connecting Young African Leaders with the U.S. and One Another

    What do you do when nearly 50,000 young Africans apply for 500 spaces in President Obama’s inaugural Washington Fellowship program, the opportunity for young African leaders to learn new skills and build lasting partnerships in the United States?

    President Obama announced his answer to this question today:

    The Young African Leaders Initiative Network – or YALI Network – is a virtual community that connects young African leaders with resources from the U.S. government and to one another. Thousands of young Africans have already joined the YALI Network. They have participated in virtual programs, signed up for online courses, and are eager to shape Africa’s future.

    That’s why President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the United States are committed to helping them succeed.


  • Weekly Address: Ensuring Equal Pay for Equal Work

    In this week’s address, the President underscores the importance of ensuring equal pay for equal work and highlights the steps his Administration has taken to expand opportunity and narrow the pay gap that exists between men and women. 

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Weekly Wrap Up: POTUS Honors Fallen Soldiers, Civil Rights Leaders, and More

    This week, the President honored soldiers who lost their lives last week at Fort Hood, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and picked up his pen to take action toward ensuring equal pay. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    President Obama at Fort Hood: "Love Never Ends"

    On Wednesday, President Obama spoke at a memorial service for the soldiers who lost their lives during last week's shooting at Fort Hood Military Base.

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    In his remarks, the President explained that we must honor their lives "not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth." Watch his full remarks here.


  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell Nominated to Be the Next Secretary of Health and Human Services

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    Today, President Obama announced that Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget would follow Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Secretary Sebelius’s work over the last five years have been critical to the health and welfare of the American people, and will benefit our families and this country for decades to come, President Obama said.

    She has fought to improve children’s health, from birth to kindergarten; expanded mental health care; reduced racial and ethnic disparities; brought us closer to the first AIDS-free generation.  She’s been a tireless advocate for women’s health.   

    And, of course, what Kathleen will go down in history for is serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America. 


  • 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.

     


  • Honoring President Lyndon Baines Johnson on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

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    Today, 50 years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, President Obama spoke at the LBJ Presidential Library to honor the work and legacy of our nation’s 36th president.

    “As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we honor the men and women who made it possible,” President Obama said. “We recall the countless unheralded Americans, black and white, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers -- whose names are etched not on monuments, but in the hearts of their loved ones, and in the fabric of the country they helped to change.”