The White House Blog: The President

  • Weekly Address: Celebrating Independence Day

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Blue Room of the White House, June 27, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Blue Room of the White House, June 27, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    In this week’s address, President Obama commemorated Independence Day by noting the contributions and sacrifices from individuals throughout the history of this country -- from our Founding Fathers, to the men and women in our military serving at home and abroad.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Here's How the White House Celebrates the Fourth of July:

    Tomorrow's the Fourth of July, and we're pretty excited about it here at the White House.

    To celebrate the holiday, the President and First Lady are inviting military heroes and their families to the White House tomorrow for a special Independence Day event, including a USO program featuring Grammy award-winning recording artist Pitbull.

    But you don't need to be on the South Lawn to enjoy the show! Check out the live-stream of all of tomorrow's events -- including a naturalization ceremony for service members and civilians, remarks from the President on the South Lawn, and the fireworks on the National Mall tomorrow night -- right here at WhiteHouse.gov/Fourth-of-July.

    In the meantime, check out some of our favorite Fourth of July moments from the past few years:


    1. "One of the best perks about being President is anyone will hand you their baby."

    Holding a baby on July 4th

    President Barack Obama holds a baby while greeting guests during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


  • West Wing Week 07/04/14 or, “Cynicism is a Choice… Hope is a Better Choice”

    This week, the President wrapped up a trip to Minneapolis, nominated a new VA Secretary, and caught some World Cup fever. 


  • President Obama Visits 1776, "An Incubator for All Sorts of Tech Startups"

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at 1776, a tech startup hub in Washington, D.C.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at 1776, a tech startup hub in Washington, D.C., July 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    On the day before we celebrate America’s independence, President Obama had a chance to stop by 1776, a tech startup incubator in D.C. that supports entrepreneurs tackling major challenges in education, energy, health care, and other critical industries. The President’s visit coincided with the June jobs report, which shows the supporting role that startups and new businesses are playing in the American economy.


  • The Employment Situation in June

    The 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of this year are the most in any first half since 1999. Furthermore, this is the first time since September 1999-January 2000 we have seen total job growth above 200,000 for five straight months. While today’s jobs report is encouraging, many families are still struggling with long-term unemployment and wages that have been stagnant for decades. The President continues to press Congress to take steps to further strengthen the economy, including passing a transportation bill to avoid jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of jobs later this year. But he will also continue to make progress using his own authority to increase economic opportunity, support wage growth, and ensure America’s workplaces are adapting to the 21st century.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS


  • President Obama Just Called Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard. Listen to Their Call:

    The President just called U.S. Men's National Team captain Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard to commend them on their team's performance during the 2014 World Cup.

    Take a look and listen in:

    "You guys did us proud."

    --President Barack Obama, 7/2/2014


  • The President Heads to D.C.'s Key Bridge to Talk Infrastructure and the Economy

    Watch on YouTube

    Yesterday afternoon, President Obama talked about infrastructure and the economy, with Washington, D.C.'s Francis Scott Key Bridge serving as the backdrop.

    On a hot and muggy day, the President quickly got down to business, talking about the merits of the Highway Trust Fund, established by Congress in the 1950s, which helps states build and repair roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects across the country.

    But funding for the Highway Trust Fund is in danger of running out by the end of the summer, jeopardizing nearly 700,000 American jobs. Putting that in more tangible terms, the President noted that it "would be like Congress threatening to lay off the entire population of Denver, or Seattle, or Boston. That's a lot of people. It would be a bad idea."


  • In Case You Missed It: LGBT Pride at the White House

    Yesterday, for the sixth time since taking office, President Obama joined national, state, and local community leaders, business leaders, grassroots activists, elected officials, and others for an event celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month at the White House.

    With the First Lady by his side, the President spoke about the tremendous progress we have made during the course of his Administration -- from repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to implementing the Affordable Care Act with important protections for LGBT people -- and restated his commitment to taking executive action on behalf of LGBT workers:

    The majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies to protect their employees because it’s the right thing to do and because many say it helps to retain and attract the best talent. And I agree. So if Congress won’t act, I will. I have directed my staff to prepare an executive order for my signature that prohibits discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.


  • The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Decision

    Watch on YouTube

    Today, the Supreme Court ruled on the much-publicized Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case.

    This decision would allow some bosses to withhold contraceptive care from their employees' health coverage based on their own religious beliefs -- which their employees may not share.

    At the top of today's press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest delivered a statement about where the President stands on this ruling, noting:

    "President Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them."

    He went on to state that "today's decision jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies."

    You can read a full transcript of the statement and press briefing here.


  • President Obama Speaks on Immigration Reform

    Watch on YouTube

    In the Rose Garden this afternoon, President Obama reiterated his commitment to immigration reform and reproached House Republicans for their unwillingness to confront this important issue.

    Speaking a year ago to the month when the Senate passed an immigration reform bill, the President outlined what Republican obstruction has meant over the past year:

    • We have fewer resources to strengthen our borders;
    • Businesses can still game the system by hiring undocumented workers -- which punishes businesses that are playing by the rules and hurting the wages of hard-working Americans;
    • The best and brightest that come to study in the United States are still forced to leave, heading overseas and subsequently competing against our workers; and
    • Eleven million immigrants are still living in the shadows, instead of having the opportunity to earn their citizenship.

    What's more, "it's meant the heartbreak of separated families," the President stressed.

    Meanwhile, the majority of Americans -- ranging from law enforcement to labor to faith communities -- continue to support immigration reform.