The White House Blog: The President

  • Weekly Address: This Veterans' Day, Let's Honor Our Veterans

    Weekly Address: President Obama on November 7

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. November 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week’s address, in advance of Veterans' Day, the President paid tribute to the men and women in uniform who have given so much in service of America.

    Veterans have risked their lives to protect our freedom, and we need to be there for them when they return from duty by ensuring they get the care they need and the opportunities they deserve. The President asked every American to thank and welcome home the veterans in their lives who, like all who fight for our country, are heroes worthy of our constant gratitude and support.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • The Road Ahead: President Obama Travels to the Asia Pacific

    America’s security and prosperity are increasingly and inextricably linked to the Asia Pacific. Tomorrow, President Obama will head to Asia for the second time this year and his sixth time as President.

    Deeply committed to our rebalancing strategy in Asia, the President will be meeting with leaders in China, Burma, and Australia to ensure that we are fostering an open, transparent security and economic order amid what is an increasing and already high demand for U.S. leadership in the region.

    Our economic growth and creation of American jobs are also critically tied to our trade and investment ties to Asia. The President’s leadership in global fora, like the G20, has resulted in a more stable and resilient global financial system and collective agreement among the world’s largest economies to take meaningful actions to promote growth and quality jobs.

    From talks with President Xi Jinping of China to the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, here’s a look at what the President will be doing as he travels across the Asia Pacific next week:


  • West Wing Week 11/07/14 or, "Babies Love Barack"

    This week, the President urged Congress to support his policies to help women and working families succeed, awarded the Medal of Honor to a heroic Civil War veteran, invited military families to a concert on the South Lawn, and, of course, greeted trick-or-treaters on Halloween. That's October 31st to November 6th.


  • Keeping Up on the Minimum Wage

    It’s been almost two years since President Obama first called for an increase in the national minimum wage.

    He believes more strongly than ever that no one who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty. He believes that the current rate of $7.25 per hour undermines our basic bargain, failing to reward hard work with a fair wage.

    But Congress hasn’t exactly seen it that way. Republicans have said "no" to even allowing a Senate vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 -- without adding any new taxes, spending, or bureaucracy -- and meanwhile, public support only continues to grow. Bottom line: They’re not keeping up with the views of people around the country. In Tuesday’s election, a higher minimum wage went five-for-five. By convincing margins, voters in Alaska (69 percent), Arkansas (65 percent), Nebraska (59 percent), South Dakota (53 percent), and Illinois (67 percent) said loud and clear that they want to give hardworking people a raise.


  • The Employment Situation in October

    With today’s report, the unemployment rate is falling as fast as at any point in the last thirty years, and the economy is on pace for its best year of job growth since the late 1990s. The economy has come a long way since the crisis six years ago, but more must be done to create jobs for those still searching for work and ensure that those who are working see the strengthening economy translate into rising wages. The President will continue to work with Congress and do everything he can to support job creation and boost wages.

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

    1. The private sector has added 10.6 million jobs over 56 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 214,000 in October, mainly reflecting a 209,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth was revised up for August and September by a combined 33,000, so that over the past twelve months, private employment has increased by 2.6 million. Private employment has risen by at least 200,000 for nine consecutive months, the first time that has happened since the 1990s.


  • President Obama Welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the White House

    President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the Oval Office

    President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the Oval Office, Nov. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Earlier this afternoon, the Jackie Robinson West All Stars -- the U.S. champions in this year's Little League World Series -- stopped by the White House for a visit with the President and the First Lady.


  • President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing

    Watch on YouTube

    Earlier this afternoon, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing for his heroic acts of bravery while serving as an artillery commander during the Civil War.

    On July 3, 1863, Lieutenant Cushing went above and beyond the call of duty when fighting against Confederate forces. Even after being struck twice, he refused to abandon his command. As a result, his gallant efforts helped open wide gaps in the Confederate Army's line of command.

    The Medal of Honor is typically awarded within a few years of the action, but as the President noted, “sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the passage of time.” At today's ceremony, the President was joined by more than two dozen of Lieutenant Cushing's family members. Helen Loring Ensign, a cousin twice removed of the Lieutenant, accepted the award on his behalf.


    “For this American family, this story isn’t some piece of obscure history -- it is an integral part of who they are. And today, our whole nation shares their pride, and celebrates what this story says about who we are.”



  • Email from President Obama: "Here's what's next"

    Earlier today, President Obama sent this message to the White House email list about what's next for his Administration. Didn't get it? Make sure you sign up for email updates here.


    Yesterday, millions of Americans cast their ballots. Republicans had a good night, and I congratulate all the candidates who won.

    But what stands out to me is that the message Americans sent yesterday is one you've sent for several elections in a row now. You expect the people you elect to work as hard as you do. You expect us to focus on your ambitions -- not ours -- and you want us to get the job done. Period.

    I plan on spending every moment of the next two years rolling up my sleeves and working as hard as I can for the American people. This country has made real and undeniable progress in the six years since the 2008 economic crisis. But our work will not be done until every single American feels the gains of a growing economy where it matters most: in your own lives.

    While I'm sure we'll continue to disagree on some issues that we're passionate about, I'm eager to work with Congress over the next two years to get the job done. The challenges that lay ahead of us are far too important to allow partisanship or ideology to prevent our progress as a nation.

    As we make progress, I'll need your help, too. Over the weeks and months ahead, I'll be looking to Americans like you, asking you to stay engaged.

    I am optimistic about our future. Because for all the maps plastered across our screens today, for all the cynics who say otherwise, we are more than a simple collection of red and blue states. We are the United States.

    And yesterday, millions of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans, women and men, young and old, black and white -- took the time out of their day to perform a simple, profound act of citizenship. That's something we shouldn't forget amid the din of political commentary. Because making progress starts with showing up.

    Let's get to work.

    President Barack Obama


  • Fighting Ebola: 5 Things You Need to Know About Emergency Funding to Combat the Disease

    The current Ebola epidemic plaguing West Africa is the deadliest Ebola outbreak in human history.

    Since the first cases were reported in March, the U.S. has mounted a large-scale and comprehensive effort to protect the American people here at home while fighting the disease at its source.

    Today, the Administration asked Congress to help bolster America’s resources in the fight against Ebola by providing $6.18 billion toward our whole-of-government efforts. The emergency funds will help ensure that we meet both immediate and long-term needs, and that there are resources available to meet the evolving nature of the epidemic.

    Here's what you need to know about this request and our response to Ebola:

    1. What exactly will the funding be used for?


  • President Obama: "It's Time for Us to Take Care of Business"

    Watch on YouTube

    Earlier this afternoon, President Obama addressed the White House press corps to discuss the midterm elections and his next steps forward.

    "What stands out to me," he said, "is that the American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done."