The White House Blog: The President

  • President Obama Encourages Licensing and Credential Legislation for Military Spouses and Service Members at National Governors Association Meeting

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    President Barack Obama meets with the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, in remarks to the National Governors Association, President Obama told governors from across the nation that impactful licensing and credential legislation is a necessity for military spouses and transitioning service members.

    Since the First Lady and Dr. Biden first began meeting with members of the military community, they have heard countless stories about how spouses struggled to find jobs in their fields because when they moved, their professional licenses were no longer valid, or they didn’t meet a new state’s credentialing requirements. Upon learning about these obstacles, the First Lady and Dr. Biden began advocating for new legislation that supports transitioning service members and military spouses to get the professional licenses and credentials they need to get hired.


  • The President Isn't Sitting Still

    Today, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the following message to the White House email list, detailing the actions President Obama will take this week to make sure that 2014 is a year of action.

    Didn't get the email? Join millions of other Americans and make sure you're in the loop.


    Hey --

    A few weeks ago, I shared with you that President Obama would declare 2014 a year of action, acting where he can to build an economy that ensures opportunity for all Americans. And he's already taken steps to achieve that goal in the areas of education and skills, job creation, energy, and raising the minimum wage.

    I wanted you to be the first to know about new actions the President will take this week to keep that progress going.

    This week, the President will announce new action on manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation jobs, and a new initiative to ensure everyone who is willing to work hard has a shot at success.

    Here's a sneak peek of how the President will use his pen and his phone this week:


  • Weekly Address: Time to Lift the Minimum Wage and Give America a Raise

    In this week’s address, President Obama says this is a year of action, and he will do everything he can to restore opportunity for all. The President already lifted the wages for federal contract workers, and he calls on the American people to tell Congress to finish the job by boosting the federal minimum wage for all workers to $10.10 and give America a raise.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • President Obama Has a Message for You: #GetCovered

    Millions of Americans have already signed up for affordable health insurance through HealthCare.gov.

    But millions more are eligible for new or improved coverage. And if you're one of them, make sure you get covered before March 31st.

    President Obama recorded a message just for you -- watch it now, then go to HealthCare.gov. Make sure you stick around for the end for a special surprise:


  • A Down Payment on Expanding Opportunity for America’s Long-Term Unemployed

    As part of his plan to build an economy where everybody who is willing to work hard and take responsibility can get ahead, President Obama is focused on doing everything we can to create new jobs here in America – while also connecting more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

    That’s why this week the administration announced the availability of applications for $150 million in “Ready to Work Partnership” grants designed to help those facing long-term unemployment upgrade their skills and build bridges to jobs in growing areas like information technology and advanced manufacturing. These competitive grants will support partnerships between employers, nonprofit organizations and America’s public workforce system that not only continue building the pipeline of skilled workers, but do so by helping the long-term unemployed overcome some of the barriers they face in finding jobs.

    Secretary Perez meets a worker at Fulton Cos

    Secretary Perez meets a worker at Fulton Cos., a manufacturer in Pulaski, N.Y., on Feb. 19, 2014. The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge helped train Fulton's workers. (Photo from Department of Labor)

    The simple fact is that as our economy has recovered, the long-term unemployed still face particular challenges in getting back to work. Even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen, the long-term unemployed rate remains near its historic highs. And research shows that even when the long-term unemployed have the same – or even greater – experiences and skills in their field, they are less likely to get called back for interviews than workers who have been out of work for shorter periods of time.


  • West Wing Week 02/21/14 or “Don’t Make Small Plans, Make Big Plans”

    This week, the President traveled to the North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico, to California to address the current drought and to meet with the King of Jordan, and to Upper Marlboro, Maryland to announce an increase in fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks.  That's February 14th to February 20th or "Don't Make Small Plans, Make Big Plans."

     


  • Responding to the Situation in Ukraine

    Update: March 20, 2014

    Today, President Obama updated the American people on the situation in Ukraine and the steps the United States is taking in response. Watch his remarks below or on YouTube.


  • President Obama Travels to Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks alongside of President Enrique Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the North American Business, Civil Society and Education leaders during the North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks alongside President Enrique Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to North American business, civil society, and education leaders during the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca, Mexico, Feb. 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    Today, the President traveled to Toluca, Mexico for this year’s North American Leaders’ Summit, along with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    Shortly after arriving in Toluca, President Obama held a bilateral meeting with President Peña Nieto. Before their meeting, President Obama gave some initial remarks on the summit:

    [T]he North American Leaders’ Summit gives us an opportunity to build on the enormous progress that we’ve already made in making sure that North America is the most competitive region in the world and that we are able not only to continue to integrate our economies effectively to create jobs both in the United States, Mexico and Canada, but that we’re able to project American and Mexican and Canadian goods and services around the world toward the benefit of our people.

    And the cooperation ranges from how do we make our borders more efficient to moving forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership that offers the opportunity to open up new markets in the fastest, most populous region of the world, the Asia Pacific region.

    We'll also have the opportunity to discuss how we can work together more closely on scientific and educational exchanges. We're particularly interested in making sure that young people in Mexico and the United States and Canada are able to study and travel in each country, and we're trying to expand those kinds of exchanges.

    So this is a wonderful opportunity for us to build on the work that we’ve already done over the last year.


  • Here's What You Said $10.10 Would Mean for You

    Last week, we asked what raising the minimum wage meant to you.

    The stories you shared are a strong argument for exactly how important it is we get this done. Raising the minimum wage helps Americans young and old. It helps provide relief for those who are just scraping by, and it helps those saving for a rainy day. And it's also the right thing to do -- but don't take our word for it.

    Read these stories from folks like you -- then forward them on, and submit your own.


  • New Funding to Increase Access to Mental Health Services and New Protections Under the Health Care Law

    So far this year, the Administration has taken three key steps as part of our ongoing effort to increase access to mental health services.

    First, the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill, securing $115 million for new mental health initiatives that the President and Vice President proposed in January 2013 as part of their comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence. This funding will have a real impact in communities across the country, where it will be used to train more mental health professionals and help educators and other adults who work with youth recognize the early signs of mental health problems and refer young people to appropriate help when needed.  The funds will also be used for a new initiative which will support innovative state-based approaches to making sure young people ages 16 to 25 who are at high risk for mental illness don’t fall through the cracks of our mental health system when they leave school or home.

    Second, on January 31, with funding from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made $50 million available to help Community Health Centers across the country establish or expand mental and behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction. Using these funds, Health Centers can hire new mental health professionals and add mental health and substance use disorder services. This new funding was first announced by Vice President Biden last December. At that time, the Vice President also announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a new goal of financing $50 million for the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years.