The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon February 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
It’s been two weeks since President Obama released his plan for reducing gun violence. Since then, the President and the Vice President have continued their push for common-sense steps to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence. They’ve spoken with mayors, law enforcement officers, and ordinary Americans about the plan going forward. They’ve continued to meet with experts about effective steps that cities and states have taken. And they’ve kept in contact with members of Congress about how to move forward on common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence.
On January 17, the day after the President released his gun violence prevention plan, the Vice President spoke to the U.S. Conference of Mayors about the plan. Last week, the Conference officially endorsed the President and Vice President’s proposals.
On January 24th, the Vice President participated in a “Fireside Hangout” hosted by Google, talking with Google+ users from across the country about the Administration’s plan to reduce gun violence. Catch up on that conversation now:
On January 25th, the Vice President traveled to Richmond, Virginia to hold a roundtable discussion with experts who helped improve Virginia’s background check system after the Virginia Tech shooting. Along with Secretaries Napolitano and Sebelius, Senator Tim Kaine, and Congressman Bobby Scott, they talked about what still needs to be done to make sure that there is a criminal background check for every gun sale in America.
- Posted byon February 2, 2013 at 6:45 AM EDT
In this week’s address, President Obama calls on Congress to work together on a balanced approach to reduce our deficit and promote economic growth and job creation.
- Posted byon February 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM EDT
This week, the President announced his choice for his new Chief of Staff, pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, and invited the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, Presidential Innovation Fellows, law enforcement officials, 60 Minutes, and the Miami Heat to the White House.
- Posted byon January 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM EDT
Today, President Obama spoke from Las Vegas about creating a fair and effective immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
"I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long." President Obama said. "I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity. Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future."
The good news, President Obama said, is that for the first time in many years, there is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. But action must follow.
"We can't allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate. We've been debating this a very long time," he explained. "As a consequence, to help move this process along, today I’m laying out my ideas for immigration reform."
President Obama's proposal for immigration reform has four parts. First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.
- Posted byon January 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM EDT
Americans and people all over the world have been moved by the images of courageous Syrians standing up to a brutal regime, even as they suffer the consequences of the violence waged against them by the Assad government. Right now, humanitarian conditions in Syria are deteriorating in the face of a massive, man-made humanitarian emergency. People have been forced from their homes; schools, clinics and bakeries continue to be targeted; and food prices are on the rise as winter takes hold.
The numbers are staggering. According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.5 million people are displaced inside of Syria, and over 678,000 people have fled to neighboring countries. Their stories touch us all, and the American people will continue to stand with them. That is why President Obama announced today that he has approved a new round of humanitarian assistance, an additional $155 million to provide for the urgent and pressing needs of civilians in Syria and refugees forced to flee the violence of the Assad regime. This brings America’s contribution to date to $365 million, making the United States the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.
Our assistance is being delivered all across Syria and is providing food, clean water, medicines and medical treatment for hundreds of thousands of people. It will expand the delivery of vaccines for children and clothing and winter supplies for millions of people facing both the regime’s brutality and the hardships of winter. It will supply flour to bakeries in Aleppo to provide daily bread, and allow families to feed their children; it will finance field hospitals to care for those who are wounded; and it will provide care and services for the growing number of victims of sexual violence. Our assistance also supports a growing number of refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
- Posted byon January 28, 2013 at 6:51 PM EDT
As NBA world champions, the Miami Heat are used to receiving honors and acclaim, but during a reception today with President Obama, the team's standout forward -- and reigning league MVP -- LeBron James made it clear that this celebration was unlike any other. "We're in the White House right now," he said. "This is like, hey, mama, I made it."
The team was invited to commemorate their award-winning 2012 season, but in his remarks, President Obama thanked the group for spending time with some wounded warriors at Walter Reed, and paid tribute to the important role team leaders including James, Chris Bosh and captain Dwayne Wade, also play off the court:
One of the things I’m proudest of is that they take their roles as fathers seriously. And for all the young men out there who are looking up to them all the time, for them to see somebody who cares about their kids and is there for them day in and day out, that's a good message to send. It’s a positive message to send, and we’re very proud of them for that.
- Posted byon January 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM EDT
Today, President Obama and Vice President Biden continued the conversation about reducing gun violence in a meeting with law enforcement officials.
No group is more important in helping make our communities safer, President Obama said, because they recognize that it’s not only the high-profile mass shootings that need to be addressed, but also the everyday gun violence that happens in cities and towns across the country.
That’s why part of the conversation that we're going to be having today relates not only to the issue of new laws or better enforcement of our gun laws, it also means what are we doing to make sure that we've got the strongest possible law enforcement teams on the ground? What are we doing to hire more cops? What are we doing to make sure that they're getting the training that they need? What are we doing to make sure our sheriff's offices in rural counties have access to some of the resources that some of the big cities do in order to deal with some of these emergencies?
Two weeks ago, President Obama issued 23 executive actions to help reduce gun violence, and called on Congress to pass laws that will help keep guns out of the wrong hands, ban assault and high-capacity magazines, make our schools safer, and increase access to mental health services. Read more about the plan here.
- Posted byon January 26, 2013 at 6:30 AM EDT
President Obama discusses his nomination of Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and Richard Cordray to continue as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Posted byon January 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM EDT
President Obama today tapped Denis McDonough to serve as his Chief of Staff and lead the team at the White House.
McDonough, 43, was previously the Deputy National Security Advisor. He began his career as a staffer on Capitol Hill -- where he served in both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. In the White House, he previously served as the head of strategic communications for the National Security Council and as the NSS chief of staff.
"Denis has played a key role in every major national security decision of my presidency," the President said, "from ending the war in Iraq to winding down the war in Afghanistan; from our response to natural disasters around the world like Haiti and the tsunami in Japan to the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' to countless crises in between, day and night -- and that includes many nights. I’ve actually begun to think that Denis likes pulling all-nighters. The truth is nobody out-works Denis McDonough."
- Posted byon January 24, 2013 at 10:10 PM EDT
This week, Washington D.C. was transformed into an historic stage, with an estimated one million people on hand to witness the President and Vice President take the Oath of Office at the United States Capitol. Through it all, West Wing Week was there, from the terrace of the Capitol to backstage at the balls. America, take a moment to look back at where we've been this week for this special edition of West Wing Week, January 18th to the 24th, or "Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013."