The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon November 19, 2013 at 8:02 PM EDT
One hundred and fifty years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most memorable speeches in U.S. history from Gettysburg, PA. In dedicating the military cemetery where thousands of soldiers were buried following the Battle of Gettysburg, fought just four months earlier, Lincoln described "a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Paying tribute to the historic speech, President Obama hand wrote an essay for an exhibit at the Lincoln Presidential Library. President Obama joins former Presidents Clinton, Carter and H.W. Bush who have submitted their contributions, along with other notable essayists including Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, General Colin Powell, and Martin Luther King III, among hundreds of others.
You can read President Obama's essay here, and below:
- Posted byon November 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM EDT
In his weekly address, President Obama discusses progress in American energy and highlights that we are now producing more oil at home than we buy from other countries for the first time in nearly two decades. We reached this milestone in part not only because we’re producing more energy, but because we’re wasting less energy, and as a result, we are also reducing our carbon emissions while growing the economy.
- Posted byon November 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond. This week, the First and Second Families honored Veterans Day, the President traveled to New Orleans and to Cleveland to speak on the importance of infrastructure to job creation, signed the EpiPen Law, discussed immigration reform with Faith Leaders and attended the 5th Annual Tribal Nations Conference. That's November 8th to November 14th or "We Will Stand By Your Side."
- Posted byon November 14, 2013 at 8:03 PM EDT
Today, President Obama spoke at ArcelorMittal’s steel factory in Cleveland, Ohio. ArcelorMittal is the largest supplier of steel to the U.S. auto manufacturing sector.
But just a few years ago, President Obama said, the economy was in free fall and the auto industry was on the brink of collapse. That meant demand for steel had dried up. Nearly 1,200 steelworkers were furloughed from the factory.
Shortly after taking office, President Obama stepped in to give the auto industry the temporary helped in needed to start growing again. “We rolled up our sleeves, we made some tough choices,” he said. “We rescued and retooled the American auto industry; it saved more than a million jobs.”
We bet on American ingenuity and American workers. And assembly lines started humming again, and automakers started to make cars again. And just a few months after this plant shut down, your plant manager got the call: Fire those furnaces back up, get those workers back on the job. And over the last four years, you’ve made yourselves one of the most productive steel mills not just in America, but in the world.
Today, ArcelorMittal’s Cleveland plant is a global leader in producing the advanced high-strength steel that automakers are demanding for newer, more fuel efficient cars and trucks.
- Posted byon November 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM EDT
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the Department of the Interior. See the original post here.
Yesterday I had the tremendous honor of welcoming leaders invited from all 566 federally recognized tribes to the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference. The event included participation from President Obama, thirteen Cabinet members, and dozens of senior Administration officials.
The White House Tribal National Conference – the fifth of the Obama Administration – is an opportunity to connect tribal leaders across the country directly with President Obama and his Administration as we work together toward tribal self-determination and self-governance. In his remarks, the President said, “That’s what we’re called to do – to keep strong the covenant between us – for this and future generations.”
- Posted byon November 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM EDT
In the past few weeks, some Americans have been notified by their health insurance companies that plans they bought on the old individual insurance market are being cancelled – often because these plans no longer meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to cover basic benefits like prescription drugs or doctors’ visits.
Today, President Obama announced that insurers can offer these customers the option to renew their 2013 health plans in 2014, without change, allowing them to keep their plans.
Already, people who have plans that predate the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven’t changed. That was already in the law. That's what's called a grandfather clause. It was included in the law. Today, we're going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect, and to people who bought plans since the law took effect.
"The bottom line, President Obama said, is that "insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014, and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan."
President Obama pointed out that the individual insurance market had serious problems before the Affordable Care Act. "And it’s important that we don’t pretend that somehow that’s a place worth going back to. Too often, it works fine as long as you stay healthy; it doesn’t work well when you’re sick," he said. "So year after year, Americans were routinely exposed to financial ruin, or denied coverage due to minor preexisting conditions, or dropped from coverage altogether – even if they paid their premiums on time."
Creating new protections for people in the individual market – preventing them from being charged more because of a pre-existing condition or getting fewer benefits like mental health services or prescription drugs – “is one of the reasons we pursued this reform in the first place,” President Obama said.
President Obama Signs New EpiPen Law To Protect Children with Asthma and Severe Allergies, And Help Their Families To Breathe EasierPosted byon November 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM EDT
Today in the Oval Office, President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which will encourage schools to plan for severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions, and provide millions of families with greater peace of mind.
The law makes an important change to the Children’s Asthma Treatment Grants Program and other federal asthma programs, which authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to give funding preferences to states for asthma-treatment grants if they: maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine (EpiPens), if they permit trained personnel of the school to administer epinephrine, and if they develop a plan for ensuring trained personnel are available to administer epinephrine during all hours of the school day.
- Posted byon November 12, 2013 at 9:23 PM EDT
This evening President Obama welcomed senior civilian defense and military leaders -- including all of his Combatant Commanders – to an annual meeting and dinner at the White House.
In addition to the President’s regular interactions with his senior military leaders, the meeting served as an important opportunity to discuss a number of critical issues facing the Department of Defense: the challenges of providing for the Nation’s security in an uncertain budget environment including sequester, the need to be ready and properly equipped to meet current and emerging threats, progress on the ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review, and the need to maintain the highest ethical standards across our military, including with respect to sexual assault prevention and response.
- Posted byon November 12, 2013 at 5:35 PM EDT
Ahead of his remarks at tomorrow’s White House Tribal Nations Conference, President Obama met today with a dozen tribal leaders to discuss job creation and economic development in tribal communities. Also participating in the meeting were Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew.
President Barack Obama meets with a group of tribal leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This meeting provided tribal leaders an opportunity to directly engage with the President on a leader-to-leader, government-to-government basis and to discuss key issues facing Indian Country at the highest level of Government. During the meeting, tribal leaders in attendance raised a wide range of important issues they are facing related to job creation, including expanding opportunity for renewable energy on tribal lands, increasing access to capital and foreign direct investment opportunities in Indian Country, the successes of tribal self-determination, improving educational outcomes, and jurisdictional challenges.
The twelve tribal leaders that participated in the meeting were:
- Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe of Minnesota
- Leonard Forsman, Chairman, Suquamish Tribe of Washington
- Joe Garcia, Governor, Ohkay Owingeh of New Mexico
- Ray Halibritter, Nation Representative and CEO, Oneida Indian Nations of New York
- Carole Lankford, Vice Chairwoman, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana
- Rex Lee Jim, Vice President, Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah
- Chris McNeil, CEO, Sealaska of Alaska
- Rosemary Morillo, Chairwoman, Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians of California
- Terri Parton, President, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes of Oklahoma
- Terry Rambler, Chairman, San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona
- Robert Shepherd, Chairman, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of South Dakota
Today's meeting kicked off a week of events hosted by the White House Council on Native American Affairs in its continued efforts to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Tribal Nations. Tomorrow, the President will host tribal leaders invited from all 566 federally recognized tribes at the fifth consecutive White House Tribal Nations Conference, where tribal leaders will engage with the President, members of his Cabinet and other Senior Administration Officials. The membership of The White House Council on Native American Affairs is also hosting several other meetings and listening sessions to coincide with the Tribal Nations Conference.
Charlie Galbraith is an Associate Director in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. Jodi Gillette is Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs at the White House Domestic Policy Council.
- Posted byon November 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM EDT
This Veterans Day, the President honored those, past and present, who put on the uniform of the United States military and put their lives on the line.
On Monday morning, the President hosted a breakfast in the East Room of the White House for veterans and their families. In attendance was Richard Overton from Austin, Texas. Richard is the oldest living World War II veteran. The President honored the veteran in his remarks at Arlington National Cemetery, and thanked Richard for his selfless dedication and his courage when he faced adversity.
That’s what we owe veterans like Richard Overton, who served in the Army in World War II. He was there at Pearl Harbor, when the battleships were still smoldering. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said, “I only got out of there by the grace of God.”
When the war ended, Richard headed home to Texas to a nation bitterly divided by race. And his service on the battlefield was not always matched by the respect that he deserved at home. But this veteran held his head high. He carried on and lived his life with honor and dignity.