The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon July 1, 2014 at 1:19 PM EDT
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.
- Posted byon June 30, 2014 at 7:05 PM EDT
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.
- Posted byon June 30, 2014 at 6:30 PM EDT
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.
- Posted byon June 28, 2014 at 6:00 AM EDT
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, the President discussed his recent trip to Minneapolis where he met a working mother named Rebekah, who wrote the President to share the challenges her family and many middle-class Americans are facing where they work hard and sacrifice yet still can’t seem to get ahead. But instead of focusing on growing the middle class and expanding opportunity for all, Republicans in Congress continue to block commonsense economic proposals such as raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance and making college more affordable.
The President will keep fighting his economic priorities in the weeks and months ahead, because he knows the best way to expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans and continue to strengthen the economy is to grow it from the middle out.
- Posted byon June 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM EDT
In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in March 2014. Today’s release also includes visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in May 2014 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 3.74 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
- Posted byon June 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond. This week takes us south of the border with the Vice President, to our nation's capital for the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, and along for the ride as a woman who wrote the President gets a reply... in person.
- Posted byon June 26, 2014 at 7:20 PM EDT
Last night, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., President Obama addressed the League of Conservation Voters at their annual Capital Dinner. In his remarks, he commended them on their work to protect the planet, and emphasized that the work is "even more urgent and more important" now than when he last spoke to the League in 2006, due to the rapidly growing threat of climate change.
- Posted byon June 26, 2014 at 11:15 AM EDT
This past March, a mom from Minneapolis named Rebekah wrote the President a letter about the increasing costs of taking care of her family. She told him about her day-to-day struggles, and let him know what she thinks needs to change.
Today, the President is traveling to Minnesota to spend some time with her.
That's because Rebekah's experience is representative of the experience of millions of Americans across the country right now: Even though our economy has undoubtedly made a comeback, too many folks are still stretched too thin.
This is the first in a series of "day in the life" trips the President will be taking over the course of the summer -- an opportunity to communicate directly with the people he's working for every day.
We want to make sure you see what the President sees, too.
- Posted byon June 25, 2014 at 7:40 PM EDT
Research shows that during the first years of life, a poor child hears roughly 30 million fewer total words than her more affluent peers. Critically, what she hears has direct consequences for what she learns. Children who experience this drought in heard words have vocabularies that are half the size of their peers by age 3, putting them at a disadvantage before they even step foot in a classroom.
This is what we call the “word gap,” and it can lead to disparities not just in vocabulary size, but also in school readiness, long-term educational and health outcomes, earnings, and family stability even decades later.
It’s important to note that talking to one’s baby doesn’t just promote language development. It promotes brain development more broadly. Every time a parent or caregiver has a positive, engaging verbal interaction with a baby – whether it’s talking, singing, or reading – neural connections of all kinds are strengthened within the baby’s rapidly growing brain.
That’s why today we are releasing a new video message from President Obama focused on the importance of supporting learning in our youngest children to help bridge the word gap and improve their chances for later success in school and in life. The President’s message builds on the key components of his Early Learning Initiative, which proposes a comprehensive plan to provide high-quality early education to children from birth to school entry.
- Posted byon June 25, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT
This afternoon, President Obama welcomed six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and his Hendricks Motorsports team members to the White House for his 2013 Sprint Cup Series championship.
Being "a Chicago guy," the President noted that he usually quips at these sports events about "how the football is not as good as the '85 Bears or the basketball team is not as good as the Bulls." He then admitted, however, that Jimmie Johnson is basically "the Michael Jordan of NASCAR." Like Mike, Jimmie has won six championships in eight years -- while also taking a two-year break from his sport.