The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon June 16, 2014 at 4:30 PM EDT
It has been nearly a year since the Senate passed a strongly bipartisan immigration reform bill that would fix our broken immigration system, reduce federal deficits by nearly $850 billion, and increase GDP by $1.4 trillion over the next two decades. As the economic costs of inaction continue to grow, now is the time for the House of Representatives to do its part to get a commonsense immigration reform bill to the President’s desk. Simply put: The House can and should act before August.
Throughout this week, we will highlight the urgency and importance of attracting the best and brightest talent from around the world, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The Senate bill would effectively “staple” a green card to the diplomas of advanced STEM graduates from U.S. universities, so that these talented researchers have a chance to stay and contribute to our economy.
Every foreign-born graduate with an advanced STEM degree is associated with, on average, 2.6 jobs for American workers. By some estimates, immigration was responsible for one-third of the growth in patenting in past decades, and these innovations contributed to increasing U.S. GDP by 2.4 percent.
When President Obama delivered the commencement address at the University of California, Irvine this past weekend, he told the story of just one of these talented graduates:
There are people here who know what it means to dream. When Mohamad Abedi was a boy, the suffering he saw in refugee camps in Lebanon didn’t drive him into despair -- it inspired him to become a doctor. And when he came to America, he discovered a passion for engineering. So here, at UC Irvine, he became a biomedical engineer to study the human brain. And Mohamad said, “Had I never come to the United States, I would have never had the ability to do the work that I’m doing.” He’s now going to CalTech to keep doing that work.
- Posted byon June 16, 2014 at 4:07 PM EDT
This Wednesday, June 18, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez will be joining a digital conversation about how working families' issues -- from paid leave to other policies that offer more flexibility in the workplace -- uniquely impact low-wage workers.
The conversation, which will be hosted and moderated by HuffPost Live, will include business leaders who have instituted these policies, workers whose lives they are helping, and business leaders who are advoacting on behalf of them.
Have a question that you'd like to ask the Secretary about workplace policies that can help more working families succeed?
And if you've got a story to tell about how your family would be helped by 21st-century workplace policies, you can share it here.
Wednesday's conversation is the digital completement to a series of regional roundtable events that have been happening across the country, leading up to the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014.
To learn more about the event and how you can participate, visit www.workingfamiliessummit.org.
- Posted byon June 16, 2014 at 1:42 PM EDT
On Saturday afternoon, President Obama addressed the University of California, Irvine's 2014 graduating class and challenged them to get involved in one of our planet's most pressing issues: the growing threat of a rapidly changing climate.
Speaking to more than 30,000 people in attendance at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, the President told the UC Irvine community that he was there for one simple reason: because they asked.
"The UC Irvine community sent 10,000 postcards to the White House asking me to come speak today," the President said. Some people tried to guilt him into coming, while others tried bribery. "I'll support the Chicago Bulls," someone wrote. And another student wanted the President to speak because she thought UC Irvine was "super underrated."
- Posted byon June 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM EDT
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Cabinet Room of the White House, June 13, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
In this week’s address, President Obama wished America’s dads a happy Father’s Day and underscored the crucial role fathers play in our society. The President encouraged Americans to support those living without a father figure through initiatives like My Brother’s Keeper.
He also highlighted actions he is taking on behalf of hardworking, responsible dads and moms, such as hosting the first-ever White House Working Families Summit later this month, and called on Congress to do its part to help offer more parents the chance to work hard and provide for their families.
- Posted byon June 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM EDT
This week, the President hosted his first-ever Tumblr Q&A, congratulated graduates from Worcester Technical High School in Massachusetts, and took yet another step to expand opportunity for all Americans — and we had #LunchWithFLOTUS on Twitter.
But that's just a little bit of what went on this week. Check out what else happened around the White House:
The First Lady hopped on Twitter yesterday for a Q&A on school nutrition and healthy school lunches. As part of her Let's Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama has helped raise awareness around the importance of kids eating healthy and getting the nutrition they need.
- Posted byon June 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM EDT
I would not be where I am today without the love, guidance, and support of my father. He taught me to work hard, to dream big, to give back to my community, and to always remember the responsibility I have to be a role model for my own children.
But as we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we must all be mindful of a tragic truth: Far too many children simply cannot count on the love and support of an attentive parent. This is not an individual problem – it’s a national concern that affects each and every one of us. And that’s why President Obama has launched a national call to action – known as “My Brother’s Keeper” – that’s bringing together government and private groups to address persistent opportunity gaps and provide young people with the support they need to stay on the right path.
- Posted byon June 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM EDT
As OK Go helped us announce last week, President Obama is hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire this coming Wednesday. In advance of that, I sat down with Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media, to answer a few questions on what makes making, Making. Also, here are a few ways you can join in on a Day of Making in conjunction with the White House Maker Faire on June 18, including following and tweeting #NationOfMakers.
Phil Larson: What is “Making”?
Dale Dougherty: Making can be called creating, producing, crafting, shaping, tinkering, composing, and building. It covers many areas of interest and many skills, and projects often combine several of each. Making sits at the intersection of art and science, and at the crossroads of technology and design.
Today, Making is where hardware and software are re-connecting with each other, increasing our ability to sense the physical world and initiate actions that interact with us. This is what a robot does -- or autonomous vehicle or a solar-powered toy that comes alive by day.
When we Make things, we learn to gain control over tools and materials. Makers are using new tools and technologies that are democratizing production. With better tools, more people can make things because it is easier to take an idea and develop it into a physical thing.
- Posted byon June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM EDT
Update: June 19, 2014
Today, after a meeting with his national security team, President Obama delivered a statement from the White House Press Briefing Room on the situation in Iraq and the U.S. response. Watch his remarks below:
- Posted byon June 13, 2014 at 11:43 AM EDT
This week, the President commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, hosted his first-ever Tumblr Q&A, and spoke to graduates of Worcester Technical High School.
- Posted byon June 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM EDT
Earlier this week, President Obama sat down for his first-ever Tumblr Q&A at the White House. "We’re constantly looking for new ways to reach audiences that are relevant to the things we’re talking about," the President said about turning to Tumblr to answer questions about education and college affordability. As Karp said, Tumblr's large user base of young Americans made this a "natural spot to open a forum to pose those questions to the President."
You should also read:
- In case you missed it: Watch the full Q&A
- Learn about President Obama's Presidential Memorandum to take steps to reduce student loan debt
- Check out the College Scorecard to find a college that's a good fit
- President Obama: "There's No Advanced, Developed Country on Earth That Would Put Up with This"