The White House Blog: The President

  • Second Estimate of GDP for the Third Quarter of 2014

    Today’s upward revision affirms that economic growth in the third quarter was strong, consistent with a broad range of other indicators showing improvement in the labor market, increasing domestic energy security, and continued low health cost growth. Since the financial crisis, the U.S. economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world, and the recent data highlight that the United States is continuing to lead the global recovery. Nevertheless, there is more work to be done to boost growth in the United States and around the world. The President’s common-sense administrative actions on immigration—which CEA estimates will raise GDP by at least 0.4 percent over 10 years—will contribute to this effort, but only Congress can finish the job and make progress on other important steps like increased infrastructure investment.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.9 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2014, according to the second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The solid growth recorded in each of the last two quarters suggests that the economy has bounced back strongly from the first-quarter decline in GDP, which largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. In the third quarter, net exports made a large positive contribution to growth, while consumer spending and business investment remained positive contributors but grew at a somewhat slower pace than the previous quarter. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 4.5 percent in Q3.


  • President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury's Decision

    Tonight, speaking from the White House Briefing Room, President Obama spoke to the American people about the announcement of the grand jury's decision in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The President joined Michael Brown’s parents in calling on anyone who protests to do so peacefully.

    In his remarks, the President offered a path forward for our country, noting that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges we still face as a nation including the mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color. The President asked the nation to heed a grieving father’s words tonight and called on the country to seize this moment tomorrow as an opportunity for change.


  • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Steps Down

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that he would be stepping down from his position overseeing the Department of Defense. Hagel, who served in the Army during Vietnam, is the 24th Secretary of Defense.

    Speaking from the State Dining Room of the White House, President Obama noted that Secretary Hagel has helped to oversee a significant period of transition for both the Pentagon and the country: 

    The draw-down in Afghanistan, the need to prepare our forces for future missions and tough fiscal choices to keep our military strong and ready. Over nearly two years, Chuck has been an exemplary Defense Secretary, providing a steady hand as we modernized our strategy and budget to meet long-term threats, while still responding to immediate challenges like ISIL and Ebola.  Thanks to Chuck, our military is on a firmer footing, engaged in these missions and looking ahead to the future.


  • Keeping Up With the Cabinet: Our Trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit

    President Obama and our Administration understand the importance of start-ups and small businesses to economic growth in the United States and around the world. As the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), we were proud to represent the U.S. last week at the premier forum on entrepreneurship in the world: the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).

    Traveling to Morocco with a delegation led by Vice President Biden, we came to GES with a clear purpose: to reaffirm President Obama’s commitment to entrepreneurship worldwide and to emphasize America’s leadership as the epicenter of invention and innovation – a model for other countries to follow.

    We came to learn; to engage with young men and women from across the globe; and, hopefully, to inspire. And we have come away from this experience inspired ourselves.


  • Chart of the Week: SHOP Marketplace Premiums Flat in 2015

    On November 15, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for the 2015 enrollment season, giving current Marketplace enrollees a chance to compare their options for 2015 and others the chance to think about purchasing affordable coverage through the Marketplace for the first time. Individuals can find a plan that meets their needs and their budget at HealthCare.gov.  

    But November 15 also saw the beginning of online shopping through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Historically, small businesses have paid as much as 18 percent more than their larger competitors for the same coverage, reflecting high broker fees, administrative costs, and other factors.  


  • What You Need To Know: The President’s Actions on Immigration

    Everyone knows that our immigration system has been broken for decades. So, like many presidents before him, President Obama is taking new steps to do what he can to fix the system while the country waits for Republicans to Congress to act. 

    1. So what are the actions the President is taking? 

    President Obama is using his executive authority to fix as much of the broken system as he can, and ensure that everyone is held accountable and has the opportunity to play by the rules and contribute to the United States. You can read the full details of the plan here, but here's a breakdown of what the President’s plan will do: 

    • Continue to strengthen our border security by deploying more resources to bolster enforcement
    • Make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy
    • Hold more than 4 million undocumented immigrants accountable if they want to temporarily stay in the United States

    For undocumented immigrants who are living in our country illegally, this is the deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents; if you pass a criminal background check, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation and be required to pay taxes. 


  • In Case You Missed It: A Look at the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony

    Speaking from the East Room this afternoon, President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to eighteen individuals who have devoted their lives to public service.

    President Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to Civil Rights Activists

    President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. The awards were accepted by relatives of the civil rights activists. November 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    What is the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

    The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.


  • The Faces of Health Care: Amy W.

     


    "My husband and I own and operate a semi-truck. For the past 3 years, we have been paying $1200 a month for health coverage. Under the ACA exchanges, we found a plan with the same insurer for $89. Plus our deductible went from $10,000 to $300! That is a huge savings!"


    Amy and her husband are self-employed, operating a semi-truck out of Augusta, GA. As self-employed Americans, they had to purchase health insurance on their own. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, they were able to keep a significant amount of their business profits in their pocket by purchasing an affordable, quality plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

    Now Amy has another job -- helping others just like her get covered. By working with organizations, calling into radio shows, and spreading the word on Facebook, she helps answer questions people have and directs them to where they need to go for more information: HealthCare.gov. "We have made a difference," she says. 

    You can too! Commit to get someone you know covered in 2015 here. Need coverage yourself? Go to HealthCare.gov to find a plan that works for you. 

    Read more stories about Americans whose lives are being made better by health reform.


  • My Once In a Lifetime Experience as a White House Intern

    Ed. note: Applications are now being accepted for the Summer 2015 White House Internship Program. This blog post introduces readers to Huma Shah, a former intern who worked in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the summer of 2014. When asked about her internship experience, Huma writes:


    My internship at the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs showed me that at the crux of public service is a mindset of teamwork and cooperation. From my first day until my last, every moment I spent in the White House was an enriching opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge myself. The internship taught me that every small contribution -- editing a memo, scheduling a phone call, or staffing an event -- truly makes a difference and is appreciated.


  • Weekly Address: Immigration Accountability Executive Action

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    In this week’s address, the President laid out the steps he took this past week to fix our broken immigration system. Enacted within his legal authority, the President’s plan focuses on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border; deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks and taxes. These are commonsense steps, but only Congress can finish the job.

    As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill -- like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago -- that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


    Learn more about the President's action on immigration here.