The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon November 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM EDT
Today, President Obama traveled to the Port of New Orleans -- one of the busiest port complexes in the world and responsible for moving millions of tons of steel, chemicals, fuel, and food every year. The Port also handles, as the President noted, much of the country's coffee: "which means you're responsible for keeping the White House awake at all times."
The President spoke about the importance of investing in our infrastructure -- rebuilding our roads, bridges, and ports -- to create jobs at home, expand trade, and keep American businesses competitive:
"Right now, exports are one of the brightest spots in our economy. Thanks in part to new trade deals that we signed with countries like Panama and Colombia and South Korea, we now export more goods and services than ever before. And that means jobs right here in the United States of America.
Last year, every $1 billion in exports supports nearly 5,000 jobs, including jobs right here at this port. So we’re working on new trade deals that will mean more jobs for our workers, and more business for ports like this one.
And, by the way, when I travel around the world, I’m out there selling. I’ll go anywhere in the world to make sure that ... those products stamped with those words, “Made in America” ... that we can open up those markets and sell them anywhere."
- Posted byon November 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM EDT
Today, as part of the President and Vice President’s continuing efforts to increase access to mental health services, the Administration issued the final rule implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
Today’s action means that for group and individual market health plans, insurance companies must cover mental health and addiction benefits at parity with medical and surgical benefits. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services also released a letter to State health officials clarifying that Medicaid plans must also comply with parity requirements.
Parity is not just a buzzword. It has a real impact for the millions of people who are experiencing or will experience mental illness or addiction. In fact, parity works to break down two key barriers that too often prevent these individuals – our friends, our family, our neighbors – from seeking help. First, it breaks down the financial barrier by generally prohibiting health plans from placing more restrictive monetary requirements (for example, co-pays) or treatment limitations (for example, covered visits) on mental health and substance abuse benefits than on comparable medical and surgical benefits. Second, parity reduces the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction by reaffirming that illnesses of the brain should not be treated differently than illnesses of the body.
- Posted byon November 7, 2013 at 4:32 PM EDT
This week, the President worked to help consumers learn about and enroll in quality, affordable health insurance plans through the Marketplaces, welcomed Iraq's Prime Minister, hosted the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, and kicked off the newly re-instated White House Tours with a surprise drop-by.
President Obama to Dallas Health Care Volunteers: "Nothing Is Going to Stop Us from Getting This Done."Posted byon November 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM EDT
On Wednesday, the President traveled to Dallas, Texas, where he joined canvassers and navigators who are part of the community's most active group of volunteers working to enroll their neighbors in quality, affordable coverage through the Marketplace.
Chief of Staff Denis McDonough Discusses President Obama's Plan to Grow the Economy and Build a Strong Middle ClassPosted byon November 6, 2013 at 1:50 PM EDT
This morning, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough addressed the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C. and discussed the President’s plan to grow the economy and build a strong middle class. McDonough underscored the importance of continuing the progress we are seeing in our economy and providing certainty for businesses across the country, and warned that we should avoid self-inflicted wounds from Washington that only set that progress back.
Please find Mr. McDonough’s remarks below, as prepared for delivery:
- Posted byon November 5, 2013 at 9:20 PM EDT
Today, I joined the President, Vice President and senior Administration officials for a meeting at the White House with a group of top U.S. business leaders to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform to bolster U.S. economic growth, and improve the climate for business, and job creation. These leaders shared with the President their desire to see our broken immigration system fixed, both because it is the right thing to do, and because it will be good for the U.S. economy.
In addition to the 7.5 million jobs we have created in the U.S. over the past three and a half years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), over the next two decades, the bipartisan bill that has already passed the Senate would grow our economy by an additional $1.4 trillion, and shrink our deficits by nearly $1 trillion. The Senate bill would modernize our legal immigration system.
With common sense immigration reform, American colleges, universities, and businesses can attract the brightest minds in the world to our shores to start new businesses, and spur economic growth for all Americans. And, reform would also make sure everyone plays by the same rules, providing a pathway to earned citizenship for those who are living in the shadows, including passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes and a penalty, and getting in line behind everyone else.
- Posted byon November 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM EDT
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have made it a priority to open the White House to young people, military families, and Americans of all ages. Today, President Obama and Mrs. Obama surprise guests on a White House Tour and we invite you to watch live.
Experiencing the White House isn’t limited to those who are able to visit in person. Check out all of the ways the Obama Administration offers virtual visitors unprecedented access to the People’s House, and then find out how to stay engaged with all that is happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Learn about the White House grounds and many of the historic rooms inside the People’s House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
We have partnered with the Google Art Project and allowed their 360 Street View cameras to capture the rooms that are featured on the public tour.
Check out behind thescenes of some of the everyday – and not so every day—activities that take place at the White House.
- Posted byon November 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM EDT
This week, the Senate is expected to take up a critically important piece of legislation: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. This bill would make it explicitly illegal under federal law to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – and it’s long overdue.
President Obama has long supported a fully inclusive ENDA and he has expressed this support repeatedly over years. In an op-ed published in The Huffington Post, the President speaks directly to the American people to ensure everyone understands what’s at stake and why it’s so important that Congress move forward on this legislation.
Read the full text of the op-ed below.
Congress Needs to Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Here in the United States, we're united by a fundamental principle: we're all created equal and every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. We believe that no matter who you are, if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve the chance to follow your dreams and pursue your happiness. That's America's promise.
That's why, for instance, Americans can't be fired from their jobs just because of the color of their skin or for being Christian or Jewish or a woman or an individual with a disability. That kind of discrimination has no place in our nation. And yet, right now, in 2013, in many states a person can be fired simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
As a result, millions of LGBT Americans go to work every day fearing that, without any warning, they could lose their jobs -- not because of anything they've done, but simply because of who they are.
- Posted byon November 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM EDT
In this week’s address, President Obama says that in order to keep growing the economy and creating good jobs, Washington must end its cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds. It’s time for both parties to work together to pass a budget that reflects our priorities – making smart cuts in things we don’t need and closing wasteful tax loopholes, while investing in areas that create opportunities for the middle class and our future generations.
- Posted byon October 31, 2013 at 9:06 PM EDT
This Halloween week, the President visited a cutting edge STEM school in Brooklyn, swore in the new director of the FBI, honored former House Speaker Tom Foley, and spoke on the Affordable Care Act in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall. That's October 25th to to October 31st or, "Never Lose That Sense of Wonder