The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon June 6, 2014 at 9:30 AM EDT
Job growth exceeded 200,000 for the fourth straight month in May, and businesses have now added over a million jobs so far this year. This month’s report continued the trend of steady job growth. While the consistent pace of job gains means the economy has come a long way in recovering from the Great Recession, the President believes that more can and should be done to strengthen economic growth and expand economic opportunity. Continuing to press ahead using his executive authority wherever possible, the President will hold events next week focused on ways to take action to improve college affordability and support working families.
FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
1. The private sector has added 9.4 million jobs over 51 straight months of job growth. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, mainly reflecting a 216,000 increase in private employment, slightly above the 197,000 average pace over the last twelve months. The three-month moving average of 229,000 is the highest in over a year.
- Posted byon June 5, 2014 at 5:12 PM EDT
On the third day of President Obama's four-day European tour, he attended the 2014 G-7 Summit in Brussels, Belgium. The summit brought together like-minded, advanced industrial economies to discuss a number of key issues, including energy security, climate change, the global economy, development, and the situation in Ukraine.
- Posted byon June 5, 2014 at 2:48 PM EDT
Today, a bipartisan majority of Senators confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. In a statement released this afternoon, President Obama commended the group of Senators and reiterated his confidence in Burwell's leadership.
I applaud the strong, bipartisan majority of Senators who today confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as America’s next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sylvia is a proven manager who knows how to deliver results, and over her career she has built deep relationships with Democrats and Republicans alike. I’m confident Sylvia’s unparalleled experience will serve her well in her new role as she works to ensure the safety of our food and drug supply, protect our nation from outbreaks or bioterror attacks, keep America at the forefront of medical research, and make sure every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare.
- Posted byon June 5, 2014 at 11:30 AM EDT
Update: This live event has concluded. Watch the full Tumblr Q&A here.
We’re excited to announce that on Tuesday, June 10, at 4:00pm ET President Obama will take to Tumblr to answer your questions about education, college affordability, and reducing student loan debt.
Getting a higher education is the single-most important investment students can make in their own futures. At the same time, it’s never been more expensive. That’s why since taking office, the President has made historic investments to make college more affordable – and it's why he's inviting you to join a conversation about the issue. Starting today, you can submit questions for the President at ObamaIRL.tumblr.com.
- Posted byon June 4, 2014 at 5:47 PM EDT
Kicking off the second day of his trip to Europe, President Obama took part in a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw, Poland.
In remarks following the meeting, President Obama said that they discussed the President-elect's plans to bring "peace and order to the east," along with the need for the international community to step up and support Poroshenko's efforts:
The challenge now for the international community is to make sure that we are supporting Petro’s efforts. And the United States has already stepped up in a number of ways. We’re supplementing the assistance that the IMF is providing with $1 billion in additional loan guarantees, and we’ve discussed additional steps that we might take to help during this reform and transition process. We’ve discussed additional steps that we can take to help train and professionalize the Ukrainian law enforcement and military so they can deal with some of the challenges that are still taking place in certain portions of the country. And, in fact, today we announced some additional non-lethal assistance that we can provide -- things like night vision goggles that will help a professional Ukrainian military force do its job.
What They're Saying Around the Country: Support for Commonsense, Responsible Steps to Curb Carbon PollutionPosted byon June 4, 2014 at 3:25 PM EDT
On Monday, as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the EPA proposed the first-ever carbon pollution guidelines for power plants. We already regulate pollution like sulfur, arsenic, mercury, and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want.
The EPA’s proposal will prevent as many as 150,000 asthma attacks in kids each year while helping combat the impacts of global warming, which are already being felt in communities across the country. It provides states the flexibility to meet the standards using the energy sources that work best for them.
These commonsense, responsible steps to curb carbon pollution are already being hailed by editorial boards across the country. Here’s a sample of what they’re saying:
Make no mistake, this is not anti-business. A lot of folks in the utility industry will be pleased to see the regulations move forward, chiefly because it will finally bring some consistency to the market and create new opportunities for renewable power. Meanwhile, burning less coal will also mean reducing harmful and potentially cancer-causing byproducts like mercury and sulfuric acid that are a threat to human health and the environment as well.
- Posted byon June 3, 2014 at 6:45 PM EDT
Early this morning, President Obama landed in Warsaw, Poland — his first stop on a four-day trip to Europe in which he will also visit Belgium and France.
Shortly after he landed, the President took part in an arrival ceremony at Warsaw Chopin Airport with President Bronisław Komorowski of Poland. "It is wonderful to be back in Poland," President Obama said, adding that the country is "one of our great friends and one of our strongest allies in the world."
It is a special honor to be here as Poles celebrate the 25th anniversary of the rebirth of Polish democracy. And this year also marks the 15th anniversary of Poland’s membership in NATO. I’m starting the visit here because our commitment to Poland’s security, as well as the security of our allies in Central and Eastern Europe, is a cornerstone of our own security and it is sacrosanct.
- Posted byon June 3, 2014 at 6:39 PM EDT
On Friday, President Obama will visit Normandy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied forces. To honor the Americans who fought and died in the campaign, President Obama and President Hollande will participate in a ceremony at the American cemetery close to Omaha Beach, the site of the American landing in Normandy.
We suggest that Americans wishing to attend the ceremony at the cemetery as part of the general public, please email the U.S. Embassy in Paris for additional information. If you are a World War II veteran attending the ceremony, please email the U.S. Defense Attaché Office in Paris.
We expect large numbers of visitors at the events on the 6th. To aid in your visit, we suggest contacting these U.S. Offices even if you have received tickets in advance so we may assist all Americans as much as possible on this day of events.
- Posted byon June 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM EDT
Congratulations to the 27 private-sector partners of “Beyond the Grid” – a new Power Africa initiative to unlock investment and growth specifically for off-grid and small-scale energy solutions – announced today by Secretary Moniz at the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Obama launched Power Africa nearly one year ago to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa – electricity needed for students to succeed, businesses to thrive, and African economies to grow. The challenge is greatest beyond the electric grid serving dense urban populations. More than 240 million people live without electricity in rural and peri-urban communities across the six Power Africa focus countries. Too many do not even show up on government plans to expand the grid over the next decade.
But, bolstered by the falling cost of renewable energy generation; rapid advances in energy storage, smart meter, and mobile payment technologies; and innovative business models, new distributed energy companies are now delivering clean, reliable energy in Africa at a competitive price point. While the market is still young, it holds great promise to follow the mobile phone in leapfrogging centralized infrastructure across Africa.
Beyond the Grid will double down on Power Africa’s support for this potentially game-changing sector, building on more than 25 small-scale energy projects already in the Power Africa pipeline. Beyond the Grid’s 27 founding partners – including impact investors, venture philanthropists, clean-energy enterprises, and practitioners – have committed to invest over $1 billion over the next five years to seed and scale distributed energy solutions for millions of African homes, businesses, schools, and other public facilities.
- Posted byon June 2, 2014 at 7:21 PM EDT
Last week, instead of recording his weekly address at the White House as usual, President Obama taped it at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
In his address, the President discussed the EPA's new actions to cut carbon pollution — and at the medical center, he visited children whose asthma is aggravated by air pollution.
Take a look at what the President and the kids had to say — and pass this on:
If you agree that we need to fight climate change and its effects on our communities, add your name to stay involved with the President's Climate Action Plan.