The White House Blog: The President
- 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.
Safe and Responsible Oil and Gas Production as Part of President Obama’s All-of-the-Above Energy StrategyPosted byon June 25, 2014 at 1:16 PM EDT
President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is working – enhancing our energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring economic growth.
Since the President took office, U.S. production of electricity from wind has more than tripled, production of electricity from solar is up more than ten-fold, and production of oil and gas has grown each year. Today, the U.S. is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas.
Let’s drill down on the facts:
- According to Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates, U.S. crude oil production averaged more than 7.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2013, up from 5.0 million bpd in 2008. And that was just last year: EIA expects production to increase to more than 8.4 million bpd in 2014; U.S. crude oil production averaged nearly 8.2 million bpd in March already.
- Domestic natural gas production is on pace to set a new record high in 2014. EIA estimates marketed production averaged more than 72 billion cubic feet per day in March, up more than 5 percent from March of last year and up nearly 25 percent from 2008.
- The number of oil and gas drilling rigs has grown over the last four years. As of April 2014, there were 1,835 operating oil and gas rigs, up over 18 percent from 1,553 when President Obama took office in January 2009.
- Posted byon June 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM EDT
The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital. The impacts of extreme weather events – from more severe droughts and wildfires in the West, to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves – are hitting communities across the country. These changes come with far-reaching consequences and real economic costs.
At the same time, clean energy represents a significant economic opportunity, and we know we can meet this challenge in a way that advances our economy, our environment, and public health at the same time.
That is why, on this day last year, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan – a comprehensive plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to combat global climate change.
One year later, the Administration has made real progress in advancing the goals in the President’s Climate Action Plan. The policies President Obama has put forward in just one year – when implemented – are expected to cut nearly 3 billion tons of carbon pollution between 2020 and 2025. That’s an amount equivalent to taking more than 600 million cars off the road for a year.
- Posted byon June 25, 2014 at 9:30 AM EDT
First-quarter GDP was revised down today, largely reflecting updated estimates of consumer spending on health care, which was substantially lower than originally reported, as well as exports, which were below the initial estimates. The GDP data can be volatile from quarter to quarter; a range of other data show a more positive picture for the first quarter, and more up-to-date indicators from April and May suggest that the economy is on track for a rebound in the second quarter. The recovery from the Great Recession, however, remains incomplete, and the President will continue to do everything he can to support the recovery, either by acting through executive action or by working with Congress on steps that would boost growth and speed job creation.
FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This drop follows an increase of 3.4 percent at an annual rate in the second half of 2013. The entire decline in overall GDP in the first quarter can be accounted for by a decline in exports and a slowdown in inventory investment, two particularly volatile components of GDP. In addition, several components were likely affected by unusually severe winter weather, including consumer spending on food services and accommodations, which fell for the first time in four years.