The White House Blog: The President

  • Announcing the President's Council on Beards

    Today, President Obama announced the creation of the President's Council on Beards, a committee of volunteer citizens and officials dedicated to honoring our nation's history, and promoting men's health and wellness.

    Finding inspiration from today's visit by the renowned beard enthusiasts from the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, the President has pulled together an experienced, enthusiastic, and hairy team of council members to advise him on issues related to beard growth, health, and styles.


  • The #ACASurge Continues: Here's Where I Was Today

    I saw it firsthand today: The surge of folks across the country getting covered ahead of the March 31 deadline is continuing.

    Today, I stopped by a D.C. Health Link faith-based enrollment event -- put on by a community that's played a key role in efforts to educate and enroll District residents, small businesses, and their employees.

    It was really inspiring to see -- and it was just one of hundreds of events happening around the country this weekend.

    Take a look at a couple photos from that event -- and a few more from events happening this weekend. If you're getting covered yourself, share a photo of your own.

    And, of course, if you still need coverage, visit HealthCare.gov right now and get yourself signed up.

    Washington, D.C.:


  • Weekly Wrap Up: FLOTUS and POTUS and Pandas, Oh My!

    This week, the First Lady wrapped up her visit to China -- of course, pandas were involved -- while the President started a week-long trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia. And the Vice President gave seven reasons why you should get covered before open enrollment ends on March 31. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    FLOTUS Shows Us How She Moves in China

    While touring Xi'an, China, First Lady Michelle Obama was greeted by local kids and students performing music, double-dutch jump roping, flying kites, and more. Of course, the First Lady couldn't resist getting in on the fun and showing the kids how she moves. 


  • More than 3.57 Million Records Released

    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 December 2013. Today’s release also includes visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in February 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 3.57 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.


  • West Wing Week 03/28/14 or, "The 2014 European Edition"

    Welcome to a special, travel edition of the West Wing Week. The President spent this whirlwind week working in Europe, where he attended the third, biennial Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, traveled to Brussels for an EU-US Summit, and then on to Rome, where he met with His High Holiness Pope Francis.
     

     


  • "I'm a Republican, and You Should Get Covered"

    Mark D. Bearden is a retired psychologist living in Monroe, North Carolina. In February, he wrote a letter to the President letting him know what the Affordable Care Act has meant to him. The message below was sent to the White House email list today.

    Didn't get the email? Be sure to sign up here.


     

    I am a staunch Republican, a self-proclaimed Fox News addict, and I didn't vote for the President. And I'm here to tell you that Obamacare works. I'm living proof.

    I'm a chemotherapy patient, and was previously paying $428 a month for my health coverage. I was not thrilled when it was cancelled.

    Then I submitted an application at HealthCare.gov. I looked at my options. And I signed up for a plan for $62 a month.

    It's the best health care I have ever had.

    So right now, here's what I want to tell anyone who still needs health insurance, or knows someone who does:

    Sign up. Follow the instructions on the website. Apply, and look at your options. You still have time, and take it from me: This is something you want to do.

    I wrote a letter to President Obama this past February to tell him about my experience with the Health Insurance Marketplace. I hoped he'd read it, and he did.

    I may not be a supporter of the President. But now, I get mad when I see Obamacare dragged through the mud on television.

    And even though I regularly tune in to conservative pundits, I'd like to tell them they're getting it wrong. Obamacare works.

    So one more time: If you still need health insurance, you have just three days to get it. Do what I did. Go to HealthCare.gov, submit an application, and pick a plan that works for you.

    It just might change your life.

    Mark D. Bearden, Ph.D.
    Monroe, North Carolina


  • A Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

    In June 2013, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University where he laid out both the case for action on climate change and the steps his Administration will take to address it. The Climate Action Plan that the President announced includes steps to cut carbon pollution, help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that are already on the way, and continue American leadership in international efforts to combat global climate change.

    In his Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Administration to develop a comprehensive, interagency strategy to cut methane emissions. Today, the White House released the Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions. Learn more about the strategy in the fact sheet below, and check out the full Strategy here.

    Dan Utech is the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.


    FACT SHEET: Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

    With an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so we leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. That’s why last June, President Obama issued a broad-based Climate Action Plan, announcing a series of executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.


  • Day 4: The President Travels to Italy, Meets with Pope Francis

    Watch on YouTube

    Today, President Obama headed to Italy, continuing his five-country trip across Europe and Saudi Arabia.

    The President started off the day at the Vatican, where he had an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. This was President Obama's first time meeting Pope Francis, and the two "had a wide-ranging discussion," the President said.

    "I would say that the largest bulk of the time was discussing two central concerns of his," said the President. "One is the issues of the poor, the marginalized, those without opportunity, and growing inequality. ... And then we spent a lot of time talking about the challenges of conflict and how elusive peace is around the world."


  • Day 3: President Obama Heads to Belgium, Speaks on U.S.-Europe Relations

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Palais Des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels, Belgium, March 26, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Palais Des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels, Belgium, March 26, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, President Obama traveled to Belgium — the second leg of his five-country trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia.

    At the Palais des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels, the President talked at length about the relationship between the United States and Europe. He discussed the history shared by the two regions, and how best to preserve the values and ideals that are central to the relationship.

    “I come here today to insist that we must never take for granted the progress that has been won here in Europe and advanced around the world,” because the contest of ideas continues, President Obama said. “And that’s what’s at stake in Ukraine today.


  • The Minimum Wage and Tipped Minimum Wage: Important Tools to Lift Wages and Reduce Poverty, Particularly for Women

    Over the past 30 years, modest minimum wage increases have not kept pace with the rising costs of basic necessities. Moreover, the tipped minimum wage—the portion of wages that employers must cover for tipped workers—has fallen steadily in value since 1991, and is now at historically low levels.
     
    Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation, while also increasing the tipped minimum wage, would have particular benefits for women. The following are four key points from a new report by the National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers, Domestic Policy Council, and Department of Labor. The full report discusses these four important facts in more detail: