The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon May 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM EDT
President Obama talks about his belief that a rising, thriving middle class is the true engine of economic growth, and that to reignite that engine and continue to build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years, we need to invest in three areas: jobs, skills and opportunity.
- Posted byon May 17, 2013 at 4:14 PM EDT
Yesterday, President Obama demonstrated his continued commitment to increasing the diversity of our federal judiciary, so that it better reflects the nation it serves. He nominated four distinguished women to serve on four different courts—women who not only have the necessary intellect, integrity and fair-mindedness to serve as federal judges, but whose nominations also represent important “firsts” in their state or district:
- If confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Judge Carolyn McHugh would be the first woman from Utah to serve on that court. Currently, the Tenth Circuit only has one woman judge serving among its nine active members.
- Pamela Reeves and Elizabeth Wolford would be the first women to serve as district court judges in the Eastern District of Tennessee and Western District of New York, respectively, if confirmed.
- Debra Brown would be the first African-American district court judge to serve in the Northern District of Mississippi and the first African-American woman to serve as an Article III judge in the entire state of Mississippi, if confirmed.
President Obama’s judicial nominees already have broken the gender barrier in circuit courts in six states, as well as nine district courts, and have shattered dozens of glass ceilings for minorities. And on Monday, the Senate will consider the nomination of Michael McShane to be a district court judge in Oregon; if confirmed, he would be the fifth openly gay judge appointed by President Obama, compared to only one in history before.
- Posted byon May 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM EDT
Today, President Obama is headed to Baltimore, Maryland to talk early childhood education, infrastructure and ensuring that hard work leads to a decent living.
The President’s first stop today was at Moravia Park Elementary School, where he took part in a literacy lesson with pre-k students. The students are part of the school’s Judy Center, which provides comprehensive early childhood services including Head Start, child care, intervention services and family engagement. (Learn more about President Obama’s plan to expand access to high-quality preschool to every child in America)
- Posted byon May 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM EDT
President Obama today signed a Presidential Memorandum that will shave months, and even years, off the time it takes to review and approve major infrastructure projects. This means that states, local governments, and private developers will be able to start construction sooner, create jobs earlier, and fix our nation’s infrastructure faster.
On March 22, 2012, the President issued an Executive Order launching a government-wide initiative to improve the efficiency of federal review and permitting of infrastructure projects. Since then, agencies have expedited the review and permitting of 50 major projects, including bridges, transit , railways, waterways, roads, and renewable energy projects.
Federal agencies have also identified a set of best practices for efficient review and permitting. Those range from expanding information technology (IT) tools to strategies - like simultaneous review - for improving collaboration. Today’s Presidential Memorandum directs all relevant agencies to put these best practices into effect.
Cutting red tape and streamlining the process for making permitting decisions will help us meet the President’s goal of cutting in half the timelines for major infrastructure projects, while creating better outcomes for our communities and for the environment.
The President’s initiative is already showing real results. For example, this afternoon, President Obama and Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari will visit Baltimore, where we sped up the approval process for the city’s Red Line rail transit corridor by six months.
We also recently expedited Federal approval for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project in New York. By speeding up the approval process, Federal agencies trimmed up to three years off the timeline for this multi-billion dollar project that will help put Americans back to work.
- Posted byon May 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
This week, the President honored fallen officers and top cops, spoke on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, invited both the Prime Minister of England and of Turkey to the White House, and kicked off a new Google hangout series on science and technology.
- Posted byon May 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM EDT
Following their bilateral meeting this morning, President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey held a press conference in the Rose Garden this afternoon.
The President highlighted three areas of focus the two leaders discussed: expanding trade and investment between the U.S. and Turkey, mutual security, and the issue of Syria.
- Posted byon May 15, 2013 at 7:16 PM EDT
Just after 6:00 PM ET, President Obama spoke from the East Room of the White House about the Treasury Department's review of the Internal Revenue Service.
"I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable," he said. "It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. And as I said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you’re from -- the fact of the matter is, is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. The government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust. That’s especially true for the IRS."
- Posted byon May 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM EDT
Today, the President and Vice President released their 2012 financial disclosure reports.
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires high-level federal officials to publicly disclose their personal financial interests. The public filing system serves to prevent financial conflicts of interest by providing for a systematic review of the finances of government officials. Those finances are set forth in annual disclosures which are reviewed and certified by ethics officials. Neither the President nor the Vice President have any conflicts of interest, and their reports have been reviewed and certified by the independent Office of Government Ethics. We are continuing this Administration's practice of posting these forms online here in the interests of transparency:
White House staff are also completing their forms and we anticipate they will be available here next month, also in electronic form.
For more information
- Posted byon May 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM EDT
Today, President Obama spoke at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the previous year.
The President said that the 143 officers honored today “exemplified the very idea of citizenship -- that with our God-given rights come responsibilities and obligations to ourselves and to others.”
They embodied that idea. That’s the way they died. That’s how we must remember them. And that’s how we must live.
We can never repay our debt to these officers and their families, but we must do what we can, with all that we have, to live our lives in a way that pays tribute to their memory.
- Posted byon May 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM EDT
Today President Obama welcomed British Prime Minister David Cameron to the White House, where the two leaders discussed issues ranging from economic development to the unfolding conflict in Syria.
"[T]he great alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom is rooted in shared interests and shared values, and it’s indispensable to global security and prosperity," President Obama said. "But as we’ve seen again recently, it's also a partnership of the heart."
The President thanked the people of the United Kingdom for their support in the wake of the bombings in Boston. In London, marathoners observed a moment of silence and dedicated their race to the victims in Massachusetts.
Prime Minister Cameron echoed the President's sentiments on the strength of the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom.
"[The] relationship between Britain and the United States is a partnership without parallel," the Prime Minister said. "Day in, day out across the world, our diplomats and intelligence agencies work together, our soldiers serve together, and our businesses trade with each other."
In his remarks today, Prime Minister Cameron made a point to focus on three issues under discussion: the economy, the G8, and Syria. The United Kingdom currently holds the presidency of the G8 and will host the group's next summit in June -- in Northern Ireland.
Watch the full video of the press conference here: