The White House Blog: The President

  • Taking Action to Attract High-Skilled Immigrants, Graduates, and Entrepreneurs

    The President is taking action, within his legal authority, to fix our broken immigration system. America needs a 21st century immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants -- and that grows our economy.

    According to an analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the President’s executive actions on immigration stand to boost the nation’s GDP by $90 billion to $210 billion, while shrinking the Federal deficit by $25 billion over the next ten years. These actions will also increase the productivity and wages of all American workers, not just immigrants.

    Many of these economic benefits spring from the President’s actions to “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy.” We need to build on our strengths -- after all, over one-quarter of all U.S.-based Nobel laureates over the past 50 years were foreign-born, and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.


  • President Obama Travels Back Home to Chicago to Talk Immigration

    Billy Lawless introduces President Obama for remarks on immigration in Chicago

    Billy Lawless, Irish business owner and co-founder, Illinois Business Immigration Center, introduces President Barack Obama for remarks on immigration at the Copernicus Community Center in Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    This afternoon, President Obama traveled back to his hometown of Chicago to meet with civic and business leaders and detail the reasons he's acting on his own to help fix our broken immigration system.

    Speaking from a Polish community center in Chicago, the President reminded us that every president since Eisenhower has used his executive authority to address immigration issues. In fact, every president for the last 50 years has taken action to keep families together and help improve our nation's immigration system.


  • Young Leaders Dialogue on Mental Health: December 9

    Please join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and young leaders from across the country on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 from 6:00-7:00 pm ET for our Young Leaders Dialogue (YLD) Google+ Hangout on Mental Health. Similar to the YLD on Education, this YLD will cover a variety of topics around mental health.


  • Second Estimate of GDP for the Third Quarter of 2014

    Today’s upward revision affirms that economic growth in the third quarter was strong, consistent with a broad range of other indicators showing improvement in the labor market, increasing domestic energy security, and continued low health cost growth. Since the financial crisis, the U.S. economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world, and the recent data highlight that the United States is continuing to lead the global recovery. Nevertheless, there is more work to be done to boost growth in the United States and around the world. The President’s common-sense administrative actions on immigration—which CEA estimates will raise GDP by at least 0.4 percent over 10 years—will contribute to this effort, but only Congress can finish the job and make progress on other important steps like increased infrastructure investment.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.9 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2014, according to the second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The solid growth recorded in each of the last two quarters suggests that the economy has bounced back strongly from the first-quarter decline in GDP, which largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. In the third quarter, net exports made a large positive contribution to growth, while consumer spending and business investment remained positive contributors but grew at a somewhat slower pace than the previous quarter. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 4.5 percent in Q3.


  • President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury's Decision

    Tonight, speaking from the White House Briefing Room, President Obama spoke to the American people about the announcement of the grand jury's decision in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The President joined Michael Brown’s parents in calling on anyone who protests to do so peacefully.

    In his remarks, the President offered a path forward for our country, noting that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges we still face as a nation including the mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color. The President asked the nation to heed a grieving father’s words tonight and called on the country to seize this moment tomorrow as an opportunity for change.


  • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Steps Down

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that he would be stepping down from his position overseeing the Department of Defense. Hagel, who served in the Army during Vietnam, is the 24th Secretary of Defense.

    Speaking from the State Dining Room of the White House, President Obama noted that Secretary Hagel has helped to oversee a significant period of transition for both the Pentagon and the country: 

    The draw-down in Afghanistan, the need to prepare our forces for future missions and tough fiscal choices to keep our military strong and ready. Over nearly two years, Chuck has been an exemplary Defense Secretary, providing a steady hand as we modernized our strategy and budget to meet long-term threats, while still responding to immediate challenges like ISIL and Ebola.  Thanks to Chuck, our military is on a firmer footing, engaged in these missions and looking ahead to the future.


  • Keeping Up With the Cabinet: Our Trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit

    President Obama and our Administration understand the importance of start-ups and small businesses to economic growth in the United States and around the world. As the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), we were proud to represent the U.S. last week at the premier forum on entrepreneurship in the world: the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).

    Traveling to Morocco with a delegation led by Vice President Biden, we came to GES with a clear purpose: to reaffirm President Obama’s commitment to entrepreneurship worldwide and to emphasize America’s leadership as the epicenter of invention and innovation – a model for other countries to follow.

    We came to learn; to engage with young men and women from across the globe; and, hopefully, to inspire. And we have come away from this experience inspired ourselves.


  • Chart of the Week: SHOP Marketplace Premiums Flat in 2015

    On November 15, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for the 2015 enrollment season, giving current Marketplace enrollees a chance to compare their options for 2015 and others the chance to think about purchasing affordable coverage through the Marketplace for the first time. Individuals can find a plan that meets their needs and their budget at HealthCare.gov.  

    But November 15 also saw the beginning of online shopping through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Historically, small businesses have paid as much as 18 percent more than their larger competitors for the same coverage, reflecting high broker fees, administrative costs, and other factors.  


  • What You Need To Know: The President’s Actions on Immigration

    Everyone knows that our immigration system has been broken for decades. So, like many presidents before him, President Obama is taking new steps to do what he can to fix the system while the country waits for Republicans to Congress to act. 

    1. So what are the actions the President is taking? 

    President Obama is using his executive authority to fix as much of the broken system as he can, and ensure that everyone is held accountable and has the opportunity to play by the rules and contribute to the United States. You can read the full details of the plan here, but here's a breakdown of what the President’s plan will do: 

    • Continue to strengthen our border security by deploying more resources to bolster enforcement
    • Make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy
    • Hold more than 4 million undocumented immigrants accountable if they want to temporarily stay in the United States

    For undocumented immigrants who are living in our country illegally, this is the deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents; if you pass a criminal background check, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation and be required to pay taxes. 


  • In Case You Missed It: A Look at the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony

    Speaking from the East Room this afternoon, President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to eighteen individuals who have devoted their lives to public service.

    President Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to Civil Rights Activists

    President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. The awards were accepted by relatives of the civil rights activists. November 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    What is the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

    The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.