The White House Blog: The President

  • President Obama: "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds"

    President Barack Obama meets with women Members of Congress in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 12, 2014

    President Barack Obama meets with women Members of Congress in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Today, the President hosted a meeting with women members of Congress to discuss the 2014 women's economic agenda, and the administration's plan to expand opportunity for every American.

    In advance of that meeting, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released new economic data that laid out exactly why — in spite of the substantial gains women have made in the workforce — we've still got work to do to close the gender gap and promote opportunity.

    The President has made clear that he'll continue working with Congress wherever they are willing, but he isn't going to wait to take action on behalf of the American people. And he announced today that he will host the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014 alongside the Department of Labor and Center for American Progress to continue the conversation about issues facing the 21st-century workplace.

    Here's a look at the state of the workforce for women — featuring charts from today's meeting with representatives. Take a look, and pass it on.


  • President Obama Meets with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk of Ukraine

    President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine in the Oval Office

    President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine in the Oval Office, March 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, President Obama held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine.

    In their meeting, the President and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk discussed how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also discussed support the international community can provide to help Ukraine confront its economic challenges, and the importance of uniting Ukraine and working to fulfill the aspirations of the Ukrainian people as they prepare for May presidential elections.


  • Watch President Obama on "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis"

    President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Zach Galifianakis for "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis"

    President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Zach Galifianakis for "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Feb. 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama sat down between two ferns to talk health care, Bradley Cooper, and basketball with Zach Galifianakis. Watch it here now -- all your friends have probably seen it already, don't be "that guy" who hasn't.


  • Twenty Reasons to Get Covered, Twenty Days Left to Enroll


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    As of today, there are just 20 days left to enroll in health care coverage at healthcare.gov before open enrollment ends on March 31.

    If you don't already have health insurance, head over to healthcare.gov to get covered now. You can compare your options based on price, benefits, quality and other features, and enroll in a plan that fits your needs and your budget.

    WIth just one application, you can also find out whether you qualify for tax credits to help pay for insurance or other free or low-cost coverage options. 


  • The 2014 Economic Report of the President

    This morning, the Council of Economic Advisers is releasing the 2014 Economic Report of the President, which discusses the progress that has been made in recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and President Obama’s agenda to build on this progress by creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity. This year’s report highlights steps the Obama Administration is taking to address three key imperatives: continuing to restore the economy to its full potential, expanding the economy’s potential over the long-run, and ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to realize their full individual potential.

    Below are seven highlights from each of the seven chapters in this year’s Report:

    Chapter 1 introduces the Report and highlights several key areas where progress has been made, but it also lays out the areas where much more work remains to be done. In particular, recoveries from financial crises are uniquely challenging because heavy household debt burdens and tight credit conditions can linger for years, depressing spending and investment. However, as shown in Figure 1-4 of the Report, among the 12 countries that experienced a systemic financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, the United States is one of just two in which output per working-age person has returned to pre-crisis levels. The fact that the United States has been one of the best performing economies in the wake of the crisis supports the view that the full set of policy responses in the United States made a major difference in averting a substantially worse outcome—although it in no way changes the fact that more work remains to be done.


  • Weekly Address: Time for Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage for the American People

    In this week's address, President Obama highlighted the momentum building across the country to give Americans a raise and reiterated his call for Congress to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The President has already signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for people working under new federal contracts. Companies large and small are choosing to give workers a raise because they know it's good business. And Governors across the country are answering the President's call by working to raise their states' minimum wages. Now, it's time for Congress to get the job done and restore opportunity for all Americans by raising the minimum wage to "ten-ten."

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • A World-Class Education for Every Student in America

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talks with students in a classroom at Coral Reef Senior High School, Florida,

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledge the crowd after the President spoke at Coral Reef Senior High School, Fla., March 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, President Obama and the First Lady visited Coral Reef High School in Miami to discuss the President's plan to equip all Americans with the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

    “By working hard every single day, every single night, you are making the best investment there is in your future,” President Obama told the students. “And we want to make sure you’ve got everything, all the tools you need to succeed.” 

    President Obama talked about one tool that’s helping give more students the opportunity to afford, attend, and graduate from college: the Free Application for Student Aid or FAFSA.

    It is a simple form. It used to be complicated; we made it simple. It doesn’t cost anything -- that’s why the word “free” is right there in the name. It does not take a long time to fill out. Once you do, you’re putting yourself in the running for all kinds of financial support for college -- scholarships, grants, loans, work-study jobs. 

    Over the last five years, the Obama administration has been working to make college more affordable for more students. And today, more young people are earning college degrees than ever before. But we have to do more, President Obama said.


  • Ask President Obama Your Health Care Questions on WebMD

    Next week, President Obama will sit down for his first-ever interview with WebMD, the leading source of health information for consumers and health care professionals, to discuss the importance of signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. During a conversation with the site's health care reform expert Lisa Zamosky, the President will answer questions about health care and the ACA directly from WebMD users in an interview that will air on March 14.

    What’s your question for President Obama? Ask now at WebMD.com/AskObama

    The President's interview with WebMD continues efforts by the administration to encourage as many Americans as possible to sign up for health insurance for 2014 by the end of open enrollment on March 31.

    And it's just one of many innovative and targeted strategies used by the White House to speak with Americans directly -- especially women, young adults and the uninsured -- about quality, affordable health care options available. As the leading source for health information, WebMD has enormous reach. According to WebMD, the site's more than 156 million unique visitors per month is made up of 60 percent women, 33 percent of its audience is ages 18-34 and 38 percent of those younger users are uninsured. 

    So, go ahead and submit your questions now – then tune in on March 14 to watch the full interview and find out if the President answered your question.


  • The Employment Situation in February

    February 2014 was the 48th straight month of private-sector job growth, with businesses adding 8.7 million jobs over that time. Despite a major snowstorm that hit the East Coast during the reference week for the labor market surveys, the rate of job growth picked up from the December and January pace. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate remains elevated, and for too many Americans, wages have been slow to rise.

    This week, the President put out a budget that can make progress on these issues by investing in education, job training, and innovation, by expanding tax credits for working Americans, and by extending the emergency unemployment benefits that has expired for 2 million Americans. And while the President encourages Congress to act on his proposals, he will also continue to take action on his own wherever possible to support job growth and expand economic opportunity.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY'S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

    1. The private sector has added 8.7 million jobs over 48 straight months of job growth. Today we learned that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, with 162,000 of that increase in the private sector. Revisions to private employment in the previous months were small and offsetting, so that that over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by 2.2 million, or an average of 183,000 a month. This is almost identical to the pace of job gains over the preceding twelve-month period (182,000 a month).


  • West Wing Week 3/7/14 or “Look Who’s In Our Room”

    This week, The White House hosted its first ever White House Student Film Festival, while the President addressed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, presented his budget for Fiscal Year 2015, urged Congress to raise the minimum wage, and held a town hall on Latinos and the Affordable Care Act.