The White House Blog: The President

  • Weekly Wrap Up: VP at the World Cup, Robotic Giraffes, and the Medal of Honor

    This week, the President continued his fight against climate change, updated the American people on the situation in Iraq, hung out with a robotic giraffe at the first-ever White House Maker Faire, and paid tribute to our newest Medal of Honor recipient -- and the Vice President cheered on the U.S. Men's National Team at the World Cup.

    Check out what you might have missed this week in our weekly wrap up:


    He "Should Not Be Alive Today"

    At the White House yesterday, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, a retired United States Marine. Corporal Carpenter received the medal for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    By all accounts, Kyle shouldn't be alive today. On November 21, 2010, Kyle's platoon woke up to the sound of AK-47 fire. As their compound began taking fire, Kyle and Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio took cover up on a roof, low on their backs behind a circle of sandbags. And then a grenade landed nearby, its pin already pulled.


  • West Wing Week 06/20/14 or, “Zot, Zot, Zot!”

    This week, the President visited Lakota Country, the land of the Anteaters, and Pittsburgh's Tech Shop, while at home he hosted the first-ever Maker Faire and awarded the Medal of Honor.


  • Addressing the Needs of Working Families in Rural America

    This was originally posted on the Huffington Post, and is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families, leading up to the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014.

    You can learn more about the Summit and how you can get involved at www.workingfamiliessummit.org.


    Last Wednesday, I participated in a regional forum of the White House Working Families Summit that was held at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia. Coming from a small town in Southwest Georgia myself, I can relate to the unique challenges that rural Americans face. Growing up, my father worked seven days a week on our peanut and cattle farm with help from my mother. To make sure our family had a constant source of income and health insurance, my mother also worked off the farm at the local independent bank. I am fortunate to be the product of hard working parents who provided my sister and me with the best opportunities possible.

    All families have a right to have access to a good education system, affordable healthcare and jobs. Our rural families are concerned about creating strong prospects for their children, whether it is on or off the farm. But it is also essential that there are opportunities that will attract young people back to rural areas and help us secure the future of agriculture.

    The Obama Administration is committed to providing opportunities for working families across the country. That's why earlier this year President Obama created the Made in Rural America Export and Investment Initiative to help rural businesses and leaders take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new markets abroad.


  • New Steps to Protect Pollinators, Critical Contributors to Our Nation’s Economy

    Today, President Obama issued a memorandum directing U.S. government agencies to take additional steps to protect and restore domestic populations of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies – critical contributors to our nation’s economy, food system, and environmental health.

    Pollinators contribute substantially to the sustainability of our food production systems, the economic vitality of the agricultural sector, and the health of the environment. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops in the United States each year, and pollination by other species adds another $9 billion. In addition, pollinators help wild flowering plants grow, making ecosystems stronger and more resilient.

    But for decades, pollinator populations in the United States have been falling. The number of managed U.S. honey bee colonies dropped from 6 million colonies in 1947, to 4 million in 1970, 3 million in 1990, and just 2.5 million today. And last winter, the Monarch butterfly migration across North America was smaller than all previous migrations on record, and there is a risk that this iconic migration could end. These numbers highlight the importance of taking immediate steps to address these alarming declines and ensure the sustainability of our nation’s food production systems, economy, and environment.


  • President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter

    President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter

    President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. June 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the White House Blog. See the original post here.

    At the White House this afternoon, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, a retired United States Marine. Corporal Carpenter received the medal for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    By all accounts, Kyle shouldn't be alive today. On November 21, 2010, Kyle's platoon woke up to the sound of AK-47 fire. As their compound began taking fire, Kyle and Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio took cover up on a roof, low on their backs behind a circle of sandbags. And then a grenade landed nearby, its pin already pulled.


  • President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter

    Watch on YouTube

    At the White House this afternoon, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, a retired United States Marine. Corporal Carpenter received the medal for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    By all accounts, Kyle shouldn't be alive today. On November 21, 2010, Kyle's platoon woke up to the sound of AK-47 fire. As their compound began taking fire, Kyle and Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio took cover up on a roof, low on their backs behind a circle of sandbags. And then a grenade landed nearby, its pin already pulled.


  • The President Makes a Statement on the Situation in Iraq

    President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Iraq and answers questions from the media in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, June 19, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Iraq and answers questions from the media in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, June 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Today, after a meeting with his national security team, President Obama delivered a statement from the White House Press Briefing Room on the situation in Iraq and the U.S. response, in the wake of the terrorist organization ISIL making advances inside Iraq. Watch his remarks below:

    Watch on YouTube


  • “Making” in America, Changing the World: An Immigrant Maker’s Story

    Yesterday, at the first-ever White House Maker Faire, truly remarkable “Makers” showed off how access to new technologies like 3D printers, laser cutters, and desktop machine tools are enabling more Americans to design and build just about anything. The President also announced new steps the Administration and its partners are taking to ensure that more Americans, young and old, have access to these tools and techniques for launching businesses; learning vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and leading a grassroots renaissance in American manufacturing.

    Even though these remarkable innovators are making in America, they weren’t all born here. Many Makers immigrated to the United States, bringing with them the passion and creativity to invent new technologies and boost the American economy.

    We caught up with one of these remarkable immigrant Makers, Manu Prakash, an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University, and the creator of the Foldscope, an origami-based paper microscope that costs less than $1. As we focus this week on the urgency and importance of immigration reform, Manu’s story is just one example of how America benefits from attracting the best and brightest talent from around the world.


  • Further U.S. Efforts to Protect Human Rights in Uganda

    Our hopes for a more peaceful and just world depend on respect for the rights and dignity of all people. It is for this reason that our foreign policy champions human rights and opposes violence and discrimination that targets people because of who they are and whom they love. President Obama's groundbreaking Presidential Memorandum of December 6, 2011 reflected this commitment by directing the federal government to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT people abroad.  

    We have seen extraordinary advances for LGBT rights in the United States and in many countries around the world. But some governments have challenged this progress, with results that not only endanger local LGBT communities, but also pose a setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice, and equal rights.   

    The Government of Uganda's enactment of the “Anti-Homosexuality Act” is precisely such a step in the wrong direction. As President Obama made clear in February, the enactment of the AHA is more than an affront to the LGBT community in Uganda — it calls into question the Government of Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of all its people, and complicates our bilateral relationship.

    After thorough consideration, the U.S. government is taking a number of actions to underscore the critical importance we place on human rights and fighting against discrimination, protecting vulnerable populations, respecting freedom of expression and association, and advancing inclusive governance.


  • President Obama at the White House Maker Faire: “Today’s D.I.Y. Is Tomorrow’s 'Made in America'”

    Watch on YouTube

    “Our parents and our grandparents created the world’s largest economy and strongest middle class not by buying stuff, but by building stuff -- by making stuff, by tinkering and inventing and building; by making and selling things first in a growing national market and then in an international market -- stuff “Made in America.”  President Barack Obama at the first-ever White House Maker Faire, June 18, 2014

    Today at the White House, President Obama enjoyed the company of a 17-foot robotic giraffe; a 128-square-foot, portable “tiny house”; a 3D pancake printer; a giant red weather balloon; and more than 30 other inspiring and creative inventions brought to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by more than 100 students, entrepreneurs, engineers, and researchers from 25 states — all of whom love to “Make” stuff.

    At the first-ever White House Maker Faire, the President also announced a host of new steps to spur manufacturing, innovation, and entrepreneurship by increasing the ability of more Americans, young and old, to have access to tools and techniques that can bring their ideas to life.

    The day was a celebration of all things built-by-hand and designed-by-ingenuity — highlighting the role of cutting-edge equipment like 3D printers, laser-cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools in empowering everyday Americans to create and achieve almost anything.