The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon September 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM EST
Last Friday, President Obama delivered remarks at a suburban Kansas City, MO Ford Motor Co. stamping plant – a plant that recently had to bring on a shift of 900 workers to keep up with the demand for the new F-150.
Five years ago, plants like the one near Kansas City were closing their doors. The auto industry was flat-lining, and GM and Chrysler were about to go bankrupt. “I refused to let that happen,” the President said. “So we worked with labor, we worked with management. Everybody had to make some sacrifices. Everybody put some skin in the game. We bet on the American worker. We bet on you. And today, that bet has paid off because the American auto industry has come roaring back.”
The President spoke just hours after the House passed a budget bill that would fund the government through mid-December while defunding Obamacare, a move that could leave 11 million Americans without health insurance.
“Unfortunately, right now the debate that is going on in Congress is not meeting the test of helping middle-class families,” the President said. “It’s just they're not focused on you. They're focused on politics. They're focused on trying to mess with me. They're not focused on you.”
- Posted byon September 23, 2013 at 2:05 PM EST
On Tuesday, September 24, President Obama will join former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting for a conversation about the benefits and future of health care reform in America, and access to health care around the globe.
Update: This event has concluded. You can watch the full video below.
For more information:
- Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace, launching October 1.
President Obama at the Memorial Service for Victims of the Navy Yard Shooting: “We Can’t Accept This”Posted byon September 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM EST
On Sunday, President Obama spoke at a memorial service to honor the victims of the Navy Yard shooting, and to thank first responders for their work.
“We know that no words we offer today are equal to the magnitude, to the depths of that loss,” the President told the families of the victims. “But we come together as a grateful nation to honor your loved ones, to grieve with you, and to offer, as best we can, some solace and comfort.”
President Obama explained that this is the fifth time since taking office that he’s grieved with communities ripped apart by gun violence:
And so, once again, we remember our fellow Americans who were just going about their day doing their jobs, doing what they loved -- in this case, the unheralded work that keeps our country strong and our Navy the finest fleet in the world. These patriots doing their work that they were so proud of, and who have now been taken away from us by unspeakable violence.
Once more we come together to mourn the lives of beauty and to comfort the wonderful families who cherished them. Once more we pay tribute to all who rushed towards the danger, who risked their lives so others might live, and who are in our prayers today, including Officer Scott Williams. Once more our hearts are broken. Once more we ask why. Once more we seek strength and wisdom through God's grace.
- Posted byon September 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM EST
Tune in on Monday from 3 to 4 p.m. at whitehouse.gov/live or youtube.com/whitehouse as President Obama hosts a High Level Event on Supporting Civil Society in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
Civil society representatives play a critical role -- voicing the views of citizens, holding governments accountable, and forging solutions that improve people’s lives. For example, in Brazil, civil society recruited a thousand volunteer accountants to participate in a crowd-sourced review of the federal budget. Their work helped eliminate millions of dollars in waste. When many governments turned a blind eye, it was groups of citizen activists who organized themselves to sound the alarm and demand dignity who first generated the momentum to combat HIV-AIDS. Today, civil society groups work for and with small farmers, champion the cause of girls’ education, and run relief supplies into the most dangerous corners of Syria.
- Posted byon September 21, 2013 at 4:30 AM EST
In his weekly address, President Obama says the economy is making progress five years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, but to avoid another crisis, Congress must meet two deadlines in the coming weeks: pass a budget by the end of the month to keep the government open, and raise the debt ceiling so America can pay its bills. Congress should vote to do these now, so that we can keep creating new jobs and expanding opportunity for the middle class.
- Posted byon September 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM EST
This week, the President responded to the shootings at the Navy Yard in DC, invited small business owners to the White House as he spoke on the 5 year anniversary of the financial crisis, addressed the Business Roundtable and the Export Council, sat down for interviews with ABC & Telemundo, welcomed the Amir of Kuwait, newly appointed Foreign Ambassadors, and Youth of the Year winners, and the First Lady spoke on marketing healthier food to children.
- Posted byon September 19, 2013 at 6:07 PM EST
Today President Obama met with his Export Council, a committee of government and private-sector leaders who advise him on trade and export related issues.
President Obama told the council that although there is more work to do five years after the start of the financial crisis, our economic recovery is well underway thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, the work of our business sector and timely government response to the crisis .
“But I tell you, one of the biggest bright spots in our economy has been exports,” President Obama said, “the fact that "Made in America" means something and has provided a boost to our domestic economy, and has reminded the world just how competitive we are.”
Now, we can still do more when it comes to exports, and thanks in part to new trade deals that I’ve signed as well as obviously really great products and services that you’ve all designed, America now exports more to the rest of the world than ever before. We’re on track to export even more this year. Last year, $1 billion in exports supported nearly 50,000 jobs -- or 5,000 jobs in the United States.
President Obama said his Administration is focused on keeping that momentum going by completing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations as well as expanding our trade relationship with Europe.
- Posted byon September 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM EST
New data out yesterday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and discussed in a piece in Health Affairs show that economy-wide health spending continues to grow at a historically slow rate. After adjusting for inflation, health spending growth was 1.7 percent (3.9 percent nominal) in 2011, is estimated at 2.1 percent in 2012 (3.9 percent nominal), and is projected at 2.3 percent (3.8 percent nominal) for 2013. Assuming the projections hold, these rates of spending growth are the three lowest on record, well below the 4.2 percent average inflation-adjusted rate observed over the decade ending in 2010 and the 5.5 percent average inflation-adjusted rate from 1965 to 2010. As the President said earlier today, these reductions in health cost growth are good for American companies’ bottom lines, good for our economy, and good for jobs.
- Posted byon September 19, 2013 at 5:00 AM EST
Right now, Congress’ top priorities should be growing the economy and creating good middle class jobs so we build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years. But a few extreme Republicans in Congress are attempting to reverse that progress by shutting down the government and threatening to force the United States to default on the bills it has already racked up and owes.
For decades, Congress has paid its bills dozens of times by raising the debt limit on schedule with little drama or delay. Unfortunately, as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew noted on Tuesday, that all changed two years ago when:
…the issue of raising the debt ceiling turned into a high stakes political drama. We saw for the first time a debate take place over whether the United States should voluntarily default on its obligations. Some actually argued that default was a viable outcome. There were in fact members of Congress willing to default on our full faith and credit rather than reach a good faith compromise.
Even the hint of defaulting on our obligations by a minority of Republicans in Congress had great consequences for our economy in the summer of 2011:
- The stock market plummeted 17%
- The US credit rating was downgraded
- Consumer confidence dropped to its lowest points since the financial crisis in 2008
- Widespread uncertainty for middle class families
- Businesses froze hiring—initially reported zero jobs added for August of 2011, and even with later revisions was one of the lowest months of job growth over the last two years
That’s why the President has been clear that there is no negotiating over the whether or not Congress should pay its bills; Congress needs to pass a budget to keep the government functioning for the American people. Many Republicans have agreed that it would be reckless and irresponsible to use the threat of default as a bargaining chip:
Speaker John Boehner: “[D]o you want to risk the full faith and credit of the United States government over ObamaCare? That’s a very tough argument to make.” [BuzzFeed, 3/13/13]
Sen. Kelly Ayotte: "I don't think that shutting down the government is going to be productive." [CNN, 9/18/2013]
Rep. Tom Cole: “….shutting down the government to, you know, get your way over an unrelated piece of legislation is political equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum. It's just not helpful, and I think it's the sort of thing that can create a backlash, that could cost the Republicans majority in the House…” [Fox News Network, 7/24/13]
- Posted byon September 18, 2013 at 6:25 PM EST
Today President Obama spoke to members of the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of the country’s leading companies.
“I’m hugely invested in your success because this room represents not only an enormous amount of economic output, but also represents the hopes and dreams of people who are working very hard trying to make a living,” President Obama told the business leaders. “When you succeed, when you’re doing well, when you’re competitive at a global scale, then America can do well also.”
President Obama said that our economy has come a long way since the financial crisis that began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers five years ago. For example, 7.5 million jobs have been created in the private sector, thanks in part to the many Business Roundtable members who have added to their payrolls over the last five years.
"We are in a much stronger position now than when we were then," President Obama said.