The White House Blog: The Vice President
- Posted byon September 14, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT
Ed note: this article has been cross-posted from the OMB blog
When he launched the Campaign to Cut Waste in June, President Obama asked the Vice President to take on a new role holding the Cabinet accountable for cutting waste in their agencies to help make government more efficient and responsive to the American people. As a part of that effort, the Vice President today convened the first Cabinet waste reduction meeting and announced over $2 billion in anti-waste measures.
In these challenging budgetary times, ensuring that every agency is rooting out waste and saving taxpayer dollars is more important than ever. We have made great strides in the last two years – shrinking contract spending for the first time in 13 years, identifying $3 billion in cost reductions from IT projects across government, and getting rid of property we no longer need and working aggressively to realize the President’s goal of saving $3 billion in real estate costs by the year 2012 – but we must continue to be vigilant and innovative about driving efficiency. That’s why the President and Vice President have made the Campaign to Cut Waste an Administration-wide priority.
- Posted byon September 13, 2011 at 3:50 PM EDT
Marking the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) helps us both appreciate the great strides that have been made in addressing all types of violence against women and recognize the fact that more needs to be done to create a society free from domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) remains committed to addressing these crimes in a broad and comprehensive manner.
The concept of a coordinated community response is one of the most critical and visible achievements of VAWA. In the years since VAWA’s enactment by Congress in 1994, we have witnessed a sea-change in the ways that communities respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. VAWA encourages communities to bring together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to share information and to use their distinct roles to improve our responses to and prevention of violence against women. These groups include, but are not limited to: victim advocates, police officers, prosecutors, judges, probation and corrections officials, health care professionals, leaders within faith communities, and survivors of violence. New programs and amendments have strengthened the law and enhanced our work.
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 9:05 PM EDT
This weekend, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden remembered those who were lost in the attacks on September 11, 2001. September 11th has been designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and the First Family started the weekend by joining Americans from across the country in participating in service projects to honor those whose lives were taken ten years ago.
On Saturday, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were joined by President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and former First Lady Laura Bush in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to participate in a dedication ceremony for the first phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial.
- Posted byon September 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM EDT
Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks at the Pentagon this morning, where 184 lives were lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the headquarters of the nation’s Department of Defense. Vice President Biden joined Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen at the ceremony set beside the Pentagon Memorial – 184 silver benches, one for each victim, shaded by maple trees.
But before they made their way across the Potomac, the Vice President and Dr. Biden had a quick stop to make – nearby DC Fire Department Engine 20, Truck 12, where they surprised the firefighters on duty with coffee, breakfast, and words of thanks.
- Posted byon September 8, 2011 at 10:02 AM EDT
As part of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Vice President Joe Biden hosted a screening for Washington, DC area college students of REBIRTH, a documentary film that chronicles the lives of five people directly affected by the events on 9/11. The film follows a survivor from the South Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC); a firefighter who survived the collapse of the WTC but lost his best friend; a high school student who lost his mother; a young woman who lost her fiancé; and a construction worker who lost his brother, assisted with recovery efforts, and is presently helping to build the Freedom Tower.
The area college students were invited to the White House screening to reflect on the tragic events that shaped their generation and their country, and that continue to affect the world today. In remarks introducing the film, Vice President Biden emphasized the extraordinary ability of America to find renewal and rebirth even in its darkest hours and praised the courage and determination of the survivors and family members struggling to find renewal in their own lives.
- Posted byon September 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM EDT
Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by daughter-in-law Kathleen and his granddaughter Naomi, recently visited Pearl Harbor to pay his respects at the USS Arizona Memorial – a 184-foot structure that rests atop the midsection of the sunken World War Two battleship. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona, one of 21 battleships attacked on December 7th, 1941, is the final resting place for 1,177 American crewmen. It represents the greatest loss of life on any ship that day and about half of the total number of Americans killed in the attack.
The Vice President and his family visited the memorial at sunset, and were given a tour by Admiral Robert Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command and Admiral Patrick Walsh, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Vice President had the opportunity to personally reflect on the overwhelming loss of life in the memorial’s sanctuary, where 1,177 names of the fallen are etched in marble on the wall. Admiral Walsh noted that survivors of the attack have the right to again join their brothers in arms by designating that their final resting place be with their shipmates interred beneath the sea in the USS Arizona.
- Posted byon September 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM EDT
Welcome to West Wing Week, your guide to everything that happens at 1600 Pennslyvania Avenue. This week we are broadcasting dispatches from Vice President Joe Biden's trip through China, Mongolia and Japan.
In between meeting with world leaders and speaking with locals, the Vice President took in the sights, sounds and culture of the far east. Join the Vice President as he opens new channels of communication with China, gets to know Mongolian leaders and culture at a traditional Naadam festival and visits Japanese communities recovering from the March earthquake and tsunami before speaking to US troops in Tokyo and Hawaii
- Posted byon August 26, 2011 at 6:28 PM EDT
A quick look at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
#VPinAsia: The Vice President spent the last week traveling through Asia and meeting with leaders in the region. He delivered a major speech in China, met with the Prime Minister of Mongolia, and paid tribute to the enduring spirit of the Japanese tsunami survivors.
Hurricane Irene: The President has urged Americans to take this storm seriously. With the hurricane poised to reach the east coast this weekend, it is important to take steps ensuring your preparedness. We've compiled a list of helpful resources in case you are in the projected path of the hurricane.
Libya: Following a call with the National Security Council, President Obama spoke about the evolving situation in Libya. President Obama said, "The Qaddafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people," making it clear that the courage of the Libyan people has brought freedom within reach.
- Posted byon August 26, 2011 at 7:01 AM EDT
Vice President Biden arrived In Tokyo late Monday evening -- the final leg of his trip through Asia. As he told Prime Minister Naoto Kan, he came to Japan for two main reasons: to express sympathy, admiration, and continued support from the U.S. in the wake of the March 11th earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, and to reiterate the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance. "We [the United States] are a Pacific power. You are a Pacific power. You are our ally," said the Vice President.
From Tokyo, he traveled 90 miles north to the Sendai region -- one of the hardest hit by the tsunami last March. Delivering remarks on the second floor of Sendai International Airport's main terminal -- where hundreds of residents from nearby neighborhoods fled to escape the tsunami's path -- Vice President Biden praised U.S. Forces Japan for working around the clock to clear debris and repair a runway that enabled the arrival of hundreds of relief workers, and hundreds of tons of humanitarian assistance.
Vice President Biden also paid tribute to the "incredible spirit" of the Japanese people. The Japanese "remind the world of something equally as forceful as the force of nature," said Vice President Biden. That spirit "is equally as formidable, particularly when we join together in the most trying of times," he said.
After paying his respects at a memorial site where the town of Natori once stood, the Vice President took a short ride to a temporary housing facility that hundreds of Natori residents now call home. Meeting with displaced survivors and listening to their stories, the Vice President pledged that "America isn't going anywhere" and that U.S. assistance will be available as long as they need it.
Vice President Biden concluded his trip to Japan by delivering remarks to U.S. service members and their families at Yokota Air Base -- headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan. In his speech, the Vice President thanked the troops for their quick and decisive efforts to help the Japanese people and provide critical assistance in the aftermath of the disaster.
- Posted byon August 26, 2011 at 6:46 AM EDT
This week we bring you Mailbag Day, Summer Edition 2011 where we respond to some of your emails and letters. Also this week, the President addresses the situation in Libya, monitors Hurricane Irene, and Vice President Biden travels to Asia to re-emphasize our strong economic and diplomatic ties to Asian nations. Plus, the White House experiences a little shake.