The White House Blog: The Vice President
- Posted byon February 8, 2012 at 5:56 PM EST
The Vice President visited Florida State University on Monday to talk with students about our comprehensive plan to address rising college costs. The Vice President began by calling on Congress to permanently extend the $2,500 per year American Opportunity Tax Credit for tuition and other expenses, double the number of work-study jobs over the next five years, and help 7.4 million borrowers by stopping the interest rates on federal student loans from doubling later this year.
These proposals are important, but increasing federal aid is only part of the solution. States and universities also share some responsibility for reining in costs. The Vice President detailed our plan to steer federal campus-based aid to schools that keep tuition affordable – and away from schools that don’t. While we plan to significantly increase the availability of campus-based aid by offering more Perkins loans to needy students and creating more work-study slots, the additional dollars will only flow to colleges that are providing good value to their students.
We are also proposing to create a new “Race to the Top” for college affordability and completion. This competitive grant program will encourage states to reform their higher education systems in ways that lower costs and increase completion rates. And because state funding cuts are one of the primary drivers of tuition increases at public universities, any state that wants a grant will have to promise not to slash funding for higher education.
You can learn more about our plan here.
- Posted byon January 27, 2012 at 2:32 PM EST
Yesterday, Vice President Biden visited Rochester, New Hampshire to highlight the Administration’s plan to help businesses bring manufacturing jobs back to America. He made one central message clear: “America is coming back.”
As the Vice President emphasized, the policies the Obama Administration has put in place in its first three years are beginning to pay off—especially in manufacturing. The economy added 334,000 manufacturing jobs in the last two years, making it the strongest period of manufacturing job growth since the late 1990s. And now, instead of hearing about outsourcing, we’re finally starting to hear about insourcing as more and more companies realize that it makes real business sense to bring jobs back to America.
Manufacturers are coming back because, while costs in China are rising rapidly, “American workers are the most productive workers in the world,” the Vice President said. And to reinforce that advantage, we need more partnerships between businesses and community colleges to train workers with the specialized skills employers need.
Vice President Biden had the opportunity to see such a partnership in action in New Hampshire yesterday—a partnership that is reviving advanced manufacturing and bringing jobs back to the state.
- Posted byon January 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM EST
This afternoon, Vice President Biden answered questions tweeted by people across the country in his first-ever Twitter interview. From an advanced manufacturing facility in Rochester, New Hampshire, the Vice President answered your questions about taxes, the DREAM act and even his Super Bowl pick.
- Posted byon January 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM EST
First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today introduced new rules that mean America’s school children will soon be eating healthier lunches in the cafeteria.
The new USDA guidelines, which implement important provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, substantially increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on the menu, while reducing saturated fat, trans fats and sodium, and set calorie limits based on the age of children being served. The standards make the same kinds of practical changes that many parents are already encouraging at home, and that are a key pillar of Let's Move, the First Lady's initiative that is focused on improving child nutrition and reducing childhood obesity.
Speaking at the Parklawn elementary school in Alexandria, VA, Mrs Obama praised parents for their contribution to the movement to improve the food served in schools:
When we send our kids to school, we have a right to expect that they won’t be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we're trying to keep from them when they're at home. We have a right to expect that the food they get at school is the same kind of food that we want to serve at our own kitchen tables.
After the press conference, the First Lady and Secretary Vilsack joined students for a healthy lunch of turkey tacos, black bean and corn salad and fresh fruit, prepared by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
- Posted byon January 25, 2012 at 1:02 AM EST
Update: The Twitter interview will now take place at 1:10 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 26.
— Office of VP Biden (@VP) January 25, 2012
Following the State of the Union Address, President Obama and more than thirty administration officials will be responding to your questions about the speech and talking to you about the issues that you care the most about. We're excited to announce that Vice President Biden will also be joining the schedule of engagement opportunities with the White House around the State of the Union.
On Thursday, January 26th, Vice President Biden will answer questions submitted by people from across the country in his first Twitter interview, live from an advanced manufacturing facility in Rochester, New Hampshire. Earlier on Thursday, the Vice President will deliver remarks to workers there about the Administration’s efforts to promote partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train skilled workers for the jobs of the future.
Here's how you can participate:
- Starting now, ask questions for the Vice President and administration officials on Twitter using the hashtags #SOTU and #WHchat.
- On Thursday, January 26th, at 1:10p.m. EST the folks at Twitter will select some of the most popular questions for the Vice President to answer.
- Follow the whole interview on Twitter live through the @gov handle. The Vice President's responses will be tweeted from the @VP account.
Be sure to follow @VP on Twitter for the latest from the Vice President's office. We hope you'll join the conversation with the Vice President on Thursday, and check out all the ways you can engage with the White House at WhiteHouse.gov/sotu.
- Posted byon January 23, 2012 at 2:37 PM EST
Yesterday, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced that she would step down from her seat in Congress to focus on her recovery.
Both President Obama and Vice President Biden issued statements voicing their well wishes and celebrating her career of public service.
President Obama said:
Gabby Giffords embodies the very best of what public service should be. She’s universally admired for qualities that transcend party or ideology – a dedication to fairness, a willingness to listen to different ideas, and a tireless commitment to the work of perfecting our union. That’s why the people of Arizona chose Gabby – to speak and fight and stand up for them. That’s what brought her to a supermarket in Tucson last year – so she could carry their hopes and concerns to Washington. And we know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress.
Vice President Biden said:
I spoke with Gabby’s husband Mark today and told him that the most important thing is Gabby's recovery. We fully support their decision. I know that Gabby will continue to make significant contributions to her state and country, and I stand with her in whatever endeavor she decides to pursue. Jill and I wish Gabby and Mark all the best as they embark on the next phase of recovery.
"I am getting better every day. My spirit is high," Rep. Giffords said in her announcement. "I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country."
- Posted byon January 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM EST
Today, President Obama, the First Lady, and Malia Obama volunteered at a local elementary school as part of a national day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King, who devoted his life to helping others, once said that “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”
Before pitching in to help clean, paint, and organize the school’s library, the President spoke to other volunteers from Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Greater DC Cares gathered for the event:
There’s nobody who can’t serve. Nobody who can’t help somebody else. And whether you’re seven or six or whether you’re 76, then you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community.
The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also joined the millions of Americans participating in service events around the country. They traveled to Philadelphia to take part in the 17th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in the nation.
- Posted byon January 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM EST
The Vice President visited high schools in Columbus, Ohio and Doylestown, Pennsylvania this week to highlight our Administration’s efforts to make college more affordable for all Americans. He was joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Senator Sherrod Brown in Ohio, and by Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller in Pennsylvania.
Speaking at Lincoln High School in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, the Vice President called for the “bargain with the middle class” to be restored: “There was a bargain in place for last 50 years that if you worked hard, you played by the rules, you helped increase productivity in America, you got a piece of the action. You benefited.”
President Obama and Vice President Biden believe that making college affordable is an essential part of restoring that bargain. Our Administration has increased the maximum Pell Grant award by more than $800 and created the $2,500 per year American Opportunity Tax Credit. Even with more generous grants and tax credits, most college students borrow money to pay for school, so we are also limiting federal student loan payments to 10% of discretionary income.
- Posted byon December 20, 2011 at 5:56 PM EST
Five days ago, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was on hand in Baghdad to bring the mission in Iraq to its official end. The United States Forces-Iraq colors were lowered and flown out of the country in the official casing ceremony.
Today, President Obama and Vice President Biden were there as the colors returned home.
They were joined by General Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and some of the families of the final returning service members from Iraq.
One of those the group welcomed home was General Lloyd Austin, III -- the final commander of the U.S. in Iraq.
General Austin spoke at the ceremony, thanking the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilians who served in the nearly nine year mission.
“I am truly humbled by your service and your many, many sacrifices,” he said.
- Posted byon December 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM EST
Officially, Hanukkah doesn't begin for another 11 days -- but last night, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama decided to kick things off a little early with a celebration of the holiday at the White House.
They were joined by Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in attendance, along with Israel's Ambassardor to the United States Michael Oren, the West Point Jewish Chapel Cadet Choir, and a large group of faith and community leaders.
Hanukkah, the President said, is "an opportunity to recognize the miracles in our own lives:"
Let’s honor the sacrifices our ancestors made so that we might be here today. Let’s think about those who are spending this holiday far away from home -– including members of our military who guard our freedom around the world. Let’s extend a hand to those who are in need, and allow the value of tikkun olam to guide our work this holiday season.
This is also a time to be grateful for our friendships, both with each other and between our nations. And that includes, of course, our unshakeable support and commitment to the security of the nation of Israel.