The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • Taking Action to Prevent Domestic Violence Homicide

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a Domestic Violence Homicide Reduction Event

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a Domestic Violence Homicide Reduction Event at the Montgomery County Executive Office Building in Rockville, MD, March 13, 2013. Also pictured are (from left) Janet Blackburn, Attorney General Eric Holder, Actress Mariska Hargitay, and Chief Jeff Spaulding, Chief of Police of the Westminster Police Department. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Yesterday I attended an event held by Vice President Biden and Attorney General Holder focused on reducing domestic violence homicides. The Vice President spoke movingly about the changes that have occurred since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act but also reminded us that three women a day still die as a result of domestic violence. The Attorney General announced grants to twelve communities to screen victims for risk of homicide and create high risk teams to contain these dangerous offenders. He stressed the importance of understanding the warning signs that could indicate the risk of homicide is increasing and linking those victims with services. The Vice President was joined by Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, domestic violence advocate Janet Blackburn, and state and local officials from around Maryland.

    The event was held in Maryland to showcase the success of their model lethality assessment program. By screening victims for risk factors at crime scenes, in hospital emergency rooms, and in court and linking those most at risk with immediate crisis intervention services, Maryland has reduced its domestic violence homicide rate by 34% over the past five years. The Vice President also highlighted the work of Newburyport, Massachusetts, which launched a multi-disciplinary high risk team to identify and address the most dangerous cases of domestic violence in their community. Since beginning this approach in 2005, there have been no domestic violence homicides in Newburyport. The grants announced today will help communities around the country replicate these two successful models.

  • West Wing Week: 03/08/13 or “Jedi Mind-Meld”

    This week, the President urged Congress to resolve harmful budget cuts and reduce the deficit in a way that helps grow the economy and strengthen the middle class, held his first Cabinet meeting of the second term, announced three key Cabinet nominations, and signed the Violence Against Women Act. 

  • West Wing Week: 03/01/13 or “Hope Springs Eternal”

    This week, the President urged Congress to take a responsible approach to deficit reduction instead of the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts called the sequester. He also met with the Prime Minister of Japan, America's Governors, and the country's only all-black Ranger unit, and unveiled a truly moving monument to Rosa Parks.

  • President Obama: I Look Forward to Working with Governors to Reignite America's Economic Engine

    President Barack Obama has a meeting with the National Governors Association in the White House, Feb. 25, 2013

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks and participates in a Q&A during a meeting with the National Governors Association (NGA) in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 25, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    In a meeting with the National Governors Association today at the White House, President Obama stressed the need for bipartisan cooperation, and pressed the leaders in attendance to work together with their partners in Washington to put the focus back on the next generation, rather than the next election.

    All of us are elected officials. All of us are concerned about our politics, both in our own party’s as well as the other party’s. But at some point, we've got to do some governing. And certainly what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. As I said in the State of the Union, the American people have worked hard and long to dig themselves out of one crisis; they don't need us creating another one. And unfortunately, that's what we've been seeing too much out there.

    The American people are out there every single day, meeting their responsibilities, giving it their all to provide for their families and their communities.  A lot of you are doing the same things in your respective states. Well, we need that same kind of attitude here in Washington. At the very least, the American people have a right to expect that from their representatives.  

  • Vice President Biden: There’s a Moral Price to Be Paid for Inaction on Gun Violence

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a gun violence conference

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a gun violence conference hosted by the Connecticut Congressional delegation, at Western Connecticut State University, in Danbury, CT, Feb., 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Yesterday, Vice President Biden spoke at a conference on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University. He told the crowd that while there’s no one thing that can be done to prevent gun violence, there are many steps we can – and must -- take as a nation to better protect our children and communities, regardless of the politics involved.

    “People write about the political risks and why they're unacceptable to take on," he said. “I say it’s unacceptable not to take these on.” 

    “There’s a moral price to be paid for inaction,” he said.

  • Vice President Biden Honors Public Safety Officers with Medal of Valor

    Vice President Joe Biden with Officer Reeshemah Taylor at a Medal of Valor ceremony, Feb., 20, 2013.

    Vice President Joe Biden congratulates Officer Reeshemah Taylor of the Osceola County Corrections Department after presenting her with the Medal of Valor, during a Medal of Valor ceremony with Attorney General Eric Holder, in the South Court Auditorium at the White House, Feb., 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Vice President Joe Biden today recognized 18 public safety officers for exhibiting exceptional courage in a Medal of Valor ceremony at the White House. The Medal of Valor is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer, and it is bestowed on those whose heroic actions were above and beyond the call of duty.

    The Vice President, who was joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, highlighted the bravery of the men and women who were being honored, and paid tribute to the spouses of the recipients who had lost their lives in the line of duty. He also talked about the special qualities that are unique to those who put themselves in danger to save others:

    My association with firefighters and police has been... the essence of my public life. And as many of these things that I do, I still grapple with what makes you do what you do? I’m just thankful that you do.

    You can't explain it, but you know it when you see it. I see it in the shield over someone’s heart. I see it in the men and women who are sitting here before us today...Thank God for you. You’re from different backgrounds, but you’re the glue that literally binds communities together at times of stress. You’re that face that shows up for a woman on the second floor of a burning building just when she thinks it’s all over for her... The amazing thing about all of you is that the very things you do when you’re on duty to save people’s lives, you do when you're off duty. There’s no separation.

  • West Wing Week: 02/15/13 or “You’re a Hero”

    This week, the President delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, and then brought his proposals to a factory in North Carolina and a school in Georgia, presided over a Medal of Honor ceremony, honored the outgoing Secretary of Defense, and hungout on Google Plus. 

  • Vice President Biden Meets with Law Enforcement Officials in Philadelphia

    Vice President Joe Biden holds a roundtable with law enforcement officials

    Vice President Joe Biden holds a roundtable with law enforcement officials and members of congress on gun safety, at Girard College in Philadelphia, PA, Feb., 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Today, Vice President Biden traveled to Philadelphia to meet with law enforcement officials and hold a roundtable discussion to talk about the Administration’s plan to reduce gun violence.

    In addition to Vice President Biden, the roundtable included Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Senator Robert Casey, Congressman Robert Brady, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Congressman Chaka Fattah, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and police chiefs and prosecutors from other cities and communities.

    In the meeting, the participants discussed the challenges for law enforcement as they work to reduce gun crime. The Vice President pledged to continue the Administration’s fight to put 15,000 police officers on the street – and also argued that there is a consensus growing behind sensible gun safety legislation. He called for getting assault weapons and high capacity magazines off the streets, requiring background checks for all gun purchases, and a federal gun trafficking statute, among other proposals.

  • West Wing Week: 02/08/13 or “What’s Up, Camera Man?”

    This week, the President honored our nation's top scientists and innovators, nominated a new Secretary of the Interior, and worked toward reducing gun violence, enacting immigration reform, and reducing our deficit in a balanced way.


  • In Munich, Vice President Biden Highlights Transatlantic Relationship with European Allies

    Four years ago, Vice President Biden spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference to outline the Obama administration’s foreign policy agenda and reset our relationship with Russia. On Tuesday, Vice President Biden wrapped up a similar trip to Europe during which he stressed our strong cooperation with our European allies and highlighted our many joint accomplishments over the last four years. 

    Travelling first to Berlin, the Vice President met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss our bilateral relationship with Germany and the common challenges we face in Iran, Syria, Mali, and Afghanistan. The Vice President and the German Chancellor also traded views on their respective economies as well as energy and climate change.   

    Vice President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    Vice President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel walk on the balcony outside the Chancellor's office overlooking Berlin, Germany, Feb., 1, 2013 (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Continuing on to Munich, Vice President Biden delivered remarks at the 49th Munich Security Conference and held a series of bilateral meeting with world leaders.  His speech stressed the continued importance the U.S. places on the transatlantic relationship.  “It’s hard to imagine a single threat or opportunity that we cannot address more effectively together,” he said.