The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • West Wing Week: 01/11/13 or "The Interests of Our Country"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President nominated a bipartisan slate of leaders to key administration jobs and the Vice President met with a wide array of organizations to talk about efforts to reduce gun violence. 


  • Vice President Biden Meets with Groups to Discuss Violence Prevention

    Annette Nance-Holt Attends Meeting on Gun Violence with Vice President Biden in the EEOB Jan. 9, 2013

    Annette Nance-Holt with a photo of her son Blair who was killed riding the bus home from school, attends a meeting chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, with gun safety advocates and victims, to develop policy proposals as part of the Administration’s response to the Newtown shootings and other tragedies, in the Cordell Hull Conference Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Right now, Vice President Biden is leading an effort to develop a new set of policies to reduce gun violence and prevent tragedies like the shooting in Newtown Conn

    Yesterday, as part of that work,  the Vice President met with victims’ groups and gun safety organizations at the White House.  

    Following those meetings, the Vice President held conference calls with governors of both parties, and state and local elected leaders from across the United States. The Vice President listened to the unique perspectives of all the participants, and solicited their ideas and input on how to curb gun violence in this country. During the call, Mr. Biden reiterated the Administration’s commitment to this urgent issue and stressed that the problem requires immediate action.

    Today, Vice President Biden will hold meetings with advocates for sportsmen and women and gun ownership groups. He will meet with representatives of the entertainment and video game industries this week as well.


  • 2012: A Year in Photos

    The White House photo team has a front row view for all the events — both big and small — that take place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., as well as on the road with the President, the Vice President and the First Family.

    Each January, Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office, selects his favorite images from the past twelve months, and now, we're sharing them with you. Featuring exclusive perspectives of everything from Presidential trips and events to private moments between President Obama and his family, his staff and American citizens, this collection offers a unique view of 2012.

    See 2012: A Year in Photos


  • President Obama: "Words Need to Lead to Action" on Gun Violence

    President Obama, with Vice President Biden, delivers a statement about the Administration’s gun policy process, Dec. 19, 2012.

    President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement and takes questions about the Administration’s gun policy process in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Dec. 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Five days after the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama said that he is committed to reducing the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day.

    At a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, the President announced that Vice President Joe Biden will lead a new initiative that has been tasked with identifying concrete proposals for real reform by January. The Vice President, who wrote the 1994 Crime Bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime and included the assault weapons ban, will work with members of the Cabinet and outside organizations on this effort, and President Obama urged the new Congress to hold votes on the proposals early next year:

    The good news is there’s already a growing consensus for us to build from.  A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons.  A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips.  A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all. 


  • Vice President Biden Takes in "America's Game"

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend the 113th Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field (December 8, 2012)

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend the 113th Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    On Saturday, the attention of the college football world was focused on the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, and Vice President Joe Biden was on hand to witness an instant classic.

    The Army team, losers in the series in each contest since 2001, led for much of the second half, and controlled the ball late, deep in Navy territory.

    Then a botched handoff between Army quarterback Trent Steelman and fullback Larry Dixon led to a fumble, which the Midshipmen recovered.

    Vice President Biden participates in the crossover ceremony during halftime at the 113th Army-Navy football game (December 8, 2012)

    Vice President Joe Biden participates in the ceremonial crossover with General Dempsey, Lt. General Huntoon, Admiral Michael Miller, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus, during halftime at the 113th Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    That mistake would deliver the win for Navy -- their 57th in this storied rivalry. As victors, they'll take home the Commander-in-Chief trophy, which will spend the next year on display in Bancroft Hall in Annapolis.

    After the game, Vice President Biden talked about what it meant to meet the players -- whom he described as members "of the greatest generation of young people, maybe ever."

    Check it out:


  • Vice President Biden Talks #My2k Over Lunch

    On Friday afternoon, seven middle-class Americans with a personal stake in Washington’s “fiscal cliff” debate sat down with the Vice President at the Metro 29 Diner in Arlington, Virginia. Should Congress fail to extend tax cuts for middle-class families by the end of this year, a typical American household’s taxes would go up by over $2,000. Friday’s lunch gave several concerned Americans the chance explain how this would impact them.  

    Though they hailed from seven different cities and brought distinct stories to the table, the Vice President’s dining companions shared an understanding that $2,000 is too much to lose. Fernando Garabito, a naturalized citizen from Colombia, has a wife who recently lost her job and two sons in school. With $200 less per month, Garabito would have a hard time paying his bills and providing for his family’s basic needs.

    Vice President Joe Biden has lunch with Americans

    Vice President Joe Biden has lunch with Americans to discuss the importance of middle class tax cuts, at Metro 29 diner in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 7, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Bob Hage, a small business owner from Pennington, New Jersey, is the father of three children, two of whom have severe developmental disabilities. A $2,000 increase in taxes would force him and his wife, Odette, to choose between making ends meet and financing their children’s crucial speech therapy sessions.


  • Vice President Biden Goes to Costco

    Today, Vice President Joe Biden visited a newly opened Costco in Washington, DC. After picking out a few Christmas gifts and other items, he talked about the importance of extending tax cuts for middle-class families.

    Vice President Joe Biden picks out children's books at the newly opened Costco store

    Vice President Joe Biden picks out children's books at the newly opened Costco store in Washington, D.C., Nov. 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    “All the people you meet in here today and you see, these are hardworking folks who don't need to see their taxes go up,” he said.

    But, if Congress doesn’t take action before the end of the year, the typical middle-class family will pay about $2,200 more in taxes starting in 2013.

    “And so I think it’s important Congress acts now -- I mean right now,” Vice President Biden said. “All it has to do is take a single vote to extend the middle-class tax cut.”


  • Photo Gallery: Vice President Joe Biden Tours Hurricane Sandy Damage in New Jersey

    • The view from aerial tour of Hurricane Sandy damage  of New Jersey's barrier beaches

      The view from aerial tour of Hurricane Sandy damage of New Jersey's barrier beaches (All official White House photos by Sonya N. Herbert)

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    • Vice President Joe Biden receives a briefing by Bob Fenton, Assistant Administrator for Disaster Response, FEMA

      Vice President Joe Biden receives a briefing by Bob Fenton, Assistant Administrator for Disaster Response, FEMA on the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

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    • Vice President Joe Biden is led on a tour by Seaside Park Mayor Robert Matthies

      Vice President Joe Biden is led on a tour by Seaside Park Mayor Robert Matthies of sand dunes that protected houses and property.

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    • Vice President Joe Biden is led on a tour by Mayor William Akers

      Vice President Joe Biden is led on a tour by Mayor William Akers of the damaged boardwalk, amusement park and pier in Seaside Heights, N.J.

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    • Vice President Joe Biden is led on a tour by Mayor William Akers of the damaged boardwalk

      Vice President Joe Biden is led on a tour by Mayor William Akers of the damaged boardwalk, amusement park and pier in Seaside Heights, N.J.

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    • Vice President Joe Biden gives remarks after touring the damaged boardwalk

      Vice President Joe Biden gives remarks after touring the damaged boardwalk, amusement park and pier following Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.

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    • Vice President Joe Biden tours the PATH station of the Hoboken Terminal

      Vice President Joe Biden tours the PATH station of the Hoboken Terminal to view the Hurricane Sandy damage and recovery in Hoboken, N.J.

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    • Vice President Joe Biden tours the historic Hoboken terminal building

      Vice President Joe Biden tours the historic Hoboken terminal building and views photos taken during and after Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken, N.J.,

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    See the full-size gallery

    On Sunday, Vice President Biden traveled to the New Jersey Shore and the City of Hoboken to personally survey the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and meet with first responders on post-storm response and recovery efforts. The trip began with a helicopter flight along the shoreline of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to provide the Vice President an overhead view of the destruction Sandy brought to the North Barrier Islands.  He was joined by Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Jon Runyan, and New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.

    Once he landed, the Vice President received briefings at the Seaside Heights City Hall and Volunteer Fire Department by Seaside Park Mayor Robert Matthies, Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers of Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett, Jr, Seaside Heights Fire Chief James Samarelli and Police Chief Thomas Boyd. Vice President Biden had the opportunity to meet and thank local first responders, many of whom had also lost their own homes during the storm. 

    While the Vice President found the briefings to be very informative, putting boots in the sand was key to getting a full appreciation of the conditions on the island. As Vice President Biden surveyed the beach at Seaside Park, he was able to see first-hand how an “engineered” beach can diffuse the impact of storm surge waves, better protecting homes and businesses close to the shore. Representatives from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discussed the range of federal programs available to address damage to public beaches. 


  • White House Celebrates Diwali

    Vice President Joe Biden is presented with a shawl

    Vice President Joe Biden is presented with a shawl after lighting the candle at the Diwali reception in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    On Tuesday afternoon, for the fourth year, the White House celebrated Diwali, a holiday observed annually by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhist throughout India and across the world. Known as the “festival of lights,” Diwali offers time for both reflection and celebration. Its stories and rituals focus on the triumph of light over darkness and compassion over hatred. The day signifies the renewal of life and the promise of prosperity for the year to come.

    Vice President Joe Biden greets Indian Ambassador to the United States Ambassador Nirupama Rao

    Vice President Joe Biden greets Indian Ambassador to the United States Ambassador Nirupama Rao, at the Diwali reception in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)


  • Vice President Biden Marks Achievements of MRAP Task Force

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an MRAP Program transition Ceremony

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an MRAP Program Transition Ceremony at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, October 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Yesterday, Vice President Biden joined a Pentagon ceremony commemorating the achievements of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle (MRAP) Task Force—the men and women who helped accelerate the production and fielding of protective vehicles to our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving the lives of thousands of American service members.

    An armored vehicle with a V-shaped hull, the MRAP was designed to deflect the explosion of road-side bombs (also known as Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs), which had accounted for 70 percent of our U.S. troops killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    At the height of the Iraq war, U.S. field commanders submitted urgent requests to the Pentagon for MRAPs to protect their troops.  Five years ago, then-Senator Biden helped lead a bipartisan Congressional effort that approved $23 billion to forward-fund MRAP purchases in order to accelerate production and deploy them to the field as fast as possible.