The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • West Wing Week 01/31/14 or "West Wing Week Turns 200!"

    This anniversary episode, hosted by the President, coincides with this year's State of the Union Address. We'll take you behind the scenes and on the road to speak directly with Americans like you about your lives and your families, and how together we can make sure that every American who works and studies hard has a real chance to get ahead.


  • West Wing Week 01/24/14 or, "199!"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President announced important reforms to the National Security Agency and new measures to prevent sexual assault, honored Martin Luther King with a service project at DC Central Kitchen, signed the 2014 appropriations bill into law to fund the government, and hosted a conference of mayors. That's January 17th to January 23rd or, "199!"


  • A Renewed Call to Action to End Rape and Sexual Assault

    As part of an unprecedented national effort to address alarming rates of sexual assault on college campuses, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum today to establish the “White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault." The taskforce will be charged with sharing best practices, and increasing transparency, enforcement, public awareness, and interagency coordination to prevent violence and support survivors. The creation of this Task Force builds upon the President’s 2010 call to action, which urged the federal government to support survivors and aggressively take action against sexual assault.

    The statistics around sexual assault in this country are nothing short of jarring. A report just released by the White House Council on Women and Girls entitled, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” reveals that nearly 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. These statistics are stunning, but still can’t begin to capture the emotional and psychological scars that survivors often carry for life, or the courage needed to recover.

    President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014.

    President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Today’s report states that students experience some of the highest rates of sexual assault. This violence, and the stress, fear, and mental health challenges that often follow, combine to increase dropout rates and limit opportunities for success in college for women and girls. The Administration is committed to investing in women’s education, training, and full inclusion in the workforce, and the President strongly believes that combatting sexual assault is vital to that effort.


  • Taking Action to Expand College Opportunity

    President Barack Obama, with First Lady Michelle Obama and Bard College student Troy Simon, delivers remarks during the College Opportunity Summit

    President Barack Obama, with First Lady Michelle Obama and Bard College student Troy Simon, delivers remarks during the College Opportunity Summit in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Jan. 16, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    With the growing demand for college-educated workers, a college education is one of the surest ways into the middle class.

    The Obama administration has already taken a number of steps to help more students afford and graduate from college, including doubling Federal investments in Pell Grants and college tax credits, reforming student loans, and taking new steps to reduce college costs and improve value.

    But while continuing to push for changes that keep college affordable for all students and families, President Obama believes that to lead the world in the share of college graduates by 2020, we can and must be doing more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating. And yesterday, a group of leaders in higher education joined the President and First Lady at the White House to take the next step toward ensuring that every child, rich or poor, has the opportunity for a quality college education so they can get ahead.


  • West Wing Week 01/17/14 or, "Give Peace a Chance"

    This week, the President sat down for lunch with young organizers who are working to help implement the Affordable Care Act, hosted the President of Spain and the Miami Heat, traveled to the home of the Wolfpack to announce a new, public-private effort to support investment in our manufacturing sector, announced his nominee to run the Small Business Administration, and spoke on expanding college opportunity, alongside the First Lady.


  • What You Missed: Vice President Biden Answers Your Questions on Immigration Reform

    Vice President Biden discusses immigration reform during a Skype event

    Vice President Joe Biden and Cecilia Muñoz, Domestic Policy Council Director participate in a Skype event on immigration reform, with Natali Morris, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C. December 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    This week, Vice President Biden and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, sat down to answer your questions on immigration during a live Skype event. "At its core, we’re a nation of immigrants,” said the Vice President:

    "What we’ve been pushing...is a rational policy to allow these 11 million people to come out of the shadows and have an opportunity to earn the right to gain their citizenship. And it is not only the morally right thing to do, it’s not only in our interest, it’s a thing that would allow us to continue to grow. And it will save us billions and billions of dollars."

    Through Skype and on Twitter, Americans asked their questions about the economic impacts of reform, border security, pathways to citizenship and more. Watch the full video, then share your immigration story.


  • West Wing Week 12/05/13 or, "Olde English"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President spoke on the importance of addressing economic mobility and supporting implementation of the Affordable Care Act, visited fasting immigration reform activists, marked World AIDS Day, celebrated Hanukkah, and visited a local bookstore for Small Business Saturday. That's November 29th to December 5th or, "Olde English."


  • Ask Vice President Biden and Cecilia Muñoz Your Questions About Immigration Reform

    Ed. note: This event has concluded. Watch the full Skype chat below.

    Our nation's immigration system is broken – and fixing it is an economic, national security, and moral imperative. That’s why President Obama is deeply committed to working to pass a common sense, comprehensive set of reforms that ensures everyone plays by the same rules. And we want to answer your questions about the issue.

    On Wednesday, December 11th, Vice President Biden and Cecilia Muñoz, the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor, are sitting down to answer your questions about immigration reform. During the conversation hosted by Bing and Skype, the Vice President and Cecilia will speak with folks from around the country via live Skype Video Call, answer questions submitted through Skype Video and from social media.

    What are your questions about immigration reform? Ask a question by Skype Video Message now and join the conversation on Twitter with #AskTheWhiteHouse, then be sure to tune in live on Wednesday, December 11th at 3:45 p.m. ET at Bing.com/WhiteHouse and WhiteHouse.gov/live.


    Learn more:


  • New Chicago Shelter Will Help Victims of Domestic Violence Rebuild Their Lives in Safety

    Vice President Joe Biden with Sen. Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife Amy Rule backstage at the groundbreaking of a shelter for battered women

    Vice President Joe Biden with Sen. Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife Amy Rule backstage at the groundbreaking of a shelter for battered women outside the WINGS Metro facility in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, Nov. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Yesterday, Vice President Biden delivered remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Chicago’s first new domestic violence shelter in over a decade. Wings Metro, a state-of-the-art facility, will increase the number of available beds in the city by 36% and expects to serve 100 families in its first year of operation after it opens its doors in June 2014.

    The creation of this shelter comes at a needed time in Chicago. In 2012, there were 51,174 reported domestic incidents in the city. In addition, 56% of women in homeless shelters in Chicago stated they had been victims of domestic violence, with 22% reporting domestic violence as the immediate cause of their homelessness.

    In his remarks, Vice President Biden asked us all to imagine “how cold today feels to the woman who is sleeping in a park with her four children because she had to run out in the night.” Wings Metro will go a long way to support survivors like this woman and will reduce family homelessness in Chicago. The shelter, which was developed through the collaboration of Women in Need Growing Stronger (WINGS), Metropolitan Family Services, and the Greater Southwest Development, will increase the number of available beds in the city from 112 to 152 and will provide comprehensive services to survivors and their children. The Vice President noted in his remarks that this new facility is about more than just shelter—it is about giving survivors access to the services, privacy, and job training they need to rebuild their lives.

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks with Sen. Dick Durbin and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the groundbreaking of a shelter for battered women

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks with Sen. Dick Durbin and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the groundbreaking of a shelter for battered women outside the WINGS Metro facility in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, Nov. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    The Vice President was joined by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Senator Dick Durbin, both of whom have shown a strong commitment to the fight against domestic violence. Since being elected mayor of Chicago in 2011, Mayor Emmanuel has committed to expand funding for domestic violence services. He has dedicated $123,000 to provide court advocates to assist an additional 1,500 survivors as they go through the legal proceedings of their cases. Senator Durbin was one of the leading House sponsors of the original Violence Against Women Act; he has continued to be a strong supporter of the legislation after his election to the Senate.  


  • West Wing Week: 11/22/13 or "A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!"

    This week, the Vice President traveled to Houston and Panama, the President honored the legacy of John F. Kennedy, this year's Medal of Freedom Winners and Nobel Laureates, and attended the Wall Street Journal's CEO Summit. That's November 15th to 21st or "A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!"