The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • Bigger, Busier Port of Baltimore Means More Good Jobs

    Ed. Note: This blog post was originally published by the Department of Transportation

    At the Department of Transportation, we know firsthand the role transportation plays in moving our economy forward. And that’s literally what takes place at the Port of Baltimore every day.

    Moving cargo is the lifeblood of our economy. And our ports are essential to growing our nation's exports.

    That’s why, yesterday, I joined Vice President Biden to announce a $10 million DOT TIGER grant for the port that will expand a busy terminal and allow the deepening of a key navigation channel to proceed.

    Together, these improvements will increase efficiency at the Port, reduce shipping costs for auto exporters; and allow shippers to take advantage of the new, larger container ships that will soon be coming through the expanded Panama Canal.  As the Vice President said, "If we make it in America ... we’ve got to be able to ship it around the world."


  • Vice President Biden Swears in ATF Director, Announces Two New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence

    Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Todd Jones as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

    Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Todd Jones as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Aug. 29, 2013. Also pictured are Jones' wife Margaret and son Anthony. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals to reduce gun violence, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, President Obama and Vice President Biden remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make our communities safer.

    Today, as part of that commitment, Vice President Biden swore in B. Todd Jones as the first permanent Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in seven years.  As the Vice President said, “ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and they need a permanent director in order to do that and to do the job to the best of their ability.” The Vice President was joined by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole. 

    The Vice President also announced two new executive actions, building on the comprehensive gun violence reduction plan he and the President laid out on January 16, 2013.

    First, ATF is closing a loophole that has allowed machine guns and other particularly dangerous weapons to get into the wrong hands. This loophole allows prospective buyers to license these weapons to shell corporations, which lets them bypass a required background check.  ATF is proposing a rule to change that, requiring anyone associated with those corporations to go through the very same kind of background check process.  Closing this loophole will make a difference—last year alone, there were more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.


  • Being Biden: Remembering Father Roberto Balducelli

    "Every once and a while someone comes along in a community that literally transforms a communityand that's exactly what Father Roberto Balducelli did," said the Vice President in the latest edition of Being Biden. 'Father Roberto' passed away last week, on the eve of his 100th birthday. The Vice President was among the hundreds who gathered at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington to remember Balducelli's life.

    The Vice President wanted to share his story with you — take a listen.

    Sign up to receive email updates when new stories posted.


  • West Wing Week: 08/02/13 or "Let Us Be Awed By Their Shining Deeds"

    This week, the Vice President and Dr. Biden wrapped up a trip to India and Singapore, the President announced a bargain for middle class jobs, welcomed the Huskies and the Giants, the American Legion, Girls & Boys Nation, the President of Yemen, and civil rights leaders to the White House, and marked the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.


  • Vice President Biden Meets India's Future Scientists and Engineers

    Vice President Joe Biden meets with female students at the Indian Institute of Technology, in Mumba

    Vice President Joe Biden meets with female students at the Indian Institute of Technology, in Mumbai, India, July 25, 2013. Pictured are Aditi Kothiyal, Shikha Agarwal, Asfiya Contractor, Viha Jayraj, and Rimi Chakrabarti. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Today at the Indian Institute of Technology, Vice President Biden met a group of women he called “India’s future”—the country’s next generation of scientists and engineers.

    “This is a great university, one of the leading universities in the world in technology, and these women are in the forefront,” he said.

    Before a roundtable discussion with students in the Seismology Lab, the Vice President talked with young women conducting nanotechnology research and geochemistry and geochronology experiments. He commended them on “the incredible work they’re doing in a whole range of areas, from devices that may very well fundamentally alter the nature of medicine, to dealing with practical but stark problems like access to transportation.”


  • Vice President Biden Discusses the U.S. Economy While in India

    This morning, in advance of President Obama's major economic address, Vice President Biden delivered remarks in Mumbai, India where he discussed how America’s partnership with India could improve the economies of both nations.

    The speech, at the Bombay Stock Exchange, was part of the administration’s effort to focus attention on the progress our economy has made in the past several years, and the work we must do going forward to build on that progress.

    The Vice President began by speaking to the enduring strengths of the U.S. economy. "We are in the midst of the biggest increase in domestic manufacturing in nearly 20 years. The foundations of our economy are stronger than ever. The best research universities in the world and the most vibrant startups. The world’s most innovative companies. A hundred-year reserve of natural gas."

    He noted that America’s interests at home were similar to India’s.

    “Today…President Obama is going to be giving a major speech outlining the top priority for the Obama-Biden administration,” he explained. “And it’s straightforward and simple: how do we continue to shore up America’s future and the foundations of middle class life in America with good-paying jobs, affordable health care, housing, education, and the dignity of retirement?”

    Similarly, he pointed out, “India’s top priority is to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty to join the middle class.”


  • Vice President Biden Meets with Law Enforcement Leaders, Urging Passage of Immigration Reform

    Vice President Biden Meets with Law Enforcement on Immigration Reform

    Vice President Joe Biden meets with members of the Law Enforcement Community to discuss immigration reform, in the Vice President's ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., July 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    On Friday, Vice President Biden met with law enforcement leaders from across the country to discuss the impact that our broken immigration system is having on local communities. The meeting was an opportunity to hear directly from the law enforcement officials about the importance of immigration reform from a local law enforcement perspective.

    The Vice President noted that the Senate’s immigration bill would build on significant progress already achieved in securing the border in recent years – among the commendable successes he included the historic decline in border crossings, crime reduction in border states, and an increase of Border Patrol agents along the southwest border. In particular, he pointed out that the Senate bill would dedicate $46 billion to strengthening border security and provide resources for border agents to focus on human and drug trafficking and other transnational criminals.

    However, the Vice President stressed that immigration reform is not just a border issue; this is a public safety issue writ large, a view echoed by participants in the meeting and the participants in the meeting echoed this view.  Passing immigration reform, he explained, will encourage undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows by providing a path to earned citizenship for those who register, pay a fee, pay their taxes, and pass criminal background and national security checks.  It will also allow law enforcement to focus on catching criminals and keeping neighborhoods safe while strengthening trust between local police and the diverse communities they serve and protect.  Without the fear of deportation, immigrant communities will feel safer and more empowered to report crimes and cooperate with the police.  This is particularly important for victims of domestic violence and for victims and witnesses of crimes. 

    The Vice President concluded the meeting by reiterating that the House of Representatives must join the Senate in taking urgent action to fix our broken immigration system.


  • Vice President Biden and Indian Leaders Discuss U.S.-India Engagement

    Vice President Joe Biden meets with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh

    Vice President Joe Biden meets with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, at Panchavati, in New Delhi, India, July 23, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    On his second day in New Delhi, Vice President Biden met with Indian leaders to discuss the increasingly important bilateral relationship between our two countries.

    In meetings with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and others, Vice President Biden emphasized a range of opportunities for our countries to work more closely together on issues such as economic growth, trade, energy and climate change, security and investments in innovation and education.

    In the evening, the Vice President discussed the importance of the U.S.-India relationship at a dinner hosted by Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari.


  • In New Delhi, Vice President Biden Tours Gandhi Smriti

    Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden arrived in New Delhi today, the first stop on a six-day trip to India and Singapore.

    This trip is an important opportunity to strengthen our partnerships within the region and reaffirm our commitment to rebalancing U.S. foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific. Over the next several days, the Vice President will meet with leaders in both countries to discuss a range of issues, from economic growth to energy and climate change to security. 

    Ahead of series of meetings in New Delhi, the Vice President and Dr. Biden had the opportunity to meet with Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter and tour the building where Gandhi spent the last years of his life, which is now the Gandhi Smriti museum. To learn more about their visit, check out the video below or watch here.

    For more updates from the trip, check back on whitehouse.gov and follow the Vice President on Twitter at @VP.


  • Vice President Biden Discusses U.S. Engagement with the Asia-Pacific Region

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on U.S. policy towards the Asia-Pacific region

    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on U.S. policy towards the Asia-Pacific region, in the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., July 18, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden discussed the Administration’s elevated engagement in the Asia-Pacific region during a speech at George Washington University, sponsored by the Center for American Progress. Citing the potential for strengthened alliances, institutions and partnerships, the Vice President emphasized an “absolute commitment” to the Asia-Pacific region.

    “We want to hasten the emergence of an Asian-Pacific order that delivers security and prosperity for all the nations involved. We want to help lead in creating 21st century rules of the road that will benefit not only the United States, and the region, but the world as a whole.”

    Vice President Biden called relations with China as “a healthy mix of competition and cooperation,” and urged China to shift to a more consumer-driven economy. He emphasized the importance of institutions like ASEAN in providing stability and security, as well as their role in fighting climate change. 

    “That’s why we’re working with ASEAN to promote investment in clean energy and why we’re helping Pacific island nations mitigate the effects of rising sea levels. We just concluded an agreement with China to reduce the use of pollutants called HFCs that cause climate change. And there’s no reason we cannot do more with India as well.”