Thank You

For your submission

  • President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon).

    In this week's address, the President celebrated the 50th birthdays of Medicare and Medicaid, which together have allowed millions to live longer and better lives. These programs are a promise that if we work hard, and play by the rules, we'll be rewarded with a basic measure of dignity, security, and the freedom to live our lives as we want. Every American deserves the sense of safety and security that comes with health insurance. That's why the President signed the Affordable Care Act, and that's why he will continue to work to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid, programs that are fundamental to our way of life, stay strong.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • In September 2009, the President announced that — for the first time in history — White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in April 2015. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 4.67 million — all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

  • Here's something not enough people know about: Every week, a team of White House videographers puts together a short episode encapsulating what the President did that week -- who he met with, where he traveled, and all sort of other fun moments in between.

    This week's episode covers the President's trip to Kenya and Ethiopia -- where he attended the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and met with leaders across government, business, and civil society -- and it's stocked with some pretty breathtaking images. Here are four of our favorites, complete with timestamps — but you should really want the full thing for yourself.

    Happy watching! Come back next week for a new episode.

    00:06 When the President disembarked from Marine One -- and Kenyatta University said hello.

     

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Carol is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "Last December I was diagnosed with leukemia. Thank G-d, I am in remission now."


    A lifelong musician, Carol lost her insurance upon retirement. But she was able to sign up for Medicare at age 65.

  • President Harry Truman fought for years to pass a bill to provide low-cost health care for elderly Americans. Yet, it took almost two decades for his ideas to come to fruition: On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid. He honored President Truman at the ceremony by enrolling Harry Truman, at age 81, and his wife Bess Truman as the first Medicare beneficiaries.


    “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts.”

    —President Lyndon B. Johnson, July 30, 1965


    In the first six months, more than 2.5 million Americans benefitted from Medicare-covered hospital care. Fifty years later, 55.2 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare.

  • Real GDP rose faster in the second quarter than in the first, even after a large upward revision to first-quarter growth. Strong personal consumption led the rebound as consumers spent more of the windfall gains from lower oil prices that they had saved in the first quarter, and many of the temporary factors that restrained growth in the first quarter faded. The President is committed to pushing Congress to increase investments in infrastructure as part of a long-term transportation reauthorization, to open our exports to new markets with new high-standards free trade agreements, and to ensure that fiscal brinksmanship or the sequester does not return in the next fiscal year as outlined in the President’s FY2016 Budget

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 2.3 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter according to the BEA’s advance estimate, while first-quarter GDP growth was revised up from a 0.2 percent decline to a 0.6 percent increase. The revision to first-quarter GDP growth is mostly accounted for by higher fixed investment growth than previously estimated, in both the business and residential sectors. In the second quarter, the rise in GDP growth was led by a faster pace of personal consumption growth than the first quarter and a shift from negative to positive net export growth. The drag from declining structures investment was also much less negative for overall growth in the second quarter than in the first. Incorporating the effects of the annual GDP revision released today (see point 2), real GDP has now risen 2.3 percent over the past four quarters.

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Joanne is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "My life was saved by early detection, thanks to annual wellness checks that included a
    heart ultrasound."


  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Timothy is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "[The Affordable Care Act] literally saved my life."


    Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Timothy S. from Saint Paul, Minnesota was forced to drop his health insurance because it was too expensive -- and "essentially worthless."


  • Technology has given us incredible new tools to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues, and all Americans should enjoy these benefits — including, and especially, those with disabilities.


    For those with hearing or speech impairments, digital video and other tools have helped these communities stay connected and working, rather than isolated. So, as the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology. 

    We are pleased to announce that two agencies that routinely interface with the disabilities community — the U.S. Census Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — will soon be taking up direct video calling technology to allow Deaf citizens to communicate directly with American Sign Language (ASL)-fluent call operators there. This work responds to the President’s 2011 executive order calling upon agencies to use technology to improve customer service, and is another step in the right direction.

  • President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

    President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, in the Oval Office, Aug. 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    The Right to Petition is a Constitutional Right

    In its final clause, the First Amendment of the Constitution protects the right of the American people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It’s right up there along religion, speech, press, and assembly.

    Yet while it guarantees the right to petition, the First Amendment doesn’t explain how to petition or what the government owes in response. Over the years, many people have petitioned the government by sending written letters to the White House and Congress, asking for assistance and expressing grievances on a variety of issues. For example, in 1897, Native Hawaiians who petitioned Congress were successful in temporarily blocking the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands. And in 1874, suffragette Susan B. Anthony petitioned Congress to remit a fine imposed on her after she was arrested for casting a vote in the 1872 election in Rochester, New York.

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Susan is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "Everyone should be free to study their passions and pursue goals, chronic illness or not."


    Susan F. from Grover Beach, California, wrote the President last November to tell him how she's benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

  • “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.”

    — President Barack Obama


    Since we launched We the People in 2011, millions of Americans have engaged with their government on the issues that matter to them. This groundbreaking online platform has made petitioning the government, a First Amendment right, more accessible than ever. Over the past few years, the Obama administration has taken a stance on a number of causes that citizens really care about and used the We the People petition platform to voice their concerns. Check out We the People -- where you can create or sign petitions -- here

    Today, the White House released responses to 20 outstanding We the People petitions. We're recommitting to the platform in a big way, integrating with Change.org to reach even more Americans and guaranteeing that you'll hear from us within 60 days after the petition you signed has gathered the required signatures.

    As we gear up for this new phase, take a look back at responses from the last four years.

    1. The President Records a Special Message for a Petition on Reducing Gun Violence

  • Haben Girma, a deafblind lawyer, introduced the President at a White House reception last week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    This afternoon, she sent the following message to the White House email list, in which she shares her personal story and explains how the ADA is helping Americans with disabilities continue to tear down barriers.

    Didn't get the email? Sign up for email updates here.


    I recently had the honor of introducing President Obama at a White House reception commemorating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The President shared a moving story of how, in the years before Congress passed the ADA, his father-in-law -- who had multiple sclerosis -- would sometimes hold himself back because he didn't want his disability to inconvenience others. With that story, President Obama reminded Americans that "We've got to tear down barriers externally, but we also have to tear down barriers internally."

    As someone who has struggled against attitudinal barriers, I loved hearing our President encourage the world to view access for people with disabilities as a civil and human right.

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Christopher is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "I am writing to thank you, I believe, for my life."


    Last September, Christopher C. from Batesville, Arkansas was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

    Before the Affordable Care Act, Christopher, who worked for a small business, had no health insurance coverage. Fortunately, because of the protections provided by the ACA, he was able to obtain insurance that kept him out of financial ruin. Since the beginning of 2015, he has been on Medicaid, which has provided him quality coverage as he continued his treatment.

  • President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya, July 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This week President Obama is traveling in Kenya and Ethiopia to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and to meet with leaders from government, business, and civil society. The trip is reinforcing the U.S. commitment to expanding economic growth and trade, strengthening democracy on a global scale, and investing in the next generation of African leaders.

    Follow along for highlights from the President's trip.

  • President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon).

    In this week's address, the President spoke to the progress we have made in making our financial system stronger, safer, and more fair in the years since financial crisis. Five years ago this week our country enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, rules that have substantially reduced recklessness and abuse in our financial system that predated the crisis.  As a result of Wall Street reform, our banks are less reliant on unstable funding and less likely to engage in risky behavior, the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau works to protect American consumers, and our financial system is significantly better-regulated.  Dodd-Frank is working, and the President emphasized that he will continue to fight any challenges to the law and veto any effort to unravel the new rules governing Wall Street.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • Watch on YouTube

    Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed 140 college-bound students to the White House for the Reach Higher "Beating the Odds" Summit.

    These young people represented a wide range of communities -- urban, rural, foster, homeless, immigrant, special needs, and more. All of them have overcome great odds to go to college, and many are even first in their family to pursue further education after high school.

  • Today, President Obama visits Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. It’s also my 50th country traveling with the President.

    To mark the occasion, as I did when the President visited his 50th state, I chose one photograph from each country that we’ve visited.

    Traveling abroad with the President is very different.

    Often times, I am at the mercy of the host country for access. Some countries are more accommodating to me than others. I am lucky to have counterpart official photographers in many countries who are extremely helpful to me in this regard. I of course try to return the help to them when they visit the White House with their head of state.

    We’re also rarely in any one country for more than a couple of days, which gives us only a partial glimpse of each place. And because of security, the sites we are able to visit are often limited too.

    All that said, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, the Great Wall in China, Petra in Jordan, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). (So I really shouldn’t complain too much.)

    I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned — we’ll be adding a photograph from Kenya and additionally, Ethiopia, following his visit next week.


    Afghanistan, 2012

    Boarding Air Force One at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


  • Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Small Business Administration's blog. See the original post here.

    This week, I will join President Obama in Nairobi, Kenya, for the sixth-annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit. GES 2015 will shine a spotlight on the extraordinary potential of entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

    Five of the world’s 10-fastest growing economies are African. Innovation hubs have sprung up in Nairobi, Cape Town, and Lagos. A new generation of upstart entrepreneurs has formed tightly knit communities committed to creating African-based solutions to the region’s challenges.

    Today, Nairobi is the site of major African headquarters for Google, Microsoft and IBM and has earned itself the nickname “Silicone Savannah” for the innovative ecosystem that has taken root. But the region still faces obstacles. Limited banking options make it difficult for entrepreneurs to access affordable capital. Societal barriers make it difficult for young and female entrepreneurs to access investors.

  • This week, the President visited Steel City and The Big Apple, celebrated the anniversary of the ADA and the signing of AGOA, and hosted a newly minted head of state -- all while a U.S. delegation led by Dr. Biden traveled through Asia.

JUMP TO: