Weekly Wrap Up: “We’ll Meet That Task”
Mexico & Costa Rica Trip: On Thursday, President Obama started a three day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica for his first visit to Latin America of the second term. During the trip, the President hopes to reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties we share with Mexico and Central America.
Yesterday, the President had a bilateral meeting with Mexican President Peña Nieto at Palacio National in Mexico City. The bulk of his discussions in Mexico will cover the economy, and in Costa Rica, the President will meet with Central American leaders, who are important partners in improving foreign policy and the economy.
Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, previewed the trip before leaving Washington. Check out the video on YouTube.
Transportation Secretary Nominated: On Tuesday, the President nominated the Mayor of Charlotte, Anthony Foxx, for Transportation Secretary. As mayor, Foxx modernized the electric train service to Charlotte’s downtown area, expanded the international airport, and extended the city’s light rail system. The President hopes cities can mimic the work done in Charlotte to attract more business, create more jobs, and stay competitive in the global economy.
Our top priority as a nation right now is doing everything we can to grow our economy and create good jobs and rebuild opportunity for the middle class. And one of the best ways we can do that is to put more Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure.
- What You Need to Know About President Obama's Plan to Improve American Infrastructure
- Fact Sheet: The President’s Plan to Make America a Magnet for Jobs by Investing in Infrastructure
- The “Rebuild America Partnership”: The President’s Plan to Encourage Private Investment in America’s Infrastructure
New FHFA and FCC Heads Picked: On Wednesday, the President announced the nominations of Representative Melvin Watt, as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and Tom Wheeler, as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Watt served for 20 years as a member of the congressional committee that oversees housing policy and will be responsible for looking over mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The President will look for Wheeler to head the FCC to ensure American businesses and workers have “the tools they need to compete in the 21st century economy.”
Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative Tapped: On Thursday, the President announced his nominations of Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce, and Mike Froman as U.S. Trade Representative.
Pritzker is one of “our country’s most distinguished business leaders” with over 25 years of management experience in real estate, finance, and hospitality.
If confirmed as U.S. Trade Representative, Froman, will bring with him over two decades in both the public and private sectors. The President described him as “one of the world’s foremost experts on our global economy” who pushes until “he’s delivered the best possible deal for American businesses and American works.”
Hiring More Veterans: On Wednesday, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden participated in a Joining Forces employment event announcing new hiring commitments for veterans and military spouses. Two years ago, the President challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013. The First Lady announced American companies achieved this goal eight months ahead of schedule. To date, 290,000 veterans or military spouses have been hired by the private sector, almost triple the original goal.
At the event, the First Lady continued the call to action and said American companies have committed to hire or train 435,000 veterans or military spouses over the next five years.
Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to serve our service members and their families. Check out Joining Forces to find simple ways you can help veterans and military families.
Open for Questions: On Wednesday, President Obama held a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room covering a range of issues. The President responded to questions pertaining to Syria and our national security, the Boston Marathon bombing, gun legislation, health care, and immigration reform. Watch the full press conference here and read the President’s full remarks here.
WH Correspondents Dinner: On Saturday, President Obama poked fun at himself at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton. The President was joined by host Conan O’Brien, First Lady Michelle Obama, members of the media, and a collection of celebrities. During his remarks, he shared a promo for Steven Spielberg’s follow-up to “Lincoln” called “Obama.”
150th Anniversary of National Academy of Sciences: On Monday, the President delivered remarks at the National Academy of Sciences on its 150th anniversary. The President thanked the Academy for its contributions and for helping create a strong economy, improving our health, and protecting our environment.
For 150 years, you’ve strived to answer big questions, solve tough problems, not for yourselves but for the benefit of the nation. And that legacy has endured from the Academy’s founding days. And when you look at our history, you’ve stepped up at times of enormous need and, in some cases, great peril.