The White House Blog: The President

  • WEEKLY ADDRESS: Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July

    President Barack Obama tapes his weekly address following remarks on the economy at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, Wisconsin, July 2, 2015.

    President Barack Obama tapes his weekly address following remarks on the economy at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, Wisconsin, July 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President wished everyone a happy Fourth of July.  He honored the individuals who, throughout the history of America, have struggled and sacrificed to make this country a better place, from our Founding Fathers, to the men and women in uniform serving at home and overseas.  The President asked that on this most American of holidays we remember the words of our founders, when they declared our independence and that all are created equal, and that we continue to protect that creed and make sure it applies to every single American.  And finally, he wished good luck to the U.S. Women’s National Team competing in the World Cup Final this weekend.

    The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.govat 6:00 a.m. ET, July 4, 2015.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Our 3 Favorite Moments from the President's Speech in Wisconsin

    Today, the President spoke at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, reflecting on the great strides America has made in the past six years in economic reform. With over 64 months of private sector job growth and the lowest uninsured rate ever, the United States had made great progress in helping middle class families, but our work isn't done.

    Here are our top three moments from the speech:


  • West Wing Week: 07/03/15 or, “Amazing Grace”

    This week, the President signed a bipartisan trade deal, welcomed the President of Brazil to the White House--and showed her one of our national treasures--hosted 50 girls in green on the South Lawn for a campout to celebrate the great outdoors, answered questions about healthcare in Tennessee and online, and traveled to Wisconsin to announce new overtime protections for hard-working Americans. That's June 26th to July 2nd or, "Amazing Grace."


  • Meet Nick: One in 5 Million Americans Who Could Be Helped by the Overtime Rule

    It's a simple premise: A hard day's work ought to lead to a fair day's pay. 

    The problem is, our current legal code doesn't reflect that simple truth. We're doing something to change that.

    Earlier this week, President Obama announced that the Department of Labor will propose extending overtime pay to nearly 5 million workers. That would mean that most salaried workers making less than an estimated $50,440 next year would now be guaranteed overtime pay.

    Nick may be one of them.


  • Kelly Wrote the President About Health Reform -- Today, She's With Him in Nashville.

    Every day, the White House receives thousands of letters and emails from across the country. Our job in the Office of Presidential Correspondence is to sort and read each message and make sure that President Obama hears directly from Americans about what matters to them.


    Today, the President is speaking in Nashville, Tennessee to talk about the ways health care reform is continuing to help millions of Americans. On his way over, he picked up Kelly Bryant to thank her for the letter she wrote him about the Affordable Care Act and to hear directly from her about how it changed her life.

    In 2011, Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer and would later rely on insurance coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act.  She wrote in her letter, “Because of healthcare reform, I am not scared of losing everything. I can start thinking about my new life and how the path is paved with opportunities instead of despair.”

    Together, Kelly and President Obama are at a local elementary school, where they've been joined by Natoma Canfield. They’re having a conversation with others from the Nashville area who have written to the President about the Affordable Care Act, as well as doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers and leaders, and volunteers to talk about the ways this law is making a difference in Nashville and across our country.

    Kelly has long supported health care reform, because she knew many Americans lacked quality, affordable health coverage.  And today, she will have the chance to discuss the impact of this law with her neighbors and the President.

    Read her letter here:


  • Follow Along: The President is Taking Your Questions on Twitter

    The President's down in Nashville today, where he's talking with Americans whose lives health reform has made better. (He even gave one of them a ride in his motorcade this morning.)

    He wants to open that conversation up to Americans across the country, too.

    So at 3:30 p.m. Eastern today, we're going to get him online, and he's going to take your questions and respond to your stories on Twitter.

    Participate using the hashtag #AskPOTUS, and follow along here.


  • President Obama Announces that the U.S. Will Reopen Our Embassy in Cuba

     


    "The progress that we mark today is yet another demonstration that we don't have to be imprisoned by the past. When something isn't working, we can and will change."

    -- President Obama


    Under President Obama, America is charting a new course in our relationship with Cuba. Today, he announced the next step on this path: Re-opening a U.S. Embassy in Havana. 

    The last time we had an embassy in Cuba was in January of 1961, when we severed diplomatic relations at the height of the Cold War. Reopening the doors is more than a symbolic step. "With this change, we will be able to substantially increase our contacts with the Cuban people," the President said.

    Watch his remarks:


  • The Letter the President Carried:

    Today at 2:30 pm ET in Nashville, TN, President Obama is participating in a discussion on how we can build on the progress we've made under the Affordable Care Act. Watch live:


    Natoma Canfield Letter

    A letter from Natoma Canfield, a woman from Ohio that President Barack Obama met who didn’t have health insurance, hangs on the wall in the hall between the Oval Office and the President's Private Office in the West Wing. June 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    More than five years ago, as Congress engaged in heated debates over the Affordable Care Act, President Obama carried a single piece of paper with him every single day: this letter from Natoma Canfield.


  • See the First White House Tour Photos Taken in More than 40 Years:

    I run the White House Visitors' Office, and I wanted to share a big change the President and First Lady just made to the White House visitors photo policy:

    The longstanding ban on photography in the White House -- in place for more than 40 years -- is being lifted. Watch the First Lady share why they did this:

    So starting today, guests at the White House are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime.


    We're posting our favorites all day right here. 


    Want to visit the White House or take a virtual tour? Get the details about how you can sign up here.

    We're so excited -- and we can't wait for you to come visit!

    Ellie Schafer is Director of the White House Visitors Office.


  • On Trade, Here’s What the President Signed into Law:

    Congress passed two bills that will help rewrite the rules for our trade policy: Trade Promotion Authority and the Trade Preferences Extension Act, which includes Trade Adjustment Assistance. Today, President Obama signed them into law. 

    Watch on YouTube

    That’s a good thing, because as President Obama has said, past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype. Now, thanks to the new rules of the road laid out by Congress, our latest trade deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — can put in place high, enforceable standards that reflect our values on the environment, on workers’ rights, on transparency, and more. 

    Here’s a quick look at the rules the President signed today and how they will help ensure American workers can benefit from the most progressive trade deal in history.