The White House Blog: The President

  • Weekly Address: Protecting Working Americans’ Paychecks

    President Obama tapes the Weekly Address on Loretta Lynch

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Map Room of the White House, March 20, 2015. March 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress made protecting American consumers since he signed Wall Street reform into law five years ago, including an important new step taken by the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this week toward preventing abuses in payday lending.

    The President emphasized his commitment to fighting to advance middle-class economics and ensure everybody who works hard can get ahead, while opposing attempts by Republicans both to weaken the CFPB and give large tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • Week in Review: 5 Years of the ACA, Our Fifth Science Fair, and a Talk About the War on Drugs

    This week, the President celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law, hosted students at the fifth-annual White House Science Fair, sat down with the creator of “The Wire” to discuss criminal justice policy, and traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to highlight new actions to crack down on abusive payday lending practices.

    Find out more about the past week in our latest weekly wrap-up.

    5 Years Later

    On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed a historic law that has transformed the lives of millions of Americans. Thanks to Obamacare, people across the country have more affordable coverage, higher-quality care, and better health.

    Today, more than 16 million Americans have gained health coverage that suits their needs. 76 million people are now benefiting from preventive care coverage. Up to 129 million people with pre-existing conditions are no longer at risk of being denied coverage.

    The facts are in: The Affordable Care Act is working. Look back at the passage of the Affordable Care Act and see all it's done for America since.

  • More than 4.41 Million Records Released

    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 December 2014. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 4.41 million — all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

  • West Wing Week: 03/27/2015 or, “The Magic Page”

    This week, the President welcomed to the White House both student filmmakers and student scientists, hosted the Afghan president, and honored the five year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, while the First Lady championed the Let Girls Learn initiative in Japan and Cambodia. That's March 20th to March 26th or, "The Magic Page."

    Don't forget to tune in next week for a special, 5th-anniversary edition of West Wing Week:

  • The President’s Trip to Birmingham


    This afternoon, President Obama traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to highlight new actions the Administration is taking to protect you, the American consumer.

    While in Birmingham, the President hosted a roundtable on the economy and delivered remarks at Lawson State Community College. He advocated for stricter payday lending rules and taked about the progress we’ve made building a safer and stronger financial system.

    President Obama praised the  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent watchdog that is taking new steps towards cracking down on abusive practices involving payday loans. Now, lenders will be required to verify that borrowers can pay them back, and limit short-term credits to 45 days.

    President Obama participates in a roundtable at Lawson State

    President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable on consumer protection issues, at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama, March 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


  • Keeping Up with the Cabinet: It’s Time to Act to Reduce Opioid Related Injuries and Deaths

    We lose too many of our fellow Americans to drug overdoses. Especially alarming is the high rate of prescription drug overdose and the rising rate of overdoses due to heroin use. In 2012 alone, 259 million opioid prescriptions were written -- enough for every American adult to have a bottle.

    Rural America, including my home state of West Virginia, knows this issue all too well. Opioid injuries and overdoses are very real and affect many families. The situation is urgent – but there is reason for optimism: There are targeted actions we can take to save lives and turn these trends around. But we need all stakeholders at the table.

    Therefore, I am asking federal, state and local government officials, doctors, treatment providers, drug companies, individuals and family members to work together to address this nationwide crisis.

  • WATCH: The President Interviews the Creator of "The Wire" About the War on Drugs

    "What is it that you saw, you learned, you heard, that made you think about the drug trade and its impact on the inner cities that compelled you to then want to tell these stories?" 

    A beat reporter in Baltimore and a state senator from Chicago: two men who saw the disproportionate impact of America’s war on drugs firsthand early in their careers.

    That experience would shape the way they viewed criminal justice in America and the reforms they hope to make a reality for communities that the drug trade – and the way we currently enforce our drug laws – can tear apart.

    This week, that former reporter – David Simon, the creator of HBO’s The Wire – and that former young senator -- President Barack Obama -- sat down to talk honestly about the challenges law enforcement face and the consequences communities bear from the war on drugs. Listen to what they had to say:  

  • When We Say "Consumer," We Mean "You." Here Are 5 Protections You Should Know About:

    People tend to tune out when they hear the phrase "consumer protection," and that's probably because we don't really think about ourselves as "consumers." But we do think about ourselves as a "mom," or "dad," or "student borrower," or "employee."

    So with that in mind, if you're someone who wants to buy a house, pay for school, get solid retirement advice that actually leaves you with more money in your pocket, avoid hidden credit card fees, and generally avoid getting unfairly trapped in a cycle of debt, we've got good news: The Wall Street reforms the President has put in place are working for you.

    One of the core beliefs of this Administration has always been that good government ought to look out for American consumers and protect them from abusive and unfair practices, and that's why in 2010, we created a new independent agency responsible for doing exactly that: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

    As a now fully operational, independent watchdog, the CFPB is responsible for cracking down on bad actors like unscrupulous lenders, or fraudulent debt collectors, and giving you the information you need to take charge of your financial future. And today, they took another huge step toward protecting working families against abuses in payday and similar types of lending.

    Read on to learn more about what the CFPB announced today, and how it builds on the reforms you might not have realized the President put in place to protect you (and your money).

  • Modernizing the Visa System to Attract and Retain Global Investment and Global Talent

    Watch on YouTube

    For the sake of our economy and our security, legal immigration should be simple and efficient. After the long wait for a legislative solution to fix our broken system, the President took action within his authority to help streamline the legal immigration system until Congress passes commonsense, comprehensive reform.

    Earlier this week, speaking at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit, President Obama announced the next steps the Administration is taking to attract the world’s top talented professionals by making it easier for global companies to launch and invest in the United States: 

    My administration is going to reform the L-1B visa category, which allows corporations to temporarily move workers from a foreign office to a U.S. office in a faster, simpler way. And this could benefit hundreds of thousands of nonimmigrant workers and their employers; that, in turn, will benefit our entire economy and spur additional investment.

    Specifically, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued proposed guidance this week clarifying the standards and creating consistency for decisions of L-1B nonimmigrant visa applications. This is a popular visa category that allows global companies to temporarily transfer specialized workers to the U.S. for the purpose of launching or expanding a U.S. operation.

  • 4 Ways the Affordable Care Act Is Improving the Quality of Health Care in America

    American medicine is the best in the world. But waste and inefficiencies in the system have traditionally put your health and your pocketbook at risk. Patients who stay in the hospital longer than they need to could be exposed to infection. Vital information can get lost in the transition from primary care doctors to specialists. And when patients are given different prescriptions from multiple doctors, dangerous drug interactions can occur.

    That’s why the Affordable Care Act has been so crucial to tackling these and other challenges and increasing the quality of health care for Americans. Here’s how this landmark law is improving health care for you: