The White House Blog: The President

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

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    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:


  • 98 Percent of Americans Are Connected to High-Speed Wireless Internet

    At yesterday's White House Science Fair, President Obama announced that we've reached our major broadband connectivity goal -- 98 percent of Americans nationwide are now connected to high-speed wireless Internet, surpassing any point in history.

    "Four years ago, I set a national goal to provide 98 percent of Americans with high-speed wireless Internet so that any young scientist or entrepreneur could access the world’s information," the President said. "Today, I can announce that we have achieved that goal, and we did it ahead of schedule." 

    98% of Americans Have Access to High-Speed Wireless Internet


  • 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit Off to a Roaring Start

    Ed. note: This was first posted on the U.S. Department of Commerce's blog yesterday. See the original post here.

    With more than 2,600 people from more than 70 markets, and economic development organizations from all corners of the United States, the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit has record attendance. In fact, it is more than twice as large as the inaugural 2013 event and reflects growing global interest in the United States as a place to launch and expand operations, invest in research and development, and create jobs.

    Day one of the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit just concluded, and what an exciting day it was. We were honored to have President Obama speak and announce some new initiatives to make investing and expanding within the United States even easier.

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  • After 5 Years, Here are 5 Ways the Affordable Care Act is Working for America:

    Five years after the Affordable Care Act became law, its vision of affordable, quality health insurance for America is a reality. The state of our nation's health care is better off than it was when the President took office.  This is thanks to the variety of critical provisions within the Affordable Care Act. 

    Read on for five core ways that the Affordable Care Act is working to help Americans.


    1. After five years of the Affordable Care Act, more than 16 million people have health coverage.

    That's more people than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined. This number includes parents who can finally afford to take their kids to the doctor, families who no longer risk losing their homes or savings because someone becomes ill, and young people who are now free to pursue their dreams without worrying about losing access to health care. 

    With millions of people getting covered, the uninsured rate for non-elderly adults has dropped by 35% since October 2013. “The Affordable Care Act is working,” President Obama said after hearing the news that millions of Americans had signed up and gotten covered. “And I'll tell you, everywhere I go around the country, I'm meeting individuals who come up and thank me. How passionate they are about the difference it's made in their lives, it really reminds me why we do all of this." 


  • The Incredible Kid-Ingenuity on Display at the Fifth White House Science Fair

    President Obama looks at two Arizona students' robot at the fifth annual White House Science Fair

    President Barack Obama talks with Sergio Corral and Isela Martinez while viewing science exhibits during the 2015 White House Science Fair celebrating student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, in the State Dining Room, March 23, 2015. The two 17-year-old students are current leaders of the robotics program from Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Ariz., which was chronicled in the recent documentary "Underwater Dreams" where their under-served high school beat out MIT and other colleges in an underwater robotics competition. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Today, the halls of the White House were packed with science projects -- robots, 3D-printed objects, computer programs, apps, and extraordinary scientific discoveries -- all built, invented, designed, and brought to fruition by students.

    At the fifth-annual White House Science Fair, President Obama welcomed more than 100 students from more than 30 states for a celebration and showcase of their truly remarkable achievements in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

    As part of the Science Fair, approximately 35 student teams exhibited innovative projects -- including discoveries and insights in key areas such as disease diagnostics, clean energy, and information security -- as well as inventions ranging from the “why didn’t I think of that?” (automatic page-turner for people with arthritis) to the “who’d have ever thought that possible?” (a hiccup-curing lollipop!).

    The President personally viewed some of these projects, marveling at the incredible ingenuity on display from student innovators across the country including some as young as six years old.


  • This Day in History: Celebrating Women in STEM at The White House Science Fair

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    In History

    113 years ago today, Emmy Noether, one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century, was born in Germany. Denied and discouraged as a woman, Noether is finally getting the respect she deserves for her brilliant underpaid and unpaid contributions. Featured in today’s Google Doodle, each circle illustrated symbolizes a branch of math or physics to which Noether made groundbreaking contributions. 

     

    Her trailblazing work has inspired women in science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) to continue to shatter the glass celling. And today, more women than ever were invited to the 5th-annual White House Science Fair.


    That makes this the second year in a row that women scientists represented the majority at the White House Science Fair. 



  • Email: Better with Obamacare

    Last night, we sent this message to the White House email list updating America on The Affordable Care Act to mark the five year anniversary since it became law. Didn't get it? Make sure you sign up for email updates here.


    Better with Obamacare:

    On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed a historic law that has transformed the lives of millions of Americans.

    Tomorrow, the Affordable Care Act will celebrate five years of significant progress. That's a fact that people across the country can see in more affordable coverage, higher quality care, and better health, thanks to Obamacare.

    After five years of the ACA:

    More than 16 million

    Americans have gained health coverage

    Take a look back at history in the making:


  • Promoting Skills and Training for Low-Income Workers

    Last year, the President directed Vice President Biden to lead a review of federal job training programs in order to identify and implement steps to make these programs more “job-driven” and responsive to the needs of employers. The idea was that -- even as the economy continues to recover, with more open jobs than at any point since 2001 -- we need to do more to make sure that we are giving workers the skills they need to compete for those jobs. This is core to the President’s vision for “middle-class economics,” in which Americans who are unemployed or in low-wage jobs have the opportunity to train and find jobs that create pathways to the middle-class.


    Friday, as part of this effort, Secretaries Vilsack and Perez announced $200 million for projects designed to identify the most effective strategies to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) improve their skills and find jobs.



  • Promoting Skills and Training for Low-Income Workers

    Last year, the President directed Vice President Biden to lead a review of federal job training programs in order to identify and implement steps to make these programs more “job-driven” and responsive to the needs of employers. The idea was that -- even as the economy continues to recover, with more open jobs than at any point since 2001 -- we need to do more to make sure that we are giving workers the skills they need to compete for those jobs. This is core to the President’s vision for “middle-class economics,” in which Americans who are unemployed or in low-wage jobs have the opportunity to train and find jobs that create pathways to the middle-class.


    Friday, as part of this effort, Secretaries Vilsack and Perez announced $200 million for projects designed to identify the most effective strategies to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) improve their skills and find jobs.