2014 Mid Term Elections

What Did Barack Do Today™ UCONN Huskies. Working Families Summit. Making Student Loans Affordable. Western Governors. Commonsense Immigration Reform.












What Did Barack Do Today™


In the morning, the President and Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

Later in the morning, the President will join nurses from across the country to discuss the importance of passing commonsense immigration reform. This meeting is closed press.

In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks and sign a Presidential Memorandum on reducing the burden of student loan debt. This event in the East Room is open press.

Following this event, the President will meet with governors of Western States to discuss wildfires via video teleconference. This meeting in the Situation Room is closed press.

Later in the afternoon, the President will welcome the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams to honor the teams and their 2014 NCAA Championships. This event in the East Room is open to pre-credentialed media.



The UConn Huskies Visit the White House


Published on Jun 9, 2014

President Obama welcomes the 2014 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball champion UConn Huskies to the White House, June 9, 2014.




Remarks by the President Honoring NCAA Champions the University of Connecticut Huskies

East Room

4:24 P.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Everybody, have a seat, have a seat.  I’ve just got a few things to say here.  Welcome to the White House, first of all.

AUDIENCE:  Thank you.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You’re pleased to be here, aren’t you?  (Laughter.)  I think we should give it up for the men’s and women’s national college basketball champions, the Connecticut Huskies!  (Applause.)  Now, I have to say that, as President, one of my goals has been to eliminate waste and cut out duplicative programs to make things a little more efficient, but this might be carrying things a little too far.  (Laughter.)

We have, as you might expect, some big Huskies fans here today, including some outstanding members of Congress.  I also want to recognize your university president, Susan Herbst — (applause) — your athletic director, Warde Manuel, and Larry McHugh, the chairman of your board of trustees.  Give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  And of course, you’ve got a couple of great coaches in what I called when we were meeting back there the grizzled veteran, Geno Auriemma — (laughter) — and the new blood, Kevin Ollie, both in the house.  (Applause.)  I can make that joke now that I’ve got gray hair.  (Laughter.)

Only once before, in 2004, has one school won both the men’s and women’s Division I titles.  And of course, that was who?


THE PRESIDENT:  It was UConn.  This is the women’s 9th national title, more than any other women’s basketball team in history.  (Applause.)  For the men, it is their fourth title in the last 16 years, which is twice as many as anybody else during that same span of time.  (Applause.)  Which makes me think, what’s up with you guys?  Why aren’t you sharing?  It is just a remarkable thing what these two programs have accomplished.

Of course, this season the women went a perfect 40-0, won their games by an average of 34 points — so there was not a lot of suspense during their season.  (Laughter.)  In a championship game billed as one of the biggest in women’s basketball history, the Huskies routed the previously unbeaten Notre Dame — and gave me bragging rights — it gave me bragging rights to pick them in my bracket.  This was not hard.  (Laughter.)  I mean, me and 95 percent of the country.  And this marked the 5th time that UConn has finished a season as undefeated national champion.

Of course, a lot of this success belongs to Coach Geno, who has cemented his place as not only a legend in women’s basketball, but one of the best coaches that we’ve ever seen at any level and any sport, period.  (Applause.)  So we are grateful to have you.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

But I think Coach Auriemma would be the first to tell you that the credit goes to the players.  And these were just some outstanding young ladies.  You’ve got Breanna Stewart named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player two years in a row.  You’ve got Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who overcame injury and illness during the season, and came up big — as she is prone to do — during the tournament.  You’ve got Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley, who went on to become top-10 picks in the WNBA draft.

And Stefanie, I did not forget that you challenged me to a dance-off last year.  It is going to happen.  It is going to happen.  (Laughter and applause.)  Don’t think that I — don’t think that you’re going to beat me on that.  (Laughter.)  I also appreciate that you told the world about it after the title game.  I have daughters in junior high and high school, and for their sake, I will not be dancing too much while the cameras are around.  (Laughter.)

Now, I also have to confess, I did not pick the men to win in my bracket.  (Laughter.)  Of course, neither did anybody else unless you went to UConn.  (Laughter.)  Look at these guys, they’re all raising their hand.  (Laughter.)  Come on now, tell the truth.  We were not counting on Shabazz Napier leading the way as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and hitting big shot after big shot and locking down the perimeter defensively.  The Huskies also had huge contributions from guys like Ryan Boatright, DeAndre Daniels, and Neils Giffey, who’s not here because he’s playing overseas.

After the tournament wins over Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State, Florida, and Kentucky, UConn became the first seven-seed ever to win the title.  (Applause.)   And afterwards, Coach Ollie said, “Somebody told me we were Cinderellas” and I said, “no, we’re UConn” — that’s “what we do, bred to cut down nets.”  That’s Coach Ollie.  He’s always confident and calm and collected.  In fact, a sportswriter once referred to him as “our future President.”  (Laughter.)  I don’t know with a name like “Kevin” whether that’s possible.  (Laughter and applause.)  But who knows, anything could happen.

Now, Coach Ollie is doing one other important thing — he’s making sure his team hits the books as hard as they hit the boards.  And this season, both the men and the women ranked among the nation’s best academically and that’s worth applauding. (Applause.)

Both teams have also done tremendous work in the community.  They’ve raised awareness for cancer and autism.  They’ve volunteered at senior centers, spent time with underprivileged youth.  Coach Ollie and Coach Auriemma spoke at the Pentagon last month as part of our Hoops for Troops program.  And last year, after the tragedy in Newtown, the men put on a clinic for kids at a local rec center — and they asked the media to keep it under wraps so the kids could just have a good time.

Finally, I want to take a moment to single out the women here, because I could not be more proud of the example that they present for my daughters.  They’re showing that just like the boys, girls can be tough, athletic, beautiful, successful, competitive and make fun of me, which is what my daughters do all the time.  (Laughter.)  So thank you guys for the outstanding example.  (Applause.)

Congratulations to your championship Huskies.  (Applause.)  And this really isn’t goodbye probably, because I suspect I’ll see some of these folks again before I leave office.  So let’s strike the podium.  We’ll take some good pictures.  Come on.  And I know we’ve got some jersey presentations here.  Where’s my jersey?  (Laughter.)

4:30 P.M. EDT


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Working Families Summit: A Fatherhood Lead-Up Event


Published on Jun 9, 2014

Administration officials welcome working dads, advocates, researchers, businesses, and even a Major League Baseball player to the White House to look at the new challenges dads face balancing career and family, and how extensive workplace flexibility and paid parental leave is a in-win for both businesses and their employees. June 9, 2014.




The Changing Role of Fathers in the Workforce and Family



As part of the lead-up to the White House Summit on Working Families, we’ve been exploring policies and best practices that help both families and businesses manage the increasingly complicated interaction between work and family-life. Today, Administration officials hosted a discussion—the first of its kind at the White House—on the state of working dads and how businesses can create a win-win culture to enable these fathers to be more involved parents and better employees.


The need to rethink workplace policies to work better for parents is not just about working moms or women—working fathers are a key piece of the story as well. As the data compiled by the Council of Economic Advisers on “The Economics of Fatherhood and Work” show, the role of fatherhood has been changing with fathers taking a more hands-on approach to raising children. This change is both cultural and economic, with families responding to the reality of women’s increased role in the labor market. Nearly two-thirds of children now have either two working parents or a single parent who is working, contributing to the trend of father’s increasingly caring for children. Today, one in fourteen fathers with kids under 18 are single parents—a striking seven-fold increase since 1970—and dads are increasingly staying at home when their wives work.


Yet most dads, like moms, are trying to balance work and their parenting responsibilities. One in five kids at daycare have a dad identified as the primary caregiver, and most of these dads are employed. Modern dads are spending more time on both childcare and housework while balancing a career. More dads today change diapers, do school pick-up, help with homework, and have to be able to pick up a sick kid from preschool. With more time spent on childcare and housework and little reduction in time spent in the workplace, fathers are increasingly reporting work-life conflict. In a reversal, today’s fathers are more likely to report difficulties balancing work and family than mothers.




These changes suggest the need for policies and best practices, such as paid leave and workplace flexibility, which help mothers and fathers better balance the competing demands of work and caregiving. Research hasshown that these policies can be good for business by helping to recruit talented workers; lowering worker turnover; and boosting morale, worker productivity, and profits. For example, although some businesses were initially concerned about California’s paid leave law before implementation, in a recent survey , more than 90 percent reported no negative effect or a positive effect of the law on profitability, turnover, productivity, and morale. And other studies have shown that flexibility can lead to improved productivityand is correlated with well managed businesses. Investors also see these policies as good for profitability—stock prices rise when businesses announce new family-friendly policies.


At today’s event, we heard leading experts, working dads, business leaders, and Administration officials discuss their insights on modern fatherhood and how we can help men balance work and family demands. Our participants—employees and small, medium and large businesses—corroborated the research that shows that flexibility and paid leave policies can be good for business.


In the run-up to the working families summit on June 23rd, we look forward to further engaging with experts, businesses, researchers, and other stakeholders to explore strategies that make full use of America’s talent and increase globally competitiveness while ensuring that both mothers and fathers can also be successful parents.






FACTSHEET: Making Student Loans More Affordable


President Obama declared 2014 a year of action – vowing to use the power of his pen and phone to help ensure that hardworking Americans have the opportunity to succeed. And this week will be no different. With a focus on supporting hardworking Americans and upholding our country’s commitment to provide a quality education for all of our students, the President is again taking action. Today, he will deliver remarks at the White House, announcingnew executive actions to further lift the burden of crushing student loan debt, including a Presidential Memorandum that will allow an additional 5 million borrowers with federal student loans to cap their monthly payments at just 10 percent of their income. A fact sheet detailing these new steps is below.


President Obama Speaks on Student Loan Debt


Published on Jun 9, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks about the need to make college more affordable, before signing a memorandum outlining new executive actions to support federal student loan borrowers, June 9, 2014.




Remarks by the President on Opportunity for All: Making College More Affordable

1:51 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Everybody have a seat.  Welcome to the White House.  And I want to thank Andy for the terrific introduction.  And this is commencement season, and it’s always a hopeful and exciting time, and I’ll bet we might have some folks who just graduated here today.  Raise your hands.  Let’s see — yes, we’ve got a couple of folks who are feeling pretty good.  (Laughter.)


Of course, once the glow wears off, this can be a stressful time for millions of students.  And they’re asking themselves, how on Earth am I going to pay off all these student loans?  And that’s what we’re here to talk about.  And Andy I think gave a vivid example of what’s going through the minds of so many young people who have the drive and the energy and have succeeded in everything that they do but because of family circumstances have found themselves in a situation where they’ve got significant debt.


Now, we know, all of you know, that in a 21st century economy, a higher education is the single best investment that you can make in yourselves and your future, and we’ve got to make sure that investment pays off.


And here’s why:  For 51 months in a row, our businesses have created new jobs — 9.4 million new jobs in total.  And over the last year, we’ve averaged around 200,000 new jobs every month.  That’s the good news.  But while those at the top are doing better than ever, average wages have barely budged.  And there are too many Americans out there that are working harder and harder just to get by.


Everything I do is aimed towards reversing those trends that put a greater burden on the middle class and are diminishing the number of ladders to get into the middle class, because the central tenet of my presidency, partly because of the story of my life and Michelle’s life, is this is a country where opportunity should be available for anybody — the idea that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, how you were raised, who you love, if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to live up to your responsibilities, you can make it here in America.


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Obama Makes Starbucks Run


Published on Jun 9, 2014

President Barack Obama slipped out of the White House for a run to a nearby Starbucks, ahead of the knot of White House reporters who normally accompany him when he leaves the White House grounds. (June 9)







Readout of the President’s Meeting with Western Governors on Wildfire Preparedness

Today, as part of the Western Governors Association annual meeting, President Obama met with a bipartisan group of western Governors via video-teleconference to discuss wildfire season and associated preparedness efforts. The conversation was a continuation of the dialogue the President began in February when he met with a group of western governors to discuss the complex challenges presented by an increasingly dry future for the West. Due to the drought affecting the western part of the country, the wildfire season in some parts of the West has begun earlier and is expected to last longer than usual. The President expressed his commitment to working closely with the governors as they deal with fires and their devastating impacts. He also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to fund wildfire suppression in a more responsible and effective way, a commitment that was included in his Fiscal Year 2015 budget request.


The President and his advisors discussed the outlook for the existing drought and the current fire season, as well as for long-term wildfire trends. They also highlighted progress in providing the best-available science to aid in preparedness and response operations, modernizing wildland firefighting resources like airtankers, and efforts to build resilience to fires by restoring landscapes and forests. The President stated that the Federal Government will continue to look for ways to effectively partner with state and local governments, and that he looked forward to continuing to engage with the governors as they prepare their states for the impacts of a changing climate.


The following governors participated in the meeting:

  • Governor Brewer of Arizona
  • Governor Bullock of Montana
  • Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota
  • Governor Daugaard of South Dakota
  • Governor Herbert of Utah
  • Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Governor Mead of Wyoming
  • Governor Otter of Idaho


The following Administration Officials participated in the meeting:

  • Secretary Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Secretary Jewell, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator of NOAA
  • Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Rhea Suh, Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
  • Michael Boots, Acting Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
  • John Podesta, Counselor to the President
  • David Agnew, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Brian Deese, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
  • Todd Rosenblum, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Craig Fugate, Administrator of FEMA
  • Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service
  • Louis Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and National Weather Service Director, NOAA
  • Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator, Environmental Protection Agencyn





Readout of the President’s Meeting with Nurses on Commonsense Immigration Reform

This morning in the Oval Office, the President met with nurses from across the country to discuss commonsense immigration reform. The President underscored his commitment to passing commonsense immigration reform and highlighted the importance of this issue to nurses and medical professionals. The first line of defense between the suffering of an injured laborer and proper medical treatment is a nurse. By reforming our legal immigration system we can bolster public health by providing immigrant nurses an opportunity to stay in the United States legally and grow their skills, while also attracting the best and brightest immigrants from around the globe to help meet the needs of our growing health care industry.


The President reaffirmed he will continue to do what he can to rally supporters because he wants to see immigration reform become a reality. He emphasized that Congress must act to pass commonsense immigration reform and that there is no excuse for House Republicans to continue delaying action. Both the President and the nurses agreed that commonsense immigration reform would benefit communities across the country and boost our economy. The President thanked the nurses for their leadership and for all that they do in their communities.




Presidential Nominations and Withdrawal sent to the Senate


Jane D. Hartley, of New York, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the French Republic.


Cary Douglas Pugh, of Virginia, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for a term of fifteen years, vice Robert Allen Wherry, Jr., retired.




Jeffrey A. Murawsky, of Illinois, to be Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs, vice Robert A. Petzel, which was sent to the Senate on May 5, 2014.



6/9/14: White House Press Briefing




Published on Jun 9, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing



That was a hell of a Monday……




On Tuesday, the President will take to Tumblr in an event at the White House moderated by Tumblr Founder and CEO David Karp. The President will deliver remarks and answer questions from folks across the country on the importance of education, college affordability, and reducing student loan debt.



On WednesdayPresident Obama will travel to Worcester, Massachusetts to deliver the commencement address at the Worcester Technical High Schoolgraduation ceremony. The President will also attend a DSCC event in the Boston area. Following the event, the President will return to Washington, DC.



On Thursday, the President will hold a bilateral meeting Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia at the White House; the Vice President will also attend. The two leaders will discuss a range of issues of mutual interest, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Australia’s leadership of the G-20 this year, the future of Afghanistan, and the growing bilateral defense relationship, including the rotation of U.S. Marines through Darwin.  They will also address some of the most serious security issues that confront both Australia and the United States, including Syria, Russia’s actions in Ukraine, North Korea, and the security and stability of the Asia Pacific region. In the afternoon, the President will welcome the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House to honor the team and their victory in the WNBA Finals.



On Friday, the President and the First Lady will travel to the Cannonball, North Dakota area to visit the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Following their visit to Indian Country, the President and the First Lady will travel to Palm Springs, CA.



On Saturday, the President will deliver the commencement address at University of California, Irvine on the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the UC Irvine campus by President Lyndon B. Johnson. UC Irvine does outstanding work at the undergraduate and graduate level in science and research, humanities, and professional studies, and the President looks forward to speaking with the graduates in June. Following these events, he will return to Palm Springs, CA. The President and the First Lady will return to Washington, D.C on Monday.











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12 replies »

  1. Interesting mix as always. The Summit on Working Families should be interesting to follow, the idea we start acknowledging the importance of fathers to families and aligning business / work life balance, will that should be interesting to watch.


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