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  • Friday, August 07, 2015 8:06 AM | Anonymous



    5 things you need to understand the Iran deal:

    The U.S. and our international partners have secured the strongest nuclear arrangement ever negotiated. Thanks to the nuclear deal -- formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- the world can verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

    It's an historic deal. It's vital to our national security and that of our allies, like Israel. It's also very detailed and can seem a bit complicated. So if you're looking to dive deep into the details, here are five things you should explore to better understand why this deal will ensure Iran's nuclear program will remain exclusively peaceful moving forward.

    Watch This: President Obama's speech at American University

    Fifty-two years ago, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at American University on the importance of peace in the nuclear age. This week, President Obama returned there to do the same. He outlined exactly what's in the Iran deal and what's at stake should Congress reject it.

    Take a look -- it's worth the watch:

    Watch the President's remarks on the Iran deal

    Print This: A packet of everything on the Iran deal

    Looking for a deep dive into the specifics of the JCPOA? Want to know what security officials, nuclear scientists, and other experts have to say about it?

    Peruse this packet of information on the details of the Iran deal online, or print it and take it with you.

    Print this packet about the Iran deal

    Share This: A few FAQs on the Iran deal

    As the President has said, there's a lot of misinformation and falsehoods out there about what exactly is in the deal and how it will work.

    Check out WhiteHouse.gov/Iran-Deal to get the answers you're looking for -- and a lot more on how this deal blocks all of Iran's pathways to a bomb.

    Click here for FAQs on the Iran deal

    Read This: The enhanced text of the Iran deal

    You can read all 159 pages of the Iran deal with comments from the people who negotiated it and who will implement it.

    Find it on Medium -- then share it with everyone who wants to dig into the specifics of the way the deal provides unprecedented transparency to monitor Iran's nuclear fuel cycle, the robust verification regime, and more.

    Read the full text of the Iran deal

    Follow This: @TheIranDeal

    Want updates on the Iran deal in realtime?

    Follow @TheIranDeal for live fact-checks, news updates, and exclusive insights on the significance of this historic deal -- along with the next steps we need to take to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and avoid another conflict in the Middle East.

    Follow @TheIranDeal on Twitter

    As Congress moves through its 60-day review period of the deal, stay tuned for more updates on this important diplomatic achievement.


    The White House Team

  • Friday, June 26, 2015 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    The White House, Washington

    Jim Obergefell is one of the plaintiffs in the case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court that held that, for the first time, any couple -- straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- can obtain a marriage license and make their commitment public and legal in all 50 states.

    We reached out to him to ask for his thoughts on this historic occasion, and this is the open letter he wanted us to share with you.

    If you're standing with couples like Jim and John, Pam and Nicole, Joe and Rob, and millions more around the country today -- say so here.

    My husband John died 20 months ago, so we're unable to celebrate together the Supreme Court's decision on the case that bears my name, Obergefell v. Hodges.

    Today, for the first time, any couple -- straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- may obtain a marriage license and make their commitments public and legal in all 50 states. America has taken one more step toward the promise of equality enshrined in our Constitution, and I'm humbled to be part of that.

    John and I started our fight for a simple reason: We wanted the State of Ohio to recognize our lawful Maryland marriage on John's impending death certificate. We wanted respect and dignity for our 20-year relationship, and as he lay dying of ALS, John had the right to know his last official record as a person would be accurate. We wanted to live up to the promises we made to love, honor, and protect each other as a committed and lawfully married couple.

    Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.

    Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.

    A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.

    Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion's lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.

    Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.

    I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John's death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.

    Marriage is about promises and commitments made legal and binding under the law, and those laws must apply equally to each and every American.

    Today is a momentous day in our history. It's a day when the Supreme Court of the United States lived up to the words inscribed above the front entrance of the courthouse:

    Equal Justice Under Law.

    Thank you,


    Visit WhiteHouse.gov

  • Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The White House, Washington


    On March 23, 2010, I sat down at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed my name on a law that said, once and for all, that health care would no longer be a privilege for a few. It would be a right for everyone.

    Five years later, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law and multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, here is what we know today:

    This law worked. It's still working. It has changed and saved American lives. It has set this country on a smarter, stronger course.

    And it's here to stay.

    If that means something to you today, add your voice here.

    This morning, the Supreme Court upheld one of the most critical parts of health reform -- the part that has made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance, no matter where you live.

    If the challenges to this law had succeeded, millions would have had thousands of dollars in tax credits taken away. Insurance would have once again become unaffordable for many Americans. Many would have even become uninsured again. Ultimately, everyone's premiums could have gone up.

    Because of this law, and because of today's decision, millions of Americans will continue to receive the tax credits that have given about 8 in 10 people who buy insurance on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces the choice of a health care plan that costs less than $100 a month.

    If you're a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26 -- something that has covered millions of young people so far. That's because of this law. If you're a senior, or have a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions -- something that has saved 9 million Americans an average of $1,600 so far. If you're a woman, you can't be charged more than anybody else -- even if you've had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you're a woman. Your insurer has to offer free preventive services like mammograms. They can't place annual or lifetime caps on your care.

    And when it comes to preexisting conditions -- someday, our grandkids will ask us if there was really a time when America discriminated against people who got sick. Because that's something this law has ended for good.

    Five years in and more than 16 million insured Americans later, this is no longer just about a law. This isn't just about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

    This is health care in America.

    Today is a victory for every American whose life will continue to become more secure because of this law. And 20, 30, 50 years from now, most Americans may not know what "Obamacare" is. And that's okay. That's the point.

    Because today, this reform remains what it always has been -- a set of fairer rules and tougher protections that have made health care in America more affordable, more attainable, and more about you.

    That's who we are as Americans. We look out for one another. We take care of each other. We root for one another's success. We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation that comes behind us.

    And today, with this behind us, let's come together and keep building something better. That starts right now.

    Thank you,

    President Barack Obama

  • Sunday, June 21, 2015 7:24 AM | Anonymous

    The White House, Washington


    Hi, everyone --

    This Father's Day, I want to take a moment to thank all of the dads across the country -- and across the world -- who aren't just "around," but are deeply involved in the lives of their kids.

    But today also reminds me of the countless children whose fathers aren't showing up for the most important job they'll ever have.

    As a man who grew up without a father, this is personal for me. And it's a big part of the reason why I started the My Brother's Keeper initiative last year.

    I want every child to know -- especially those growing up without dads -- that regardless of their circumstances, they're no different from me.

    I want every child to know that they matter. They count.

    Having a father around drives that point home, but the rest of us can step up to make sure that every kid can reach their full potential.

    Share your own story of how you're making a difference in the life of a young person in your community -- and learn more about My Brother's Keeper and how you can get involved.

    Being a dad is the most important job many of us will ever have. And that's something that should be on our minds today -- and every day.

    Thank you, and Happy Father's Day.

    President Barack Obama

  • Friday, May 01, 2015 10:08 AM | Anonymous
    The White House, Washington

    Here's something you may not realize we do here at the White House:

    Every Friday, our video team releases a compilation of the best moments from the previous week here. I narrate each installment, but you have better things to do than listen to the sound of my voice.

    Each episode is full of behind-the-scenes snippets of the President, scenes from his travels on the road, and special footage of guests that visit the White House.

    We call it "West Wing Week." Take a look -- it just might become a favorite Friday tradition.

    WATCH: Here are this week's highlights.

    This week's episode -- or, "I think that works!" -- features scenes from the President's visit with the Japanese Prime Minister, the White House Correspondents' Dinner, an interview with the Wall Street Journal, a "virtual field trip," and more.

    (If nothing else, make sure you jump to 50 seconds in for some hilarious behind-the-scenes footage of the President with "Luther," his anger translator.)

    Another fun fact: If you want to get a sense of what the President's up to on a given day, we post his schedule online daily. You can check that out here.

    Enjoy -- and have a good weekend,


    Josh Earnest
    Press Secretary
    The White House

    Visit WhiteHouse.gov
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015 11:55 AM | Anonymous
    The White House, Washington


    I credit my education to Ms. Mabel Hefty just as much as I would any institution of higher learning.

    When I entered Ms. Hefty's fifth-grade class at Punahou School in the fall of 1971, I was just a kid with a funny name in a new school, feeling a little out of place, hoping to fit in like anyone else.

    The first time she called on me, I wished she hadn't. In fact, I wished I were just about anywhere else but at that desk, in that room of children staring at me.

    But over the course of that year, Ms. Hefty taught me that I had something to say -- not in spite of my differences, but because of them. She made every single student in that class feel special.

    And she reinforced that essential value of empathy that my mother and my grandparents had taught me. That is something that I carry with me every day as President.

    This is the simple and undeniable power of a good teacher. This is a story that every single kid in this country, regardless of background or station in life, should be able to tell. Sharing stories like these helps underline the vital importance of fighting for that reality.

    This week, we're starting that conversation, and I want you to add your voice to it.

    Today, I'll honor Shanna Peeples as the 2015 National Teacher of the Year -- and I'd like you to share which teacher, like Ms. Hefty, helped shape your education. You can do that here, or by using the hashtag #ThankATeacher online.

    Tomorrow, I'll travel to a local library that serves as a hub of learning in the Anacostia community of Washington, D.C. America's librarians, like our teachers, connect us to books and learning resources that help us dream big. They help ensure that we continue learning throughout our lifetime. And that's something that more kids ought to be able to access.

    So while I'm at the library, I'll announce new efforts to provide popular books to millions of underprivileged children and young adults around the country and connect more students to their local libraries -- because we know that reading just 20 minutes a day can make a tremendous difference in a student's success. Online, I want you to join the conversation by sharing which book was critical to making you who you are today using the hashtag #BooksForAll. (We all have one.)

    And on Friday, as I work on the commencement address I'll deliver at South Dakota's Lake Area Technical Institute next Friday, I want you to share with me how far community college has taken you. For a number of folks on our staff here, it’s taken them all the way to the White House.

    This week, we're focusing on those fundamental people, places, and stories that made us who we are today. So whether it's a teacher who inspired you, a book that changed you, or a college that shaped you -- I want to hear from you. We'll be responding to and sharing your responses all week long.

    I'm looking forward to hearing your stories.

    President Barack Obama

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015 9:30 AM | Anonymous

     Advance Estimate of GDP for the First Quarter of 2015

    Posted by Jason Furman on April 29, 2015 at 09:30 AM EDT

    Economic growth in the first quarter was restrained by factors including tepid foreign demand and harsh winter weather. At the same time, households saved most of their gains from low energy prices, Over the past four quarters, the most persistent and stable components of GDP — consumption and fixed investment — have grown 3.3 percent. This trend complements the strong pace of job growth and unemployment reduction over the last year. This report underscores that the U.S. economy is directly affected by the global economy, making clear the importance of advancing Trade Promotion Authority in Congress so the President can take further steps to open up markets abroad to increase U.S. exports and expand opportunities for the middle class. In addition, we could further solidify the positive trends in the domestic economy by expanding investments in infrastructure and ensuring the sequester does not return in the next fiscal year as outlined in thePresident’s FY2016 Budget.


    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.2 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2015, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report, which was likely affected by notably harsh winter weather in the first quarter (see point 2), reflects a slowdown in personal consumption as well as declines in fixed investment and net exports — as U.S. exports continue to be restrained by the global growth slowdown (see point 4). Indeed, the decline in net exports subtracted more than a full percentage point from quarterly GDP growth. Another major contributor to the slowdown was declining investment in mining exploration, shafts, and wells — likely reflecting the response to the sharp decline in oil prices — that subtracted more than half a percentage point from quarterly growth. Four-quarter growth of real GDP rose to 3.0 percent as the 2014-Q1 decline dropped out of the four-quarter moving average.

    2. Growth in the first quarter of 2015 was restrained by a historically harsh winter. This quarter was only the fourth in 60 years on record with three or more snowstorms sufficiently severe to be rated by the National Climatic Data Center’s Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). In addition, as measured by heating degree days, this quarter was the third coldest in twenty years. Indeed, winter weather likely reduced both consumption and investment, contributing to this quarter’s below-trend output growth. The historical relationship between weather and first-quarter growth suggests that weather may have reduced annualized growth by about a full percentage point this quarter (similar to estimates by Macroeconomic Advisers and Goldman Sachs). Also, first-quarter growth has been especially weak in recent years even after seasonal adjustment, averaging 0.3 percent per year over the past five years as compared with 2.9 percent for Q2 through Q4. This observation at least partially reflects generally worsening weather over the past decade, which may not yet be accounted for in seasonal-adjustment algorithms. While some output lost due to weather may not be regained, many forecasters expect that much of the lost demand from the first quarter will be diverted toward the second. 

    3. Consumers have so far saved most of their windfall gains from last year’s energy price decline, leaving scope for increased consumer spending later this year. Since June, national average gasoline prices have fallen about $1.10 per gallon, providing the equivalent of about a $700 tax cut per household. Looking over the past year, energy consumption as a share of disposable personal income has declined by 1.1 percentage points, leaving more space in consumer checkbooks to save and spend. To date, however, households appear to have put most of those gains in the bank, as the personal saving rate has risen by 0.6 percentage point over the past four quarters. Just over the last quarter, the personal savings rate rose 0.9 percentage point — an unusually large increase that is at the 90th percentile of historic increases.  Rising saving suggests continued improvement in households’ financial situation. This will help foster conditions for stronger consumer spending growth over the course of the next year, especially in light of the fact that consumer confidence measures are nearly the highest they have been since before the financial crisis.

    4. The volume of U.S. exports to foreign countries is heavily sensitive to foreign GDP growth.Indeed, year-over-year foreign GDP growth — when weighting countries by the volume of their annual trade with the U.S. — explains much of the variance in U.S. export growth. To the extent the global slowdown persists, it will likely continue to weigh on U.S. export growth, as it has over the past year. The continuing impact of the global slowdown was likely an important driver of the 7 percent annualized decline in U.S. exports during the first quarter, which reduced annualized GDP growth by nearly a full percentage point. The sensitivity of our exports to foreign demand, especially in an environment where foreign demand is slowing, underscores the importance of reducing trade barriers and opening foreign markets to our exports.

    5. Real private domestic final purchases (PDFP) — the sum of consumption and fixed investment — rose 1.1 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter, a faster pace than overall GDP. Real PDFP growth is generally a more stable and forward-looking indicator than real GDP, as it excludes volatile components like inventory investment, net exports, and government spending. Indeed, PDFP is a more accurate predictor of next-quarter GDP than GDP itself. It is, however, sensitive to weather just like overall GDP, as the impact of weather is especially important in consumption and investment. The year-over-year growth rate of PDFP rose this quarter to 3.3 percent, faster than overall GDP.

    As the Administration stresses every quarter, GDP figures can be volatile and are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one single report, and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.

    Jason Furman is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

  • Monday, March 09, 2015 3:52 PM | Anonymous



    If you only watch one video this week:

    Watch the President and First Lady's reflections on Selma.

    On Saturday, the First Family traveled to Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" march, and to honor those who fought for equal rights for all African Americans.

    Before heading back to Washington, the President and First Lady sat down to talk about the importance of Selma -- and what it meant to bring their daughters with them.

    "We tell them the stories," President Obama said. "They read about the history. But for them to actually be here, and to see the bridge, and to talk to these incredible heroes who helped make possible their lives -- what a treat that was."

    Watch the President and First Lady reflect on their visit to Selma -- and make sure to pass this on.

    P.S. -- Go "behind the lens" with Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House Photographer, to see some of the incredible photos from Selma this past weekend.

  • Saturday, March 07, 2015 9:49 AM | Anonymous

    The White House, Washington

    Today, Barack, the girls, and I traveled to Selma, Alabama.

    There, 50 years ago this month, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis, and so many other unsung heroes crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge -- standing up for voting rights and full equality under the law for all Americans.

    It was an honor and a privilege to stand on that bridge and commemorate the heroes from a half century ago. But the legacy of Selma is not simply about our history -- it's about the march that continues today.

    So I hope you'll take a moment to hear what Barack had to say today in Selma.

    Thank you,

    First Lady Michelle Obama

    Visit WhiteHouse.gov

    The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:13 PM | Anonymous



    11.4 million Americans, and counting

    WATCH: The President hears the latest enrollment numbers.

    Earlier today, Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, briefed the President about the end of this year's Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. She told him that 11.4 million Americans have signed up or re-enrolled for quality, affordable health insurance.

    That's right. 11.4 million. And more people newly signed up on Sunday than on any other day before.

    "It gives you some sense of how hungry people were out there for affordable, accessible health insurance," the President said. "And that's really the top-line message: The Affordable Care Act is working."

    See what else the President said about today's enrollment numbers -- and make sure to pass this video on.

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