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Weekly Updates

White House Press Releases


First Lady Michelle Obama’s Schedule As She Leads the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London 

First Lady Michelle Obama will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, accompanied by Olympic and Paralympic greats Brandi Chastain, Dominique Dawes, Gabriel Diaz de Leon, Grant Hill and Summer Sanders. While in London, Mrs. Obama and the delegation will attend the Opening Ceremony, meet with U.S. athletes competing in the games and encourage American children to be active in their daily lives.

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Office of the Press Secretary

Fact Sheet:  Living Within Our Means and Investing
 in the Future -  The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction


The health of our economy depends on what we do right now to create the conditions where businesses can hire and middle-class families can feel a basic measure of economic security. In the long run, our prosperity also depends on our ability to pay down the massive debt the federal government has accumulated over the past decade. Today, the President sent to the Joint Committee his plan to jumpstart economic growth and job creation now – and to lay the foundation for it continue for years to come.  

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President Obama to Deliver Back-to-School
Speech September 28 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As students begin their school year, President Barack Obama will deliver his third annual Back-to-School Speech at 1:30PM EDT on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC.  

The President’s Back-to-School Speech is an opportunity to speak directly to students across the country. In past years, President Obama has encouraged students to study hard and take responsibility for their education, urging students to set goals, to believe in themselves, and to be the authors of their own destinies.  

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School opened in 1981 as a magnet school for students in grades 9-12 enrolled in rigorous academic experiences in preparation for college. It placed on the Newsweek list of America's Best High Schools for 2011 for their high graduation rates, college matriculation rates, and test scores. Banneker is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools system. 

President Obama’s Back-to-School Speech will be live streamed on WhiteHouse.gov so that classrooms across the country may listen to or watch the remarks. For more information about watching the speech, visit www.whitehouse.gov/back-to-school.  

Schools across the country can also watch the speech live on MSNBC as a special feature of NBC News’ “Education Nation” – part of NBC’s weeklong commitment to education reports and programming across the network’s shows and platforms beginning September 25.  

This event is by invitation only, and additional media coverage details will be released before the event. 


September 4, 2011
Temple Street Bridge 
Paterson, New Jersey
 THE PRESIDENT:  Well, obviously visiting Wayne, visiting Paterson, many of these surrounding communities, gives you a sense of the devastation that's taken place not only here in New Jersey but in upstate New York and Vermont and a whole range of states that were affected by Hurricane Irene.
     I want to thank Governor Christie, Mayor Jones, the entire congressional delegation that has coordinated in an unprecedented way to try to deal with this crisis.  And part of what I think has helped to avert even worse tragedies and greater loss of life is because of the extraordinary responsiveness and farsighted thinking of state, local and federal personnel.  I'm very proud of the work that FEMA has done not only from our central agency but, more importantly, the folks locally here on the ground who have been coordinating with the emergency management teams here in New Jersey.
     I want to thank the Red Cross for their extraordinary responsiveness.  We've seen a huge outpouring of volunteers; the private sector is getting involved in trying to do what they can to help the communities that have been hard hit.
     The main message that I have for all the residents not only of New Jersey but all those communities that have been affected by flooding, by the destruction that occurred as a consequence of Hurricane Irene is that the entire country is behind you and we are going to make sure that we provide all the resources that are necessary in order to help these communities rebuild.
     And I know that there's been some talk about whether there's going to be a slowdown in getting funding out here, emergency relief.  As President of the United States, I want to make it very clear that we are going to meet our federal obligations -- because we're one country, and when one part of the country gets affected, whether it's a tornado in Joplin, Missouri, or a hurricane that affects the Eastern Seaboard, then we come together as one country and we make sure that everybody gets the help that they need.  And the last thing that the residents here of Paterson or the residents of Vermont or the residents of upstate New York need is Washington politics getting in the way of us making sure that we are doing what we can to help communities that have been badly affected.
So, again, I want to thank federal, state, local officials who have been working around the clock to respond to this crisis. We know it could have been worse but we should not underestimate the heartache that's going through a lot of these communities and affecting a lot of these families.  And we want to make sure that we're there to help, and I'm going to make sure that even after the cameras are gone and attention is somewhere else that FEMA and federal officials continue to work with our local officials to make sure we're doing the right thing.

So, thank you, guys.

Q    Mr. President, Congressman Cantor has talked about offsetting budget cuts --

THE PRESIDENT:  We're going to make sure resources are here.
All right?



WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Irene beginning on August 21, 2011, and continuing. 

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Background on the President’s Event in
  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Today

 June 24th, 2011) Today, President Obama will travel to the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh to launch the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort to bring together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance our global competitiveness. 

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President Obama New Year 2011 Message

The President resolves to do all he can to get the economy growing and create jobs, and encourages Republicans to embrace their new responsibility to govern.


West Wing Week: 12/24/10 or
 "AKA Santa Claus"

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk step by step with the President as he signs the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," looks back at an historic lame duck session, reads to kids for the Holiday season, and receives the Census report.


Holidays at The White House 2010



President Obama Announces Goal of Recruiting 10,000 STEM Teachers Over the Next Two Years 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama announced a new goal of recruiting 10,000 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) teachers over the next two years.  This announcement will move the country forward on the Obama Administration’s ambitious goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade.   

Statement by President Obama: “When I came into office, I set a goal of moving our nation from the middle to the top of the pack in math and science education.  Strengthening STEM education is vital to preparing our students to compete in the 21st century economy and we need to recruit and train math and science teachers to support our nation’s students.”  

As America’s students lag in math and science when compared to peers around the world, President Obama has made improving STEM education one of his top priorities.  President Obama has identified three overarching priorities for STEM education, necessary for laying a new foundation for America’s future prosperity:  

·         Increasing STEM literacy so all students can think critically in science, math, engineering and technology;

·         Improving the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations;

·         And expanding STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and minorities. 


Prepared by the Joint Information Center

UPDATED May 9, 2010 6 PM

* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.


DOI Leadership Deployments

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar dispatched Director of the National Park Service Jon Jarvis and Acting Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service Rowan Gould to command centers along the Gulf Coast to help lead efforts to protect coastal communities and natural resources from oil spill. Jarvis is stationed in the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Center, and Gould is stationed in the Houma, La., Incident Command Center.

Drilling Rig Inspection and Oversight

MMS has completed its inspections of all 30 deepwater drilling rigs and is now inspecting all deepwater production platforms. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) continues to work with BP to explore all options that could stop or mitigate oil leaks from the damaged well. Pursuant to MMS’s regulatory authority, all plans are being reviewed and approved by MMS before implementation.

Snare Booms Erected

Cleanup crews have placed snare boom to collect tarballs in the affected area on Dauphin Island. Snare boom can be staked along beaches and shoreline to act as a filter and prevent tarballs from coming ashore. Analysis of the tarballs is being conducted to determine the origin of the oil and may take 48 hours to complete. Shoreline assessment teams typically consist of three or four trained personnel prepared to evaluate a section of shoreline, equipped with proper protective gear. Trained volunteers may assist members of the group. Team members must have basic site safety training and training sufficient to complete an evaluation of the beach. Reports of tarballs can be made to the Coast Guard at any time at 1-800-448-5816.

13 Staging Areas Along Gulf Coast

13 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Al., Theodore, Al., Pass Christian, Ms., Cocodrie, La.).

NOAA Oversight Activities

NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco met with scientists at the Dauphin Island (Ala.) Sea Lab and representatives from the Mobile (Ala.) Port Authority, and participated in a briefing at the Mobile Incident Command Center. NOAA continues to provide scientific support including: modeling the trajectory and location of the oil, getting pre-impact shoreline samples surveys and baseline measurements, and planning for open water and shoreline remediation.

NOAA Observational Flights

One of NOAA’s P-3 (hurricane hunter) aircraft conducted a flight to help monitor the location of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current. NOAA also flew missions for marine mammal surveys, coastal photography and mapping purposes.

By the Numbers to Date:

  • Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 10,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
  • More than 275 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
  • More than 1 million feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and more than 1.3 million feet are available.
  • Nearly 3.5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 500,000 gallons are available.
  • 13 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Al., Theodore, Al., Pass Christian, Ms., Cocodrie, La.).


  • For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
  • To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (985) 902-5231.
  • To volunteer, or to report oiled shoreline, call (866) 448-5816. Volunteer opportunities can also be found here.
  • To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system, or to submit alternative response technology, services, or products, call 281-366-5511.
  • To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.
  • For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
  • For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.
  • To file a claim, or report spill-related damage, call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118.  More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.  


 The President Florida Visit

POTUS arrived on stage at the Adrienne Arsht for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami at 6:42 p.m. and took the stage in front of more than 1,000 cheering people who had begun filing in around 4 p.m. Tickets ranged from $250 to $1,250 per person, according to a Democratic Party source. Among those in the audience is Florida CFO Alex Sink, a Democrat running for governor, and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami Gardens, who is running for U.S. Senate. 

Before the president’s arrival, a couple dozen people, including some from Environment Florida, were protesting oil drilling off of Florida’s Gulf Coast stood across the street from the Arsht Center. They held signs asking Obama to protect Florida’s shores but were not particularly loud or rowdy.  

The president was introduced by Democratic National Committee chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. Kaine, in turn, was introduced by DNC vice chairwoman and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who was received with an energetic standing ovation. “I’m so proud to be here; I’m so proud of our community,” she said. “We have the honor of hosting President Barack Obama in beautiful South Florida on a beautiful day.”  

Obama spoke for half an hour and left at 7:12. He got a standing ovation when he mentioned the passage of healthcare reform in Congress and the audience interrupted with cheers of “O-ba-ma!” after touting the election Tuesday of Democrat Ted Deutch to replace retiring Rep. Ted Deutch in the U.S. House.

Patricia Mazzei
Staff Writer
The Miami Herald 
Foor Media Pool Information



Diplomatic Reception Room 

10:20 A.M. EST  

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  This morning I want to extend to the people of Haiti the deep condolences and unwavering support of the American people following yesterday's terrible earthquake.   

     We are just now beginning to learn the extent of the devastation, but the reports and images that we've seen of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes, and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching.  Indeed, for a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible.  Our thoughts and prayers are also with the many Haitian Americans around our country who do not yet know the fate of their families and loved ones back home.  

     I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives.  The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble, and to deliver the humanitarian relief -- the food, water and medicine  -- that Haitians will need in the coming days.  In that effort, our government, especially USAID and the Departments of State and Defense are working closely together and with our partners in Haiti, the region, and around the world.   

Right now our efforts are focused on several urgent priorities.  First, we're working quickly to account for U.S. embassy personnel and their families in Port-au-Prince, as well as the many American citizens who live and work in Haiti.  Americans trying to locate family members in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888/407-4747.  I'm going to repeat that – 888/407-4747.  

Second, we've mobilized resources to help rescue efforts.  Military overflights have assessed the damage, and by early afternoon our civilian disaster assistance team are beginning to arrive.  Search and rescue teams from Florida, Virginia and California will arrive throughout today and tomorrow, and more rescue and medical equipment and emergency personnel are being prepared.   

     Because in disasters such as this the first hours and days are absolutely critical to saving lives and avoiding even greater tragedy, I have directed my teams to be as forward-leaning as possible in getting the help on the ground and coordinating with our international partners as well.  

     Third, given the many different resources that are needed, we are taking steps to ensure that our government acts in a unified way.  My national security team has led an interagency effort overnight.  And to ensure that we coordinate our effort, going forward, I've designated the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Rajiv Shah, to be our government's unified disaster coordinator.   

     Now, this rescue and recovery effort will be complex and challenging.  As we move resources into Haiti, we will be working closely with partners on the ground, including the many NGOs from Haiti and across Haiti, the United Nations Stabilization Mission, which appears to have suffered its own losses, and our partners in the region and around the world.  This must truly be an international effort.  

     Finally, let me just say that this is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share.  With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long history that binds us together, Haitians are neighbors of the Americas and here at home.  So we have to be there for them in their hour of need.   

Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I would encourage those Americans who want to support the urgent humanitarian efforts to go to whitehouse.gov where you can learn how to contribute.  We must be prepared for difficult hours and days ahead as we learn about the scope of the tragedy. We will keep the victims and their families in our prayers.  We will be resolute in our response, and I pledge to the people of Haiti that you will have a friend and partner in the United States of America today and going forward.   

May God bless the people of Haiti and those working on their behalf.

      Thank you very much. 

                                             END          10:24 A.M. EST

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