From the White House

Good Government Working to Protect Our Planet: Ocean 2016 Conference

Last week, the State Department hosted the Ocean 2016 conference

“The ocean covers about 70 percent of our planet, provides half of the oxygen we breathe, and feeds more than a billion people — it is our planet’s life support system, but it’s also in danger. National Geographic produced the following video for the opening of the U.S. Secretary of State’s “Our Ocean” Conference. Learn more about why we need to protect it and how global leaders will help. state.gov/ourocean #OurOcean

President Obama spoke at the conference and later designated 4,913 square miles off the New England coast as a Marine National Monument, the first in the Atlantic Ocean.

From the White House: President Obama just designated the Atlantic’s first-ever marine monument

Today, President Obama designated the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting fragile deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The new national monument — which encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons — will provide critical protections for important ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles.

Within the boundary lines of this new monument are four massive, underwater mountains — called “seamounts” — and three gigantic canyons. These canyons, deeper than the Grand Canyon, make the monument ripe for future scientific exploration and discovery.

President Obama’s remarks are below.

President Obama: “Thanks, Obama!”

Tuesday afternoon, President Obama spoke to a crowd in Philadelphia about how the economy had improved and how we need to elect Hillary Clinton to continue the progress.

President Obama on the progress during his term:

We fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years. We turned around a declining economy. We helped our auto industry set new records. Our businesses created 15 million new jobs. Slashed our dependence on foreign oil. Doubled our production of clean energy. Made marriage equality a reality in all 50 states. (Applause.)

We brought more of our troops home to their families. We delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. (Applause.) Through diplomacy rather than war, we shut down Iran’s nuclear program, opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our kids and our grandkids. That’s what we’ve done. (Applause.)

By so many measures, America is stronger and more prosperous than when we started out on this journey together. In fact, some of you may have saw there was a new report out just today showing that last year, across every age, every race in America, incomes rose and the poverty rate fell. (Applause.) In fact, the typical household income of Americans rose by $2,800, which is the single biggest one-year increase on record. (Applause.) We lifted 3.5 million people out of poverty. That’s the largest one-year drop in poverty since 1968. (Applause.) The uninsured rate is the lowest it has been since they kept record. The pay gap between men and women shrank to the lowest level ever. (Applause.)

So, now, let’s face it — Republicans don’t like to hear good news right now. (Laughter.) But it’s important just to understand this is a big deal. More Americans are working, more have health insurance. Incomes are rising. Poverty is falling.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Gas is two dollars!

THE PRESIDENT: And gas is two dollars a gallon. I didn’t even — thank you for reminding me. (Laughter.) Thanks, Obama. (Laughter and applause.)

On his support for Hillary Clinton:

Now, look, can I just say, I am really into electing Hillary Clinton. Like I — this is not me going through the motions here. I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton. […]

For four years, I had a front-row seat. I watched her intelligence. I watched her judgment. I watched her discipline. I saw her in the Situation Room, where she argued in favor of the mission for bin Laden. I watched her pursue diplomacy to open up new partnerships, to help promote democracy, to help reduce the nuclear threat. And she worked hard, tirelessly, flying around the world again and again. I don’t know how many times she lapped the world, but she went around a long time. Because she had never forgotten what she was fighting for — to make sure every child has the same opportunities as her granddaughter and her daughters and your kids. […]

She knows what it means for working families and senior citizens, and small business owners, and soldiers and veterans when we make policy in the White House. And in the middle of crisis, she’ll listen to people and she will keep her cool, and she treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how many times people knock her down and mess with her, she does not quit. She doesn’t quit. (Applause.) She doesn’t quit. That’s the Hillary that I know.

And that’s why I really want to get her elected. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. I believe there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as our President.

Full transcript below.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Upholding the Legacy of Those We Lost on September 11th

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks and paid tribute to the victims, survivors, first responders, and those who have served our country. The President said that although a lot has changed over the past 15 years, the core values that define us as Americans have remained the same. As Americans we are resilient, we will never give into fear, and we will always look out for one another. Our strength is in our diversity, our welcoming of all talent, and our fair treatment of everyone – no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, or faith. The President said that’s part of what makes our country great – and if we uphold those values, we will carry on the legacy of those we lost and keep our nation strong and free.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Building Upon the Legacy of Labor Day

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama commemorated Labor Day by highlighting the economic progress we’ve made over the course of his administration. Over the past seven and a half years, we’ve rescued our economy from another depression, cut our unemployment rate in half, and unleashed the longest string total job growth on record. The President said that although the country has made significant progress, there’s still work to do in the years to come. He emphasized that despite the boisterous political season, we must not lose sight of the policies that will actually help working families get ahead. President Obama said if we are going to restore the sense that hard work is rewarded with a fair shot to get ahead, we must build on the legacy of those who came before us – that means exercising our right to speak up in the workplace, to join a union, and to vote.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Taking Action Against the Zika Virus

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

This week, President Obama called on Republicans in Congress to take action and vote to fund the Administration’s response to the Zika virus. In February, the President asked Congress to fund emergency resources, including mosquito control, fast-tracking diagnostics tests and vaccines, tracking the spread of the virus, and monitoring women and babies with Zika. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have failed to take action on this issue. So the President continues to direct his Administration do what it can without help from Congress, with the primary focus of protecting pregnant women and families planning to have children. Today, the CDC continues to work with state public health officials and has an emergency response team on the ground in South Florida, agencies have moved to expedite the development of a vaccine, and the administration is working with the private sector to develop more options to test and prevent infection. The President reiterated this is about more than politics and Republicans should make this their top priority when they return from their summer recess.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

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From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama commemorated the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and encouraged Americans to “Find Your Park.” First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush are serving as honorary co-chairs of the National Parks Centennial Celebration to raise awareness and help Americans connect with their favorite parks and public lands. Today, military families can access all national parks for free through the Joining Forces initiative, and families with a fourth grader can get a free pass by visiting EveryKidInAPark.org. The President emphasized his commitment to building on the American tradition of conservation – noting his record of protecting more lands and waters than any other administration. With the threat of climate change, the President said that protecting our public lands and waters is more important than ever. In the years to come, we must do what we can to continue to protect our parks and our planet for future generations.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Providing a Better, Cleaner, Safer Future for Our Children

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the progress we have made to combat global climate change. During the Obama Administration, we have made ambitious investments in clean energy and achieved reductions in carbon emissions – increasing wind power and solar power, and decreasing the amount of carbon pollution from our energy sector to its lowest level in 25 years. We have also set standards to increase the distance cars and light trucks can travel on a gallon of gas every year through 2025. The President noted that although America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change, there’s still work to do. Together, we must continue to work domestically and build upon the progress we’ve made along with other countries – such as the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. President Obama said if we continue to work together, we will leave a better, cleaner, safer future for our children.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Representing the Best of America in the Summer Olympics

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama celebrated the beginning of the Summer Olympics by wishing Team USA the best of luck as they compete on the world stage. The President said Team USA reminds the world why America always sets the example as a nation of immigrants that finds strength by embracing our diversity and finding unity in our national pride. President Obama thanked the American Olympic and Paralympic athletes for representing the best of America. Our Olympians always remind us of our potential – that no matter where you’re from, you can succeed with determination and discipline. That’s not only the Olympic spirit, but also the American spirit.

Weekly Address: It’s Time to Fill the Vacancy on the Supreme Court

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From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, retired Federal Judge Timothy Lewis joined Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Vice President talked about his experience as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which every nominee got a hearing and an up or down vote on the Senate floor. Despite having more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history, Chief Judge Garland’s nomination has now been pending longer than any other Supreme Court nominee who wasn’t withdrawn from consideration. Judge Lewis emphasized that this lack of action is preventing the Supreme Court from fulfilling its duty of interpreting the law and resolving conflicts in the lower courts. The Vice President made clear that for the sake of our Nation, everyone must do their job. That’s why the President did his job by nominating Chief Judge Merrick Garland. Now, it’s time for the Senate Republicans to do their job.

President Barack Obama: “Let’s show the world that we still believe in the promise of this great nation.”

On Wednesday night, President Barack Obama addressed the 2016 Democratic Party nominating convention. He asked us to celebrate what is good about our country – and ourselves – as he laid out his vision for the future; a future where the foundation set by his administration is built upon by President Hillary Clinton.

President Obama:

Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s precisely this contest of idea that pushes our country forward. (Applause.) But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican — and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems — just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.

And that is not the America I know. (Applause.) The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. (Applause.) Sure, we have real anxieties — about paying the bills, and protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, and worry about racial divisions. We are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten; parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities that we had.

All of that is real. We are challenged to do better; to be better.

But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states, as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. […]

This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me — to reject cynicism and reject fear, and to summon what is best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.

Secretary Clinton joined the president on the stage after his speech – the baton is passed, with a hug:

Full transcript below.