This week, President Obama delivered his final weekly address thanking the American people for making him a better President and a better man. Over the past eight years, we have seen the goodness, resilience, and hope of the American people. We’ve seen what’s possible when we come together in the hard, but vital work of self-government – but we can’t take our democracy for granted. Our success as a Nation depends on our participation. It’s up to all of us to be guardians of our democracy, and to embrace the task of continually trying to improve our Nation. Despite our differences, we all share the same title: Citizen. And that is why President Obama looks forward to working by your side, as a citizen, for all of his remaining days.
In this week’s address, President Obama discussed his upcoming farewell address to the nation. In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead. Next week, the President will return to his hometown of Chicago to say a grateful farewell to the nation. This will mark the first time that a President has returned to his hometown to deliver such a speech. The President has said that the running thread through his career has been the notion that when ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together, things change for the better. This belief is at the heart of the American experiment in self-government – and it gives purpose to new generations. Through his address, the President will thank his supporters, celebrate the ways we have changed this country for the better these past eight years, and offer his vision on where we all go from here. The President will deliver his farewell address at 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, January 10, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. To tune in on Tuesday, visit WhiteHouse.gov/live.
In this week’s address, President Obama reflected on the significant progress we’ve made since he took office in 2009. Over the past eight years, we’ve turned the recession into recovery; 20 million more Americans have health insurance; we’ve brought 165,000 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan; we took out Osama bin Laden; and we brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save the planet for our kids. The President reminded us that this extraordinary progress wasn’t inevitable – it was the result of tough choices, and the hard work and resilience of the American people. It will take all of us working together to sustain and build on all that we’ve achieved – that’s how we keep America moving forward.
In this week’s address, the President and the First Lady wished all Americans a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. They reflected on the honor of serving the American people as President and First Lady over the past eight years and the progress that has been made. The President and the First Lady recognized our troops and their families for their service, and they encouraged everyone to visit JoiningForces.gov to find out how to support service members, veterans, and military families in your community.
In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the importance of fair competition in the marketplace. The principle of fair competition isn’t a Democratic or a Republican idea – it’s an American idea. Over the past eight years, the Obama Administration has taken many actions to keep the marketplace fair, including: defending a free, open, and accessible internet; cracking down on conflicts of interest by making sure professionals who give retirement advice do so in the consumer’s best interest; and – just this week – standing up for beef, pork, and poultry growers when they’re treated unfairly. The President believes our free-market economy only works when there’s competition and rules are in place to keep it fair, open, and honest. That’s what this is all about – ensuring that everyone has a chance to compete by leveling the playing field and keeping the rules clear and consistent.
In this week’s address, President Obama discussed Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which began November 1. The deadline to sign up for coverage beginning on January 1 is this Thursday, December 15, and the final deadline to sign up for 2017 coverage is January 31. Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, every American with insurance is covered by the strongest set of consumer protections in history. For every person with insurance, preventive care is available with no cost sharing; there are no more annual or lifetime limits on essential health care; you can’t get charged more just for being a woman; young people can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26; seniors get discounts on their prescriptions; and no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Although Republicans in Congress want to repeal this law, the President emphasized that we should build on the progress we’ve already made. To sign up for health care coverage, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, MacDill! Thank you so much!
Well, first of all, you notice this coincidence — on the scoreboard it says “44” — That happens to be — oh.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you, too. I do. (Applause.)
To General Votel, General Thomas, and most importantly, to all of you — I am here for a very simple reason, and that is just to say thank you, on behalf of the American people. We have been so reliant on the outstanding work that has been done by SOCOM and CENTCOM, the extraordinary leadership from the highest general down to the person who’s just started. I have been consistently in awe of your performance and the way that you’ve carried out your mission. […]
We’ve got amazing military families here who are sacrificing alongside of you every single day. Give them a big round of applause. […]
I know you’re marking an important anniversary. For 75 years — from World War II through Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Afghan and Iraq wars — the men and women of this base have always stepped up when we needed them most. So, on behalf of the entire country, I want to wish you a happy 75th anniversary.
But it has been the privilege and honor of a lifetime to be your Commander-in-Chief — the Commander-in-Chief of the finest fighting force the world has ever known. You are the best. Because we have the best people.
You and your families have inspired us. We’ve been inspired by your patriotism, for stepping forward, for volunteering, for dedicating yourself to a life of service. We’ve been inspired by your devotion, your willingness to sacrifice for all of us. We’ve been inspired by your example. At a time when sometimes the country seems so divided, you remind us that, as Americans, we’re all part of one team. We take care of each other. And you remind us of what patriotism really means.
So I just want to say thank you to all of you. You are going to continue with your mission, but I will tell you that Michelle and I, having had the experience and the honor of working with you, are going to make it one of our missions as civilians to support you in every way that we can.
God bless you. God bless our troops. God bless the United States of America.
He also spoke about his administration’s approach to counterterrorism. Video and transcript below.
In this week’s address, President Obama highlighted the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill in Congress that could help us find a cure for Alzheimer’s, end cancer as we know it, and help those who are seeking treatment for opioid addiction. This week, the House passed the bill overwhelmingly with bipartisan support – and the President called on the Senate to do the same when they vote in a few days. Because that’s what this is all about: coming to a compromise based on the belief that we should seize every chance we have to find cures as soon as possible.
In this week’s address, President Obama wished the American people a happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter our differences, we are still one people, part of something bigger than ourselves. Because what makes us American are the ideals to which we pledge our allegiance. And it’s about our ability to live up to the creed “E Pluribus Unum” — that out of many, we are one.
In this week’s address, Vice President Joe Biden discussed the progress we have made to ensure that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules has a real shot at getting into the middle class and staying there. Over the past eight years, we have made significant progress; from working with Congress to cut taxes for low- and middle-income families, to taking executive authority to provide paid sick leave to more than 1.1 million workers. Since the President’s call to action to increase the minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and 55 cities have raised their minimum wage. The Vice President noted that although we’ve made progress, more work needs to be done to give American workers a chance. Because when they are given the chance, American workers never let their country down.