Weekly Address: It's Time to Help Women and Working Families

11/01/2014

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
November 1, 2014

Hi, everybody. On Friday, I had a discussion with working women in Rhode Island about the economic challenges they face in their own lives -- challenges shared by many of you.

Thanks to the work we've all put in, our economy has come a long way these past six years. Over the past 55 months, our businesses have added 10.3 million new jobs. For the first time in six years, the unemployment rate is below 6 percent. And on Thursday, we learned that over the past six months, our economy has grown at its fastest pace since 2003.

But the gains of a growing economy aren't yet felt by everyone. So we've got to harness this momentum, and make the right choices so that everyone who works hard can get ahead.

In recent weeks, I've talked about these choices, from raising the minimum wage to creating new jobs in construction and manufacturing. Today, I want to focus on what I discussed with those women -- the choices we need to make to help more women get ahead in today's economy.

Right now, women make up almost half of our workers. More women are their family's main breadwinner than ever before. So the simple truth is, when women succeed, America succeeds. And we should be choosing policies that benefit women -- because that benefits all of us.

Women deserve fair pay. Even though it's 2014, there are women still earning less than men for doing the same work. We don't have second-class citizens in this country -- we shouldn't in the workplace, either. So let's make sure women earn equal pay for equal work, and have a fair shot at success.

Women deserve to be able to take time off to care for a new baby, an ailing parent, or take a sick day for themselves without running into hardship. So let's make sure all Americans have access to paid family leave.

Pregnant workers deserve to be treated fairly. Even today, women can be fired for taking too many bathroom breaks, or forced on unpaid leave just for being pregnant. That's wrong -- and we have to choose policies that ensure pregnant workers are treated with dignity and respect.

New parents deserve quality, affordable childcare. There's nothing like the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your kids are safe while you're at work. And the benefits that children get out of early enrichment can pay off for a lifetime. But in many states, sending your kid to daycare costs more than sending them to a public university. So let's start demanding Pre-K for our kids.

And when most low-wage workers are women, but Congress hasn't passed a minimum wage increase in seven years, it's long past time that women deserve a raise. About 28 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour. And more than half of those workers are women. The local businesses where these workers spend their money would benefit, too. So let's do this -- let's give America a raise.

All of these policies are common sense. All of them are within our reach. We've just got to speak up and choose them. Because they'll build a stronger America for all of us.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

- Issue: -

Government

Human Rights News

President Obama Weekly Address: Focused on the Fight Against Ebola

10/25/2014

WASHINGTON, DC -- In this week's address, the President discussed the measures we are taking to respond to Ebola cases at home, while containing the epidemic at its source in West Africa. This week we continued to focus on domestic preparedness, with the creation of new CDC guidelines and the announcement of new travel measures ensuring all travelers from the three affected countries are directed to and screened at one of five airports. The President emphasized that it's important to follow the facts, rather than fear, as New Yorkers did yesterday when they stuck to their daily routine. Ebola is not an easily transmitted disease, and America is leading the world in the fight to stamp it out in West Africa.

Economic News

Political Parties

democratic party symbol

Democratic Party Platform

COUNTERING EMERGING THREATS

December 22, 2014, Monday 9:34 a.m.

Issue - Public Safety

As we have taken decisive steps to address today's dangers from terrorism and to prevent future nuclear proliferation, we have also sought to bolster homeland security and head off emerging challenges, ranging from cyber and biological threats to climate change and transnational crime.

Republican Party Symbol

Republican Party Platform

Tax Relief to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs

December 22, 2014, Monday 9:34 a.m.

Issue - Taxes & Spending

Taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen's freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations.

Libertarian Party Symbol

Libertarian Party Platform

2.9 Health Care

December 22, 2014, Monday 9:34 a.m.

Issue - Health

We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Issues

ENERGY STAR Day: The Power of the Little Blue Label

10/28/2014

Let's start with a few numbers:
$300 billion in savings. That's how much consumers and businesses have saved on utility bills in the last 22 years because of the ENERGY STAR program.

Two billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided, or the equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 420 million cars, over the last 22 years. Thanks to our little blue ENERGY STAR label, folks are doing their part to reduce their greenhouse emissions and combat climate change.

Since President Obama took office, ENERGY STAR has helped American consumers and businesses save over one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately $110 billion on their utility bills.
That's one powerful little label.

- Issue: Energy-

Federal Reserve Announces End of Quantitative Easing

10/29/2014

The Committee judges that there has been a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market since the inception of its current asset purchase program. Moreover, the Committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability. Accordingly, the Committee decided to conclude its asset purchase program this month. The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

- Issue: Finance-

Recap of President Obama's Week

West Wing Week 11/07/14

11/07/2014

This week, the President urged Congress to support his policies to help women and working families succeed, awarded the Medal of Honor to a heroic Civil War veteran, invited military families to a concert on the South Lawn, and, of course, greeted trick-or-treaters on Halloween. That's October 31st to November 6th or, "I'm Uncle Barack."

- Issue: -