Political Headlines June 10, 2013: President Barack Obama Nominates Jason Furman to Lead Council of Economic Advisers

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Taps Furman to Lead Council of Economic Advisers

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama on Monday nominated longtime economic adviser Jason Furman as chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, calling him “one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation.”

“When the stakes are highest, there’s no one I’d rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job,” the president said as he stood alongside Furman at a White House ceremony….READ MORE

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Full Text Obama Presidency June 10, 2013: President Barack Obama Nominates Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Nominates Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Source: WH, 6-10-13

President Barack Obama announces his intent to nominate Jason FurmanPresident Barack Obama announces his intent to nominate Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, left, as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to succeed current CEA Chairman Alan Krueger, right, in the State Dining Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

This afternoon, President Obama nominated Jason Furman to replace Alan Krueger as the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Furman, 42, will bring a vast amount of economic experience to the role. In 2009, he joined the Obama administration as an Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council….READ MORE

Remarks by the President Nominating Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Source: WH, 6-10-13 

State Dining Room

2:14 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, all of you.  It’s now been nearly five years since an economic crisis and a punishing recession came together to cost far too many Americans their jobs, and their homes, and the sense of security that they had built up over time.  And by the time I took office, my team and I were facing bubbles that had burst; markets that had cratered; bank after bank on the verge of collapse.  And the heartbeat of American manufacturing, our auto industry, was flatlining.  And all this meant that hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their jobs each month. So this was a scary time. And nobody had any idea where the bottom would be.

Four and a half years later, our businesses have created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 36 months.  The American auto industry has come roaring back.  We’re producing more of our own energy, we’re consuming less that we import from other countries.  Our deficits are shrinking rapidly.  The cost of health care is slowing.  The housing market is rebounding.  People’s retirement savings are growing.  The wealth that was lost from that recession has now been recovered.

All of this progress is a testament to the grit and resolve of the American people, most of all.  But it’s also due in some measurable way to the incredible dedication of the men and women who helped to engineer America’s response.  And two of those people are standing next to me, two very smart economists:  Alan Krueger and Jason Furman.

Today, I can announce that Alan is heading back to teach his beloved students at Michelle’s alma mater — Princeton University.  When they get together all they can talk about is Princeton and they’re all very proud, and those of us who didn’t go to Princeton have to put up with it.  (Laughter.)  And I’m proud to say that Jason Furman has agreed to replace Alan as the Chairman of my Council of Economic Advisers.

During the crisis, Alan stepped in initially to help engineer our response as Assistant Secretary and chief economist at the Treasury Department.  He was so good that we then had to beg him to come back, extend his tour, to serve as the Chairman of my Council of Economic Advisers, where he’s been the driving force behind actions that we’ve taken to help restart the flow of lending to small businesses, and create new jobs, and arm workers with the skills they need to fill them, to reduce income inequality, to rebuild our aging infrastructure, and to bring down our deficits in a responsible way.

And Alan is driven by the basic bargain at the heart of our economy — the idea that hard work should be rewarded.  He’s motivated by the principle that no one who works full-time in the greatest nation on Earth should have to raise their families in poverty or below poverty levels.  His commitment to a rising, thriving middle class shines through in his often passionate presentations and — at least for an economist they’re passionate.  (Laughter.)  And in the policies that he’s pushed, and I know this will continue to be a focus of his research.

Alan’s wife and son are here today, and I know that they’re all looking forward to having Alan back.  (Laughter.)  And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his — “Rockonomics.”  The economics of rock and roll.  This is something that Alan actually cares about — seriously, on Wednesday he’s giving a speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He’s got a t-shirt under his suit — (laughter) — with a big tongue sticking out.  (Laughter.)  Don’t show it.  (Laughter and applause.)

So Alan has become one of my most trusted advisors.  He’s become a wonderful friend.  I’m sad to see him go.  But I know that he will continue to do outstanding work and, fortunately, he’ll still be available for us to consult with him periodically because he’s a constant font of good ideas about how we can further help the American people.  So thank you very much, Alan, for all the good work that you’ve done.  (Applause.)

I’m also proud to nominate another outstanding economist to take his place.  Jason Furman is one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation, don’t take my word for it — you can talk to other economists who know a lot more than I do about it.  He’s won the respect and admiration from his peers across the political spectrum.  His Ph.D. thesis advisor, Greg Mankiw, chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush.  Nobel Prize Winner Joe Stiglitz, on the other side of the economic spectrum, hired Jason to work for the CEA under President Clinton.

After leaving President Clinton’s White House, Jason finished his Ph.D. in economics, quickly acquired a reputation as a world-class scholar and researcher.  But public service kept calling, and Jason kept answering that call because he believes deeply in it.  So from working at the World Bank on issues of inequality and international finance to developing new proposals to strengthen our health and retirement programs, he helped to shape some of our most important economic policy debates.

And when I asked him to join my team in 2008, even though his baby daughter — that’s right — (laughter) — you were this big — had just been born, he agreed to serve once again.  And over the last five years I’ve come to trust not only his head, but also his heart, because Jason never forgets who it is that we’re fighting for:  middle-class families, folks who are working hard to climb their way into the middle class, the next generation.

And when the stakes are highest, there’s no one I’d rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job.  He understands all sides of an argument, not just one side of it.  He’s worked tirelessly on just about every major economic challenge of the past four and a half years, from averting a second depression, to fighting for tax cuts that help millions of working families make ends meet, to creating new incentives for businesses to hire, to reducing our deficits in a balanced way that benefits the middle class.

And so, Eve, Jason’s wife, who is an accomplished writer herself, has put up with a lot of hours with Jason away.  Henry and Louisa, who are here, they’ve made a lot of sacrifices so that their husband and dad could be here working for the American people.  So I appreciate you guys for sharing daddy.  (Laughter.)  Just a little bit longer.  (Laughter.)  And the reason it’s important is because while we’ve cleared away the rubble of crisis and laid a new foundation for growth, our work is nowhere near done.

Even though the economy is growing, too many middle-class families still feel like they’re working harder and harder and can’t get ahead.  Inequality is still growing in our society.  Too many young people aren’t sure whether they’ll be able to match the living standards of their parents.  We have too many kids in poverty in this country still.

There are some basic steps that we can take to strengthen the position of working people in this country, to help our economy grow faster, to make sure that it’s more competitive.  And some of that requires political will.  Some of it requires an abiding passion for making sure everybody in this country has a fair shot.  But it also requires good economists.  I know it’s called a dismal science, but I don’t find it that dismal.  (Laughter.)  I think it’s actually pretty interesting.  Alan and Jason appreciate that.  (Laughter.)  So sometimes the rest of my staff thinks, oh, Obama is getting together with his economists and they’re going to have a wonkfest for the next hour.  (Laughter.)

But this stuff matters.  It’s not just numbers on a page.  It makes a difference in terms of whether or not people get a chance at life, and also, how do we optimize opportunity and make sure that it — we don’t have a contradiction between an efficient, growing, free-market economy, and one in which everybody gets a fair shot and where we’re caring for the vulnerable and the disabled and folks in our society who need help.

So a growing economy that creates good middle-class jobs, that rewards hard work and responsibility, that’s our North Star.  Jason shares that focus.  I know Alan shares that passion.  And Jason’s new role as the Chairman of the Economic — Council of Economic Advisors, he’ll be working with some of our country’s leading economists, including Jim Stock, who has joined us.  And I’m relying on them to provide analysis and recommendations with just one thing in mind: What’s going to do the most good for the most people in this country — not what’s best for a political party, not what’s best for a special interest.  I don’t have another election.  It’s not what’s best for me — what’s best for our middle class, and everybody who is working hard to get there.  That’s what the American people deserve.

So I would urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Jason Furman. And I want to, again, thank Alan for his outstanding service.  I want to thank Jason and his family for continuing to serve the country they love.  And for all the economists in the room, thank you for the occasionally under-appreciated work that you do.  (Laughter.)

Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
2:25 P.M EDT

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: Hillary Clinton Joins Twitter, Posts First Tweet

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Hillary Clinton Joins Twitter, Posts First Tweet

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

ABC / Martin H. Simon

Hillary Clinton has officially joined Twitter.

After years of holding out, @HillaryClinton is in fact the former first lady turned Secretary of State. Or in her own words: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 10, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

It’s Been 50 Years Since the Equal Pay Act

Source: WH, 6-10-13

President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (June 10, 2013)President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, in the East Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

It’s been 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, but its goals today stand unrealized. In 2013, full-time working women still make less than men on average.

This morning, President Obama spoke at an event to mark the anniversary….READ MORE

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Source: WH, 6-10-13

President Obama Speaks on the Equal Pay Act

President Obama Speaks on the Equal Pay Act

Today, we marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act with an event at the White House hosted by President Obama, the release of an important report from the National Equal Pay Task Force on the last fifty years since the Act was signed, a new web page with resources and information for women to make sure they’re paid equally, and a new video that gives an overview of our progress in equal pay.

On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, a milestone piece of legislation that requires men and women receive equal pay for equal work. However, fifty years later, women are still only earning approximately 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and even less for women of color, so we are far from ready to declare victory.

To mark today’s anniversary, President Obama spoke at the event attended by leaders in the government, private sector and civil society who are all committed to  building a 21st century workplace….READ MORE

Remarks by the President on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

Source: WH, 6-10-13 

East Room

11:53 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Everybody have a seat.  Welcome to the White House.  It is wonderful to see all of you.  Thank you, Joe, for that kind introduction.  Thank you, Valerie, for the great leadership you’ve shown on this.  And to all of you — business leaders and advocates, members of Congress, who are here, members of my administration — I am so glad that all of you could be here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

When you think about it, we’re not just celebrating a law.  We’re honoring the heroes who made that law possible — the fierce determination of Americans who saw a wrong and worked to right it.  There were women who were sick and tired of being sick and tired — (laughter) — of seeing the same jobs advertised with different pay scales.  Women who were tired of being treated like second-class workers.  Women like Dorothy Height and Congresswoman Edna Kelly — (applause) — and Esther Peterson, all who pushed to make the Equal Pay Act a reality.

And, today, we recognize the work of those brave women.  But until equal pay truly is a reality, we’re also here to recommit ourselves to the work that remains to be done.

Fifty years ago today, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, right here in the White House.  He said it was basic to our democracy.  It’s the idea that all of us are created equal.  And as I said in my inaugural address this year, our journey to equality is not complete until our wives, our mothers, our daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.

The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average.  Today, it’s about 77 cents.  So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents.  It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina.  So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I assume everybody thinks we can do better.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We can.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, we can.  (Laughter and applause.)

Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work.  Now, that’s wrong.  I don’t want that for Malia and Sasha.  I don’t want that for your daughters.  I don’t want that to be an example that any child growing up ends up accepting as somehow the norm.  I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.

Now, what’s important to realize also, though, is this is not just an issue of fairness.  This is a family issue.  This is a middle-class issue.  This is an economic issue.  Just last week, a report confirmed what we already know:  that women are increasingly the breadwinners for American families.  Women are now the primary source of income for nearly 40 percent of American families.  Forty percent — almost half.

That’s not something to panic about, or to be afraid about  -– that’s a sign of the progress and the strides that we’ve made.  But what it does mean is that when more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn’t just be getting a little bit of bacon.  (Laughter.)  If they’re bringing home more of the income and that income is less than a fair share, that means that families have less to get by on for childcare or health care, or gas or groceries.  It makes it harder for middle-class families to save and retire.  It leaves small businesses with customers who have less money in their pockets — which is not good for the economy.  That’s not a good example to set for our sons and daughters, but it’s also not a good recipe for long-term, stable economic growth.

So to anyone who says 77 cents on the dollar sounds pretty close to equal, I say, you’re math is bad.  (Laughter.)  You wouldn’t like it if your vote only counted in three out of four elections.  (Laughter.)  You wouldn’t like it if your daughters or sons went to school but they only got taught three out of four days a week, or four out of five days a week.  You wouldn’t like it if you were forced to work every fourth day without pay.  Men would be complaining about that.  (Laughter.)  They wouldn’t think that was equal or fair.

So this is the 21st century.  It’s time to close that gap.  That’s why the first bill I signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  (Applause.)

That’s why, as Valerie mentioned, I created the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls, which is working to close that gap.  (Applause.)  And Valerie’s council — this council is doing a great job in bringing the experiences of women into our federal policies as well.

It’s why I established a National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal pay laws, which, by the way, they’re doing at a record rate.  And, through education and outreach, they’re also helping employers develop tools to comply with the nation’s equal pay laws on their own.  And that’s why, earlier this year, I signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government to close that gap for good for its employees.  (Applause.)  We have to set an example.

It’s also why we’re using the latest technology to help workers get the information they need to figure out if they’re underpaid.  And thanks to innovators like Rachel and Laquitta, who are up here, we can now say, “There’s an app for that.”  (Laughter.)

But as long as this gap persists, we’re going to have more work to do.  And now is the time to keep up the work that all those trailblazers started 50 years ago.

Now is the time for Congress to step up and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so women have better tools to fight for equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)

Now is the time for us to encourage more young women to pursue math and science education.  Now is the time for us to hire more STEM teachers so all our children are prepared for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of tomorrow.

Now is the time to make sure businesses offer men and women the flexibility to be good employees and good parents.  And I really want to commend Deloitte and SumAll, and the CEOs who are with us here today, they are creating exactly the kinds of innovative workplaces that help hard-working Americans thrive, and they’re committed to pay equity.  And so when you have a chance to talk to Joe, say thank you.  And the CEOs who are out there, if you want a first-class company that is tapping into the talents and resources of all your employees, make sure that you’re putting in place systems so that they all feel like they’re being treated fairly and equally.  It’s a simple principle and it’s a powerful one.

And now is the time to make sure that we are putting in place a minimum wage that you can live on — (applause) — because 60 percent of those making the minimum wage are women.

If we do all this — and this will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead, no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is and who you love.

That’s what I’m going to keep on fighting for.  That’s what you’re going to keep on fighting for.  And we have all of you and your predecessors to thank for the incredible progress this country has made in eliminating the barriers and injustices that might keep our daughters from enjoying the same rights, same chances, and same freedoms as our sons.  I’m proud of you.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END
12:02 P.M. EDT

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: NSA Leaker Edward Snowden a ‘National Hero’ on White House Petition

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

NSA Leaker a ‘National Hero’ on White House Petition

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

petitions.whitehouse.gov

Within hours of Edward Snowden’s revealing that he was the source of the National Security Agency surveillance leak last week, thousands of people had signed a petition on the White House website asking for a “full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed.”….READ MORE

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: Edward Snowden Claims to Be Source of Leaked NSA Documents

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Edward Snowden Claims to Be Source of Leaked NSA Documents

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

The Guardian via Getty Images

The source of a series of top secret leaks from the National Security Agency has stepped out of the shadows and identified himself as ex-CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden, saying he was standing up against the U.S. government’s “horrifying” surveillance capabilities.

“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” the 29-year-old told the British newspaper The Guardian, which broke the news in a series of headline-grabbing articles on NSA surveillance late last week.  “That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”…READ MORE

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