Full Text Obama Presidency January 17, 2014: President Barack Obama Speech at Appropriations, 2014 Spending Bill Signing

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Appropriations Bill Signing

Source: WH, 1-17-13 

New Executive Office Building
Washington, D.C.

5:05 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Have a seat, have a seat.  Now, this is not usually where I do bill signings.  (Laughter.)  But in addition to the opportunity to take a walk — and whenever I get a chance to take a walk I seize it — we wanted to make sure that we did this bill signing here because it represents the extraordinary work of so many of you.

Obviously, over the last several years, we’ve been dealing with the need to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.  And that involved making sure we were investing in, first and foremost, the American people; that we were helping businesses stay open; that we were helping to make sure the financial system was back on track — that we reformed it so that we wouldn’t see the kind of crisis that we saw again; and most importantly, that we did everything we can to lay the foundation so that we have a middle class in this country that is thriving and growing, and we’ve got ladders of opportunity for everybody who wants to work hard and get ahead.

And we’ve made remarkable progress over the last five years, but we have not made enough.  Part of the reason we hadn’t made as much progress as we needed to was we had a series of self-inflicted wounds in this town in which a mindless sequester impeded growth, in which we were governing by crisis and brinksmanship.  And not only did that slow our ability to generate a full recovery, and not only did that hamper economic growth, but it also had an enormous impact on all of you.  And I know the Office of Management and Budget was one of the hardest hit during the sequester and a lot of you were furloughed.  A lot of you who remained during some of these furloughs had to carry extraordinary burdens, and so it took a personal toll on you and it took a personal toll on your family.

And yet, in part because of your dedication and your strength and your devotion to doing your jobs well, in part because of the strong leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Rogers — Chairman Rogers, we now have a bill that will fund our government, all our vital services, make sure that we are able to provide the needs for our veterans; to make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to advance our research agenda in this country and innovate; to make sure that we’re investing in the job training that young people desperately need in order to get the skills to find that good-paying job.

Across the board, our government is going to be operating without hopefully too many glitches over the next year.  And not only is that good for all of you and all the dedicated public servants in the federal government, but most importantly, it’s good for the American people because it means that we can focus our attention where we need to — on growing this economy and making sure that everybody gets a fair shot as long as they try.

We would not be here and we would not be able to sign this legislation if it hadn’t been for your work and your dedication.  And so this is my way of saying thank you.  I want to say thank you to Sylvia and Brian and the whole team here, and everybody represented because, goodness gracious, that is a big piece of business.  (Laughter.)  That is a big bill.  (Laughter.)  And I’m always interested and I’m like, where do they have the boxes for the really big ones?  (Laughter.)  Somebody makes them.

But what that represents is just hours and hours and weekends and nights where people are really paying attention and sweating the details.  And that’s what you do.  So these aren’t numbers; these are homeless folks who are getting housing.  These are a laid-off worker who suddenly is enrolling in that community college and finding that job that allows them to save a home and get back on track.  That’s some young scientist who is maybe going to find a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s.  That’s what those numbers represent.  And that’s because of you.

So thank you for your good work.  And without further delay, so you guys can start your weekends — (laughter) — and I’ve got to get back because somebody is having a birthday today.  (Laughter.)  I’ve got to make sure I pay them some attention.  I’m going to go ahead and sit down and sign the bill.  (Applause.)

END
5:10 P.M. EST

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Full Text Obama Presidency July 27, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at Signing of the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama Signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

Source: WH, 7-27-12President Barack Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act (July 27, 2012)President Barack Obama signs S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act in the Oval Office, July 27, 2012. With the President from left are: Richard Stone, Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Rep. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Howard Friedman, past Chair of the Board, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC);, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., and Lee Rosenberg, Chairman of the Board, AIPAC. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

This morning, President Obama signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act with an eye toward helping to strengthen the military edge Israel currently enjoys.

“I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues — intelligence, military, technology,” the President said. “And, in many ways, what this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakeable commitment to Israel security.”

The cooperation between the United States and Israel includes joint training exercises, offering access to U.S. military hardware, and direct foreign military financing.

To learn more, check out the fact sheet.

Remarks by the President at Signing of the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

Oval Office

10:24 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Hope you guys are all staying cool.  Well, listen, I just wanted to welcome these outstanding leaders to the Oval Office.  I want to in particular acknowledge Congressman Howard Berman and Senator Barbara Boxer, who have done outstanding work in shepherding through this bipartisan piece of legislation that underscores our unshakeable commitment to Israel.

As many of you know, I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues — intelligence, military, technology.  And, in many ways, what this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakeable commitment to Israel security.

I’m also very pleased that this week we are going to be able to announce $70 million in additional spending — $70 billion [million]*, excuse me, in additional spending for Iron Dome.  This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for the Israeli families.  It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel.  And it is testimony to the leadership of the folks sitting here that we’re going to be able to lock in that fund to assure that that program continues and that we are standing by our friends in Israel when it comes to these kinds of attacks.

Let me just close by saying that the tragic events that we saw in Bulgaria emphasize the degree to which this continues to be a challenge not just for Israel, but for the entire world — preventing terrorist attacks and making sure the people of Israel are not targeted.

And I hope that, as I sign as this bill, once again everybody understands how committed all of us are — Republicans and Democrats — as Americans to our friends in making sure that Israel is safe and secure.

Leon Panetta, our Secretary of Defense, will be traveling to Israel to further consult and find additional ways that we can ensure such cooperation at a time when, frankly, the region is experiencing heightened tensions.

So, with that, let me sign this bill.  Again, I want to thank all who are standing beside me for their outstanding leadership and their outstanding work on this issue.

(The bill is signed.)

Let me make sure I’m using enough pens.  (Laughter.)  There you go.  Thank you.

END
10:28 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency May 30, 2012: President Barack Obama Signs Renewal of the Export-Import Bank — Speech Transcript

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY
& THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES
& SPEECHES

President Obama Signs Renewal of the Export-Import Bank

Source: WH, 5-30-12

President Barack Obama signs the Export-Import Bill (May 30, 2012)
President Barack Obama signs the Export-Import Bill during a ceremony in South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, May 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Through the course of the past twelve months, U.S. companies exported $2.15 trillion worth of goods.

That figure breaks a record — it’s a 36 percent increase from the level of exports in 2009, and in fact, it’s the most we’ve ever exported in one, 12-month period. Some 9.7 million people went to work because of these exports — which is itself an increase of 1.2 million export-related jobs since 2009.

And part of the reason for that success has been the Export-Import Bank. The Bank, which is 78 years old, offers assistance to companies around the world that buy American products — in order to help boost the sale of those goods.

The Bank’s charter was set to expire at the end of the month, but with a bipartisan agreement from Congress, the President was able to extend the Bank’s mandate through September of 2014.

“By reauthorizing support for the Export-Import Bank, we’re helping thousands of businesses sell more of their products and services overseas,” the President said. “And in the process, we’re helping them create jobs here at home.”

Remarks by the President at Export-Import Bank Bill Signing

Source: WH, 5-30-12

South Court Auditorium

11:35 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Have a seat.  I want to begin by recognizing the members of Congress who are here today.  All of them did outstanding work on this legislation.  In particular, I want to thank Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Maloney, as well as Congressman Miller, who helped to make this day possible.  Their leadership, their hard work made this bill a reality.

We’ve talked a lot recently about the fundamental choice that we face as a country.  America can either settle for an economy where just a few are doing well and a lot of folks are struggling to get by.  Or we can build the kind of economy where everybody is getting a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same rules.

And part of building that broad-based economy with a strong middle class is making sure that we’re not just known as a nation that consumes.  We’ve got to be a nation that produces, a nation that sells.  Our middle class was created by workers who made and sold the best products in the world.  Our communities and our economy have always done better when we shipped more goods than anybody else, stamped with that phrase:  “Made in America.”  And I want us to be that nation again.  I want us to be that nation in perpetuity.

Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling American exports over five years.  Today, with the trade agreements that we’ve signed into law, with the help of some of these same members of Congress, we’re making historic progress.  Soon, there are going to be millions of new customers for our goods and services in Korea, in Colombia and Panama.  That way, even though we got some Hyundais over here, we’re also going to have some Chryslers and Fords and Chevys in Seoul that are imported from Detroit and Toledo and Chicago.

So I’m going to go anywhere I can in the world to create new markets for American goods.  And we’re also not going to stand by when our competitors aren’t following the rules.  We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate of the previous administration.  We’ve set up a Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate unfair trade practices that are taking place anyplace — anywhere in the world.  Anytime other countries skirt the rules or put our workers and our businesses in an unfair position, we’re going to take action.

We’re also making sure that American businesses have better access to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live beyond our shores.  And that’s why the bipartisan bill that I’m about to sign is so important.  By reauthorizing support for the Export-Import Bank, we’re helping thousands of businesses sell more of their products and services overseas and, in the process, we’re helping them create jobs here at home.  And we’re doing that at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

Over the past few years, I’ve met with a lot of business leaders and a lot of workers across America, from companies like Boeing to Dow Chemical to smaller companies that are also interested in accessing foreign markets.  And they’ve told me how critical support from the Ex-Im Bank has been in competing more effectively in the global marketplace.  As the head of the bank, we owe our thanks to Fred Hochberg, who is here on stage, for doing such an outstanding job.

Just to give you a couple of examples, Boeing relied on support from the Ex-Im Bank to strike a deal selling more than 200 planes to one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world.  And that translates into thousands of jobs here in the United States.  As long as our global competitors are providing financing for their exports, we’ve got to do the same.  So I’m glad that Congress got this done.  I’m grateful to members of both parties who came together and put the interests of the American people first.

Now we’ve got to do more.  Obviously, the world economy is still in a delicate place because of what’s going on in Europe and the fact that some of the emerging countries have been slowing down.  It is absolutely critical for us to make sure that we are full speed ahead.

I’ve been traveling around the country talking about a “To-Do” list for Congress with some commonsense ideas that historically have had bipartisan support to help continue growth and job creation.  And just like the bill I’m about to sign, those policies can help strengthen the economy and put more folks back to work.  We shouldn’t have to wait until an election to do some of this business.

A couple of points.  Number one, it still makes no sense for us to be giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs and factories overseas.  The great news is there are a lot of companies that are now thinking about insourcing and moving jobs back to the United States.  We are more competitive than ever.  Our workers are more productive than ever.  We want to help provide incentives for folks to make those decisions.  So it’s time for Congress to take tax breaks away that allow for deductions moving jobs overseas and instead cover moving expenses for companies that are interested in bringing jobs back to America.

Number two, Congress should give every responsible homeowner the opportunity to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage.  We’re starting to see a little bit of stabilizing in some of the housing markets around the country, but that continues to be a significant drag on our economy.  But when families are able to take advantage of these historically low rates, it makes a difference.  It puts money in their pockets or it may help them rebuild some of their equity.  It gives them more confidence and the housing market stabilizes further.

We’ve done everything that we can do administratively to help some portion of homeowners around the country refinance.  But every responsible homeowner in America should have a chance to save money.  That’s not just good, by the way, for the housing industry, that’s good for all businesses, because it means consumers are going to be out there with a little extra money in their pockets.

Number three, Congress still has the opportunity to do more to help small business owners who create most of the new jobs in America.  So we want to give them a tax break for hiring more workers and providing those workers higher wages.

Fourth, Congress should extend the tax credits for clean energy companies that are set to expire at the end of the year.  This is something that a lot of members, both Democrats and Republicans, should be able to appreciate, because wind power, solar power, biofuels — those aren’t partisan issues — that’s a job sector that is growing across the country.  But right now, there is too much uncertainty because we haven’t gone ahead and locked down some of these tax credits.

These companies are putting folks back to work and they’re helping us break our dependence on foreign oil.  There are members, again, of both parties that support these tax credits.  And tens of thousands of jobs are at stake.  So I think it’s very important for us to make sure that we move forward on that.

Fifth — and I’m going to speak to this on Friday — Congress should create a Veterans Job Corps so we can put our returning heroes back to work as cops and firefighters and park rangers.  We just observed Memorial Day, an extraordinarily moving Memorial Day — we were down at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial commemorating 50 years since that difficult and challenging war.  And one thing we learned from that was that we’ve got to treat our heroes with the respect and dignity that they have earned.

And our veterans are some of the most highly-trained, highly-educated, highly-skilled workers we’ve got.  These are Americans who want to keep serving now that they’re back.  So we’ve got to make sure when they come home, they come home to new jobs and new opportunities.  So there are a number of things that my administration can do on our own and we’re going to keep on doing them, but it gets a whole lot easier if we get some help from Congress.  And this is a great example, a great model of what can happen.

America has come through some tough times together, and it’s going to take more time than any of us would like to get to a place where all of us have fully recovered from the worst recession in our lives.  There will continue to be hurdles and there will continue to be some headwinds that we can’t fully control, but there are plenty of things we can control.  And there are plenty of solutions within our reach.  There are steps that we can take right now to speed up this recovery, to help create jobs, to restore some of the financial security that families have lost.  It’s within our control to do the right thing and do it now.

So my message to Congress is thank you and congratulations on authorizing Ex-Im Bank to continue on its extraordinary mission.  We’ve got more work to do.  I hope this ends up being a model for the kind of progress that we can make in the months to come and the years to come.  So with that, it is my great pleasure to sign this bill into law.  (Applause.)

(The bill is signed.)

END
11:48 A.M. EDT

There are 5 versions of Bill Number H.R.2072 for the 112th Congress. Usually, the last item is the most recent.

1 . Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011 (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.2072.IH][PDF]
2 . Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011 (Reported in House – RH)[H.R.2072.RH][PDF]
3 . Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 (Engrossed in House [Passed House] – EH)[H.R.2072.EH][PDF]
4 . Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 (Placed on Calendar Senate – PCS)[H.R.2072.PCS][PDF]
5 . Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate] – ENR)[H.R.2072.ENR][PDF]

For Immediate Release
May 30, 2012

FACT SHEET: President Obama to Sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Source: WH, 5-30-12

Will Extend the Bank’s Authority Through 2014 and Increase Its Portfolio Cap to $140 Billion to Help U.S. Businesses Sell Their Products and Services Around the World

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama will sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012, a bipartisan bill that will reauthorize the Bank to continue financing U.S. exports, and ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses, at no cost to American taxpayers.

The President believes that a critical component of building stronger and more durable domestic economic growth is ensuring that U.S. workers and businesses can compete successfully in global markets.  Doing so requires promoting U.S. export of goods and services overseas, which is why the President launched the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010, with the goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years while supporting two million new export-related jobs.  This legislation will allow the Export-Import Bank to continue financing U.S. exports to meet global competition.

America continues to make historic progress under the NEI, despite challenges in the global economy.  U.S. exports over the past 12 months are higher than any previous 12-month period in history, reaching $2.15 trillion, over 36% above the level of exports in 2009.  This record-breaking level of exports supported 9.7 million exports-related jobs in 2011, an increase of 1.2 million exports-related jobs since 2009.

The Export-Import Bank is playing an important role in contributing to this progress.  Last year, the Bank set export finance records for the third straight year. Overall authorizations hit $32.7 billion, supporting $40 billion in export sales and 290,000 American jobs at more than 3,600 U.S. companies.  More than 85% of these transactions were for small businesses.  The Bank is on track to meet the growing demand for export financing this fiscal year, as well, and small business transactions currently account for more than 22% of the Bank’s overall authorizations.

As we create export opportunities for our businesses and workers, the President will continue to ensure that U.S. exporters have a level global playing field on which to compete.  The U.S. will pursue its longstanding goal of minimizing trade-distorting financing of exports from our global competitors.  However, as long as our global competitors provide official export financing, America will do the same.

Under the NEI, the Administration has been working tirelessly on behalf of U.S. exporters since day one.  Through the direct counseling of more than 12,000 U.S. companies, federal trade agencies have supported nearly $140 billion in U.S. exports, and through the recent launch of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, the President has brought an unprecedented level of focus and cooperation around investigating unfair trade practices around the world.  The Administration has also worked to expand access to overseas markets for U.S. exporters by resolving outstanding issues with pending trade agreements, negotiating new market access, and deepening engagement in major emerging markets, such as the Free Trade Agreements the President signed with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

Key Elements of the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

The reauthorization legislation includes the following provisions:

  • Extending the Bank’s Authority: The Bank’s authority to approve new export financing is extended to September 30, 2014.
  • Increasing the Bank’s Portfolio Limit:  The Bank’s financing authority is increased immediately to $120 billion and will be further stepped up to $140 billion, while requiring the Bank to submit a business plan and maintain a low default rate.
  • Focusing the Bank’s Mission:  The Bank will provide additional information on its business planning, default rates, and its support for small business and the U.S. textile industry.  In addition, the GAO will evaluate the role of the Bank in the world economy, the Bank’s risk management, and its underwriting and fraud prevention procedures.
  • Enhancing Transparency:  The Bank will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on transactions of more than $100 million through Federal Register notification.
  • Updating Technology:  The Bank is given authority to use part of its fee income to update its information technology systems.
  • Reviewing Existing Policies:  The Bank will conduct reviews of its economic impact procedures and domestic content policies.

Full Text Obama Presidency April 5, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act Bill Signing

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The JOBS Act: Encouraging Startups, Supporting Small Businesses

Source: WH, 4-5-12

President Barack Obama signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

President Barack Obama signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which includes key initiatives the President proposed last fall to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Earlier this week, I was back in my home state of Iowa talking with tech entrepreneurs about the Administration’s progress leveraging technology to innovate with less, improve transparency and efficiency, and better serve the American people. As fellow tech junkies, we spent plenty of time talking about Government’s role in open data, application programming interfaces to Federal systems and more. But we also had a chance to talk more broadly about the vital role start-ups and small businesses play in strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and nurturing innovation.

President Obama recognizes the critical role these types of high-growth startups and innovative entrepreneurs play in creating an economy that’s built to last. That’s why back in the fall – and again in his State of the Union Address – the President put forward a series of specific proposals to ease regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from accessing the capital they need to grow and create jobs. Today, the President put many of those proposals to work when he signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act – a bipartisan bill that will help encourage startups and support our nation’s small businesses.

As the President said at today’s signing, “this bill is a potential gamechanger” for America’s entrepreneurs. For the first time, Americans will be able to go online and invest in small businesses and entrepreneurs. Not only will this help small businesses and high-growth enterprises raise capital more efficiently, but it will also allow small and young firms to expand and hire faster.

Whether you’re in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, or Silicon Prairie, this bill is a win-win for small businesses, for the economy, and for the American people.

Steven VanRoekel is the Federal Chief Information Officer – for more information visit www.cio.gov.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President at JOBS Act Bill Signing

Rose Garden

2:36 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Hello, everybody.  Please, please have a seat.  Good afternoon.  I want to thank all of you for coming, and in particular, I want to thank the members of Congress who are here today from both parties, whose leadership and hard work made this bill a reality.

One of the great things about America is that we are a nation of doers — not just talkers, but doers.  We think big.  We take risks.  And we believe that anyone with a solid plan and a willingness to work hard can turn even the most improbable idea into a successful business.  So ours is a legacy of Edisons and Graham Bells, Fords and Boeings, of Googles and of Twitters.  This is a country that’s always been on the cutting edge.  And the reason is that America has always had the most daring entrepreneurs in the world.

Some of them are standing with me today.  When their ideas take root, we get inventions that can change the way we live.  And when their businesses take off, more people become employed because, overall, new businesses account for almost every new job that’s created in America.

Now, because we’re still recovering from one of the worst recessions in our history, the last few years have been pretty tough on entrepreneurs.  Credit has been tight.  And no matter how good their ideas are, if an entrepreneur can’t get a loan from a bank or backing from investors, it’s almost impossible to get their businesses off the ground.  And that’s why back in September, and again in my State of the Union, I called on Congress to remove a number of barriers that were preventing aspiring entrepreneurs from getting funding.  And this is one useful and important step along that journey.

Here’s what’s going to happen because of this bill.  For business owners who want to take their companies to the next level, this bill will make it easier for you to go public.  And that’s a big deal because going public is a major step towards expanding and hiring more workers.  It’s a big deal for investors as well, because public companies operate with greater oversight and greater transparency.

And for start-ups and small businesses, this bill is a potential game changer.  Right now, you can only turn to a limited group of investors — including banks and wealthy individuals — to get funding.  Laws that are nearly eight decades old make it impossible for others to invest.  But a lot has changed in 80 years, and it’s time our laws did as well.  Because of this bill, start-ups and small business will now have access to a big, new pool of potential investors — namely, the American people.  For the first time, ordinary Americans will be able to go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in.

Of course, to make sure Americans don’t get taken advantage of, the websites where folks will go to fund all these start-ups and small businesses will be subject to rigorous oversight.  The SEC is going to play an important role in implementing this bill.  And I’ve directed my administration to keep a close eye as this law goes into effect and to provide me with regular updates.

It also means that, to all the members of Congress who are here today, I want to say publicly before I sign this bill, it’s going to be important that we continue to make sure that the SEC is properly funded, just like all our other regulatory agencies, so that they can do the job and make sure that our investors get adequate protections.

This bill represents exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in Washington to help our economy.  I’ve always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government.  Our job is to help our companies grow and hire.  That’s why I pushed for this bill.  That’s why I know that the bipartisan group of legislators here pushed for this bill.  That’s why I’ve cut taxes for small businesses over 17 times.  That’s why every day I’m fighting to make sure America is the best place on Earth to do business.

Our economy has begun to turn a corner, but we’ve still got a long way to go.  We’ve still got a lot of Americans out there who are looking for a job or looking for a job that pays better than the one that they’ve got.  And we’re going to have to keep working together so that we can keep moving the economy forward.

But I’ve never been more confident about our future.  And the reason is because of the American people.  Some of the folks beside me here today are a testimony to that.  Day after day, they’re out there pitching investors.  Some meetings go well; some meetings don’t go so well.  That’s true for me, too.  (Laughter.)  But no matter what, they keep at it.  And who knows, maybe one of them or one of the folks in the audience here today will be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.  And one of them may be the next entrepreneur to turn a big idea into an entire new industry.  That’s the promise of America.  That’s what this country is all about.

So if these entrepreneurs are willing to keep giving their all, the least Washington can do is to help them succeed.  I plan to do that now by proudly signing this bill.

Thank you very much, everybody.

(The bill is signed.)  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  All right, everybody.  Enjoy a great day.  (Applause.)

END
2:44 P.M. EDT

President Obama To Sign Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

Will Announce New Steps to Promote Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs and Protections for Investors

WASHINGTON, DC – Today President Obama will sign the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bipartisan bill that enacts many of the President’s proposals to encourage startups and support our nation’s small businesses.

The President believes that our small businesses and startups are driving the recovery and job creation.  That’s why he put forward a number of specific ways to encourage small business and startup investment in the American Jobs Act last fall, and worked with members on both sides of the aisle to sign these common-sense measures into law today.   The JOBS Act will allow Main Street small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from investors more efficiently, allowing small and young firms across the country to grow and hire faster.

“America’s high-growth entrepreneurs and small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growing the economy,” said President Obama.  “I’m pleased Congress took bipartisan action to pass this bill.  These proposals will help entrepreneurs raise the capital they need to put Americans back to work and create an economy that’s built to last.”

Throughout this effort, the President has maintained a strong focus on ensuring that we expand access to capital for young firms in a way that is consistent with sound investor protections. To that end, the President today will call on the Treasury, Small Business Administration and Department of Justice to closely monitor this legislation and report regularly to him with its findings. In addition, major crowfunding organizations sent a letter to the President today committing to core investor protections, including a new code of conduct for crowdfunding platforms.

In March of last year, the President directed his Administration to host a conference titled “Access to Capital: Fostering Growth and Innovation for Small Companies.”  The conference brought together policymakers and key stakeholders whose ideas directly led to many of the proposals contained in the JOBS Act. A primary takeaway from the conference was that capital from public and private investors helps entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and turn ideas into startups that create jobs and fuel sustainable economic growth.

Key Elements of the JOBS Act

The JOBS Act includes all three of the capital formation priorities that the President first raised in his September 2011 address to a Joint Session of Congress, and outlined in more detail in his Startup America Legislative Agenda to Congress in January 2012: allowing “crowdfunding,” expanding “mini-public offerings,” and creating an “IPO on-ramp” consistent with investor protections.

The JOBS Act is a product of bipartisan cooperation, with the President and Congress working together to promote American entrepreneurship and innovation while maintaining important protections for American investors.  It will help growing businesses access financing while maintaining investor protections, in several ways:

• Allowing Small Businesses to Harness “Crowdfunding”:  The Internet already has been a tool for fundraising from many thousands of donors.  Subject to rulemaking by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), startups and small businesses will be allowed to raise up to $1 million annually from many small-dollar investors through web-based platforms, democratizing access to capital.  Because the Senate acted on a bipartisan amendment, the bill includes key investor protections the President called for, including a requirement that all crowdfunding must occur through platforms that are registered with a self-regulatory organization and regulated by the SEC.  In addition, investors’ annual combined investments in crowdfunded securities will be limited based on an income and net worth test.

• Expanding “Mini Public Offerings”:  Prior to this legislation, the existing “Regulation A” exemption from certain SEC requirements for small businesses seeking to raise less than $5 million in a public offering was seldom used.  The JOBS Act will raise this threshold to $50 million, streamlining the process for smaller innovative companies to raise capital consistent with investor protections.

• Creating an “IPO On-Ramp”:  The JOBS Act makes it easier for young, high-growth firms to go public by providing an incubator period for a new class of “Emerging Growth Companies.” During this period, qualifying companies will have time to reach compliance with certain public company disclosure and auditing requirements after their initial public offering (IPO).  Any firm that goes public already has up to two years after its IPO to comply with certain Sarbanes-Oxley auditing requirements.  The JOBS Act extends that period to a maximum of five years, or less if during the on-ramp period a company achieves $1 billion in gross revenue, $700 million in public float, or issues more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt in the previous three years.

Additionally, the JOBS Act changes some existing limitations on how companies can solicit private investments from “accredited investors,” tasks the SEC with ensuring that companies take reasonable steps to verify that such investors are accredited, and gives companies more flexibility to plan their access to public markets and incentivize employees.

Additional Initiatives Announced Today to Promote Capital Access and Investor Protection

• Monitoring of JOBS Act Implementation:  The President is directing the Treasury Department, Small Business Administration and Department of Justice to closely monitor the implementation of this legislation to ensure that it is achieving its goals of enhancing access capital while maintaining appropriate investor protections. These agencies, consulting closely with the SEC and key non-governmental stakeholders, will report their findings to the President on a biannual basis, and will include recommendations for additional necessary steps to ensure that the legislation achieves its goals.

• Crowdfunding Platforms Commit to Investor Protections:  In a letter to President Obama, a consortium of crowdfunding companies are committing to work with the SEC to develop appropriate regulation of the industry, as required by the JOBS Act.  Members of this leadership group are committing to establish core investor protections, including an enforceable code of conduct for crowdfunding platforms, standardized methods to ensure that investors do not exceed statutory limits, thorough vetting of companies raising funds through crowdfunding, and an industry standard “Investors’ Bill of Rights.”

Political Buzz February 22, 2012: President Barack Obama Signs the Payroll Tax Cut Extension Bill “The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” into Law

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Signs the Payroll Tax Cut

Source: WH, 2-22-12
Just now, President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 — extending the payroll tax cut and emergency jobless benefits through the end of the year.

Last week, the President called on Americans from across the country to add their voices to the debate and let us know what they would do without an extra $40 in their paychecks. Thousands of individuals did exactly that, and it made all the difference.

At the time, President Obama said, “Until you see me sign this thing, you’ve got to keep on speaking up…If it’s not on the White House website, it hasn’t happened.”

It happened. Here’s that picture the President promised:
President Obama signs the payroll tax cut (February 22, 2012)

President Barack Obama signs H.R. 3630 – Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 in the Oval Office, Feb. 22, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

David Plouffe sent an email to the people who shared their stories with the White House, and they were the first folks to get the news. Here’s what he said:

Good evening —

When President Obama asked you to speak out on the payroll tax cut, you jumped into action. Thousands of individuals from across the country wrote in to say what $40 with each paycheck means to their families.

And it worked.

President Obama just signed the legislation extending the tax cut and emergency jobless benefits through the end of the year.

When the President spoke with a group of individuals who came to the White House after sharing their stories, he said, “Until you see me sign this thing, you’ve got to keep on speaking up…If it’s not on the White House website, it hasn’t happened.”

We just posted a picture of the President signing the bill on WhiteHouse.gov. Go check it out.

Extending the payroll tax cut was a critical step for middle class families, but we still have a lot more work to do. So get ready.

Thanks,
David

David Plouffe
Senior Adviser

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