2015 US Government Budget

04/01/2014

gopbudget

Why Paul Ryan’s Budget Is A Fantasy

Rep. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget Committee, released the fiscal-year 2015 House Budget proposal on Tuesday, a largely political document that will help shape the partisan debate ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

As with some of his past budget proposals, Ryan will have trouble explaining the details and the means that get to the end — a balanced budget. This year, the consensus on the most implausible parts of his plan comes on two fronts.

The first are the levels at which non-defense discretionary spending is set in the budget. Discretionary spending is comprised of  spending on programs that have to be reauthorized by Congress every year, not including entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The second is an accounting trick that is likely to be controversial, and that some call a gimmick.

The last year of the budget window, 2024, gives a good example of what Ryan does to balance the budget:

  • He ups non-defense discretionary cuts by $50 billion in 2024.
  • He assumes lower war spending by about $25 billion that same year.
  • He still needs a trick to get the budget to complete balance. Ryan uses a “dynamic” scoring method that helps balance his budget — one that could generate controversy. The “macroeconomic feedback effect” assumes the macroeconomic effects of cutting deficits will lead to about $74 billion in savings in 2024.

The non-defense discretionary spending levels, especially in the last year, seem to be the most implausible part of the budget. In 2024, per the budget, the non-defense discretionary spending levels would be $467 billion — a 22 percent cut from post-sequester levels.  In raw dollars, that’s lower than it was in 2005. It’s also much lower than the 2013 level of $576 billion.

Loren Adler, a research director at the  at  Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Business Insider it would “c ertainly be one of the toughest pieces to feasibly achieve.”

In inflation-adjusted terms, it amounts to about a 29 percent cut from current levels. According to a Senate Democratic aide, it’s also 28 percent below the average amount of the non-defense discretionary spending levels during the Bush administration.

By 2024, the Ryan budget adds $483 billion to defense spending beyond sequester-set spending caps. But to get overall savings, the budget cuts $791 billion from non-defense discretionary spending.

“NDD levels by end of budget window totally implausible — damage to safety net as well,” Jared Bernstein, a former Obama administration economist and now a senior fellow at the left-leaning  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in an email.

Ryan also uses the accounting trick to achieve balance. It’s a method he hasn’t employed in past budgets, and one that usually isn’t used by the Congressional Budget Office when scoring legislation. Ryan says the “macroeconomic feedback effect” of the deficit-cutting provisions in his budget will amount to $175 billion in savings over the 10-year budget window. And about $74 billion of that will come in the last year — coincidentally providing the U.S. with a $5 billion surplus.

Here’s Ryan’s reasoning for doing so:

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated several times over nearly 20 years that congressional action to reduce deficits will ultimately result in lower interest rates and faster economic growth by freeing up savings for use in productive investment. In addition, CBO has estimated that the positive economic effects of deficit reduction will feed back into the budget and further reduce deficits and debt over the medium and longer term.

Ryan notes the CBO used such dynamic scoring, for example, in 1998, when analyzing the 1998 bipartisan budget resolution that planned to balance the budget. But in general, the CBO says it does not usually analyze the macroeconomic effects due to several reasons (emphasis added):

Doing macroeconomic analysis of all proposed legislation would not be feasible; nearly all legislation analyzed by CBO would have negligible macroeconomic effects anyway (and thus negligible feedback to the federal budget); and estimates of macroeconomic effects are highly uncertain.

In his budget last year, Ryan included guidance about the macroeconomic effects to argue how his budget would be even better for deficits than the numbers showed. However, he did not employ the scoring method to achieve a balanced budget.

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Republican budget proposes deep cuts in domestic programs

4/1/14 2 hours ago By David Lawder – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on budget policy, rolled out a new fiscal blueprint on Tuesday that calls for deep cuts in domestic programs, increased defense spending and a goal of erasing annual deficits in 10 years.

Ryan’s budget, called the “Path to Prosperity,” has almost no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but is expected to serve as a campaign manifesto for Republicans in November’s congressional elections.

It proposes to kill President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reforms and revives cuts in social programs such as the popular Medicare entitlement for the elderly that Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, has proposed in other recent budgets.

The plan calls for savings of $5.1 trillion over a decade, with the goal of reaching a balanced budget by 2024 with no new tax revenues but increased defense spending.

Nearly $2.1 trillion would be saved over a decade by the proposal to kill Obamacare, according to the plan.

A sweeping overhaul of Medicare has been slightly revised, with phased-in changes applying to workers 55 years old and younger, compared to last year’s proposal which affected workers who were 54 and younger.

The document aims to bolster Republicans’ credentials as the party of fiscal prudence, but could open them up to fresh attacks from Democrats, who are calling for steps to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/republican-budget-proposes-deep-cuts-social-programs-143537137–business.html;_ylt=AwrTWVVA.TpT_kMAeebQtDMD

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Pelosi Statement on Ryan Republican Budget

April 1, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released this year’s version of the House Republican budget:

“Today, Republicans have laid out their vision for a less prosperous America, demonstrating, yet again, the weakness of their arithmetic and the strength of their indifference to the concerns of struggling middle class families across the country.  They are proving the lengths they will go to protect the special interests at the expense of the public interest.  They are undermining seniors, students, and the middle class, crippling our economic competitiveness, and gutting our nation’s investments in the future – all to protect loopholes for the wealthy few and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

“Under this Republican budget, the wealthy and well-connected wouldn’t be asked to pay even a little more.  But seniors would be asked to pay more for preventive services and prescription drugs and see the end of the Medicare guarantee.  Families would witness devastating cuts to research, innovation, education, clean energy, and manufacturing, ceding economic leadership to other nations.  All Americans would see a budget that rejects comprehensive immigration reform, with its promise of job creation, stronger small businesses, a growing economy, and a shrinking deficit.

“Democrats have a better approach: creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, investing in our infrastructure and our children’s education, closing the opportunity gap, and responsibly reducing the deficit.  Together, we can reignite the American Dream and build an economy that works for everyone.”

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Hoyer Statement on Republican Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the House Republican budget for Fiscal Year 2015:

“No one ought to be surprised at the budget unveiled by Chairman Paul Ryan and House Republicans today, which once again asks those with less to give more and those with more to give less.  This year’s Republican budget builds on the disastrous approach Republicans have followed over the past three years, embracing the painful and irrational sequestration cuts and slashing funding that supports investments in opportunity, growth, and security.

“While anyone who looks at the FY2015 Republican budget can readily see that it would do serious damage to our economy and society, Republicans do their best to hide the extent of the damage.  As in previous years, Chairman Ryan relies on gimmicks, magic asterisks, and spurious accounting assumptions to presume that his budget will achieve its anticipated deficit savings.  Additionally, his budget ends the Medicare guarantee as we know it, turns Medicaid into a block grant, repeals the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare], fails to invest in job creation, and does not include any new revenue.  His budget simply doesn’t work – and would lead to significant harm for our country.

“Last week, I delivered a speech in which I called on both parties in Congress to maximize every opportunity to move us closer toward the long-term fiscal sustainability that our country needs.  Our budget process is just such an opportunity; unfortunately, House Republicans chose to make it a partisan messaging exercise rather than a real effort to achieve balanced deficit savings and invest in the programs that strengthen our economy, grow our middle class, and help more of our businesses and families Make It In America.”

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Statement by the White House Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

April 01, 2014

To build real, lasting economic security for the middle class, the President and Democrats in Congress have a plan to grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down, and create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress do not have a plan that works for the middle class and the House Republican Budget is the same old top-down approach. Because of a stubborn unwillingness to cut the deficit in a balanced way by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well connected, the House Republican Budget would slow the economy, stack the deck against the middle class, and threaten the guaranteed benefits seniors have paid for and earned.

The House Republican Budget would raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million. It would force deep cuts to investments in our roads and bridges, scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and at every level of education from early childhood to community college. It would end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program and risking a death spiral in traditional Medicare. Instead of ensuring that Americans earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work and lifting millions of people out of poverty, the House Republican approach undermines Americans working hard to support their families by slashing food stamps and Medicaid. And rather than expanding health coverage for all Americans and making it more affordable, it would repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs on families and businesses and eliminating coverage for the 3 million young adults who have gained coverage by staying on their parent’s plan, the millions of people who have signed up for private insurance plans through the Marketplaces, and millions more who can continue to gain coverage through Medicaid.

The House Republican Budget stands in stark contrast to the President’s Budget, which would accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans, while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. The President has put forward a Budget that rewards hard work with fair wages, equips all children with a high-quality education to prepare them for a good job, puts a secure retirement within reach, and ensures health care is affordable and reliable, while at the same time asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and making tough cuts to programs we can’t afford. And by paying for new investments and tackling our true fiscal challenges, the President’s Budget builds on the progress we’ve already made to cut the deficit by more than half since 2009 and cuts the deficit as a share of the economy to 1.6 percent by 2024. It also stabilizes the debt as a share of the economy by 2015 and puts it on a declining path after that.

Budgets are about choices and values. House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle class families to get ahead. The President believes that is the wrong approach and that we should instead be making smart investments necessary to create jobs, grow our economy, and expand opportunity, while still cutting the deficit in a balanced way and securing our nation’s future.

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A State-by-State Breakdown of the Damage That Would Be Caused by the House Republican Budget

Amy Brundage April 09, 2014 05:13 PM EDT

House Republicans this week are voting on a budget that protects tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle-class families to get ahead. It is the same old top-down approach and would raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million.

As in previous years, the House Republican Budget proposes deep funding reductions that would result in severe cuts to critical areas that are needed to support job creation, economic growth, a strong middle class, and assistance for lower income individuals, especially when compared to the overall level of investment in the President’s budget. Since House Republicans aren’t willing to identify specifically what they actually want to cut, one way to assess the potential damaging impact is to look at what would happen to key programs if the cuts compared to the President’s budget were applied evenly across the board.

The results show the potential extent of the damage across the country. Within a few years:

  • In Florida, 290,000 seniors benefited from the closure of the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole in 2013 alone and at least that many likely would have to pay more for their needed medications in future years.
  • In California, more than 50,000 fewer students would receive Pell Grants to help them pay for college.
  • In Ohio, the proposed Medicaid block grant would cut federal Medicaid funding for the state by more than $30 billion over the next decade, likely resulting in more uninsured individuals and less care for those still covered.
  • In Texas, 12,000 fewer children would receive Head Start services.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 people would lose job search assistance.
  • In Missouri, 1,700 fewer victims of domestic violence would be served through the STOP Violence Against Women Program.

A full list of state-by-state impacts can be found here.

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President Obama’s 2015 Budget Proposal

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Helping Middle Class Families Afford College

03/06/2014

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America is home to the best colleges and universities in the world — and increasing college attainment has never been more important to our economic competitiveness — yet tuition and fees have skyrocketed over the past decade, making it more difficult for American families to invest in a higher education for their future. Today’s college students borrow and rack up more debt than ever before. In 2010, graduates who took out loans left college owing an average of more than $26,000. Student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever.

Our nation’s commitment to placing a good education within reach of all who are willing to work for it helped build a strong American middle class over the past several generations. In keeping this promise alive, President Obama has expanded federal support to help more students afford college, while calling for a shared responsibility in tackling rising college costs. President Obama’s efforts of reform in higher education funding have produced the largest investment in student aid since the G.I. Bill, while resulting in a more efficient, reliable, and effective system for students to help them afford college and manage debt:

Doubling Investments in Pell Grants
The President has raised the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,635 for the 2013-14 award year — a $905 increase since 2008. Under the President’s leadership, the number of Pell Grant recipients has expanded by 50 percent over that same time, providing college access to millions of additional low-income and middle-class students across the country. The Obama Administration’s landmark investment in the Pell Grant was enacted in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which ended student loan subsidies for private financial institutions and banks and shifted over $60 billion in savings back to students.
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Helping Students Manage Student Loan Debt
The Administration’s “Pay as You Earn” plan expands income-based repayment to enable 1.6 million students to take advantage of a new option to cap repayment of student loans at 10 percent of monthly income — an option that student borrowers can begin to use at the end of this year. These changes will reduce the burden of student loans in a fiscally responsible way. Additionally, millions of borrowers are now eligible to consolidate Direct Loans and FFEL Loans and save up to half a percentage point on their interest rate.For more information: Everything you need to know about income-based repayment
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Expanding Education Tax Credits
President Obama established the American Opportunity Tax Credit in 2009 to assist families with the costs of college, providing up to $10,000 for four years of college tuition for families earning up to $180,000. Over 9.4 million students and families benefit from the American Opportunity Tax Credit each year.

Keeping Student Loan Interest Rates Low
In his 2012 State of the Union address, the President called on Congress to keep interest rates low for the 7.4 million borrowers who take out subsidized Federal student loans for this school year. With President Obama’s leadership, rates on new subsidized Stafford loans remained at 3.4 percent — instead of doubling to 6.8 percent — this past summer. This bold action saved students an average of $1,000 on the life of their loans, and President Obama has committed to keeping interest rates low for student loans moving forward.

In August, President Obama signed a bill that takes an important step in fulfilling our nation’s obligations to students. The bipartisan legislation cuts rates on all new loans this year and save a typical undergraduate student $1,500 over the life of those loans. Learn more: Fact Sheet on Bipartisan Student Loan Deal

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education

FAFSA

US Department of Education – Federal Student Aid http://studentaid.ed.gov

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FACT SHEET: The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity

January 16, 2014

To view the White House report on Increasing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students, click HERE. To view the list of Commitments to Action on College Opportunity, click HERE.

The President believes he has a job to do, and every day he is fighting to create more opportunities for working and middle class Americans. And while he will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to move our country forward, the President is committed to partnering with colleges and universities, business leaders, nonprofits and others to do everything he can to support more college opportunities for students across the country.

Today, in response to the President’s call to action, the President and First Lady are joining with leaders in higher education to announce over 100 new commitments to expand college opportunity. To help more students afford and graduate from college with the skills they need, the Administration has already taken action including doubling Federal investments in Pell Grants and college tax credits and reforming student loans. Last August, the President laid out an ambitious new agenda aimed at improving college value, removing barriers to innovation and competition, and ensuring that student debt remains affordable. As the Administration continues to push for changes that keep college affordable for all students and families, we can and must do more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating if we are to achieve our North Star goal of leading the world in the share of college graduates by 2020. Together, the President, the First Lady and these leaders in higher education are taking another step to help ensure that every child, rich or poor, has the opportunity for a quality college education so they can get ahead.

Over 100 New Commitments to Expand College Opportunity: The participants in today’s event were asked not simply to attend an event – but to commit to new action in one of the following areas crucial to college opportunity:

* Connecting more low-income students to the college that is right for them and ensuring more graduate

* Increasing the pool of students preparing for college through early interventions

* Leveling the playing field in college advising and SAT/ACT test preparation

* Strengthening remediation to help academically underprepared students progress through and complete college

Today, over 100 colleges and universities and 40 organizations are announcing new commitments to action to build on their existing efforts in this area. Together, these actions will serve hundreds of thousands of students across the country.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/16/fact-sheet-president-and-first-lady-s-call-action-college-opportunity

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ConnectED initiative

02/02/2014

#ConnectED

ConnectED initiative Modernizing and Expanding the E-Rate Program Connecting More than 15,000 Schools and 20 Million Students

ConnectED initiative
Modernizing and Expanding the E-Rate Program
Connecting More than 15,000 Schools and 20 Million Students

ConnectED: President Obama’s Plan for Connecting All Schools to the Digital Age

Driven by new digital technologies, the future of learning is increasingly interactive, individualized, and full of real-world experiences and information. Unfortunately, the average school has about the same connectivity as the average American home, but serves 200 times as many users, and fewer than 20 percent of educators say their school’s internet connection meets their teaching needs. And our teachers do not get enough training and support to integrate technology in their classroom and lessons, despite the fundamental and increasing importance of those skills.

Today, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to take the steps necessary to build high-speed digital connections to America’s schools and libraries, ensuring that 99 percent of American students can benefit from these advances in teaching and learning. He is further directing the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get this technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. And he is calling on businesses, states, districts, schools and communities to support this vision.page1image9848page1image10008

  • The ConnectED initiative will, within five years, connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon are already providing their support, collectively pledging to connect more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students by the end of 2015.
  • Trained Teachers: The ConnectED initiative invests in improving the skills of teachers, ensuring that every educator in America receives support and training to use technology to help improve student outcomes. The Department of Education will work with states and school districts to better use existing funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to strategically invest in this kind of professional development to help teachers keep pace with changing technological and professional demands.
  • Build on Private-Sector Innovation: These investments will allow our teachers and students to take full advantage of feature-rich educational devices that are increasingly price-competitive with basic textbooks and high-quality educational software (including applications) providing content aligned with college- and career-ready standards being adopted and implemented by States across America.

ConnectED will Jumpstart Learning Technology Across our Nation’s K-12 Schools

Our schools were designed for a different era – based on a limited school day and a seasonal calendar. This system does not take into account the constant learning opportunities of global connectivity, and does not prepare our students for a collaborative and networked economy.

We must make our schools an integral part of the broadband and technology transformation – particularly when that same technology can be harnessed to drive empowered, more personalized learning. From digital textbooks that help students visualize and interact with complex concepts, to apps and platforms that adapt to the level of individual student knowledge and help teachers know precisely which lessons or activities are working, this technology is real, it is available, and its capacity to improve education is profound.

That is why the President is announcing ConnectED, a breakthrough initiative to jumpstart learning technology across our nation’s K-12 schools.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/connected_fact_sheet.pdf

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Youth CareerConnect

President Obama has made clear that he is committed to making 2014 a year of action by taking steps – both with Congress and on his own – to expand opportunity for all Americans. As part of achieving the President’s vision to prepare all students for success in post-secondary education and in a competitive workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the Department of Education, has established Youth CareerConnect grant.  This initiative encourages America’s school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment system, and their partners to integrate rigorous educational standards with work experiences and skills in ways that enhance instruction and deliver real-world learning opportunities for students. Across the country, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards will provide $107 million to local partnerships of local education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education and employer partners as they re-design the teaching and learning experience for youth to more fully prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including postsecondary education or registered apprenticeship.

Youth CareerConnect schools will strengthen America’s talent pipeline by supporting stronger high school, postsecondary, workforce investment system, and employer partnerships that deliver:

  • Robust Employer Engagement & Work-Based Learning: Youth CareerConnect awards will provide students with the education and training that combines rigorous academic and career-focused curriculum to increase students’ employability skills. Employer partners will provide work-based learning, job-shadowing, and mentoring opportunities to ensure students’ learning is relevant.
  • A Focus on High-Demand Industries, Including STEM:  Youth CareerConnect awards will create a pathway for students to enter high-demand industries such as information technology, healthcare, and other STEM-related and manufacturing fields. Grantees will ensure recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups including girls and minorities to expand the talent pool for these high-demand occupations.
  • Integration of Post-secondary Education and Training: Youth CareerConnect awards will enable high school students to participate in education and training that leads to credit toward a post-secondary degree or certificate and an industry recognized credential, where appropriate.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/07/fact-sheet-youth-careerconnect

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Learn more:

Bringing America’s Students into the Digital Age
Closing the Broadband Gap for Students and Teachers
ConnectED FACT SHEET 
Youth CareerConnect FACT SHEET

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From President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address:

Schools & Education Opportunity – Making Progress Through Executive Action

* Connecting 20 Million Students in 15,000 Schools to the Best Technology to Enrich and Personalize K-12 Education. The President’s initiatives allow students to learn more, to do so at their own pace, and to develop the knowledge and skills employers demand:

ConnectED initiative
Modernizing and Expanding the E-Rate Program
Connecting More than 15,000 Schools and 20 Million Students over the Next Two Years

* Redesigning High Schools to Teach the Real-World Skills That Kids Need. “Youth CareerConnect” grants provide high school students with the industry-relevant education and skills they need for a successful future.

* Increasing College Opportunity and Graduation. The Presidents calls for continued mobilization events like the “White House Call to Action on College Opportunity” with over 150 new commitments from colleges, universities, businesses, philanthropists, and non-profits to improve college access and success for low-income students.

* First White House Maker Faire. Later this year, the Administration will launch an all-hands-on-deck effort to provide even more students and entrepreneurs access to the tools, spaces, and mentors needed to Make. There are many ways in which, in addition to the contributions of thousands of individual Makers, companies, universities, mayors and communities, and foundations, and philanthropists can get involved.

* Making College More Affordable for American Families. Thr President will continue pursing executive actions to spur the development, validation, and scaling-up of these cutting-edge innovations like the Pell Grant award.

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Continuing to Work With Congress

* Making High-Quality Preschool Available to Children All Across America. President Obama has laid out a bold vision to expand access to high-quality pre-school to every four-year old in America and improve access to voluntary home visiting programs and other services for our youngest children. This year, the President worked with Congress to enact a down-payment on this vision by reversing funding cuts to Head Start.

* Preparing America’s Youth to Graduate Ready for College and Careers, by Transforming our High Schools. The President laid out a new vision for America’s high schools, and he has proposed dedicating new resources at the Department of Education to scale up models that personalize learning and focus on college and career exploration for students and he asks Congress to join him.

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Back To School Event with FLOTUS

09/05/2013

Lets Move Active Schools

Let's Move Active Schools

Why Active Schools?

Regular physical activity helps students succeed in school – and in life!

In addition to keeping kids healthy and strong, being active for 60 minutes each day has been shown to:

  • Increase concentration and focus
  • Improve classroom attendance and behavior
  • Boost academic performance

As the places where kids spend a majority of their time, schools are important places for kids to experience and enjoy being active.  That’s why, in collaboration with the groups below, the First Lady kicked off the Let’s Move! Active Schools program to help schools across the country make quality physical activity a part of every kid’s day.

Let’s Move! Active Schools is a comprehensive program that empowers school champions – P.E. teachers, classroom teachers, principals, administrators, and parents – to create active environments that enable all students to get moving and reach their full potential.

A Let’s Move! Active School provides opportunities in 5 key areas:

  1. Physical Education
  2. Physical Activity During School
  3. Physical Activity Before and After School
  4. Family & Community Involvement
  5. Staff Involvement

Let’s Move! Active Schools provides individual champions with a clear roadmap to meet their goals in the 5 key areas above. Learn more: www.letsmoveschools.org

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Let’s Move!

Friday, September 6th at 1:00 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama will be joined by Shaquille O’Neal, Allyson Felix, and Dominique Dawes for a Back to School Event
Orr Elementary in Washington, DC

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Let’s Move!

Websitehttp://www.letsmove.gov/
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/letsmove
Tweet: http://www.twitter.com/letsmove
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Emergency Preparedness For Adults & Kids

08/30/2013

Natl Preparedness Month

Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.

Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

The campaign’s messages have been distributed through: television, radio, print, outdoor and Web (PSAs) developed and produced by The Advertising Council; brochures;

www.Ready.gov and www.Listo.gov Web sites; toll-free phone lines 1-800-BE-Ready and 1-888-SE-Listo; and partnerships with a wide variety of public and private sector organizations.

FEMA app

Get a Kit Build a Kit
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit…… Make a Plan
Plan for Your Risks Research & Publications
Natural Disasters Be Informed
Hurricane App by American Red Cross Replace Your Vital Documents

“Preparedness is an essential element of a resilient and secure Nation. My Administration has made preparedness a top priority, and we are working every day to ensure our country stands ready to respond to any disaster or emergency — from wildfires and hurricanes, to terrorist attacks and pandemic disease. Our goal is to ensure a more resilient Nation — one in which individuals, communities, and our economy can adapt to changing conditions as well as withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies.

During National Preparedness Month, we underscore the responsibility of individuals, families, and communities — including the private and nonprofit sectors — to do their part before an emergency. I urge all Americans to take time to prepare an emergency supply kit and a family emergency plan, and to educate themselves about potential disasters. I also ask Americans to work within their own communities to coordinate emergency preparedness efforts. All Americans share this responsibility, and we must all work together to safeguard the Nation from harm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supports and promotes citizen education and grassroots preparedness efforts. FEMA’s Ready Campaign provides simple and practical steps that all Americans can take to protect themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Additionally, the Citizen Corps educates, trains, and coordinates volunteer activities that help make our communities safer and better prepared for emergencies. I encourage all Americans to learn more at www.ready.gov and www.citizencorps.gov.

9/4/09 President Barack Obama

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Animal Disaster Preparedness:  AnimalsInDisasterFactSheet.pdf

Ready.gov Animal information: http://www.ready.gov/search/node/animals


Ready.gov:kids
* Make A Plan 
* Build A Kit
* Know The Facts
* Get Involved

Learn more: FEMA for KIDS 


Rebuilding Middle-Class Education Security

08/20/2013

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President Obama discusses the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families on a two day bus tour through Syracuse, Binghamton and Buffalo, NY and Scranton, PA

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Thursday, August 22
President Barack Obama delivers remarks
University at Buffalo, Buffalo,, NY

President Barack Obama delivers remarks
Henninger High School, Syracuse, NY

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Friday, August 23
President Barack Obama holds a town hall
Binghamton University,  Binghamton, NY

President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks
Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA

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Learn about the steps that President Obama is taking to rebuild the American Middle-Classhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/a-better-bargain

Student Aid Mobile App: StudentAid.gov

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“Global Symbol” of the Right To Education

07/12/2013

July 12, 2013 is Malala Day

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commemorated July 12 as Malala Day. The day is intended to represent the goal of education for all children.

In honour of the Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon extended his support to the young girl and her fight for education, describing her as the “global symbol” of every girl’s right to education.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Day

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At UN, Malala Yousafzai rallies youth to stand up for universal education

12 July 2013 un.org

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, today addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism.

“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world,” Ms. Yousafzai said, in an impassioned address to the UN Youth Assembly.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has dubbed today – Ms. Yousafzai’s 16th birthday – ‘Malala Day’ in honour of her heroic stand to ensure education for all. The meeting, which featured nearly 1,000 youth leaders, was addressed by former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Vuk Jeremić, President of the General Assembly, and Ahmad Alhendawi, the Special Envoy on Youth.

Ms. Yousafzai told the gathering that the Taliban’s attack nine months ago changed nothing in her life, except that “weakness, fear and hopelessness died.”

“The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens,” she said. “The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” Urging worldwide action against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, she said: “Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”

This call to action was delivered just as the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) Education for All Global Monitoring Report, launched a new policy paper spotlighting that globally, the number of children out of school has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. However, 28 million children out of school live in the world’s conflict zones, and more than half of those are women and girls.

For more: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45395&Cr=education&Cr1=#.UeCI8Bbv0aV

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U.S. Naval Academy Commencement 2013 & Counterterrorism Policy

05/22/2013

US Naval Academy Seal

U.S. Naval Academy Commencement 2013
President Obama – Commencement Speaker
Friday, May 24 @ 10:00 AM ET
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium , Annapolis, MD

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President Barack Obama to Speak at USNA Graduation

MARCH 19, 2013 08:00 EDT BY NAVAL ACADEMY PUBLIC AFFAIRS

President of The United States Barack Obama will speak at the graduation exercises for the U.S.  Naval Academy’s Class of 2013 May 24.

Live Stream: www.PentagonChannel.mil

 

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Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities

May 23, 2013

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Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities

Since his first day in office, President Obama has been clear that the United States will use all available tools of national power to protect the American people from the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa’ida and its associated forces. The President has also made clear that, in carrying on this fight, we will uphold our laws and values and will share as much information as possible with the American people and the Congress, consistent with our national security needs and the proper functioning of the Executive Branch. To these ends, the President has approved, and senior members of the Executive Branch have briefed to the Congress, written policy standards and procedures that formalize and strengthen the Administration’s rigorous process for reviewing and approving operations to capture or employ lethal force against terrorist targets outside the United States and outside areas of active hostilities. Additionally, the President has decided to share, in this document, certain key elements of these standards and procedures with the American people so that they can make informed judgments and hold the Executive Branch accountable.

This document provides information regarding counterterrorism policy standards and procedures that are either already in place or will be transitioned into place over time. As Administration officials have stated publicly on numerous occasions, we are continually working to refine, clarify, and strengthen our standards and processes for using force to keep the nation safe from the terrorist threat. One constant is our commitment to conducting counterterrorism operations lawfully. In addition, we consider the separate question of whether force should be used as a matter of policy. The most important policy consideration, particularly when the United States contemplates using lethal force, is whether our actions protect American lives.

Preference for Capture
The policy of the United States is not to use lethal force when it is feasible to capture a terrorist suspect, because capturing a terrorist offers the best opportunity to gather meaningful intelligence and to mitigate and disrupt terrorist plots. Capture operations are conducted only against suspects who may lawfully be captured or otherwise taken into custody by the United States and only when the operation can be conducted in accordance with all applicable law and consistent with our obligations to other sovereign states.

Standards for the Use of Lethal Force
Any decision to use force abroad – even when our adversaries are terrorists dedicated to killing American citizens – is a significant one. Lethal force will not be proposed or pursued as punishment or as a substitute for prosecuting a terrorist suspect in a civilian court or a military commission. Lethal force will be used only to prevent or stop attacks against U.S. persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively. In particular, lethal force will be used outside areas of active hostilities only when the following preconditions are met:

First, there must be a legal basis for using lethal force, whether it is against a senior operational leader of a terrorist organization or the forces that organization is using or intends to use to conduct terrorist attacks.

Second, the United States will use lethal force only against a target that poses a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons. It is simply not the case that all terrorists pose a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons; if a terrorist does not pose such a threat, the United States will not use lethal force.

Third, the following criteria must be met before lethal action may be taken:

1. Near certainty that the terrorist target is present;
2. Near certainty that non-combatants[1] will not be injured or killed;
3. An assessment that capture is not feasible at the time of the operation;
4. An assessment that the relevant governmental authorities in the country where action is contemplated cannot or will not effectively address the threat to U.S. persons; and
5. An assessment that no other reasonable alternatives exist to effectively address the threat to U.S. persons.

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Finally, whenever the United States uses force in foreign territories, international legal principles, including respect for sovereignty and the law of armed conflict, impose important constraints on the ability of the United States to act unilaterally – and on the way in which the United States can use force. The United States respects national sovereignty and international law.

U.S. Government Coordination and Review
Decisions to capture or otherwise use force against individual terrorists outside the United States and areas of active hostilities are made at the most senior levels of the U.S. Government, informed by departments and agencies with relevant expertise and institutional roles. Senior national security officials – including the deputies and heads of key departments and agencies – will consider proposals to make sure that our policy standards are met, and attorneys – including the senior lawyers of key departments and agencies – will review and determine the legality of proposals.

These decisions will be informed by a broad analysis of an intended target’s current and past role in plots threatening U.S. persons; relevant intelligence information the individual could provide; and the potential impact of the operation on ongoing terrorism plotting, on the capabilities of terrorist organizations, on U.S. foreign relations, and on U.S. intelligence collection. Such analysis will inform consideration of whether the individual meets both the legal and policy standards for the operation.

Other Key Elements
U.S. Persons. If the United States considers an operation against a terrorist identified as a U.S. person, the Department of Justice will conduct an additional legal analysis to ensure that such action may be conducted against the individual consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Reservation of Authority. These new standards and procedures do not limit the President’s authority to take action in extraordinary circumstances when doing so is both lawful and necessary to protect the United States or its allies.

Congressional Notification. Since entering office, the President has made certain that the appropriate Members of Congress have been kept fully informed about our counterterrorism operations. Consistent with this strong and continuing commitment to congressional oversight, appropriate Members of the Congress will be regularly provided with updates identifying any individuals against whom lethal force has been approved. In addition, the appropriate committees of Congress will be notified whenever a counterterrorism operation covered by these standards and procedures has been conducted.

[1] Non-combatants are individuals who may not be made the object of attack under applicable international law. The term “non-combatant” does not include an individual who is part of a belligerent party to an armed conflict, an individual who is taking a direct part in hostilities, or an individual who is targetable in the exercise of national self-defense. Males of military age may be non-combatants; it is not the case that all military-aged males in the vicinity of a target are deemed to be combatants.

President Obama’s remarks on the Administration’s Counterterrorism Policy 5/23/13


Coast Guard Academy 132nd Commencement & Prayer for Oklahoma

05/21/2013

US Coast_Guard_Academy_seal

Coast Guard Academy 132nd Commencement Exercises
Vice President Joe Biden – Commencement Speaker
Wednesday, May 22 @ 11 AM ET
Cadet Memorial Field, New London, CT

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Vice President Biden to speak at Coast Guard Academy’s 132nd commencement

March 28th, 2013 coastguardnews

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver the keynote address during the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s 132nd Commencement exercises May 22.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Cadet Memorial Field; attendance is by invitation only.

“Commencement is always a special time here, but it is particularly memorable when the Vice President of the United States is here to present the commissions to our new ensigns,” said Coast Guard Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz. “This will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the academy and the city of New London,” Stosz added.

Live Stream: www.PentagonChannel.mil

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“our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today”

 5/21/13 President Barack Obama

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May 21 – Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate directs the the federal response to the deadly storm in Oklahoma City and its suburbs.

May 22 – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano inspects the damage from the deadly tornado and and coordinate federal response to the deadly storm

May 26, 1:45 PM ET –  President Obama travels to the Oklahoma City area to meet with first responders families & effected by the deadly storm

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MLK Academic Magnet School & Moorehouse College Graduation 2013

05/17/2013

MLK Magnet FLOTUS
Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School for Health Sciences and Engineering 2013 Commencement Ceremony
First Lady Michelle Obama – Commencement Speaker
Saturday, May 18, 2013 @ 2:00 PM ET
Historic Pearl High, Nashville, TN

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MLK Academic Magnet School Press Release

April 11, 2013 mlkmagnet.mnps.org

Re: Commencement Speaker for 2013 will be First Lady Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address to the class of 2013 of Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School for Health Sciences and Engineering at Historic Pearl High in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 18, at 1:00 p.m. Graduation will be held at the Howard C. Gentry Center on the campus of Tennessee State University.

Serving a cross-section of academically talented students from diverse groups across Metro Nashville Davidson County, Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School provides a highly challenging, college preparatory curriculum to its 1,173 students in grades 7 through 12. MLK is consistently ranked among the best public schools in the nation for its academic rigor and high graduation rate. The students and staff also pride themselves on their commitment to healthy living, foremost through the installation of a community-supported fitness center, and also through the installation of healthy vending machines and a community garden.

For more: http://www.mlkmagnet.mnps.org/AssetFactory.aspx?did=81637

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MLK Academic Magnet High School Commencement Ceremony

Live Stream

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Moorehouse College Graduation 2013
President Obama – Commencement Speaker
Sunday, May 19 @ 11:00 AM ET
Morehouse College, Century Campus, Atlanta, GA

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President Barack Obama to Deliver May Commencement Speech

By ADD SEYMOUR JR. morehouse.edu

President Barack Obama will be the speaker for Morehouse College’s 129th Commencement in May, Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 announced Saturday, Feb. 16.

A White House official told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Morehouse was chosen because it is one of the nation’s leading historically black colleges and universities and is among the best and brightest institutions of higher education in the country. The official also said that Morehouse is known for its high standard for excellence in learning and social consciousness and is home to a long list of notable alumni that spans the last three centuries.

Wilson surprised the nearly 2,000 guests at the College’s largest scholarship fundraiser, the 25th Annual “A Candle in the Dark” Gala.

“The president’s life story trumpets an ethic that we try to instill in all Morehouse Men, namely excellence without apology or compromise,” Wilson said Saturday. “It’s a good thing to have him here for that reason.”

The Gala crowd of students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College jumped out of their seats and screamed in excitement.

For more: https://www.morehouse.edu/newspublications/campusnewsitems/title,2313,en.html

Morehouse College Commencement – Live Webstream


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