WEEKLY ADDRESS: Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut
WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that although the United States has created private sector jobs for the past 21 months in a row, that is not enough for struggling Americans. We must continue growing the economy by passing the payroll tax cut, which will give the middle class a tax cut of $1,500 and provide small businesses more money to hire workers by cutting their payroll taxes in half. The President urges all Americans to tell Congress not to raise taxes during the holidays and act in the best interests of middle class families and pass the tax cuts now.
The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, December 3, 2011.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House
December 3, 2011
This week, we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. Despite some strong headwinds this year, America’s economy has now created private sector jobs for the past 21 months in a row – almost three million new jobs in all, more than half a million of them in the past four months alone.
We need to keep this growth going and strengthen it. That’s why we’ve been fighting to pass a series of jobs bills through Congress – bills that independent economists say will create more jobs and grow the economy even faster. Because now is the time to step on the gas, not slam on the brakes.
Unfortunately, too many Republicans in Congress don’t seem to share that same sense of urgency. Over the last few months, they’ve said “no” to most of these jobs bills. “No” to putting teachers and firefighters back to work. “No” to putting construction workers back on the job. And this week, they actually said “no” to cutting taxes for middle-class families.
You see, last year, both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical middle-class family by about $1,000. But that tax cut is set to expire at the end of this month. If that happens, that same family will see its taxes go up by $1,000. We can’t let that happen. In fact, I think we should cut taxes on working families and small business owners even more.
And we’re going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen. They shouldn’t go home for the holidays until they get this done. And if you agree with me, I could use your help.
We’ve set up a simple tax cut calculator on WhiteHouse.gov so that you can see exactly what the stakes are for your family. Try it out. Then let your members of Congress know where you stand.
Tell them not to vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays. Tell them to put country before party. Put money back in the pockets of working Americans. Pass these tax cuts.
We’re all in this together. The more Americans succeed, the more America succeeds. And if we remember that and do what it takes to keep this economy growing and opportunity rising, then I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger than before.
Statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Russian Government Harassment of Golos
The Obama administration is concerned with today’s decision by a Moscow court regarding the election monitoring NGO Golos, as well as what appears to be a pattern of harassment directed against this organization. We have communicated our concerns to the Russian government in Moscow and to the Russian Embassy in Washington.
Golos is a well-known and well-regarded Russian independent election monitoring organization that has operated in Russia for over a decade. The data Golos publishes is from Russian observers and Russian citizens around the country. International and domestic observation is a normal part of the democratic process and allowing observers to conduct their work unfettered is critical to electoral transparency. As a participating State of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia has agreed that foreign and domestic election observers can enhance the electoral process.
We are proud of our support of Golos, which is intended to strengthen democratic institutions and processes – not influence elections – and we believe that citizens everywhere should have a right to report concerns about their electoral processes. The United States has supported and will continue to support those citizens and non-governmental organizations working for free and fair elections in Russia, as we do globally.
President Obama Hosts 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference Signs Executive Order to Expand Educational Opportunities and Improve Educational Outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native Students
President Obama Hosts 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference
Signs Executive Order to Expand Educational Opportunities and Improve Educational Outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native Students
Today, President Obama is hosting the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. As part of President Obama’s ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference provides leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from his Administration. This is the third White House Tribal Nations Conference the Obama Administration has hosted and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country.
During the opening sessions, tribal leaders heard from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and OMB Deputy Director Heather Higginbottom. Tribal leaders then participated in breakout sessions with Senior Administration Officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and SBA Administrator Karen Mills. The session topics included: Creating Jobs and Growing Tribal Economies, Promoting Safe and Strong Tribal Communities, Protecting Natural Resources and Respect for Cultural Rights, Improving Access to Healthcare, Education, Housing, Infrastructure and Other Federal Services, and Strengthening the Government-to-Government Relationship. During the closing session, tribal leaders will hear from Education Secretary Arne Duncan and President Obama will deliver closing remarks.
Earlier today, the President signed an Executive Order that establishes an Initiative that will help expand educational opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native students, including opportunities to learn their Native languages, cultures, and histories and receive a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college and a career and productive and satisfying lives. The Executive Order is availableHERE.
The White House today also released a report, “Achieving a Brighter Future for Tribal Nations,” which provides a summary of some of the many actions the Obama Administration has taken to address the concerns of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The report is available HERE.
On Thursday, eleven Native American Youth leaders were honored at the White House as Champions of Change. These young people are Champions in their tribes and communities as they work to improve the lives of those around them through innovative programs that help others, raise awareness of important issues like energy efficiency, healthy eating, and suicide and bullying prevention. The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities. More information about these Native American Youth leaders is available HERE.
Also this week, the Department of Interior announced a sweeping reform of federal surface leasing regulations for American Indian lands that will streamline the approval process for home ownership, expedite economic development and spur renewable energy development in Indian Country. The proposed rule would modify regulations governing the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ process for approving the lease of surface acres on lands the federal government holds in trust for tribes and individuals. As trustee, Interior is responsible for managing approximately 56 million surface acres in Indian Country. More information on this announcement is available HERE.