a message from Stephanie Cutter

Obama - Biden

Who will decide if your taxes increase in just 22 days? A few dozen members of the House of Representatives, that’s who.

Cutting taxes for the middle class shouldn’t be difficult, especially when Republicans claim they agree with the President on the issue. But some Republicans are still holding middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they want to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires.

Here’s what’s going on right now: President Obama is asking Congress to move forward on a plan that would prevent 98 percent of American families from paying higher taxes next year. The Senate has passed that bill, and the President is ready to sign it — but the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives won’t even bring the bill to the floor for a vote. House Democrats have filed a petition that would force a vote if it attracts 218 signatures.

If a bill has enough votes to pass, Congress should vote on it and pass it. It’s a pretty simple proposition. And every Member of Congress who hasn’t signed on to keep taxes low for the middle class needs to hear from you.

Your representative in Congress, Jim McDermott, has already done their part to help bring the bill to the floor. But there are dozens more who still need to step up and do the right thing.

Use the call tool today to reach out to fellow Obama supporters and make sure they contact their Republican representative.

Let’s get one thing straight: If your taxes go up, Republicans will have made a conscious choice to let that happen. They’ll have missed the opportunity to prevent it, just to cut taxes for the wealthy.

Republicans need to stop using the middle class as a bargaining chip. If they fail to act, a typical middle-class family of four will see a $2,200 tax hike starting in a few short weeks. Middle-class families could face some tough financial decisions simply because Republicans didn’t want to ask the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay their fair share.

That’s not what President Obama and you campaigned on, and that’s not what millions of Americans voted for just one month ago.

We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together. So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents. You can help:




Stephanie Cutter
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Your Weekly White House Latino Update


  Buenos Dias,I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! Although many are enjoying time with family and friends, we know there is a lot at stake and a lot to do to resolve the fiscal issues our country is facing in a balanced way.#My2K

To that end, recently, President Obama renewed his call to prevent a tax increase on the middle class. “If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the President said. “A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice.”

As a major force in our economy and as a community who will have much at stake if our nation does not reach a balanced deal by the end of this year, Latinos will surely feel the effects immediately. To read more about what middle-class tax cuts mean to Hispanic families check out our new Middle-Class Tax Cut’s Impact on Hispanic-American Families fact sheet, also available in Spanish HERE. Personally, I know what this impact will mean for my family, but we want to hear from you. The President asked the American people to speak loudly by sharing what $2,000 means to them online on Facebook and via Twitter using the hashtag #My2k. Join the conversation and share your story.

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico in the Oval Office, Nov. 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico in the Oval Office, Nov. 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama also recently welcomed President-elect of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto to the Oval Office. They discussed the close relationship between Mexico and the United States, and the President noted that President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto’s reform agenda is one that Americans will watch closely. Watch their full remarks here.

A giant red AIDS ribbon is put on display in honor of World AIDS Day on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, 2012. (Official White House Pho

A giant red AIDS ribbon is put on display in honor of World AIDS Day on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Lastly, 2012 has been another busy and inspirational year in our collective efforts to prevent and treat HIV. A few days ago, the White House hosted Rosie Perez, key scientists, policymakers, and community stakeholders to commemorate World AIDS Day. For HIV positive Latinos, there are many challenges to making sure that they live healthy lives. Treatment for HIV is very expensive, and Latinos are the most uninsured racial/ethnic group in the US. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will have access to no co-pay HIV education and screening services. Clearly, there is much work to be done—and changing people’s lives for the better is often an incremental process – but trust that we will continue making strides to make this an AIDS-free generation. To read more about World AIDS Day at the White House, click here.

As always, please share with your networks and we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!

Julie Chavez Rodriguez
Associate Director
White House | Office of Public Engagement

Agency Updates

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Webinar Series
November 27, 2012
The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program at the U.S. Department of Education provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic Students. Please join members of the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Division for an informational webinar addressing preparation for a possible grant competition in 2013.

NASA Announces Leadership Changes At Glenn And Johnson
November 16, 2012
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced leadership changes Friday for the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Johnson Space Center in Houston. Ellen Ochoa will succeed Michael Coats as Johnson’s center director. Ochoa has served as Johnson’s deputy director since September 2007. She is a four-time space shuttle astronaut who previously served as director and deputy director of flight crew operations at Johnson.

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against North Carolina Company
November 30, 2012
The Justice Department announced that it reached an agreement with Gamewell Mechanical Inc., a subsidiary of Woodfin Heating Inc., based in Salisbury, N.C., resolving claims that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), when it terminated three employees based on the incorrect assumption that they were undocumented foreign nationals when they were in fact U.S. citizens.

Blog Highlights

Cecilia Muñoz: Hispanic-American Families Just Can’t Afford Tax Increases
As the debate over the so-called “fiscal cliff” in Washington continues, much of the conversation centers on deficit reduction, revenues, and tax rates. But what is easily lost in that conversation is the very real meaning this has for Hispanic-American families all across America. Download the fact sheet and spread the word regarding the implications of the Fiscal Cliff on Hispanic-Americans. (Also available in Spanish HERE.)

Honoring the Memory of My Grandfather, César E. Chávez
In October, the President traveled to Keene, California to honor the memory of César Estrada Chávez, by designating the property at Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz as a National Monument. As a granddaughter to César E. Chávez, read why this dedication was especially powerful and moving to Julie Rodriguez. You can also read the President’s remarks, and find more information from the Department of the Interior on the National Monument.

The Untold Story About the U.S.-Mexico Border Violence
Narco-trafficking. Illegal Immigration. A place of great insecurity. Listen to the national media and these are the images they would have you believe define and characterize the U.S.-Mexico Border. Though Mexico confronts serious security challenges and works hard to tackle them, the benefits derived from scale and magnitude of our economic partnership with Mexico literally dwarfs those challenges.

Get Involved

Apply for the Summer 2013 White House Internship Program
The application for the Summer 2013 White House Internship Program is now open. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office of the President and engage them in public service opportunities. Learn more about the program and the application process. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2013.

Apply for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellowship
CHCI Fellowships seeks to enhance participants’ leadership abilities, strengthen professional skills and ultimately produce more competent and competitive Latino professionals in public policy areas. This fellowship offers the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the national level in the public policy area of their choice. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2013. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2013 and this fellowship offers the opportunity to gain hands-

One Last Stand for Our Military Women

National Women's Law Center
  End the Abortion Coverage Ban Now  
  Tell your Members of Congress to urge congressional leadership to include an amendment to end the abortion coverage ban in a final bill the President signs into law.  

In the past three weeks, you’ve sent over 54,000 emails to Members of Congress asking them to end the abortion coverage ban on servicewomen who become pregnant due to rape. Just this week, the Senate affirmed our efforts by voting unanimously to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and it includes Senator Jeanne Shaheen‘s amendment that would end this extreme policy.

But we’re not there yet. Negotiations are taking place right now on the final bill for the President to sign.

Tell your Members of Congress to urge congressional leadership to include this critical amendment in the final bill.

We are closer than ever to removing the abhorrent ban on abortion coverage for servicewomen and military dependents that have experienced rape or incest. This unfair policy forces them to pay for the abortion care they need, unlike their civilian counterparts who also depend on the federal government for health insurance. The only thing in the way of ending this unjust ban is some anti-choice Members of Congress who are willing to play politics with the women that serve this nation.

Don’t let anti-choice Members of Congress negotiate away abortion coverage for servicewomen who become pregnant due to rape.

Tell your Members of Congress to urge their leaders to include the critical Shaheen amendment in a final bill for the President to sign into law.

Congressional leaders will finish their negotiations at any moment.

Make sure they hear voice today.

Thanks for all you do to protect women’s reproductive health.


Judy Waxman   Judy Waxman
Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights
National Women’s Law Center

P.S. Your support allows us to continue to fight for women’s health, as well as work on many other critical issues. Please consider making a generous donation today.

Congress Must Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts


President Obama urges Congress to extend the middle class income tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses without delay, making it clear that a balanced approach to deficit reduction means that Republicans in Congress must agree to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates.

ThinkProgress …

Congress‘s lame duck session is proving more interesting than expected. Don’t miss out on these three important ThinkProgress stories from this week:

1. What You Need To Know About The Michigan GOP’s ‘Right-To-Work’ Assault On Workers

2. 11 Reasons You’re Glad Jim DeMint Is Leaving The Senate

3. After Spending $9 Million To Defeat Her, Wall Street Watches Sen-Elect Warren Join Banking Committee


Igor Volsky
Deputy Editor, ThinkProgress