White House Women’s Update: Inauguration 2013 – Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall

Council on Women and Girls

Greetings All-

We hope this message finds you well. It has been an exciting and busy week here at The White House, with the start of a new term and great news for women and all Americans.

On Monday, President Obama delivered his Second Inaugural Address. He inspired us with his words, and set the tone for our work by saying: “the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

This week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced a decision to rescind the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule for women. The Department of Defense plans to remove gender-based barriers to service, including combat positions.

President Obama issued a statement reaffirming the Administration’s commitment to protecting the reproductive rights of women in honor of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade which took place on January 22nd.

The President’s second term offers many ways for you to participate in conversations with the President and his team. Read on for opportunities to engage, and don’t forget to follow the Chair of the White House Council on Women & Girls, Valerie Jarrett on Twitter, “@vj44.” We look forward to continuing the conversation!

Best wishes,

The White House Council on Women & Girls

The Second Inauguration of Barack Obama

On Monday, January 21st, 2013, President Obama delivered his Second Inaugural Address. The speech was 2,137 words long and took 15 minutes to deliver.

“For our journey is not complete,” he said, “until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.”

You can read the official transcript here.

You can watch the video here.

President Obama Delivers His Second Inaugural Address

Be a Part of the Next Four Years

The President’s second term will offer many ways for citizens to participate in conversations with the President and his team about the issues that are most important to them, from immigration reform to preventing gun violence to changing our tax code. In keeping with President Obama’s commitment to creating the most accessible and participatory Administration in history, the next four years will feature ongoing opportunities for citizens to add their voices to discussions in Washington, creating an open dialogue and working together to move our country forward.

We put together a video that looks at some of the ways President Obama has engaged with ordinary citizens over the last four years, and highlights ongoing opportunities for Americans to raise their voices and join the national conversation:

Be a Part of the Next Four Years

Defense Department Expands Combat Role of Women

Thursday marked a historic moment where the Department of Defense moved to integrate women into more occupational fields and positions in the military – including combat. The President released a statement which can be found here, in which he said:

“Today, by moving to open more military positions—including ground combat units—to women, our armed forces have taken another historic step toward harnessing the talents and skills of all our citizens. This milestone reflects the courageous and patriotic service of women through more than two centuries of American history and the indispensable role of women in today’s military. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, including more than 150 women who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan—patriots whose sacrifices show that valor knows no gender.”

More on this announcement can be found here.

Valerie Jarrett's Twitter

Statement by the President on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

On January 22nd, 2013, President Obama issued the following statement on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

“On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reaffirm its historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women across this country and stand by its guiding principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters, and women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. Today and every day, my Administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to supporting women and families in the choices they make and redouble our efforts to promote safe and healthy communities.”

You can read the President’s statement here.

TGIF … and the Hyde Amendment

I blog … well, I sound off.

I received a like & a comment from someone from the extreme right, well, a breitbart team member. I am not afraid of communicating with anyone who disagrees with me or me them but admit to debating whether to follow a blog that is so opposite of everything I believe in and wonder why would a breitbart follower follow me? I have no respect for what breitbart represented.

I also have issues with FOX being considered a news program that is actually a Republican station, so any use of them as a resource is just not going to fly. When it comes to Election2012, I am definitely concerned about the folks that Ryan represents the fact that he not only follows, but also quotes Ayn Rand while quietly plotting out a plan to overturn roe V wade. The top of the ticket is an even scarier thought because Ryan like Romney along with other Republicans have planned NOT to give Americans the necessary information to make intelligent choices. Though folks are starting to tune in this – is the most important election Americans have had to participate in and Republicans are doing whatever they have to in order that left leaning folks right to vote is suppressed in election2012. I am, particularly concerned about a woman’s right to choose as Republican Governors  took it upon themselves to pass unacceptable legislation ,screamed about their religious freedoms have been violated. While women all over the World watched in horror as a panel of men who not only refused to listen to Sandra fluke, they denied Eleanor Holmes Norton a seat at the table as well. I don’t know about you but I was pissed, scared and determined not to let a group of men turn back the clock in a fight for by women who suffered from a lack of Equality in all its forms, I mean are these men serious? do they think women are too stupid to make their own health care decisions or is there another reason for the sudden need to ban birth control possibly trash roe V wade.  Maybe. I know Women’s suffrage was about a whole lot more than reproductive rights and we all must remember VAMA and the Equal pay Act are bills sitting waiting to become laws. While those in Congress, specifically republicans have decided, no business is good for their Elections there is a lot of Republican talk out there about birth control and abortion, which should scare Women. As VP Joe Biden stated in the debate, roe V wade is only as safe as the Supreme Court justices allowed to sit on the court are objective.    The Hyde amendment was a knee jerk reaction from a man or group of men who believed that had the right to invade a Woman’s personal space, life and their right to choose. Unfortunately, in the end it became a law. We all know 98% of women use birth control. I know plenty girls (women) who have had abortions at 18, some are now married , have kids doing quite well thank you… went to college have good jobs and some are in that 47% because they are single parents . As a person of colour and mom, I am more than scared to be governed by Romney/Ryan … imagine that finger wagging Gov. Brewer did ; only it will be Romney/Ryan after having eliminated all social programs warning all of us brown, black mixed and whites folks considered low life 47% that the time has come for the Rich to Rule America.

I grew up thinking America was a good place to live for everyone but given the push the have it all trying to buy Election2012 Votes, we must all stay the course, fight back with our votes to fight the mission to turn back the clock or change our democracy.  I have some serious doubts, especially with what I am reading on your blog – Republicans have taken a big risk and those 47% include Vets, teachers, firefighters police …City County and state workers cut slashed burned by the GOP.

I know the write up was negative … Though it might be a good opportunity to trade information, find out exactly why ideology rates higher than the greater good … well, and at least ask.

FYI … from the Center for American Progress 

The History of the Hyde Amendment – Click on the link below for more information

Unhappy Birthday to the Amendment That Started the War on Women

… birth control become controversial?” In some ways, we can thank former Rep. Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) for setting us on this path. The attacks on contraceptive coverage can be traced back to an amendment of his that turns 36 years old today. The Hyde Amendment…

By Jessica Arons | Monday, October 1, 2012

  • Introduction: 30 Years is Long Enough, by Jessica Arons
  • Part One: Hyde Amendment History, by Marlene Gerber Fried
  • Part Two: Dignity and Justice for Some?, by Sarah Horsley
  • Part Three: Does the Hyde Amendment Violate Human Rights?, by Patty Skuster and Jamie D. Brooks
  • Part Four: Expanding Reproductive Choice, by Susan Jenkins
  • Part Five: The Future of Hyde, by Toni M. Bond Leonard

Congress: Republican led House ::::: Democratic Senate


the Senate will reConvene at 2:00pmET February 4, 2013

and the session will begin … read below

  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.47, the Violence Against Women Act with the time until 5:30pm equally divided and controlled.
  • At 5:30pm, the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to S.47, the Violence Against Women Act.


11:05:39 A.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on February 4, 2013.

« Previous Day

Congress: the Republican led House :::::: the Senate led by Democrats

the Senate Convenes: 9:30amET January 30, 2013

  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business for two hours with Senators permitted to speak therein for up 10 minutes each with the Majority controlling the first hour and the Republicans controlling the second hour.
  • At 2:30pm, Senator Kerry will be recognized for up to 30 minutes for the purposes of delivering his farewell address.
  • We hope to complete action on the debt limit legislation (H.R.325) before the end of the week.

The period for morning business has been extended until 3pm. We hope to be able to lock in an agreement to consider H.R.325, an Act to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013, and for other purposes (Debt Limit). Another message will be sent once an agreement is reached.

The Senate has reached an agreement to consider H.R.325, the debt limit legislation. The agreement results in up to 6 roll call votes tomorrow (4 amendments, 1 motion, and passage of the bill). We expect to have one vote at approximately 12:15pm and the remaining votes at 2:15pm. The amendments and motion are subject to 60-affirmative vote thresholds, but we expect motions to table those items, which would require a simple majority of votes to table.

The votes would be in relation to the items listed below.


– Portman (dollar for dollar cuts – S.43 text);

(recess for caucus meetings)


– Portman (government shutdown prevention – S.29 text);

– Toomey (full faith and credit);

– Paul (prohibition of F-16s to Egypt);

– Vitter motion to commit (spending cuts); and

– Passage of H.R.325, as amended, if amended (Debt Limit).

The text of the agreement can be found below.

Following Leader remarks on Thursday, January 31st, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of Calendar #7, H.R.325. Following amendments, the text of which are at the desk, be the only first degree amendments in order to the bill:

– Portman (dollar for dollar cuts – S.43 text);

– Portman (government shutdown prevention – S.29 text);

– Toomey (full faith and credit); and

– Paul (prohibition of F-16s to Egypt).

The only motion to commit in order to the bill is a Vitter motion to commit regarding spending cuts. The time until 12:15pm will be for debate on the amendments, motion and the bill, to run concurrently and equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees, prior to votes in relation to the amendments and the Vitter motion in the order listed. Upon disposition of the amendments and the Vitter motion, the Senate will proceed to a vote on passage of H.R.325, as amended, if amended. The amendments and the Vitter motion are subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold. No amendments are in order to any of the amendments or the Vitter motion prior to the votes. Finally, there will be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote and that all after the first vote will ten minute votes.

After Senator Reid asked the consent, Senator Inhofe stated that he intended to seek a vote on an amendment regarding sequestration, but he would not object at this time.




Discharged the Judiciary Committee and adopted S.Res.13, Congratulating the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for 100 years of service to communities throughout the United Stated and the world, and commending Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for its promotion of sisterhood, scholarship, and service.

Adopted S.Res.22, Recognizing the goals of Catholic Schools Week and honoring the valuable contributions of Catholic schools in the United States.

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.177, To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 entirely. (Cruz)



Watch Most Recent House Floor Activity

The next meeting is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on February 1, 2013.