Weekly Address: Averting the Sequester and Finding a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction
President Obama urges Congress to act to avoid a series of harmful and automatic cuts — called a sequester — from going into effect that would hurt our economy and the middle class and threaten thousands of American jobs. The President urges Congress to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that makes investments in areas that help us grow and cuts what we don’t need.
Watch this week’s Weekly Address.
In Case You Missed It
Here’s a quick glimpse at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
Common-sense Reforms: On Monday, President Obama traveled Midwest to Minneapolis to speak with local police, community leaders and folks who have experienced gun violence in their family. The President firmly believes “law enforcement and other community leaders must have a seat at the table.”
With mounting support for universal background checks, President Obama is driving Congress to listen and take action. While pressing for background checks, the President did not let up.
“We shouldn’t stop there. We should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines,” said President Obama. “And that deserves a vote in Congress — because weapons of war have no place on our streets, or in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.”
Watch the full speech here and read our blog post tracking the two weeks since President Obama released his plan for reducing gun violence.
Sequester Delay: On Tuesday, President Obama talked about the sequester and urged Congress to act before automatic spending cuts are put into place starting March 1. If a new deal is not struck by March 1, automatic spending cuts, which are known as the sequester will begin.
Billions of dollars in cuts would hinder education and research, along with defense spending to name a few. President Obama called for “a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms” as he is prepared to work with republicans to strike a deal for the American people.
Newest Cabinet Nominee: On Wednesday, President Obama nominated Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department. If the current CEO of the outdoor retail giant REI is confirmed, she will play a critical role in protecting our country’s land and natural resources. Along with an enthusiasm for the outdoors, she carries with her experience as a former oil engineer and commercial banker, which will be vital in dealing with our energy sector and creating jobs for Americans.
Jewell is very excited to work with the Interior and “sharing their hopes and their dreams for our public lands, our resources, our people — especially our first people — our history and our culture.”
Revamped Immigration Page: On Wednesday, the White House released a new issue section laying out what is at stake for comprehensive immigration reform. The President’s proposal calls for the strengthening of our borders, cracking down on companies that hire undocumented workers, creating a path to earned citizenship and streamlining our legal immigration system.
National Prayer Breakfast: On Thursday, President Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton. Citing the importance of faith in his life, the President discussed the comfort Scripture gave President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I thought about their humility, and how we don’t seem to live that out the way we should, every day, even when we give lip service to it,” said the President.
The biggest hope from the breakfast was Americans, especially our public servants, should embrace cooperation and humility to avoid the constant bipartisan rhetoric in Washington. Watch the full speech here.
SOTU Preparation: This Tuesday, the President will speak to the country through the annual State of the Union address. President Obama will discuss the most demanding issues facing our country and offer solutions to tackle these challenges. On February 12, at 9 pm ET head to our State of the Union page to watch a live enhanced version with charts, graphs, and data to coincide with his address. Before Tuesday, check out our page to view the 2012 enhanced version and discover new ways you can participate in this year’s State of the Union.