OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (PDF)
Source: Office of Management and Budget (White House)
The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (STA) (P.L. 112-155) requires the President to submit to Congress a report on the potential sequestration triggered by the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deicit Reduction to propose, and Congress to enact, a plan to re duce the deicit by $1.2 trillion, as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). In re sponse, the Ofice of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing this report based on assump tions required by the STA. The report provides Congress with a breakdown of exempt and non-exempt budget accounts, an estimate of the funding reductions that would be required across non-exempt accounts, an explanation of the calculations in the report, and additional information on the potential implementation of the sequestration.
In August 2011, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate voted for the threat of sequestration as a mechanism to force Congress to act on further deicit reduction. The specter of harmful across-the-board cuts to defense and nondefense programs was intended to drive both sides to compromise. The sequestration itself was never intended to be imple mented. The Administration strongly believes that sequestration is bad policy, and that Con gress can and should take action to avoid it by passing a comprehensive and balanced deicit reduction package.
As the Administration has made clear, no amount of planning can mitigate the effect of these cuts. Sequestration is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument. It is not the respon sible way for our Nation to achieve deicit reduction. The President has already presented two proposals for balanced and comprehensive deicit reduction. It is time for Congress to act. Members of Congress should work together to produce a balanced plan that achieves at least the level of deicit reduction agreed to in the BCA that the President can sign to avoid sequestration. The Administration stands ready to work with Congress to get the job done.
The estimates and classiications in the report are preliminary. If the sequestration were to occur, the actual results would differ based on changes in law and ongoing legal, budgetary, and technical analysis. However, the report leaves no question that the sequestration would be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments, and core government func tions. Under the assumptions required by the STA, the sequestration would result in a 9.4 percent reduction in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding. The sequestration would also impose cuts of 2.0 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt nondefense mandatory programs, and 10.0 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs.
An America Built to Last: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AGENDA AND THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY (PDF)
Source: White House
Latinos will continue to drive the growth of the labor force in the coming decades – as they will account for 60 percent of the Nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050 – so how Latinos recover from this recession is of both immediate and long-term importance to our economy. However, according to the Pew Research Center, these same families also experienced a 66 percent decline in median wealth from 2005 to 2009.
Over the last three and a half years since taking office, the President and his Administration have worked to lay the groundwork for an America that is built to last, stopping the free-fall of the economy and working to restore the middle class. Every issue the President and this Administration take on is of vital importance to the Latino community: from promoting job creation, to making sure that every American has access to quality health care, to reforms that strengthen education for all Americans, to fighting for comprehensive immigration reform while standing up for the civil rights of all Americans.
To this end, the President has taken a series of steps to spur economic growth, put Americans back to work, and restore middle class security. As a result, over the last 29 months 4.5 million private sector jobs have been created putting Americans back to work and restoring economic security to Latino families struggling because of the economic crisis. And while still unacceptably high, the Hispanic unemployment has dropped to 10.3 percent from a high of more than 13 percent.
Source: White House
Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States. Our security is affected when masses of civilians are slaughtered, refugees flow across borders, and murderers wreak havoc on regional stability and livelihoods. America’s reputation suffers, and our ability to bring about change is constrained, when we are perceived as idle in the face of mass atrocities and genocide. Unfortunately, history has taught us that our pursuit of a world where states do not systematically slaughter civilians will not come to fruition without concerted and coordinated effort.
President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2011 Tax ReturnsSource: White House
Today, the President released his 2011 federal income and gift tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $789,674. About half of the first family’s income is the President’s salary; the other half is from sales proceeds of the President’s books. The Obamas paid $162,074 in total tax.
The President and First Lady also reported donating $172,130 – or about 22% of their adjusted gross income – to 39 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was a $117,130 contribution to the Fisher House Foundation. The President is donating the after-tax proceeds from his children’s book to Fisher House, a scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled soldiers.
The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2011 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident tax return for the state of Virginia. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $379,035. The Bidens paid $87,900 in total federal tax for 2011. They paid $13,843 in Delaware income tax and $3,614 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $5,540 to charity in 2011.
The Buffett Rule: A Basic Principle of Tax Fairness (PDF)Source: White House
The Buffett Rule is the basic principle that no household making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay. Warren Buffett has famously stated that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, but as this report documents this situation is not uncommon. This situation is the result of decades of the tax system being tilted in favor of high-income households at the expense of the middle class. Not only is this unfair, it can also be economically inefficient by providing opportunities for tax planning and distorting decisions. The President has proposed the Buffett Rule as a basic rule of tax fairness that should be met in tax reform. To achieve this principle, the President has proposed that no millionaire pay less than 30 percent of their income in taxes.
New Report: Affordable Care Act Gives Americans More Security, Better Benefits
Source: White House
The White House today released a new report highlighting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. The report discusses how the Affordable Care Act has improved the health care system for millions of Americans and includes stories of Americans who have been helped by the law.
“Today, two years after we passed health care reform, more young adults have insurance, more seniors are saving money on their prescription drugs, and more Americans can rest easy knowing they won’t be dropped from their insurance plans if they get sick,” said President Obama. “The law has made a difference for millions of Americans, and over time, it will help give even more working and middle-class families the security they deserve.”
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:
- 2.5 million more young adults have health insurance on their parent’s plan.
- 5.1 million people with Medicare saved an average of $635 on the cost of their prescription drugs. And everyone on Medicare can get preventive services like mammograms for free.
- Insurance companies must spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on health care and not overhead and cannot raise your premiums by 10 percent or more with no accountability.
- It is illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition. And in 2014, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition will be illegal.
+ Full Report (PDF)
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Commitment to American Made Energy
Source: White House
Today, President Obama highlighted his Administration’s focus on a sustained, all-of-the-above approach to developing American energy, which has included doubling renewable electricity generation, increasing oil and gas production on federal lands and waters, and reducing our reliance on foreign oil, most notably through the historic fuel economy standards the President has established, which will nearly double the efficiency of the vehicles we drive and save families $1.7 trillion at the pump. As part of the President’s comprehensive strategy for a secure energy future, he will outline the steps his Administration is taking to promote the development of necessary infrastructure and accelerate the pace of innovation of clean and cost-effective alternatives to traditional fuels.
FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Steps to Provide Housing Relief to Veterans and Servicemembers and Help More Responsible Homeowners Refinance
In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, calling for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. While the government cannot fix the housing market on its own, the President believes that responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for the market to hit bottom to get relief when there are measures at hand that can make a meaningful difference.
Today, the President is announcing two steps the Administration is taking to support homeowners and their families – providing relief for servicemembers and veterans, including those wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied a lower interest rate on their mortgages, and reducing fees for FHA borrowers looking to refinance. Along with the President’s broader plan to help millions of Americans refinance and save thousands of dollars a year, support the communities hardest-hit by the housing crisis, and help families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, this is part of the President’s overall strategy to support responsible homeowners and the housing recovery.
Presidential Memorandum — Proposed Revised Habitat for the Spotted Owl: Minimizing Regulatory Burdens
Today, compelled by court order, the Department of the Interior (Department) proposed critical habitat for the northern spotted owl. The proposal is an initial step in gathering important information that will inform a final decision on what areas should be designated as critical habitat for the spotted owl, based on a full evaluation of all key criteria: the relevant science, economic considerations, the impact on national security, and a balancing of other factors.
Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), explicitly states that our “regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation” (emphasis added). Consistent with this mandate, Executive Order 13563 requires agencies to tailor “regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives” (emphasis added). Executive Order 13563 also requires agencies to “identify and consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice” while selecting “those approaches that maximize net benefits.” To the extent permitted by law, our regulatory system must respect these requirements.
New Report Highlights Wireless Broadband Benefits for Public Safety and Job Creation
Source: White House (Council of Economic Advisors)
Today, Vice President Biden met with law enforcement officials, firefighters and public safety groups in the Roosevelt Room and spoke to a couple hundred more first responders by telephone to thank them for their service and to discuss the new nationwide public-safety broadband network included in the Payroll Tax Extension legislation.
Members of the audience included police chiefs and sergeants from the New York City Police Department, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and the National Association of Police Organization, among others. The Vice President discussed the need to ensure the safety of first responders and the public,and announced a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) that discusses the positive benefits of wireless broadband for public safety as well as jobs, growth, and investment.
The report illustrates the economic impact of President Obama’s goal of doubling the amount of spectrum available for wireless broadcast over ten years, while adopting a nationwide inter operable wireless network.
Vice President Biden said the expanded access “will enable new spectrum to be used for innovation, to speed wireless communication, and to fulfill a promise made to first responders after 9/11 that they would have the technology they need to stay safe and do their jobs.”
+ Full Report (PDF)
President Obama’s Plan to Put Veterans Back to WorkSource: White House
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a new Veterans Job Corps initiative to help our returning veterans find pathways to civilian employment. The Administration’s new veteran employment initiatives, coupled with the work that President Obama has already accomplished in creating employment opportunities for veterans, will help put tens of thousands of veterans back to work.
FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Blueprint for Keeping College Affordable and Within Reach for All Americans
In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. As an important part of keeping the American promise alive, the President called for a comprehensive approach to tackling rising college costs. In today’s global economy, a college education is no longer just a privilege for some, but rather a prerequisite for all. To reach a national goal of leading the world with the highest share of college graduates by 2020, we must make college more affordable.
President Obama has emphasized the responsibility shared by the federal government, states, colleges, and universities to promote access and affordability in higher education, by reining in college costs, providing value for American families, and preparing students with a solid education to succeed in their careers. Over the past three years, the Obama Administration has taken historic steps to help students afford college, including reforming our student aid system to become more efficient and reliable and by expanding grant aid and college tax credits.
This year, President Obama is calling on Congress to advance new reforms that will promote shared responsibility to address the college affordability challenge. If these proposals are passed, this will be the first time in history that the federal government has tied federal campus aid to responsible campus tuition policies.
President Obama will begin the third day of his post-State of the Union travels with an event at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, focusing on the importance of tackling rising college costs to ensure America’s students and workers can obtain the education and training they need so that we have a workforce prepared for the jobs of the 21st century.
Guest List for the First Lady’s Box at the State of the Union AddressSource: White House
First Lady Michelle Obama
Dr. Jill Biden
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
The following individuals will be seated in the box with the First Lady and Dr. Biden at the State of the Union…
2012 Progress Report: States Are Implementing Health Reform (PDF)
Source: White House
In the nearly two years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, all States have taken some action to implement health reform. For example, forty-four States are participating in the new premium rate review system where insurers must justify the rationale for any double-digit insurance premium increase. And 28 States and the District of Columbia are on their way toward establishing their own Affordable Insurance Exchange – an essential component of the law.
Affordable Insurance Exchanges are one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs. Starting in 2014, they will offer to the public the same kinds of insurance choices members of Congress will have. Exchanges will select health plans qualified to offer coverage; facilitate consumer assistance, shopping and enrollment; and coordinate eligibility for the Exchange and potential premium assistance.
National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan
Source: White House (National Ocean Council)
As part of President Obama’s National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, the National Ocean Council has released a draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. The draft Implementation Plan describes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy, and are essential to public health and national security.
The draft Implementation Plan will ensure the Federal Government targets limited resources more effectively to deliver demonstrable results for the American people, including predictability for users, more efficient and coordinated decision-making, and improved sharing of data and technology. For each action, the Plan outlines key milestones, identifies responsible agencies, and indicates the expected timeframe for completion.
+ Full Document (PDF)
As a follow up to last year’s State of the Union, today, President Obama called on Congress to reinstate Presidential authority to reorganize and consolidate the federal government, which will ensure swift action on his proposals to streamline government to make it work better for the American people while eliminating duplication, waste and inefficiencies.
“We live in a 21st century economy, but we’ve still got a government organized for the 20th century. Our economy has fundamentally changed – as has the world – but the government has not. The needs of our citizens have fundamentally changed but their government has not. Instead, it has often grown more complex. Today, I am calling on Congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had to streamline and reform the Executive Branch. This is the same sort of authority that every business owner has to make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times. And let me be clear: I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service, and a leaner government,” said President Obama.
Almost every President from Herbert Hoover to Ronald Reagan had reorganization authority. Too often past attempts to streamline government got caught up in beltway politics and power struggles that prevented meaningful consolidation. And more often than not, new agencies were added without taking any away.
Unlike the authority granted in the past, the President’s proposal would initiate new accountability by mandating that any plan must reduce the number of government agencies or save taxpayer dollars. It would also ensure expedient review by Congress.
When the President came into office, he said that “protecting the safety of our food and drugs is one of the most fundamental responsibilities government has.” He pledged to strengthen our food safety laws and to enhance the government’s food safety performance.
To help accomplish that goal, the Administration worked with Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, and a broad coalition of industry and consumer groups, to enact the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. FSMA is the most sweeping reform of our food laws in more than 70 years. It will apply modern scientific methods to target and prevent the most significant hazards and hold importers accountable for the safety of the food they bring into this country. FDA is working towards a release of proposed rules to implement FSMA and to build a modern new system of food safety oversight that harnesses the best available practices.
To oversee all of the Administration’s food safety efforts, the President created the Federal Food Safety Working Group, led by our two departments. Partner agencies include the FDA and CDC.
We’re pleased to say that the Working Group’s just released report shows that this Administration has delivered substantial results in the area of food safety. These include stricter standards to prevent contamination of food with dangerous bacteria, stronger surveillance to detect contamination problems earlier, and more rapid response to illness outbreaks.
Obama Administration Releases Report and Interactive Maps Highlighting Critical American Jobs Act Investments in Education
Source: White House
Today, the Obama Administration released a report, Education and the American Jobs Act: Creating Jobs through Investments in Our Nation’s Schools, and interactive maps that highlight estimated benefits that states and local school districts would receive if Congress acts to pass the American Jobs Act.
The White House report provides an analysis of the condition of America’s schools, which have fallen into disrepair, as well as the difficult budget environment facing school districts and teachers nationwide. In order to address these critical needs, President Obama proposed $25 billion to renovate and modernize more than 35,000 public schools and $5 billion to upgrade infrastructure at America’s community colleges through the American Jobs Act, as well as $30 billion to keep hundreds of thousands of educators in the classroom.
FACT SHEETS: U.S. and Australia Bilateral Meeting
Source: White House
Attached are fact sheets pertaining to the bilateral meeting that President Obama conducted with Prime Minister Gillard. (PDFs)
G-20: Fact Sheet on U.S. Financial Reform and the G-20 Leaders’ Agenda
Source: White House
Since the Pittsburgh Summit, the Group of Twenty (G-20) has responded decisively to the global financial crisis with an international financial regulatory reform agenda that is extraordinary both for its breadth and its level of heightened international cooperation. The agenda has strengthened the resilience of the world’s financial systems, expanded the perimeter of regulation, closed regulatory gaps, and transformed the global financial landscape. The United States and other G-20 members collectively have undertaken major financial sector reforms and strengthened the robustness of financial markets and institutions, while fostering a dynamic and innovative marketplace.
U.S. leadership has played a transformational role throughout by engaging others in a “race to the top” to raise the quality of regulation and level the playing field across major and emerging financial centers. U.S. financial reform, now in its second year of implementation since President Obama signed the historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010, is fully consistent with – and in a number of areas surpasses – our G-20 commitments. The G-20’s collective efforts will raise the bar on standards for financial stability, while avoiding fragmentation of markets and protectionism.
+ G-20: Fact Sheet on Common Global Challenges
+ G-20: Fact Sheet on Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs
+ Communiqué: G20 Leaders Summit – Cannes – 3-4 November 2011 (PDF)
+ Cannes G-20 Action Plan (PDF)
+ Cannes G-20 Declaration (PDF)