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News & Press: Administration News

Shining a Light on our Researchers, Doctors, Nurses, and Caregivers

Monday, November 11, 2013  
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Friends,

This has been an important week in a number of key policy areas that impact women, including immigration reform and healthcare.

Earlier this week, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women & Girls, joined the President Obama, Vice President Biden and Senior Administration officials for a meeting with business leaders on immigration reform.

In addition to this meeting, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal authored a piece on the importance of immigration reform in protecting victims of domestic violence.

On Tuesday, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted the 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Reception.They were joined by survivors, caregivers, families, doctors, researchers, and advocates who have all been touched by breast cancer.

And earlier this week, Katherine Archuleta was sworn in as the first Latina Director of the Office of Personnel Management.Please read below to learn more about Katherine and the responsibilities of her new position.

In case you missed it, First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated Diwali at the White House. She joined students for a Bollywood Dance Clinic in the State Dining Room of the White House.Be sure to read below for more on their great visit.

Thank you for all that you do!

The White House Council on Women & Girls

The Time is Now: President Obama Meets with Business Leaders on Immigration Reform

Reflecting on a meeting with business leaders on immigration reform, Valerie Jarrett posted a blog about her experience:

Today, I joined the President, Vice President and senior Administration officialsfor a meeting at the White Housewith a group of top U.S. business leaders to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform to bolster U.S. economic growth, and improve the climate for business, and job creation. These leaders shared with the President their desire to see our broken immigration system fixed, both because it is the right thing to do, and because it will be good for the U.S. economy.

Read the full post from Valerie Jarrett here.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with business leaders to discuss immigration reform to bolster U.S. economic growth

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with business leaders to discuss immigration reform to bolster U.S. economic growth, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Survivors Can’t Afford to Wait

Domestic Violence Awareness Monthmay have ended, but our work to end abuse continues. Today, in this country, women and children continue to suffer from unspeakable violence because they are afraid to seek help without legal status. When immigrant survivors of abuse without legal status are, according to one study,half as likelyto call the police to seek the help they need, we must act.

Since it was first signed into law in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA has recognized the need for special protections for immigrant survivors of abuse, including self-petitions and categories of visas for victims of violent crimes and human trafficking. But while VAWA includes key provisions to help immigrant survivors, it is not enough.

Now, Congress has the opportunity to take an important step towards protecting victims, and supporting law enforcement to create safer communities for all Americans. Commonsense immigration reformwould significantly benefitimmigrant women all over the country. The Senate has already passed an immigration reform bill by a wide, bipartisan majority. And Democratic leaders have introduced a bill in the House that’s similar to the bipartisan Senate bill. So it’s up to Republicans in the House to decide whether to move forward with immigration reform. Unlike many other issues in Washington, immigration reform is one that both parties can agree on. Congress must finish the job oncommonsense immigration reform.

Read more here.

Shining a Light on our Researchers, Doctors, Nurses, and Caregivers

Earlier this week, the Vice President and Dr. Biden hosted their 2ndAnnual Breast Cancer Awareness Reception. They were joined by survivors, caregivers, families, doctors, researchers, and advocates who have all been touched by breast cancer.

As Dr. Biden wrote:

Each year, this reception is one of the most inspiring events that we hold at our home, and this year was no different. As I embraced both old and new friends, I was reminded of the bravery of the survivors and their loved ones. I saw the hope in their eyes, their unwavering spirit, and their determination to continue pushing forward.

This year, we asked all of the survivors to invite someone who was important to them during their course of treatment. Joe and I know that the fight against breast cancer is not only limited to what the patient endures, but also extends to the family members, the caregivers, the doctors, and researchers who work day in and day out to save lives and support those that they love.

Read more here.

Dr. Jill Biden gives remarks at a breast cancer awareness month reception with Vice President Joe Biden, in the living room at the Naval Observatory R

Dr. Jill Biden gives remarks at a breast cancer awareness month reception with Vice President Joe Biden, in the living room at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

President Obama to Dallas Health Care Volunteers: "Nothing Is Going to Stop Us from Getting This Done."

The President joined canvassers and navigators who are part of the community's most active group of volunteers working to enroll their neighbors in quality, affordable coverage through the Marketplace. He personally thanked them for their work, calling out the fact that ultimately, "all the politics, all the chatter sometimes leaves out the fact that the system we had -- the status quo -- just wasn't working for too many people."

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an Affordable Care Act event at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an Affordable Care Act event at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

At a time when 24 states -- Texas included -- have neglected to take advantage of the Medicaid expansion available to working families in their states under the Affordable Care Act, the President acknowledged that 133,000 Texans in Dallas alone would immediately have coverage if Texas decided to expand the program.

You can read the President's full remarkshere.

The Truth About Artificial Trans Fats

For decades Americans have been trying to reduce their consumption of artificial trans fats.Parentscheck the food labels when grocery shopping for their families and consumers are making better choices when eating out. Companies like McDonalds and Subway stepped up and made it easier by removing all artificial trans fats from their products. And Wal-Mart has pledged to no longer have artificial trans fat on their store shelves by 2015.

But there is still more to be done by government, industry and consumers to make sure that we have the tools we need tokeep unsafe foods offour tables.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHO), are an artificial substance that is formed by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil during processing to make it more solid. PHOs are the leading source of artificial trans fat; they cause plaque buildup in the arteries, are a contributing factor to heart attacks, and for too many, an early death. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that a further reduction of artificial trans fat in the food supply can prevent up to 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and as many as 20,000 heart attacks each year.

Thursday, in keeping with their mission to keep the American food supply safe, the FDA released for public comment its preliminary determination, consistent with science, that PHOs are no longer "generally recognized as safe.”FDA is seeking public comment on this finding as well as input on the amount of time that would potentially be needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fat should this determination be finalized.

The good news is that many food manufacturers have already taken this on—it is becoming easier to find foods without trans fats. FDA’s action could make it easier still. Today’s action is an important step in a direction that America has already begun to move in, which will keep us healthier while enjoying the foods we love.

Read more here.

Welcoming Katherine Archuleta, the First Latina Director of the Office of Personnel Management

Monday, Katherine Archuleta was sworn-in as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and will serve as the Federal government’s personnel chief. She will be the first Latina to hold this position. Katherine shares President Obama’s vision for diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce, whichthe President saidhelps "create more effective policymaking and better decision-making [for me], because it brings different perspectives to the table.”

OPM is uniquely positioned to have a significant influence on the face of the federal government, welcoming people from all backgrounds and utilizing their talents to have a positive impact on our communities. When we draw on the wisdom of a workforce that reflects the population we serve, we are better able to understand and meet the needs of our customers-the American people.

Read more here.

First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates Diwali at the White House

On Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed guests to the White House for a Diwali celebration. The celebration started with the First Lady surprising local students at a Bollywood dance clinic and trying out some moves herself.

Then the First Lady spoke in the East Room:

"We’ve celebrated this holiday here at the White House every year since Barack took office. And there’s a reason why we've done that,” she said.

When we say that we want to make the White House the "people’s house,” we mean all people.We mean that we want to honor and embrace all of the many cultures and faith traditions that make us who we are as Americans.And Diwali is very much one of those traditions.

Read more here.

First Lady Michelle Obama joins students for a Bollywood Dance Clinic in the State Dining Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House

First Lady Michelle Obama joins students for a Bollywood Dance Clinic in the State Dining Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


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