Category Archives: White House Blog

Ask an Expert About Refinancing

This afternoon, we sent the message below to the White House email list to help announce this week's Google+ Hangout with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. If you didn't get the email, be sure to sign up for the White House email list. Read the email below, then join us on Thursday:

As we've been talking about President Obama's plan to make it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance, we've heard many different questions about the process.

So we've set up a special online event with the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, to answer your questions and go over the issue in detail.

This Thursday at 3:15 p.m. EDT, Secretary Donovan will participate in a live video conference with homeowners from across the country.

RSVP to the conversation with Secretary Donovan – and we'll send you a reminder before the event.

To get the conversation started, we sat down with Secretary Donovan and asked him to answer one of the most popular questions we've received — how will cutting red tape for responsible homeowners help the economy at large?

So take a minute to watch his answer, RSVP for the conversation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and find out how to submit your questions:


Watch the video

Also, please pass along this invite to other folks you know who may be interested in refinancing and housing generally. It's important to make sure everyone has the facts about this important issue.

Don't forget to tune in this Thursday at 3:15 p.m. EDT.


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President Obama Signs Bill to Create Jobs, Restore America’s Transportation System

Ed. Note: This is a cross-post from Fast Lane, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's official blog

Last Friday afternoon, President Obama signed legislation that will put thousands of construction workers on jobsites across the country and supports our commitment to restoring America's infrastructure.

This transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), will sustain our Highway Trust Fund and provide states and communities with two years of steady funding to build needed roads, bridges, and transit systems. It also builds on DOT's efforts to improve safety across all forms of transportation and to make progress on transportation alternatives as we have done during the last three years.

President Obama signs MAP-21

President Barack Obama signs HR 4348, the Transportation and Student Loan Interest Rate bill during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

June 7, 2012.

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Join us for a White House Google+ Hangout with Secretary Donovan Moderated by Zillow, Inc.

Today, home interest rates are at historic lows. The average homeowners could save $3,000 a year by refinancing, but far too many borrowers are locked out of a chance to do so. President Obama has a plan to help millions of responsible homeowners save hundreds of dollars each month by refinancing. 

Want to know more about the President’s plan, and other government programs that are already helping thousands of homeowners across the country? Join us on Thursday, July 12th at 3: 15 pm EDT, for a White House Google+ Hangout on mortgage refinancing with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, moderated by the real estate marketplace, Zillow, Inc. 

Secretary Donovan will join a conversation, moderated by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, with participating homeowners about refinancing options, such as the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) and President Obama’s plan to streamline refinancing for responsible homeowners.  

During the Hangout, the Secretary will also answer questions from the public. You can participate and ask your question by visiting the special tab on Zillow’s Facebook page , or via Twitter using the hashtag #WHHangout.

Then, don’t forget to watch the Hangout live at 3:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 on,or on the White House Google+ page.

Here are the details:

Watch a video message about the Hangout from Secretary Donovan: 

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Weekly Address: Pushing Congress to Create Jobs, Keep College in Reach for Middle Class

President Obama discusses legislation he signed on Friday that does two important things: It keeps thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and it stops interest rates on federal loans from doubling this year for more than seven million students. 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

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From the Archives: President Obama Hosts a Twitter Town Hall

One year ago today, July 6, 2011, President Obama participated in the first-ever Twitter Town Hall held at the White House. The event, which was moderated by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, was an opportunity for people across the Twitterverse to send questions directly to the President on topics that were important to them – including health care, the economy, education, and even space exploration.

Watch as President Obama becomes the first President to "live tweet" from the East Room of the White House:

 You can see the full list of questions President Obama answered during the event here.

The White House uses Twitter to share breaking news, provide updates and engage with Americans across the country. Join the 2.95 million @whitehouse followers, and be sure to check out all of our official accounts below:

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President Obama Signs the Transportation and Student Loan Bill

This afternoon, President Obama signed legislation that accomplishes two important goals — keeping thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding America's infrastructure and preventing interest rates on federal student loans from doubling.

"These steps will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans — some of whom are standing with us here today," the President said. "But make no mistake — we’ve got a lot more to do."

The President addressed an audience of students and construction workers from the East Room of the White House.

"[Let's] make sure that we are keeping folks on the job and we're keeping our students in school," he said.

Earlier, we shared a video with young people who helped to push for this bill describing why it's so important to speak out. Give it a watch.

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How Summer Jobs+ Helped Me

Ed. Note: Aviation High School in New York City is a uniquely specialized, co-educational high school that prepares students for careers in aviation maintenance and the aerospace industry. Students complete both rigorous vocational and academic programs that provide excellent preparation for both college and aviation-related careers. In support of the Summer Jobs+ initiative, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the nation’s largest airline union, expanded its annual mentoring partnership with New York City’s Aviation High School. This April, the IAM flew the group of Aviation High School seniors to Washington, D.C. for a four-day program that also included the students receiving career advice from a major airline’s Vice President of Human Resources, learning the responsibilities of being an aviation technician from a veteran airline mechanic, and a visit to the National Transportation Safety Board. This year’s program also included discussions between 28 seniors and officials from the Department of Education, the National Mediation Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Jimmy was one of the students who made the trip. 

When I began school, English was my second language. It took me five years, from kindergarten to fourth grade, to move out of the ESL program, and I had to work twice as hard to keep up with my English-speaking classmates.

But in the end, that kind of dedication was an excellent way to prepare for Aviation High School.

Although it wasn’t my first choice of high schools, I have come to learn about all the great opportunities Aviation has to offer. As a sophomore, I saw my school’s hangar for the first time and was amazed by how big it was and the variety of planes it held. I asked my teachers if we would work on them and they replied “Yes of course, someone has to fix those birds.”  I was more excited than ever about working in the hangar and set my goals towards that.

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Why Your Voice Matters on Student Loans

Just a few weeks ago, there was a real possibility that Congress would allow interest rates for federal student loans to double.

But today, President Obama is signing legislation that will keep 7.4 million students from paying thousands of extra dollars.

And it happened because of you.

All across the country, people like you spoke out. You raised your voices on Twitter and Facebook. You sent emails and talked to your friends and neighbors.

Last week, we talked to a group of students who were part of that effort — all of whom would have been would have been affected by the higher interest rates — and they talked about why it's so important for people to speak out.

The video is a powerful reminder of how everday Americans can make their voices reasonate in Washington.

Take a moment to watch, then share it with your friends.

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West Wing Week: 7/6/2012 or “The Freedom Everybody is Looking For”

This week, the President traveled to Colorado Springs to survey fire damage and honor responders. He also celebrated Independence Day with a naturalization ceremony at the White House and a picnic for military families on the South Lawn.

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From the Archives: President Obama Travels to Russia, Italy, and Ghana

On July 5, 2009, President Obama embarked on an official international trip, making stops in Russia, Italy, and Ghana. He met with then-Russian President Medvedev in Moscow to discuss a “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations, attended the G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, met the Pope at the Vatican, and gave an important foreign policy speech in Ghana, laying out his vision for human rights and democracy in Africa’s future.

White House photographers captured many behind-the-scenes moments from the trip, and shared some of the best images on the White House Flickr feed. Check out the slideshow below, or head over to Flickr to see the full-size gallery.

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