Statement by Press Secretary Jay Carney on House Republican Budget Vote
The President agrees with House Republicans that we must reduce our deficit and put our country on a fiscally sound path, but we disagree with their approach. The House Republican plan places the burden of debt reduction on those who can least afford it, ends Medicare as we know it, and doubles health care costs for seniors in order to pay for more than a trillion dollars in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. This week, the President put forth a balanced approach to deficit reduction based on shared responsibility and shared prosperity. The President’s approach ensures the nation lives within its means by cutting spending and bringing down the debt, while supporting our economic recovery and ensuring we are making the investments we need to win the future. Though our approaches differ, our goal remains the same. Any solution will require Republicans and Democrats working together, and we are committed to that process.
Statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"Gerry Ferraro was one of a kind — tough, brilliant, and never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in — a New York icon and a true American original. She was a champion for women and children and for the idea that there should be no limits on what every American can achieve. The daughter of an Italian immigrant family, she rose to become the first woman ever nominated to the national ticket by a major political party. She paved the way for a generation of female leaders and put the first cracks in America’s political glass ceiling. She believed passionately that politics and public service was about making a difference for the people she represented as a congresswoman and Ambassador.
For us, Gerry was above all a friend and companion. From the rough-and-tumble of political campaigns to the important work of international diplomacy, we were honored to have her by our side. She was a tireless voice for human rights and helped lead the American delegation to the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Through it all, she was a loyal friend, trusted confidante, and valued colleague.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Gerry’s husband John, her children and grandchildren, and their entire family.”
Readout of the President’s National Security Meeting this Morning
This morning, President Obama had a secure conference call beginning at 9:20AM local time with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough. President Obama received a briefing from General Ham on U.S. military operations in Libya, as part of the international effort to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The President also discussed the ongoing military and diplomatic consultations taking place on the situation in Libya. The President offered his thanks and admiration to General Ham and asked that he communicate that to all of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who are carrying out this operation.
Statement by Press Secretary Jay Carney on House Passage of the Three-Week Continuing Resolution
The short-term funding bill passed in the House of Representatives today gives Congress some breathing room to find consensus on a long-term measure that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year. The President urges the Senate to pass this bill to avoid a government shutdown that would be harmful to our economic recovery. But the President has been clear: with the wide range of issues facing our nation, we cannot keep funding the government in two or three week increments. It is time for us to come together, find common ground and resolve this issue in a sensible way. There is no disagreement on whether to cut spending to put us on a path to live within our means, but we can’t sacrifice critical investments that will help us out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our global competitors to win the future. We have already met Republicans halfway, and we are optimistic that Congress can get this done.
Statement by the President on violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen
I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur. We express our condolences to the family and friends of those who have been killed during the demonstrations. Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly. The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people.
Statement of President Barack Obama on Egypt
The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity.
As we have said from the beginning of this unrest, the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people. But the United States has also been clear that we stand for a set of core principles. We believe that the universal rights of the Egyptian people must be respected, and their aspirations must be met. We believe that this transition must immediately demonstrate irreversible political change, and a negotiated path to democracy. To that end, we believe that the emergency law should be lifted. We believe that meaningful negotiations with the broad opposition and Egyptian civil society should address the key questions confronting Egypt’s future: protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens; revising the Constitution and other laws to demonstrate irreversible change; and jointly developing a clear roadmap to elections that are free and fair.
We therefore urge the Egyptian government to move swiftly to explain the changes that have been made, and to spell out in clear and unambiguous language the step by step process that will lead to democracy and the representative government that the Egyptian people seek. Going forward, it will be essential that the universal rights of the Egyptian people be respected. There must be restraint by all parties. Violence must be forsaken. It is imperative that the government not respond to the aspirations of their people with repression or brutality. The voices of the Egyptian people must be heard.
The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America.
“The President has made a number of calls to foreign leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Egypt. On Saturday, January 29th, the President spoke to Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Today, he spoke to Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. During his calls, the President reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The President asked each of the leaders that he spoke to for their assessment of the situation, and agreed to stay in close contact going forward.”
– The White House
“At 1:00 pm today, the President convened a meeting of his national security team at the White House. Participants included Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, National Security Advisor to the Vice President Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, Senior Director for the Central Region Dennis Ross, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Dan Shapiro, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and Senior Advisor David Plouffe. The meeting lasted just over an hour. The President was updated on the situation in Egypt. He reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt.”
– The White House
“This morning, the Vice President reported for jury duty with the Superior Court of Delaware at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington. The Vice President will participate in the standard jury selection process in his capacity as a private citizen.”
– Statement from Vice President Biden’s Office
This is just an outstanding program, an example of what Martin Luther King’s birthday should be all about. I want to thank all the mentees and mentors who are participating.
Dr. King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society, but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities. And that’s what this program is all about and that’s what these participants are all about.
Michelle and I the girls are extraordinarily proud that each year on Martin Luther King’s birthday this is how we celebrate, is making sure that we’re giving a little something back to the community. And I hope that all the projects that are taking place all across the country on this day are getting similar attention, because this is part of what America is all about. And after a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy, it’s good for us to remind ourselves what this country is all about. This kind of service project is what’s best in us and we’re thrilled with everybody who is participating.”
– President Barack Obama