Monday

President Barack Obama Weekly Address June 25, 2016 (Video/Transcript)

President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
June 25, 2016 
Hi everybody.  The story of America is a story of progress.  It’s written by ordinary people who put their shoulders to the wheel of history to make sure that the promise of our founding applies not just to some of us – but to all of us.

Farmers and blacksmiths who chose revolution over tyranny.  Immigrants who crossed oceans and the Rio Grande.  Women who reached for the ballot, and scientists who shot for the moon.  The preachers, and porters, and seamstresses who guided us toward the mountaintop of freedom.
Sometimes, we can mark that progress in special places – hallowed ground where history was written – places like Independence Hall.  Gettysburg.  Seneca Falls.  Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.  The Edmund Pettus Bridge.

One of these special places is the Stonewall Inn.  Back in 1969, as a turbulent decade was winding down, the Stonewall Inn was a popular gathering place for New York City’s LGBT community.  At the time, being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender was considered obscene, illegal – even a mental illness.
 
One night, police raided the bar, and started arresting folks.  Raids like these were nothing new – but this time, the patrons had had enough. So they stood up, and spoke out, and over the course of the next several days, they refused to be silenced.  The riots became protests; the protests became a movement; the movement ultimately became an integral part of America.

Over the past seven years, we’ve seen achievements that would have been unimaginable to the folks who, knowingly or not, started the modern LGBT movement at Stonewall.  Today, all Americans are protected by a hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is history.  Insurance companies can no longer turn you away because of who you are.

Transgender Americans are more visible than ever, helping to make our nation more inclusive and welcoming for all.  And one year ago this weekend, we lit the White House in every color – because in every state in America, you’re now free to marry the person you love.

There’s still work to do.  As we saw two weeks ago in Orlando, the LGBT community still faces real discrimination, real violence, real hate.  So we can’t rest.  We’ve got to keep pushing for equality and acceptance and tolerance.

But the arc of our history is clear – it’s an arc of progress.  And a lot of that progress can be traced back to Stonewall.  So this week, I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s national parks system.  Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights.  I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us.  That we are stronger together.  That out of many, we are one.  That’s what makes us the greatest nation on earth.  And it’s what we celebrate at Stonewall – for our generation and for all those who come after us.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.

Sunday

President Barack Obama Weekly Address June 18, 2016 (Video/Transcript)

President Barack Obama as Delivered
Weekly Address
The White House
​June 18, 2016 
It’s been less than a week since the deadliest mass shooting in American history.  And foremost in all of our minds has been the loss and the grief felt by the people of Orlando, especially our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  I visited with the families of many of the victims on Thursday.  And one thing I told them is that they’re not alone.  The American people, and people all over the world, are standing with them – and we always will.

The investigation is ongoing, but we know that the killer was an angry and disturbed individual who took in extremist information and propaganda over the internet, and became radicalized.  During his killing spree, he pledged allegiance to ISIL, a group that’s called on people around the world to attack innocent civilians.

We are and we will keep doing everything in our power to stop these kinds of attacks, and to ultimately destroy ISIL.  The extraordinary people in our intelligence, military, homeland security, and law enforcement communities have already prevented many attacks, saved many lives, and we won’t let up.

Alongside the stories of bravery and healing and coming together over the past week, we’ve also seen a renewed focus on reducing gun violence.  As I said a few days ago, being tough on terrorism requires more than talk.  Being tough on terrorism, particularly the sorts of homegrown terrorism that we’ve seen now in Orlando and San Bernardino, means making it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on assault weapons that are capable of killing dozens of innocents as quickly as possible.  That’s something I’ll continue to talk about in the weeks ahead.

It’s also part of something that I’ve been thinking a lot about this week – and that’s the responsibilities we have to each other.  That’s certainly true with Father’s Day upon us.

I grew up without my father around.  While I wonder what my life would have been like if he had been a greater presence, I’ve also tried extra hard to be a good dad for my own daughters.  Like all dads, I worry about my girls’ safety all the time.  Especially when we see preventable violence in places our sons and daughters go every day – their schools and houses of worship, movie theaters, nightclubs, as they get older.  It’s unconscionable that we allow easy access to weapons of war in these places – and then, even after we see parents grieve for their children, the fact that we as a country do nothing to prevent the next heartbreak makes no sense.

So this past week, I’ve also thought a lot about dads and moms around the country who’ve had to explain to their children what happened in Orlando.  Time and again, we’ve observed moments of silence for victims of terror and gun violence.  Too often, those moments have been followed by months of silence.  By inaction that is simply inexcusable.  If we’re going to raise our kids in a safer, more loving world, we need to speak up for it.  We need our kids to hear us speak up about the risks guns pose to our communities, and against a status quo that doesn’t make sense.  They need to hear us say these things even when those who disagree are loud and are powerful.  We need our kids to hear from us why tolerance and equality matter – about the times their absence has scarred our history and how greater understanding will better the future they will inherit.  We need our kids to hear our words – and also see us live our own lives with love.

And we can’t forget our responsibility to remind our kids of the role models whose light shines through in times of darkness.  The police and first responders, the lifesaving bystanders and blood donors.  Those who comfort mourners and visit the wounded.  The victims whose last acts on this earth helped others to safety.  They’re not just role models for our kids – their actions are examples for all of us.

To be a parent is to come to realize not everything is in our control.  But as parents, we should remember there’s one responsibility that’s always in our power to fulfill: our obligation to give our children unconditional love and support; to show them the difference between right and wrong; to teach them to love, not to hate; and to appreciate our differences not as something to fear, but as a great gift to cherish.

To me, fatherhood means being there.  So in the days ahead, let’s be there for each other.  Let’s be there for our families, and for those that are hurting.  Let’s come together in our communities and as a country.  And let’s never forget how much good we can achieve simply by loving one another.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, and have a great weekend.

Friday

President in Orlando, Florida (Video/Transcript)


Today, we are reminded of what is good. That there is compassion, empathy and decency, and most of all, there is love.  That’s the Orlando that we’ve seen in recent days.  And that is the America that we have seen.  

This afternoon, the Vice President and I had the opportunity to meet with many of the families here.  As you might imagine, their grief is beyond description.  Through their pain and through their tears, they told us about the joy that their loved ones had brought to their lives.  They talked about their sons or their daughters -- so many young people, in their 20s and 30s; so many students who were focused on the future.  One young woman was just 18 years old.  Another, said her father, was a happy girl with so many dreams.

There were siblings there talking about their brothers and their sisters and how they were role models that they looked up to.  There were husbands and wives who had taken a solemn vow; fathers and mothers who gave their full hearts to their children. These families could be our families.  In fact, they are our family -- they’re part of the American family.  Today, the Vice President and I told them, on behalf of the American people, that our hearts are broken, too, but we stand with you and that we are here for you, and that we are remembering those who you loved so deeply.

As a nation, we’ve also been inspired by the courage of those who risked their lives and cared for others.  Partners whose last moments were spent shielding each other.  The mother who gave her life to save her son.  The former Marine whose quick thinking saved dozens of lives.

Joe and I had the chance to thank Mayor Dyer, Chief Mina, Sheriff Demings, all who responded in heroic ways; the outstanding police and first responders who were able to, through their professionalism and quick response, rescue so many people. We also owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the doctors, all the nurses who have worked day and night to treat the injured, save lives and prevent even more anguish.  As one of the doctors here said, “after the worst of humanity reared its ugly head…the best of humanity came roaring back.”  Let me get that quote more precisely -- “after the worst of humanity reared its evil head…the best of humanity came roaring back.”

Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, if, in fact, we want to show the best of our humanity, then we're all going to have to work together at every level of government, across political lines, to do more to stop killers who want to terrorize us.  We will continue to be relentless against terrorist groups like ISIL and al Qaeda.  We are going to destroy them.  We are going to disrupt their networks, and their financing, and the flow of fighters in and out of war theaters.  We're going to disrupt their propaganda that poisons so many minds around the world.

We're going to do all that.  Our resolve is clear.  But given the fact that the last two terrorist attacks on our soil -- Orlando and San Bernardino -- were homegrown, carried out it appears not by external plotters, not by vast networks or sophisticated cells, but by deranged individuals warped by the hateful propaganda that they had seen over the Internet, then we’re going to have to do more to prevent these kinds of events from occurring.  It's going to take more than just our military. It's going to require more than just our intelligence teams.  As good as they are, as dedicated as they are, as focused as they are, if you have lone wolf attacks like this, hatched in the minds of a disturbed person, then we're going to have to take different kinds of steps in order to prevent something like this from happening.   

Those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon.  The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown, but the instruments of death were so similar. And now, another 49 innocent people are dead.  Another 53 are injured.  Some are still fighting for their lives.  Some will have wounds that will last a lifetime.  We can't anticipate or catch every single deranged person that may wish to do harm to his neighbors, or his friends, or his coworkers, or strangers.  But we can do something about the amount of damage that they do. Unfortunately, our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or just a disturbed individual like those in Aurora and Newtown to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons -- and they can do so legally.

Today, once again, as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked, why does this keep happening?  And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage.  They don’t care about the politics. Neither do I.  Neither does Joe.  And neither should any parent out there who’s thinking about their kids being not in the wrong place, but in places where kids are supposed to be.

This debate needs to change.  It’s outgrown the old political stalemates.  The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense.  Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.  They should meet with the Newtown families -- some of whom Joe saw yesterday -- whose children would now be finishing fifth grade -- on why it is that we think our liberty requires these repeated tragedies.  That's not the meaning of liberty.

I’m pleased to hear that the Senate will hold votes on preventing individuals with possible terrorist ties from buying guns, including assault weapons.  I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing.  I hope that senators who voted no on background checks after Newtown have a change of heart.  And then I hope the House does the right thing, and helps end the plague of violence that these weapons of war inflict on so many young lives.

I've said this before -- we will not be able to stop every tragedy.  We can't wipe away hatred and evil from every heart in this world.  But we can stop some tragedies.  We can save some lives.  We can reduce the impact of a terrorist attack if we're smart.  And if we don't act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this -- because we’ll be choosing to allow them to happen.  We will have said, we don't care enough to do something about it.

Here in Orlando, we are reminded not only of our obligations as a country to be resolute against terrorists, we are reminded not only of the need for us to implement smarter policies to prevent mass shootings, we're also reminded of what unites us as Americans, and that what unites us is far stronger than the hate and the terror of those who target us.

For so many people here who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, the Pulse Nightclub has always been a safe haven, a place to sing and dance, and most importantly, to be who you truly are -- including for so many people whose families are originally from Puerto Rico.  Sunday morning, that sanctuary was violated in the worst way imaginable.  So whatever the motivations of the killer, whatever influences led him down the path of violence and terror, whatever propaganda he was consuming from ISIL and al Qaeda, this was an act of terrorism but it was also an act of hate.  This was an attack on the LGBT community.  Americans were targeted because we’re a country that has learned to welcome everyone, no matter who you are or who you love.  And hatred towards people because of sexual orientation, regardless of where it comes from, is a betrayal of what’s best in us.

Joe and I were talking on the way over here -- you can't make up the world into “us” and “them,” and denigrate and express hatred towards groups because of the color of their skin, or their faith, or their sexual orientation, and not feed something very dangerous in this world.

So if there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now is the time.  It's a good time for all of us to reflect on how we treat each other, and to insist on respect and equality for every human being.

We have to end discrimination and violence against our brothers and sisters who are in the LGBT community -- here at home and around the world, especially in countries where they are routinely persecuted.  We have to challenge the oppression of women, wherever it occurs -- here or overseas.  There’s only “us” -- Americans.

Here in Orlando, in the men and women taken from us, those who loved them, we see some of the true character of this country -- the best of humanity coming roaring back; the love and the compassion and the fierce resolve that will carry us through not just through this atrocity, but through whatever difficult times may confront us.

It’s our pluralism and our respect for each other -- including a young man who said to a friend, he was “super proud” to be Latino.  It’s our love of country -- the patriotism of an Army reservist who was known as “an amazing officer.”  It’s our unity -- the outpouring of love that so many across our country have shown to our fellow Americans who are LGBT, a display of solidarity that might have been unimaginable even a few years ago.

Out of this darkest of moments, that gives us hope -- seeing people reflect, seeing people’s best instincts come out, maybe in some cases, minds and hearts change.  It is our strength and our resilience -- the same determination of a man who died here who traveled the world, mindful of the risks as a gay man, but who spoke for us all when he said, “we cannot be afraid…we are not going to be afraid.”

May we all find that same strength in our own lives.  May we all find that same wisdom in how we treat one another.  May God bless all who we lost here in Orlando.  May He comfort their families.  May He heal the wounded.  May He bring some solace to those whose hearts have been broken.  May He give us resolve to do what’s necessary to reduce the hatred of this world, curb the violence.  And may He watch over this country that we call home.

Thank you very much, everybody.

Wednesday

President Obama Delivers Statement On Orlando

THE PRESIDENT:  Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder -- a horrific massacre -- of dozens of innocent people.  We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts.  We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city.  Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate.  And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.
I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors.  The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement.  I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.

We are still learning all the facts.  This is an open investigation.  We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer.  The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism.  And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what -- if any -- inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups.  What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred.  Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.

This morning I spoke with my good friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and I conveyed the condolences of the entire American people.  This could have been any one of our communities.  So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help he and the people of Orlando need -- they are going to get it.  As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.
We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm’s way.  Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being even worse.  It’s the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every single day for all of us, and we can never thank them enough.

This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends -- our fellow Americans -- who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.  The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub -- it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.

So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American -- regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation -- is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.  And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.

Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history.  The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle.  This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub.  And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.  And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.

In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy.  Their names.  Their faces.  Who they were.  The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world.  Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families -- that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable.  And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change.  We need to demonstrate that we are defined more -- as a country -- by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.
As we go together, we will draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts -- friends who helped
friends, took care of each other and saved lives.  In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another.  We will not give in to fear or turn against each other.  Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.   

May God bless the Americans we lost this morning.  May He comfort their families.  May God continue to watch over this country that we love.  Thank you.

President at LGBT Pride Reception

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Hello, hello, hello!  (Applause.)  Good to see you.  Hello!  Well, welcome to the White House.

Let me first of all -- let me acknowledge some outstanding public servants who are here.  We’ve got Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning is in the house.  (Applause.)  Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg is here.  (Applause.)  We’ve got some amazing members of Congress -- no one who has done more on behalf of justice and equality than former Speaker and, perhaps soon to be Speaker again, Nancy Pelosi.  (Applause.)  We love Nancy.

So this is the eighth Pride reception that we will celebrate together.  (Applause.)  I want to begin by saying thank you to all the people that -- I’m looking out in the audience; I see some new friends but a lot of old friends, folks who have been with us through thick and thin.  And I am grateful for all that you’ve done to work with us to accomplish some amazing transformations over these last seven and a half years.  (Applause.)  

So every year, we set aside this month to celebrate the ways that so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans have helped to make our union just a little more perfect.  We honor the countless nameless heroes who paved the way for progress:  The activists who marched.  The advocates who organized.  The lawyers who argued cases.  The families who stood by their loved ones, even when it was tough.  Every brave American who came out and spoke out, especially when it was tough.  Because of them, because of all of you, there’s a lot to be proud of today.

Today, we live in an America where “don’t ask, don’t tell” don’t exist no more.  (Applause.)  Because no one should have to hide who they love in order to serve the country that they love.  We live in an America that protects all of us with a hate crimes law that bears the name of Matthew Shepard.  (Applause.)  We live in an America where all of us are treated more equally, because visiting hours in hospitals no longer depend on who you are -- (applause) -- and insurance companies can no longer turn somebody away simply because of who you love.  

Thanks to heroes like Edith Windsor and Jim -- I always get Jim’s name -- (laughter) -- Jim knows I love him, but I never know where to put the emphasis -- Obergefell -- (applause) -- generations of couples who insisted that love is love, we now live in an America where all of our marriages and our families are recognized as equal under the law.  And that’s an extraordinary thing.  When you talk to the upcoming generation, our kids -- Malia’s, Sasha’s generation -- they instinctively know people are people and families are families.  And discrimination, it’s so last century.  (Laughter.)  It’s so passĂ©.  It doesn’t make sense to them.  (Applause.)  So we live in an America where the laws are finally catching up to the hearts of kids and what they instinctively understand.

So some folks never imagined we’d come this far -- maybe even some in this room.  Change can be slow.  And I know that there have been times where at least some of the people in this room have yelled at me.  (Laughter.)  But together, we’ve proven that change is possible, that progress is possible.

It’s not inevitable, though.  History doesn’t just travel forward; it can go backwards if we don’t work hard.  So we can’t be complacent.  (Applause.)  We cannot be complacent.  Securing the gains this country has made requires perseverance and vigilance.  And it requires voting.  Because we’ve got more work to do.  (Applause.)

We still have more work to do when gay and bisexual men make up two-thirds of new HIV cases in our country.  We have to work hard to make sure that jobs are not being denied, people aren’t being fired because of their sexual orientation.  We still have work to do when transgender persons are attacked, even killed for just being who they are.  We’ve got work to do when LGBT people around the world still face incredible isolation and poverty and persecution and violence, and even death.  We have work to make sure that every single child, no matter who they are or where they come from or what they look like or how they live, feels welcomed and valued and loved.
 
So we’re going to have to keep on pushing.  And that’s the work of all of us.  The great and often unsung civil rights hero Bayard Rustin once said, “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers.”  (Laughter and applause.)

And that’s what I see here tonight -– people who aren’t afraid to ruffle feathers in the name of justice and equality until we extend the full promise of America to every single one of us.  And that’s always been our story -- not just in Selma or Seneca Falls, but in Compton’s CafĂ© and the Stonewall Inn.  It’s the story of brave Americans who were willing to risk everything –- not just their own liberty or dignity, but also doing it on behalf of the dignity and liberty of generations to come.  They understood a truth that lies at the heart of this nation:  When all Americans are treated equal, we’re all more free.

And that’s what should give us hope.  Despite our differences and our divisions, and the many complicated issues that we grapple with, real change is possible.  Minds open.  Hearts change.  America shifts.  And if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that people who love their country can change it.

One of the most special moments of my presidency was that warm summer night last June when we lit up the White House out there.  (Applause.)  It was a powerful symbol here at home, where more Americans finally felt accepted and whole, and that their country recognized the love that they felt.  It was a beacon for people around the world who are still fighting for those rights.  It was a reminder that when the change we seek comes, and when we move a little bit further on our journey toward equality and justice, we still have a responsibility to reach back and help pull up others who are striving to do the same.

So enjoy tonight.  Have some champagne -- some of you already have, I can tell.  (Laughter.)

 Tomorrow, we get back to work.  (Applause.)  And by the way, we get back to work not just fighting on behalf of justice and equality for the LGBT community, but for everybody.  (Applause.)  Because one of the -- if you’ve felt the sting of discrimination, then you don't just fight to end discrimination for yourself, you've got to fight for the poor kid who needs opportunity.  You need to fight for the working mom who can't pay the bills.  You’ve got to fight for some young woman on the other side of the world who can't get an education.  It can't just be about us.  It’s about we, and what we can do together.  (Applause.)

So I’m very proud to have fought alongside you.  We’ve got more miles in the journey, and I’m so glad that we're going to be traveling that road together.

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

President Barack Obama Weekly Address June 11, 2016 (Video/Transcript)


President Barack Obama 
 Weekly Address
The White House
June 11, 2016
Hi, everybody.  Today, I want to talk with you about the crisis in Puerto Rico – and why it matters to all of us.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens, just like folks in Maine or Oklahoma or New Mexico.  And over the last decade, Puerto Rico has suffered through a deep and painful recession – but unlike the rest of the United States, it hasn’t recovered.

Today, the island continues to face a crippling economic crisis.  Schools are closing.  Power is being cut off at homes and hospitals.  Teachers have to choose between turning on the lights or turning on the computers.  Doctors can’t get medicine to treat newborns unless they pay in cash.  And as the Zika virus threatens both the island and the mainland, workers dealing with mosquito control to help protect women and their unborn babies are at risk of being laid off.

Right now, Puerto Rico is spending about a third of its tax revenue on debt payments – far more than anywhere else in America.  And on July 1, the island faces another $2 billion in debt payments that it cannot pay.

There is only one way for Puerto Rico to pull itself out of this crisis – and that’s by restructuring its debt and finding a sustainable fiscal path toward growth and opportunity for its people.  But here’s the problem.  Right now, Puerto Rico doesn’t have the tools it needs to restructure its debt – tools available elsewhere in America.

And only Congress can fix the problem, and put Puerto Rico on a path to recovery.
Thankfully, this week, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and I now urge the Senate to move quickly to follow suit.  This bill won’t cost federal taxpayers a dime.  It doesn’t include special-interest bailouts.  And it gives Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its debt, safeguard essential services, and provide important protections to public pensions that more than 300,000 folks rely on to retire with dignity.

This bill also includes something else – a temporary system of oversight to help implement needed reforms and ensure transparency.  I know that some folks in Puerto Rico are worried about this kind of oversight.  But I’ve always insisted that any solution to this crisis has to respect the democratic rights of the people of Puerto Rico.  And I am committed to making sure that Puerto Ricans are well-represented in this process, so that we can be sure we’re taking steps that are in the island’s best interests.

This bill is not a perfect solution – nobody’s saying it is.  That’s what happens in divided government.  But it’s the only option on the table to save Puerto Rico from spiraling out of control.  And that’s exactly what would happen if Congress fails to do its job.

There’s no question this is a trying time for folks in Puerto Rico.  They’ve seen too many jobs lost and too many neighbors leave in search of better opportunity elsewhere.  It’s clear that it’s time for Puerto Rico to chart a new course and make a fresh start.  This bill is just a first step.

We all have more work to do to make sure that the people of Puerto Rico receive the health care they deserve and the good jobs and economic opportunities they need to build a better future for their kids.  And I want the people of Puerto Rico to know that my administration is committed to your success.  Because you’re vital to America’s success.

That’s what this is all about.  We don’t turn our backs on our fellow Americans.  We don’t treat folks differently because of where they live.  Instead, we treat each other as Americans.  We come together, especially when it’s hard.  That’s how we’ve always set ourselves on a course toward a brighter day.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend. 

Thursday

America is ALREADY great




While Donald Trump wants to "make America great again," Fareed argues it still is the world's leading economic, technological, military and political power.