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Weekly Wrap Up: "Welcome Home"

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Fort Bragg After nearly nine years of sacrifice, the Iraq war has come to an end. The President and First Lady traveled to Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Wednesday to welcome home the troops and thank them — and their families — for their enormous sacrifices and achievements. “For all the disagreements that we face, you remind us that there is something bigger than our differences. Something that makes us one nation. And one people…I could not be prouder of you. America could not be prouder of you.” To see more milestones from the Iraq War, from President Obama’s very first day in office through the work his Administration has done to support our heroes as they return home, check out our new timeline.

Iraq Visit On Monday, the President welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The two leaders held talks on the removal of U.S. military forces from Iraq and on efforts to start a new chapter in partnership between the two nations. “This is a season of homecomings. Military families across America families are being reunited for the holidays. In the coming days, the last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq—with honor and with their heads held high.”

Fair Labor As a part of the ‘We Can’t Wait’ campaign, the President announced his support to extend overtime pay protections and a guaranteed minimum wage for home healthcare workers. This effort will raise wages for people like Pauline Beck, a homecare worker who inspired then-Senator Obama in 2007. Currently, many in-home care providers earn less than the minimum wage and no overtime for their vital services to assist those who need it most.  “We are going to make sure that over a million men and women in one of the fastest-growing professions in the country don’t slip through the cracks. We’re going to make sure that companies who do right by their workers aren’t undercut by companies who don’t. We’re going to do what’s fair, and we’re going to do what’s right.”

Still Ticking In 15 days, middle class taxes will increase if Congress does not take action to extend the payroll tax cut. Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese  explains in a White Board discussion how President Obama’s payroll tax cut helps families, business, and the economy – and why it’s so important for Congress to act and extend the tax cut for 2012.