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Small Business Hiring Credit, Women's Health Week, and Strengthening VAWA: Deputies' Download

President Obama calls on Congress to act on his "To-Do List," the White House focuses on women's health, and the President hosts G8 leaders at Camp David.

President Obama’s “To-Do List” for Congress

Last week, President Obama called on Congress to take action on a small business hiring income tax credit, the third item on his “To-Do List” that will create jobs and help restore middle class security. The President is asking Congress to pass a tax credit that would benefit nearly two million companies that make new hires or increase wages. By providing targeted tax relief to the businesses that are expanding and making investments in their workforce, the Small Business Hiring Credit will grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen the recovery. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office recently found that this type of targeted credit is the single most effective business tax option for boosting hiring and spurring economic growth.

The proposals on the President’s To-Do List are important steps that Congress can take right now to create jobs. It’s time for Congress to act. Check out the full To-Do List, then join the conversation and make your voice heard with the hashtag #CongressToDoList.

President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable with small business owners at Taylor Gourmet (May 16, 2012)

President Barack Obama and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills, left, participate in a roundtable with small business owners at Taylor Gourmet in Washington, D.C., May 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Celebrating National Women’s Health Week

President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation last week marking National Women’s Health Week. Women often play a leading role in making medical decisions for their families, but their own health needs are often unmet, which is why President Obama worked to make health care more accessible and affordable for women across the country through his health reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

For example, women who purchase health insurance on the individual market pay an additional $1 billion each year because insurance companies charge them more than men, simply because of their gender. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be prohibited from discriminating against women by charging higher premiums.

Read more about the Administration’s work on women’s health:

Strengthening the Violence Against Women Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, but failed to include critical provisions that would ensure that all victims of domestic violence can access vital services and protections. The House bill adds burdensome, counter-productive requirements that compromise the ability of service providers to reach victims, fails to adequately protect Tribal victims, lacks important protection and services for LGBT victims, weakens resources for victims living in subsidized housing, and eliminates important improvements to address dating violence and sexual assault on college campuses. Speak up and have your voice heard if you believe that our nation’s laws should continue to strengthen protections for our most vulnerable populations – not roll back those safeguards.

G8 Summit at Camp David

Last weekend, the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia joined President Obama at Camp David for the annual G8 Summit. The leaders met to address major global economic, political, and security challenges, including energy and climate change, food security and nutrition, Afghanistan’s economic transition and transitions taking place across the Middle East and North Africa. View a slideshow from the weekend and read President Obama’s remarks at the close of the Summit.

G8 Working Lunch

President Barack Obama participates in a working lunch focused on food security, in the conference room of Laurel Cabin during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., May 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Summer Jobs+: First Summer Jobs

Earlier this month, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis joined Mayor Michael Nutter at Philadelphia’s City Hall to announce the launch of the Summer Jobs+ Bank and to highlight the progress of the Summer Jobs+ initiative. Summer Jobs+ is a call to action for businesses, non-profits, and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for young people in the summer of 2012. It’s about helping people find their first jobs. Dozens of companies and non-profit organizations, as well as cities, federal agencies, and the White House, have joined together to provide nearly 300,000 opportunities for young people.Learn about the innovative Summer Jobs+ apps that were created here, and encourage young people in your community to visit the Summer Jobs+ Bank here.

Watch White House officials talk about their first summer jobs: 

Blog Highlights

White House Champions of Change Program

The Champions of Change series spotlights everyday heroes who are demonstrating a commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or the lives of their fellow citizens. We are looking for you to nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”

Get Involved

On Wednesday, May 23rd at 4:00 p.m. EDT, please join us for a budget update call with Robert Gordon, Executive Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget. Please RSVP here to join us, and please be sure to dial in 10 minutes early so that we are able to start the call on time.

  • WHAT: White House Update Call
  • WHEN: Wednesday, May 23rd 
  • Start Time: 4:00 p.m. EDT
  • Dial In: (800) 230-1951
  • Passcode Title: White House Update Call

Small Business Week Video Contest and Google+ Hangout

Throughout the next few days, we will celebrate our nation’s entrepreneurs during National Small Business Week. The U.S. Small Business Administration asked small business owners to share their stories in a short video that demonstrates how their small business makes a difference in their local community. On Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. EDT during a Google+ Hangout hosted by SBA and the White House, we will announce the winning entries.

Here's how you can join:

Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low

Interest rates on new subsidized student loans are scheduled to double on July 1. If Congress doesn’t act to prevent this, more than 7 million students around the country will rack up an average of $1,000 of extra debt. President Obama knows that’s not acceptable. Raise your voice and reach out to your networks if you agree that student loan rates should not double on July 1. On Twitter and Google+, use the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate; on Facebook, update your status and profile image. Learn more about the President’s proposal and read about the impact higher interest rates would have on the AAPI, Native American, Hispanic, and African American communities.

For more information about ways to get involved, check out the Office of Public Engagement’s blog, which is updated regularly with upcoming engagement opportunities. Be sure to participate in the online conversation by following @JonCarson44.

Get Updates

For more information, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement website and blog and sign up for additional opportunities.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback at

Anne Filipic and Stephanie Valencia are Deputy Directors in the Office of Public Engagement.