Violence Against Women Act: On Thursday, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act of 2013, which provides resources for thousands of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The renewed version of the law extends to protect LGBT victims, immigrants, Native Americans, and victims of sex-trafficking. The act will ensure victims and survivors will have the resources they need. With survivors and advocates standing behind him President Obama recognized the significance of the day:
But everybody on this stage worked extraordinarily hard. Most of all, though, this is your day. This is the day of the advocates; the day of the survivors. This is your victory.
First Cabinet Meeting: On Monday, President Obama opened the 17th Cabinet meeting of his presidency and the first of the new term. The President welcomed to the table his newest cabinet members, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. In his remarks, President Obama shared his deep concerns of the harmful and automatic budget cuts known as the sequester and advocated for bipartisan solutions so Americans can be poised for progress:
So one of the things that I’ve instructed not just my White House but every agency is to make sure that, regardless of some of the challenges that they may face because of sequestration, we’re not going to stop working on behalf of the American people to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to continue to grow this economy and improve people’s prospects.
Trio Nominated: On Monday, President Obama announced three new nominations. The President tapped Sylvia Matthew Burwell to direct the Office of Management and Budget. Burwell, head of the Walmart Foundation, will become the next budget director and oversee our spending policies. She served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton administration.
“As the granddaughter of Greek immigrants, she also understands that our goal when we put together a budget is not just to make the numbers add up,” said President Obama. “Our goal is also to reignite the true engine of economic growth in this country, and that is a strong and growing middle class -- to offer ladders of opportunity for anybody willing to climb them.”
Ernest Moniz was picked to become the Secretary of Energy. He previously served as Under Secretary of Energy under President Clinton. The physicist has been directing MIT’s Energy Initiative, which is working “to develop the technologies that can lead the country to more energy independence and also to new jobs.”
Gina McCarthy was nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency and brings a wealth of experience from her position as Assistant EPA Administrator. President Obama noted McCarthy has “focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing.”
Google Hangout with FLOTUS: On Monday, the First Lady participated in her first ever Google+ Hangout to promote Lets Move!, which is celebrating its third year. Her guests included parents, teachers, and schoolchildren for a conversation on the importance of physical activity for the health and well being of our children.
As Let’s Move! commemorates its third year, the project is developing Let’s Move! Active Schools. Besides working for healthy eating, the First Lady wants to show being active is fun and can lead to success in school. Check out the Let’s Move! Active Schools page and discover how you can create a healthy school for kids in your community.
National Consumer Protection Week: This week marked National Consumer Protection Week as government and private organizations provided tips and free materials online for Americans. The goal of the week is to encourage Americans to take full notice of their consumer rights and simply make better-informed choices in the marketplace. Consumer topics covered throughout the week have included credit & debt, identity theft, investing, scam alerts, and technology.
100th Anniversary of Department of Labor: On Monday, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrated its 100th anniversary and launched a page in honor of the milestone. For the last century, the Labor Department has been at the forefront of helping working men and women renew the American Dream. The Department has given us many privileges we take for granted such as the 40-hour work week, family leave, retirement plans and the minimum wage among others.