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Weekly Wrap Up: “We’ve Got To Keep Pushing”

This week, President Obama traveled to California to discuss the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act and Pride month, nominated a new chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, urged the Senate to pass bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform, and met with the President of Peru.

Watch the West Wing Week here.

Obamacare in California: President Obama spent last Friday in California discussing how the Affordable Care Act is improving in the lives of people all across the country.

States like California are setting up new, online marketplaces where, beginning on October 1st of this year, you can comparison shop an array of private health insurance plans side-by-side, just like you were going online to compare cars or airline tickets.  And that means insurance companies will actually have to compete with each other for your business.  And that means new choices.

Equal Pay Act: Monday marked 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. The President spoke at an event to celebrate the anniversary, emphasizing the importance of the issue and acknowledging there’s still work to be done.

The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average.  Today, it’s about 77 cents.  So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents.  It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina.  So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?

Jason Furman Nomination: President Obama announced his nomination to replace Alan Krueger as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Monday afternoon. Jason Furman, who currently serves in the Obama Administration as an Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, is waiting for Congress to confirm his new role.

President Obama praised both Krueger and Furman, citing their hard work as a reason for America’s economic upturn.

Working with Peru: President Ollanta Humala of Peru visited the White House on Tuesday for a bilateral meeting with President Obama. The two leaders discussed ways our countries can continue to cooperate, including deepening education exchange programs, connecting small and medium-sized businesses to markets throughout the hemisphere, and combatting transnational drug networks.

Immigration Reform: Prior to the Senate opening debate on Tuesday, President Obama spoke with leaders from across the country to reaffirm his belief that bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform needs to be passed now.  

The President shared stories from DREAMers and spoke of the positive impact that reform would have on America.

It will build on what we’ve done and continue to strengthen our borders. It will make sure that businesses and workers are all playing by the same set of rules, and it includes tough penalties for those who don’t. It’s fair for middle-class families, by making sure that those who are brought into the system pay their fair share in taxes and for services. And it’s fair for those who try to immigrate legally by stopping those who try to skip the line. It’s the right thing to do.

Pride Month: Leaders from the LGBT community gathered at the White House on Thursday to kick-off Pride month. President Obama spoke of the steps he and his Administration have taken to push LGBT rights forward, but admitted there is still work to be done.

In 34 states, you can be fired just because of who you are or who you love. That’s wrong. We’ve got to change it. There’s a bipartisan bill moving forward in the Senate that would ban discrimination against all LGBT Americans in the workplace, now and forever. We need to get that passed. I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now.