This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

Weekly Wrap Up: “We Need to Act”

It was a busy week at the White House. President Obama met with business leaders to discuss immigration reform, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday, answered students' questions about student loan interest rates, made a speech about curbing climate change, remarked on the Supreme Court DOMA ruling, and traveled to Africa for a three-country tour beginning in Senegal.

Watch the West Wing Week here.

Meeting with Business Leaders: President Obama met with CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs on Monday to discuss the economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform. “We have a situation in which millions of individuals are in the shadow economy,” President Obama said, “oftentimes exploited at lower wages, and that hurts those companies that are following the rules, because they end up being at a disadvantage to some of these less scrupulous companies.”

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of Senators voted to reform our nation’s immigration system. Although the Senate approved the bill, lawmakers in the House of Representatives still need to act.

Texting with the President: Students from all across the country sent texts to President Obama this week, asking about his plans to keep interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. Working with, President Obama responded to questions from these students.

Curbing Climate Change: On Tuesday, President Obama traveled across town to Georgetown University to lay out his plan to cut carbon pollution. The President explained the moral obligation we have to future generations – to “leave them a cleaner, safer, more stable world.”

Leaders in the business community and the media support the President’s climate initiative. Check out an infographic explaining the President’s plan here.

Marriage Equality: The Supreme Court announced a historic decision on Wednesday morning, ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionalPresident Obama released a statement on the decision: “This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law, for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.”

Three Country Tour: The First Family boarded Air Force One on Wednesday, beginning their three-country tour of Africa. As they took off, we launched Instagram accounts for the First Lady and the White House.

The first stop of the trip was Senegal, where President Obama and President Sall of Senegal held a bilateral meeting and a joint press conference. Later, President Obama discussed the importance of an independent judiciary system and respect for the rule of law in a meeting with judicial leaders from across Africa.

While the President was meeting with President Sall, First Lady Michelle Obama visited an all-girls middle school in Dakar, Martin Luther King School. At MLK School, the First Lady spoke with a ninth grade class where she encouraged them to continue studying and to be role models for girls all over the world.

After the President met with leaders, the First Family visited a former slave house at Gorée Island. Gorée Island now serves as a hub for political activists – and President Obama acknowledged that by meeting with a group of advocates before returning to Dakar, the country’s capital.