Welcome to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs state update. In this week's update the President speaks about the Fort Hood shooting, the White House shares that over 7.1 million Americans signed up for private health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and President Obama travels to Michigan to continue making the case to give working Americans a raise.
Keep an eye on your inbox, check out the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Website and follow us on Twitter at @DavidAgnew44 for more information.
On Wednesday, President Obama delivered remarks following the shooting at Fort Hood:
"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. And I don't want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened, but for now, I would just hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and in our prayers. The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve with valor; they serve with distinction. And when they’re at their home base they need to feel safe. We don't yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. And we're going to have to find out exactly what happened."
On Tuesday, the White House announced that more than 7.1 million Americans signed up for quality, affordable health care through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period, which ended on March 31.
While speaking in the Rose Garden, the President recognized the efforts of local officials and organizations across the country who held enrollment events, sent emails, organized tele-thons, participated in interviews, hosted press conferences and shared information in so many other ways to help residents get access to coverage:
"And it’s also thanks to the often-unheralded work of countless Americans who fought tirelessly to pass this law, and who organized like crazy these past few months to help their fellow citizens just get the information they needed to get covered. That’s why we’re here today. That’s why 7.1 million folks have health insurance -- because people got the word out."
As the President wrote in an email this week, thanks to efforts across the country, "while our long-broken health care system may not be completely fixed, it's without question a lot better. That's something to be proud of -- and there's no good reason to go back."
Check out the President's full remarks and get more information about the Affordable Care Act at whitehouse.gov/healtorm.
President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
On Wednesday, President Obama traveled to Michigan to explain the critical importance of raising the national minimum wage.
"Raising the minimum wage is not going to solve all of our economic challenges," the President said in his remarks. "But here's one thing we do believe: Nobody who works full-time should be raising their family in poverty, right? If you're working, if you're responsible, you should be able to pay the rent, pay the bills." Yet millions of working Americans currently can't afford those basics. "All across the country," he said, "you can work full-time on the minimum wage and still be in poverty."
Before his remarks, President Obama also stopped by Zingerman's Delicatessen in downtown Ann Arbor, and ordered a Reuben sandwich — a Zingerman's specialty. "I stopped for two reasons," the President said. "The first is, the Reuben is killer. ... The second reason, though, is Zingerman's is a business that treats its workers well, and rewards honest work with honest wages. And that's worth celebrating."
Let us know what your state is doing to raise the wage by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more at whitehouse.gov/raise-the-wage.
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