White House: Military families at risk by leaderless Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Holly Petraeus, assistant director for service member affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, participates in a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on November 3, 2011. The committee heard testimony from Petraeus on protecting veterans and active service members and their families in the consumer financial marketplace.
November 3rd, 2011
03:29 PM ET

White House: Military families at risk by leaderless Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The White House is again pressuring Republicans in the Senate to support the nomination of Richard Cordray as head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The latest pressure point: military families.  In a conference call with reporters, White House officials cited the importance of the CFPB in the lives of service members  to protect them from predatory lenders, certain types of installment loans and debt collectors who often harass service members during active duty.

Pegging this latest push to today’s testimony before the Senate banking committee by Holly Petraeus – head of Servicemember Affairs at the CFPB – representatives from the Treasury Department, the National Economic Council and the Executive Office of the President explained why the CFPB’s ability to help military families was effectively neutered by not having a director.

"The way the statute works, until such time as the CFPB gets a director it will not have the authority to supervise and enforce all these various consumer protection laws, with respect to payday lenders, debt collectors, etcetera, etcetera, the kinds of firms that we're talking about…that are preying on military families,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Neil Wolin.

Cordray’s nomination recently passed out of the banking committee on a party-line vote, with all 10 Republican members voting in opposition, and Senate Republicans have vowed to block his nomination if it ever comes to the floor. On today’s call Stephanie Cutter – a deputy senior advisor to President Obama – used Mrs. Petraeus’ testimony as proof that military families are hurt by such Republican opposition.

Citing a specific question from Republican Sen. Richard Shelby about whether the CFPB had enough resources to do its job, Cutter quoted Mrs. Petraeus as saying that while the resources are there to the job, “they're not able to actually do the work.” FULL POST

NASCAR comes to the White House
President Obama welcomes Jimmie Johnson and top 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to the East Room in the White House Wednesday.
September 7th, 2011
07:05 PM ET

NASCAR comes to the White House

NASCAR's top drivers including champion Jimmie Johnson came to the White House Wednesday.  President Obama honored Johnson and seven of the top 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship for their efforts to give back to the community especially the military. 

"[W]hat also makes NASCAR special is the difference that it makes in the lives of so many people, especially our troops and their families," the president told the drivers and NASCAR fans gathered in the East Room.  The president noting that the drivers and NASCAR staff served dinner to 400 wounded servicemen at Walter Reed Army Hospital last month.

Wednesday's event was all smiles despite the perception of a flap when some of the top drivers declined the coveted White House invite.  Today's attendees included Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kyle and Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton.  The driver's presented the president with his own helmet and driving gloves. 

The president joked he would put them to good use.

"I’m not allowed to drive much these days– basically just my golf cart at Camp David– which is called Golf Cart One."

White House Focus on Jobs: Veterans
August 5th, 2011
07:39 AM ET

White House Focus on Jobs: Veterans

(CNN) – President Obama is focusing his renewed job creation effort on unemployed veterans Friday, set to outline a new initiative that aims to help former members of the military find private sector jobs.

 In a speech at the Washington Navy Yard scheduled for Friday morning, the president is expected to lay out a series of reforms that the Obama administration is pledging will both better prepare service members for the civilian workforce and encourage employers to hire recent veterans.

 Among the president’s proposals Friday will be a “Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credit,” which would provide businesses that hire veterans a tax break, varying in size depending on how long the newly-hired veteran has been unemployed and whether he or she has a disability. 

Topics: Economy • Military Families • President Obama • The News • Veterans
POTUS schedule Friday June 17, 2011
June 17th, 2011
08:04 AM ET

POTUS schedule Friday June 17, 2011

President Obama will spend a few hours visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  Walter Reed is the Army’s largest healthcare facility and takes in 35 new patients a day, according to the hospital’s website.  

 Other events on his schedule include lunch with Vice President Biden and a meeting with Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner.

full schedule after the jump


POTUS schedule for Memorial Day May 30, 2011
May 30th, 2011
06:05 AM ET

POTUS schedule for Memorial Day May 30, 2011

The schedule as released by the White House


9:10AM         THE PRESIDENT and the First Lady will host a breakfast for Gold

Star Families at the White House

State Dining Room   Closed Press

10:10AM       THE PRESIDENT makes Department of Defense personnel announcements

Rose Garden     Open Press

10:55AM       THE PRESIDENT will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the

Tomb of the Unknowns

11:15AM       THE PRESIDENT will participate in the Memorial Day Service at

Arlington National Cemetery

April 14th, 2011
06:26 PM ET

Science showdown with first lady and Dr. Biden

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With bragging rights on the line, students at a Colorado high school did battle with their military parents in a science competition on Thursday. The event was hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, as they continued their cross country tour to promote their recently launched initiative supporting military families.

Mrs. Obama and Biden were joined at the event at Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Colorado Springs by Jamie Hyneman and Grant Imahara from the Discovery Channel program “MythBusters.” The two, who host a program that tests the scientific accuracy of various stories and myths, were split up to serve as an adviser to each team. “If you lose, don’t blame the Mythbusters,” the first lady joked as she kicked off the competition.

The event was used to highlight the new initiative, “Joining Forces,” whose efforts include a push to increase interest in math and science at schools serving military children. Such courses “open up a whole new world,” for future careers in medicine, engineering, and business Mrs. Obama said in her remarks before the competition got underway.

First Lady leads new initiative for military families
First Lady Michelle announces a new initiative for military families in the White House East Room on Tuesday
April 12th, 2011
03:59 PM ET

First Lady leads new initiative for military families

By CNN Wires Staff
WASHINGTON (CNN) -Supporting military families with jobs, education and other services is a matter of national security, President Barack Obama said Tuesday in helping his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill announce a new initiative supporting relatives of American service members.

"Joining Forces" will encourage businesses to provide jobs for military spouses, schools to find ways to provide additional support to children of service members and also encourage everyday Americans to find ways to personally get involved.

"It's not just the right thing to do, it also makes this country stronger," Obama said, noting that soldiers often say the one thing he can do for them is ensure their families are cared for so they can focus on their jobs.

Gen. McChrystal's new post
President Obama met with McChrystal aboard Air Force One in 2009 during a stop in Denmark
April 11th, 2011
11:41 AM ET

Gen. McChrystal's new post

WASHINGTON (CNN) -Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, President Obama’s former top military commander in Afghanistan relieved from duty last year, is taking a new post working with the Obama administration. According to a White House official, he will lead a three-member advisory board for a new White House initiative to support and honor military families, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill Biden.

The initiative, called Joining Forces, “aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society” to address the unique challenges American troops, veterans and their families face said the White House press office.

“He will be a unique and powerful advocate for the millions of Americans who serve our country selflessly,” said the First Lady in a statement welcoming McChrystal to the effort. “This program will build upon our nation’s great patriotism by asking all Americans to take action and ensure our military families have the support they have earned. General McChrystal will be a powerful leader in this cause.”