The White House Blog

Weekly Wrap Up: "Fulfilling Our Obligations"

Watch the West Wing Week here.

Sequester Looming: On Tuesday, with just days left until a set of deep, across-the-board budget cuts are set to take effect, President Obama discussed what’s at stake for our country’s economy, security and future and pushed lawmakers to work out a deal for the American people.

“So these cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy. They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls,” said President Obama, as emergency respondents stood behind him. “This is not an abstraction -- people will lose their jobs. The unemployment rate might tick up again.”

The President called for “a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” which ends tax loopholes and deductions for the wealthy, while targeting wasteful spending in the process.

Giving Every Child a Chance: Last Friday, President Obama headed home to Chicago to promote his proposals from the State of the Union address and emphasized the importance of protecting our children from gun violence, illustrating the importance of family in our communities.

“And so that means that this is not just a gun issue. It’s also an issue of the kinds of communities that we’re building. And for that, we all share a responsibility, as citizens, to fix it.”

President Obama wants to create “ladders of opportunity” for Americans who are “working to build a strong, middle-class life for themselves.” In order for millions to work their way up, they must have the right skills and good-paying jobs. The President presented pathways to get there in his State of Union address, which include high-quality preschool for every child, raising the minimum wage and sparking American manufacturing.

Medal of Valor: On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder paid tribute to 18 remarkable individuals who have displayed exceptional courage, while risking their own lives, in order to protect fellow citizens. Recipients traveled to the White House for the Medal of Valor ceremony, which marks the highest national award for valor a public safety officer can receive. Watch the full ceremony here and learn more about the 18 heroes here.

“I love Big Bird”: Celebrating Let’s Move!’s third anniversary, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed a special guest to the White House: Big Bird. The pair headed to the kitchen and hung out in the East Room to talk about fun ways to exercise and the ease of finding delicious fruits and vegetables. The First Lady started the Let’s Move! initiative in February of 2010 to start “solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.”

Follow the First Lady for updates and learn more about Let’s Move! here. Be sure to also see special behind the scenes video with the First Lady and Big Bird here.

Easter Egg Roll Lottery: On Thursday, the lottery officially opened for the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. More than 35,000 people are expected to join the First Family and activities will include games, dancing and singing. This year’s theme is “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You” -- a reflection of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. Watch highlights from previous White House Easter Egg Rolls and learn more about the event here.

Enter the free lottery and give yourself a shot at joining the First Family on the South Lawn this Easter.