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Weekly Address: The Honor of Serving You as President

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 04:08:53 +0000

WASHINGTON, DC — This week, President Obama delivered his final weekly address thanking the American people for making him a better President and a better man. Over the past eight years, we have seen the goodness, resilience, and hope of the American people. We’ve seen what’s possible when we come together in the hard, but vital work of self-government – but we can’t take our democracy for granted. Our success as a Nation depends on our participation. It’s up to all of us to be guardians of our democracy, and to embrace the task of continually trying to improve our Nation. Despite our differences, we all share the same title: Citizen. And that is why President Obama looks forward to working by your side, as a citizen, for all of his remaining days. 




Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 1/13/17

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:23:00 +0000

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 12:50 P.M. EST MR. EARNEST:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Happy Friday.  TGIF, for one last time. Q    Friday, the 13th.   MR. EARNEST:  That's good luck.   Let me do one, quick announcement before we get to your questions.  Today the White House is hosting a transition exercise with current and perspective Cabinet members, agency heads and senior White House officials.  The exercise provides an opportunity to familiarize members identified by the President-elect to fill senior administration positions on the authorities, policies, and coordination structures that this administration has used to respond to major domestic incidents.  Cabinet members, agency heads and advisors in the current administration will share experiences and lessons from incident responses that they have led as they discuss a number of response scenarios together.   This exercise, which we announced back in November, advances the President’s goal of conducting the most professional, seamless transition possible.  We'll be in a position to provide some additional details at the conclusion of the meeting.  You’ll recall that an exercise like this was held in early 2009 between -- it was hosted by senior officials from the Bush administration and they invited their counterparts from the Obama administration at the time.  And this is the next step in the process of ensuring a smooth and effective transition to the incoming administration. So, with that, Darlene, want to get us started with questions? Q    Thank you.  Is this an all-day sort of exercise? MR. EARNEST:  It's not an all-day exercise.  I know it's a multi-hour exercise.  So it's ongoing as we speak, and I suspect that it will encompass a significant portion of everyone’s afternoon schedule. Q    Is there any more detail you can provide on exactly what they’re doing and how they’re doing it?  Are they breaking up into little groups and doing exercises?  Are they doing policy and all things domestic? MR. EARNEST:  The way that it's been described to me is that this is primarily a large-group exercise and will be an opportunity to discuss a variety of different scenarios, some related to domestic emergency response -- response to a natural disaster or a significant weather event, for example.  But it also will include some foreign policy and national security exercises as well.  And it will include both a review of responses that this administration has led to specific incidents, as well as exercises to walk through the options that are available in the context of a hypothetical event. Q    And what senior administration officials from this administration are participating? MR. EARNEST:  We'll get you some additional information about the participants in the meeting once the meeting is concluded. Q    On another subject, will the President signed the waiver that's moving through Congress to allow General Mattis to serve as Defense Secretary? MR. EARNEST:  I think we've indicated in the past that that's not something that the President would prevent from passing.  So, yes, I think you can anticipate that if it did make it to the President’s desk the he would sign it. Q    Thank you. MR. EARNEST:  Okay. Ayesha. Q    Thanks.  I want to follow up on the actions on Cuba yesterday, on the ending of “wet foot, dry foot.”  I wasn’t clear -- is this a move that can be overturned by the next administration?  Realizing that it is the ending of a policy, but is this something that could easily -- they could come in and decide they want to put that policy back in place? MR. EARNEST:  This policy change was codified in an executive agreement between the U.S. government and the government in Cub[...]



Presidential Proclamation -- Religious Freedom Day, 2017

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:56:00 +0000

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 2017 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Believing that "Almighty God hath created the mind free," Thomas Jefferson authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom after our young Nation declared its independence. This idea of religious liberty later became a foundation for the First Amendment, which begins by stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." On Religious Freedom Day, we rededicate ourselves to defending these fundamental principles, pay tribute to the many ways women and men of different religious and non-religious backgrounds have shaped America's narrative, and resolve to continue forging a future in which all people are able to practice their faiths freely or not practice at all. Religious freedom is a principle based not on shared ancestry, culture, ethnicity, or faith but on a shared commitment to liberty -- and it lies at the very heart of who we are as Americans. As a Nation, our strength comes from our diversity, and we must be unified in our commitment to protecting the freedoms of conscience and religious belief and the freedom to live our lives according to them. Religious freedom safeguards religion, allowing us to flourish as one of the most religious countries on Earth, but it also strengthens our Nation as a whole. Brave men and women of faith have challenged our conscience and brought us closer to our founding ideals, from the abolition of slavery to the expansion of civil rights and workers' rights. And throughout our history, faith communities have helped uphold these values by joining in efforts to help those in need -- rallying in the face of tragedy and providing care or shelter in times of disaster. As they built this country, our Founders understood that religion helps strengthen our Nation when it is not an extension of the State. And because our Government does not sponsor a religion -- nor pressure anyone to practice a particular faith or any faith at all -- we have a culture that aims to ensure people of all backgrounds and beliefs can freely and proudly worship without fear or coercion. Yet in 2015, nearly 20 percent of hate crime victims in America were targeted because of religious bias. That is unacceptable -- and as Americans, we have an obligation to do better. If we are to defend religious freedom, we must remember that when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. At times when some try to divide us along religious lines, it is imperative that we recall the common humanity we share -- and reject a politics that seeks to manipulate, prejudice, or bias, and that targets people because of religion. Part of being American means guarding against bigotry and speaking out on behalf of others, no matter their background or belief -- whether they are wearing a hijab or a baseball cap, a yarmulke or a cowboy hat. Today, we must also remember those outside the United States who are persecuted for their faith or beliefs, including those who have lost their lives in attacks on sacred places. Religious liberty is more than a cornerstone of American life -- it is a universal and inalienable right -- and as members of a global community, we must strive to ensure that all people can enjoy that right in peace and security. That is why my Administration has worked with coalitions around the globe to end discrimination against religious minorities, protect vulnerable communities, and promote religious freedom for all. We have also worked to ensure that those who are persecuted for their religious beliefs can find safety and a new home in the United States and elsewhere. America has changed a great deal since Thomas Jefferson first drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, but religious liberty is a right we must never stop striving to uphold. Today, let us work to protect that precious right and ensur[...]



Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:55 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Iran that was declared on March 15, 1995, is to continue in effect beyond March 15, 2017.

On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is and will remain exclusively peaceful. January 16, 2016, marked Implementation Day under the JCPOA, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report verifying that Iran had completed key nuclear-related steps as specified in the JCPOA, and the Secretary of State confirmed the report's findings. As a result, the United States lifted nuclear-related sanctions on Iran consistent with its commitments under the JCPOA, including the termination of a number of Executive Orders that were issued pursuant to this national emergency. While nuclear-related sanctions were lifted pursuant to our JCPOA commitments, a number of non-nuclear sanctions with respect to Iran remain in place.

Since Implementation Day, the IAEA has repeatedly verified, and the Secretary of State has confirmed, that Iran continues to meet its nuclear commitments pursuant to the JCPOA. Nevertheless, certain actions and policies of the Government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Iran and to maintain in force comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat.

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA




Notice -- Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:55 +0000

 NOTICE 
 
- - - - - - - 
 
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN

On March 15, 1995, by Executive Order 12957, the President declared a national emergency with respect to Iran to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran.  On May 6, 1995, the President issued Executive Order (E.O.) 12959, imposing more comprehensive sanctions on Iran to further respond to this threat.  On August 19, 1997, the President issued E.O. 13059, consolidating and clarifying the previous orders.  I took additional steps pursuant to this national emergency in E.O. 13553 of September 28, 2010, E.O. 13574 of May 23, 2011, E.O. 13590 of November 20, 2011, E.O. 13599 of February 5, 2012, E.O. 13606 of April 22, 2012, E.O. 13608 of May 1, 2012, E.O. 13622 of July 30, 2012, E.O. 13628 of October 9, 2012, and E.O. 13645 of June 3, 2013.   
 
On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is and will remain exclusively peaceful.  January 16, 2016, marked Implementation Day under the JCPOA, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report verifying that Iran had completed key nuclear-related steps as specified in the JCPOA, and the Secretary of State confirmed the report's findings.  As a result, the United States lifted nuclear-related sanctions on Iran consistent with its commitments under the JCPOA, including the termination of a number of Executive Orders that were issued pursuant to this national emergency.  While nuclear-related sanctions were lifted pursuant to our JCPOA commitments, a number of non-nuclear sanctions remain in place.   
 
Since Implementation Day, the IAEA has repeatedly verified, and the Secretary of State has confirmed, that Iran continues to meet its nuclear commitments pursuant to the JCPOA.  However, irrespective of the JCPOA, which continues to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is and remains exclusively peaceful, certain actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2017.  Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Iran declared in E.O. 12957.  The emergency declared by E.O. 12957 constitutes an emergency separate from that declared on November 14, 1979, by E.O. 12170.  This renewal, therefore, is distinct from the emergency renewal of November 2016. 
 
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress. 
 

BARACK OBAMA

 
 THE WHITE HOUSE, 
 January 13, 2017. 




Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:55 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, with respect to the situation in Venezuela is to continue in effect beyond March 8, 2017.

The situation in Venezuela described in Executive Order 13692 has not improved, including the Government of Venezuela's erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant government corruption. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 with respect to the situation in Venezuela.

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA




Notice -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:55 +0000

NOTICE

- - - - - - -

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO VENEZUELA

On March 8, 2015, I issued Executive Order 13692, declaring a national emergency with respect to the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela's erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant government corruption. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

BARACK OBAMA

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:55 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE January 13, 2017 Dear Mr. Speaker: (Mr. President:) Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13566 of February 25, 2011, with respect to Libya is to continue in effect beyond February 25, 2017. Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates took extreme measures against the people of Libya, including by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians. In addition, there was a serious risk that Libyan state assets would be misappropriated by Qadhafi, members of his government, members of his family, or his close associates if those assets were not protected. The foregoing circumstances, the prolonged attacks, and the increased numbers of Libyans seeking refuge in other countries caused a deterioration in the security of Libya, posed a serious risk to its stability, and led me to declare a national emergency to deal with this threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The Government of National Accord (GNA), which was established through the Libyan-led and U.N.-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue, has sought to bolster its support in Libya but continues to face obstacles from spoilers and hardliners. The House of Representatives in eastern Libya, which the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) stipulates should function as the GNA's legislature, continues its attempts to compete with, rather than work with, the GNA. GNA-aligned forces, backed by air strikes and intelligence support from the U.S. military, successfully ousted the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Sirte; however, ISIL and other terrorist groups continue to pose a threat to Libyan stability as well as U.S. and allied interests outside Libya. Recent clashes between militias highlight the continued threat of violence in Libya and the potential for renewed fighting over the country's resources, and we run the risk of further destabilization if sanctions do not remain in effect. We continue to encourage all Libyans to engage in dialogue and cease violence. Those that reject dialogue and obstruct and undermine Libya's democratic transition must be held accountable, which is why we worked with the U.N. Security Council to pass United Nations Security Council Resolution 2174 in August 2014 to address threats to Libya's peace, security, and stability. In December 2015, we also worked with the U.N. Security Council to pass United Nations Security Council Resolution 2259 in order to welcome the signing of the LPA and to demonstrate international support for Libya's political transition process. We will continue to work with the international community to identify those individuals that pose a threat to Libya's democratic transition and ensure that the appropriate sanctions remain in place. The situation in Libya continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and we need to protect against the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Qadhafi's family and other former regime officials. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Libya. Sincerely, BARACK OBAMA [...]



Notice -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Cuba

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

NOTICE
- - - - - - -
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO CUBA AND OF THE EMERGENCY AUTHORITY RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF THE ANCHORAGE AND MOVEMENT OF VESSELS

On February 25, 2016, by Proclamation 9398, the national emergency with respect to Cuba was modified and continued to reflect the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. The unauthorized entry of any U.S.-registered vessel into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to the foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing the national emergency with respect to Cuba and the emergency authority relating to the regulation of the anchorage and movement of vessels set out in Proclamation 6867 as amended by Proclamation 7757 and as further modified by Proclamation 9398.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Letter -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Cuba

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Cuba that was declared on March 1, 1996, in Proclamation 6867, as amended by Proclamation 7757 on February 26, 2004, and Proclamation 9398 on February 25, 2016, is to continue in effect beyond February 25, 2017.

It continues to be U.S. policy that a mass migration from Cuba would endanger the security of the United States by posing a disturbance or threatened disturbance of the international relations of the United States. The unauthorized entry of vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States into Cuban territorial waters is in violation of U.S. law and contrary to U.S. policy. Further, the unauthorized entry of U.S.-registered vessels into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to U.S. foreign policy and counter to the purpose of Executive Order 12807, which is to ensure, among other things, safe, orderly, and legal migration. The possibility of large-scale unauthorized entries of U.S.-registered vessels would disturb the international relations of the United States by facilitating a possible mass migration of Cuban nationals. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Cuba and the emergency authority relating to the regulation of the anchorage and movement of vessels set out in Proclamation 6867 as amended by Proclamation 7757 and as further modified by Proclamation 9398.

 

Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA




Letter -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Zimbabwe

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal

Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 of March 6, 2003, with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions is to continue in effect beyond March 6, 2017.

The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions has not been resolved. These actions and policies continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue this national emergency and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.

 

Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA




Notice -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Zimbabwe

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

NOTICE

- - - - - - -

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO ZIMBABWE

On March 6, 2003, by Executive Order 13288, the President declared a national emergency and blocked the property of certain persons, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions. These actions and policies had contributed to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically motivated violence and intimidation in that country, and to political and economic instability in the southern African region.

On November 22, 2005, the President issued Executive Order 13391 to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 by ordering the blocking of the property of additional persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.

On July 25, 2008, the President issued Executive Order 13469, which expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 and authorized the blocking of the property of additional persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.

The actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22, 2005, and on July 25, 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Letter -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660 of March 6, 2014, is to continue in effect beyond March 6, 2017.

The actions and policies of persons that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, as well as the actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation, including its purported annexation of Crimea and its use of force in Ukraine, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660 with respect to Ukraine.

 

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA




Notice -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

NOTICE
- - - - - - -
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO UKRAINE

On March 6, 2014, by Executive Order 13660, I declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of persons that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.

On March 16, 2014, I issued Executive Order 13661, which expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660, and found that the actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.

On March 20, 2014, I issued Executive Order 13662, which further expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660, as expanded in scope in Executive Order 13661, and found that the actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation, including its purported annexation of Crimea and its use of force in Ukraine, continue to undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.
On December 19, 2014, I issued Executive Order 13685, to take additional steps to address the Russian occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

The actions and policies addressed in these Executive Orders continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2014, and the measures adopted on that date, on March 16, 2014, on March 20, 2014, and on December 19, 2014, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Notice -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

NOTICE

- - - - - - -

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO LIBYA

On February 25, 2011, by Executive Order 13566, I declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates, who took extreme measures against the people of Libya, including by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians. In addition, there was a serious risk that Libyan state assets would be misappropriated by Qadhafi, members of his government, members of his family, or his close associates if those assets were not protected. The foregoing circumstances, the prolonged attacks, and the increased numbers of Libyans seeking refuge in other countries caused a deterioration in the security of Libya and posed a serious risk to its stability.

The situation in Libya continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and we need to protect against the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Qadhafi's family and other former regime officials.

For this reason, the national emergency declared on February 25, 2011, must continue in effect beyond February 25, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13566.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

BARACK OBAMA




Notice -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

NOTICE

- - - - - - -

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT
TO TERRORISTS WHO THREATEN TO DISRUPT
THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

On January 23, 1995, by Executive Order 12947, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process. On August 20, 1998, by Executive Order 13099, the President modified the Annex to Executive Order 12947 to identify four additional persons who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process. On February 16, 2005, by Executive Order 13372, the President clarified the steps taken in Executive Order 12947.

These terrorist activities continue to threaten the Middle East peace process and to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on January 23, 1995, and the measures adopted to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond January 23, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Letter -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:44:00 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process is to continue in effect beyond January 23, 2017.

The crisis with respect to grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process that led to the declaration of a national emergency on January 23, 1995, has not been resolved. Terrorist groups continue to engage in activities that have the purpose or effect of threatening the Middle East peace process that are hostile to United States interests in the region. Such actions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process and to maintain in force the sanctions against them to respond to this threat.

 

Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA




Presidential Memorandum -- Continuing to Expand Opportunity for All Young People

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:29:00 +0000

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES SUBJECT: Continuing to Expand Opportunity for All Young People By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following: Section 1. The Presidential Memorandum issued on February 27, 2014 (Creating and Expanding Ladders of Opportunity for Boys and Young Men of Color), is amended: (a) in the preamble, by striking the phrase "My Brother's Keeper initiative" and replacing it with "Task Force on Improving the Lives of Boys and Young Men of Color and Underserved Youth"; (b) in the preamble, by striking the phrase "The initiative" and replacing it with "The Task Force"; (c) in section 1, by striking the phrase "My Brother's Keeper Task Force" throughout and replacing it with "Task Force on Improving the Lives of Boys and Young Men of Color and Underserved Youth"; (d) in section 1(a), by striking everything that follows "In addition to the Chair, the Task Force shall consist of the following members:" in subsection (a) and inserting the following: "(i) the Attorney General; (ii) the Secretary of Agriculture; (iii) the Secretary of Commerce; (iv) the Secretary of Defense; (v) the Secretary of Education; (vi) the Secretary of Energy; (vii) the Secretary of Health and Human Services; (viii) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; (ix) the Secretary of the Interior; (x) the Secretary of Labor; (xi) the Secretary of Transportation; (xii) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; (xiii) the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; (xiv) the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; (xv) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration; (xvi) the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; (xvii) the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service; (xviii) the Director of the National Science Foundation; (xix) the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; (xx) the Director of the Domestic Policy Council; (xxi) the Director of the National Economic Council; (xxii) the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and (xxiii) the heads of such other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the Chair may, from time to time, designate."; (e) in section 2(a)(i), by inserting "as appropriate" after "to be maintained by the Department of Education"; (f) in section 2(a)(i), by inserting "and in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, including the Office of the Chief Statistician of the United States, as appropriate" after "on an ongoing basis"; (g) by adding, as section 2(f): "The Task Force shall also provide a status report to the President regarding the implementation of this memorandum at least once each calendar year. In addition, every 2 years, the Task Force shall review the recommendations from the 90-day report, determine whether updated recommendations should be sent to the President, and evaluate whether the set of critical indicators of life outcomes should be updated."; and (h) in section 2(v) and section 2(vii), by inserting "and underserved youth" after "boys and young men of color". Sec. 2. The Secretary of Education is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.   BARACK OBAMA [...]



Presidential Proclamation -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, 2017

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:25:00 +0000

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., FEDERAL HOLIDAY, 2017 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION When the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shared his dream with the world atop the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he gave mighty voice to our founding ideals. Few could have imagined that nearly half a century later, his iconic profile would forever be memorialized in stone, standing tall and gazing outward, not far from where he stirred our collective conscience to action. In summoning a generation to recognize the universal threat of injustice anywhere, Dr. King's example has proven that those who love their country can change it. A foot soldier for justice and a giant of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King lifted the quiet hopes of our Nation with the powers of his voice and pen. Whether behind his pulpit in Montgomery, at a podium on the National Mall, or from his jail cell in Birmingham, he beckoned us toward justice through non-violent resistance and oratory skill. Dr. King fought not merely for the absence of oppression but for the presence of opportunity. His soaring rhetoric impelled others to take up his cause, and with struggle and discipline, persistence and faith, those who joined him on his journey began to march. America was watching, and so they kept marching; America was listening, and so they kept sounding the call for justice. Because they kept moving forward with unwavering resistance, they changed not only laws but also hearts and minds. And as change rippled across the land, it began to strengthen over time, building on the progress realized on buses, in schools, and at lunch counters so that eventually, it would reverberate in the halls of government and be felt in the lives of people across our country. Those who dismiss the magnitude of the progress that has been made dishonor the courage of all who marched and struggled to bring about this change -- and those who suggest that the great task of extending our Nation's promise to every individual is somehow complete neglect the sacrifices that made it possible. Dr. King taught us that "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Although we do not face the same challenges that spurred the Civil Rights Movement, the fierce urgency of now -- and the need for persistence, determination, and constant vigilance -- is still required for us to meet the complex demands and defeat the injustices of our time. With the same iron will and hope in our hearts, it is our duty to secure economic opportunity, access to education, and equal treatment under the law for all. The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but it only bends because of the strength and sacrifice of those who reject complacency and drive us forward. As we reflect on Dr. King's legacy, we celebrate a man and a movement that transformed our country, and we remember that our freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of others. Given the causes he championed -- from civil rights and international peace to job creation and economic justice -- it is right that today we honor his work by serving others. Now more than ever, we must heed his teachings by embracing our convictions. We must live our values, strive for righteousness, and bring goodness to others. And at a time when our politics are so sharply polarized and people are losing faith in our institutions, we must meet his call to stand in another person's shoes and s[...]



Letters from the President -- Designation of the Chair of the United States International Trade Commission

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:10:00 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1330(c)(1), this is to notify the Congress that I have designated Rhonda Schnare Schmidtlein as Chair of the United States International Trade Commission for the term expiring June 16, 2018.

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA




Presidential Memorandum -- The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:48:00 +0000

MEMORANDUM FOR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

SUBJECT:                Providing an Order of Succession Within the
                                 Council on Environmental Quality

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq. (the "Act"), it is hereby ordered that:

Section 1. Order of Succession. Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this memorandum and to the limitations set forth in the Act, the following officials of the Council on Environmental Quality, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (Chairman), during any period in which the Chairman has died, resigned, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of that office:

(a) Managing Director;

(b) Chief of Staff;

(c) General Counsel;

(d) Associate Director for National Environmental Policy Act; and

(e) Other Associate Directors in the order in which they have been appointed as such.

Sec. 2. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1 of this memorandum in an acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Chairman pursuant to this memorandum.

(b) No individual listed in section 1 of this memorandum shall act as Chairman unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Act.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this memorandum, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this memorandum in designating an acting Chairman.

Sec. 3. Revocation. The Presidential Memorandum of March 13, 2015 (Providing an Order of Succession Within the Council on Environmental Quality), is hereby revoked.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(c) You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA




Presidential Memorandum -- The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:48:00 +0000

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND
                                         TECHNOLOGY POLICY

SUBJECT:              Designation of Officers or Employees of the
                               Office of Science and Technology Policy to
                               Act as Director

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq. (the "Act"), it is hereby ordered that:

Section 1. Order of Succession. Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this memorandum and the limitations set forth in the Act, the following officials of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the Director of OSTP (Director), during any period in which the Director has died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of Director, until such time as the Director is able to perform the functions and duties of that office:

(a) Associate Director (National Security and International Affairs);

(b) Associate Director (Technology);

(c) Associate Director (Science);

(d) Associate Director (Environment and Energy);

(e) Chief of Staff;

(f) Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Director; and

(g) General Counsel.

Sec. 2. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1 in any acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Director pursuant to this memorandum.

(b) No individual listed in section 1 shall act as Director unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Act.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this memorandum, the President retains the discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this memorandum in designating an acting Director.

Sec. 3. Revocation. The President's memorandum of August 5, 2009 (Designation of Officers of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to Act as Director), is hereby revoked.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(c) You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA




Executive Order -- Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:39:00 +0000

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- - - - - - -

PROVIDING AN ORDER OF SUCCESSION WITHIN
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq., it is hereby ordered that:

Section 1. Order of Succession. Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this order, the following officers, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of Attorney General, during any period in which the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, and any officers designated by the Attorney General pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 508 to act as Attorney General have died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of Attorney General, until such time as at least one of the officers mentioned above is able to perform the functions and duties of that office:

(a) United States Attorney for the District of Columbia;

(b) United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and

(c) United States Attorney for the Central District of California.

Sec. 2. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1 of this order in an acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Attorney General pursuant to this order.

(b) No individual listed in section 1 shall act as Attorney General unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this order, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this order in designating an acting Attorney General.

Sec. 3. Executive Order 13557 of November 4, 2010, is revoked.

Sec. 4. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Executive Order -- Providing an Order of Succession Within the Environmental Protection Agency

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:39:00 +0000

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- - - - - - -

PROVIDING AN ORDER OF SUCCESSION WITHIN
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq. (the "Act"), it is hereby ordered that:

Section 1. Order of Succession. Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this order, and to the limitations set forth in the Act, the following officials of the Environmental Protection Agency, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Administrator) during any period in which the Administrator and the Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency have died, resigned, or become otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of Administrator:

(a) General Counsel;

(b) Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste;

(c) Assistant Administrator for Toxic Substances (also known as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention);

(d) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation;

(e) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water;

(f) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance;

(g) Chief Financial Officer;

(h) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development;

(i) Assistant Administrator for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs;

(j) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Administration and Resources Management;

(k) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information;

(l) Regional Administrator, Region VII;

(m) Deputy Regional Administrator, Region II;

(n) Principal Deputy General Counsel;

(o) Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; and

(p) Deputy Regional Administrator, Region V.

Sec. 2. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1(a)-(p) of this order in an acting capacity shall, by virtue of so serving, act as Administrator pursuant to this order.

(b) No individual listed in section 1(a)-(p) of this order shall act as Administrator unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Act.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this order, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this order in designating an acting Administrator.

Sec. 3. Revocation. Executive Order 13737 of August 12, 2016 (Providing an Order of Succession Within the Environmental Protection Agency), is hereby revoked.

Sec. 4. Judicial Review. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 13, 2017.




Presidential Memorandum -- The Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:36:00 +0000

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL MEDIATION AND
CONCILIATION SERVICE

SUBJECT:          Providing an Order of Succession Within the
                           Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345, et seq. (the "Act"), it is hereby ordered that:

Section 1. Order of Succession. Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this memorandum, and to the limitations set forth in the Act, the following officials of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the Office of the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Director), during any period in which the Director has died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the Office of the Director:

(a) Deputy Director, Field Operations;

(b) Deputy Director; and

(c) Manager, National Programs and Initiatives.

Sec. 2. Exemptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1 of this memorandum in an acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Director pursuant to this memorandum.

(b) No individual listed in section 1 of this memorandum shall act as Director unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Act.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this memorandum, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this memorandum in designating an acting Director.

Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(b) You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA




Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 1/12/2017

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:07:44 +0000

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 12:37 P.M. EST MR. EARNEST:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Nice to see you all.  Before we get started, I did want to call to your attention an announcement that was made briefly by the U.S. government earlier this morning.  The United States, this morning, at the WTO, the World Trade Organization, announced that we had filed a case against China for artificially cheap loans from banks and low-priced inputs for Chinese aluminum.  The case that we have made is that those cheap loans and low-priced inputs are contributing to excess global capacity and undercutting American workers and businesses.  Today's action follows numerous bilateral efforts by the Obama administration to persuade China to take strong steps to address the excess capacity situation in its aluminum sector.  Those of you who have been following along know that this is the 16th trade enforcement challenge the Obama administration has launched against China at the WTO.  It's a demonstration of our commitment to hold China to its trade obligations.  And, of course, the incoming administration has spoken forcefully about their commitment to standing up for the United States when it comes to global trade.  The incoming administration has suggested that they would consider imposing high tariffs and building walls in ways that economists have said would be damaging to workers, U.S. workers, bad for U.S. businesses, bad for U.S. entrepreneurs, bad for the broader American economy, and bad for American college graduates that are entering the workforce.  The Obama administration has taken a different approach.  And as I have on a number of a policies, I would invite you to, as you consider the policies that are put forward by the incoming administration, evaluate their performance based on the approach that President Obama has pursued.  And I will spare you the long recitation of the dramatic improvement we've seen in our economy, because that certainly is the backdrop for all of this.  But when it comes specifically to trade enforcement, you should remember that the United States, during the Obama administration over the last eight years, has filed more cases at the WTO than any other country.  Now, in some ways that makes sense because the U.S. economy is so large and benefits from our strong relationships with other countries overseas, but it's an illustration of how aggressively the Obama administration has worked to protect our economy here in the United States in the context of our trade relationships.  Twenty-five cases filed at the WTO against other countries, by the United States, under President Obama's leadership. Of those cases, the United States has won every single one that's been decided.  Fourteen of the twenty-five cases have been decided.  We're 14 and 0 in those cases.  There are six others that have been settled in our favor.  That, of course, means that there are five that are still pending, including the one that was announced today. Of the 25 that we have filed at the WTO, 16 of them have been filed against China -- more than any other country over the last eight years.  And as you would expect -- those of you who are good at math will predict this -- of the cases [...]



Executive Order -- Recognizing Positive Actions by the Government of Sudan and Providing for the Revocation of Certain Sudan-Related Sanctions

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:47:00 +0000

EXECUTIVE ORDER - - - - - - - RECOGNIZING POSITIVE ACTIONS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN AND PROVIDING FOR THE REVOCATION OF CERTAIN SUDAN-RELATED SANCTIONS By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7201-7211) (TSRA), the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act of 2004, as amended (Public Law 108-497) (CPSA), the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-344) (DPAA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation that gave rise to the actions taken in Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997, and Executive Order 13412 of October 13, 2006, related to the policies and actions of the Government of Sudan has been altered by Sudan's positive actions over the past 6 months. These actions include a marked reduction in offensive military activity, culminating in a pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, and steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout Sudan, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism. Given these developments, and in order to see these efforts sustained and enhanced by the Government of Sudan, I hereby order: Section 1. Effective July 12, 2017, and provided the criteria in section 12(b) of this order are met, sections 1 and 2 of Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997, are revoked, and Executive Order 13412 of October 13, 2006, is revoked in its entirety. The revocation of those provisions of Executive Order 13067 and of Executive Order 13412 shall not affect any violation of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action under those orders during the period that those provisions were in effect. Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 908(a)(3) of TSRA, I hereby determine that it is in the national security interest of the United States to waive, and hereby waive, the application of section 908(a)(1) of TSRA with respect to Sudan. Sec. 3. Pursuant to section 6(d) of CPSA, I hereby determine and certify that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive, and hereby waive, the application of sections 6(a) and (b) of CPSA. Sec. 4. The function of the President under section 6(c)(1) of CPSA is assigned to the Secretary of the Treasury. Sec. 5. The functions of the President under section 6(c)(2) and the last sentence of section 6(d) of CPSA are assigned to the Secretary of State, except that the function of denial of entry is assigned to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Sec. 6. The function of the President under section 8 of DPAA is assigned to the Secretary of State. Sec. 7. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce are authorized to issue regulations, licenses, and orders, and conduct such investigations as may be necessary, to implement the provisions of section 906 of TSRA. Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, otherwise affect the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997, as ex[...]



Letter -- Recognizing Positive Actions by the Government of Sudan and Providing for the Revocation of Certain Sudan-Related Sanctions

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:47:00 +0000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE January 13, 2017 Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) Consistent with subsection 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") that revokes sections 1 and 2 of Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997, and revokes Executive Order 13412 of October 13, 2006, in its entirety. Both actions are effective 180 days from January 13, 2017, provided that certain further action is taken by the Secretary of State on or before that date. I have determined that the situation that gave rise to the actions taken in those orders related to the policies and actions of the Government of Sudan has been altered by Sudan's positive actions over the past 6 months. These actions include a marked reduction in offensive military activity, culminating in a pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, and steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout Sudan, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism. The President issued Executive Order 13067 to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan, including support for international terrorism; efforts to destabilize neighboring governments; and the prevalence of human rights violations. Section 1 of Executive Order 13067 blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of Sudan, and section 2 prohibits a broad range of trade and investment-related transactions with Sudan, including imports from and exports to Sudan. The President expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13067 in Executive Order 13400 of April 26, 2006, which blocks the property and interests in property of certain persons in connection with the conflict in Darfur. The President took additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13067 in Executive Order 13412 due to policies and actions of the Government of Sudan that violated human rights, in particular with respect to the conflict in Darfur, and the pervasive role played by the Government of Sudan in the petroleum and petrochemical industries in Sudan. Executive Order 13412 continues the blocking of the Government of Sudan, specifies new prohibitions relating to Sudan's petroleum industry, and exempts certain specified areas in Sudan from the trade prohibitions found in Executive Order 13067. With the positive steps taken by the Government of Sudan over the last 6 months, and provided that these positive actions are sustained over the next 180 days, there will be no further need for sections 1 and 2 of Executive Order 13067 or for Executive Order 13412. The 180-day delay period of the order's effective date with respect to removing these provisions is intended to encourage the Government of Sudan to sustain its efforts in these areas. The order directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Administrator of [...]



On-the-Record Press Call on Cuba Policy Announcement

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 01:02:00 +0000

ON-THE-RECORD PRESS CALL BY DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR BEN RHODES AND SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY JEH JOHNSON ON CUBA POLICY ANNOUNCEMENT Via Telephone 5:55 P.M. EST MR. PRICE:  Good evening, everyone, and thanks so much for joining this call, especially on such short notice.  We wanted to convene this call to discuss the changes to the policies and regulations affecting Cuban nationals that were announced late this afternoon.  First, the ground rules.  This call is on the record.  We have on this call, for your awareness, Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor.  We also have the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, along with another senior DHS official for question. We'll do this call on the record, but it will be embargoed until the conclusion, so we ask that you please not use this material until the call concludes. And with that, I will turn it over to Secretary Johnson to begin. SECRETARY JOHNSON:  Good evening.  This is Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.  As part of the normalization of relations with the government of Cuba, effective immediately I have repealed the "wet foot, dry foot" policy with regard to Cuban migrants that has been in place since the mid-1990s.  Going forward, those Cuban migrants who arrive in the United States illegally, with some exceptions which I'll get into in a moment, will be subject to deportation consistent with our laws and our immigration enforcement priorities. To the extent permitted by the laws of both our countries, the aim here is to treat Cuban migrants in a manner consistent with migrants who come here illegally from other countries, particularly other countries in the same region.  This is a move toward equalizing our immigration policies with regard to those who come here illegally as part of the overall normalization process with the government of Cuba.  Along with the repeal of the policy, which I have done today, this is a product of an agreement with the government of Cuba.  Essentially, what the agreement means is that past is past, but that the future will be different with regard our migration relationship with the government of Cuba.  Going forward, if a Cuban migrants arrives here illegally, the Cuban government has agreed to accept that person back, specifically if the time -- between the time a Cuban migrant leaves Cuba, as demonstrated to us by the Cuban government, and the time that we commence a deportation proceeding against the individual is less than four years, the Cuban government has agreed to take that person back. Now, the reason for the four-year period is because of the existence of a law in Cuba enacted in response to the Cuban Adjustment Act of the United States, the law in Cuba essentially says that if a person has left Cuba, after two years they are considered to have effectively migrated from Cuba.  In the course of our negotiations, the Cuban government agreed, therefore, that if a person has been out of Cuba more than four years because the time they left and the time we commenced a deportation proceeding against them, which tolls that clock, they will take that migrant back. Ultimately, we se[...]



President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:36:00 +0000

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Joseph Cox – Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Addy Schmitt – Member, District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission
  • Charles Galbraith – Member, Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Arts Development, Board of Trustees
  • Andrea Sanders – Member, Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Arts Development, Board of Trustees
  • Carrie Conaway – Member,  National Board for Education Sciences
  • David Francis – Member, National Board for Education Sciences
  • Anthony Robles – Member, President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Brad Snyder – Member, President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

President Obama said, “These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers.  I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I know they will serve the American people well.”