West Wing Week: 01/18/13 or "#NowIsTheTime"

Uploaded by whitehouse on 17.01.2013

Press Corps Photographers: Welcome to West Wing Week!
♪♪ (Drum and Bugle Corps) ♪♪
Narrator: Welcome to the West Wing Week!
Your guide to everything that's happening at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue.
This week, President Hamid Karzi came to the White House; as did
nine newly-posted foreign ambassadors; the President
held the final news conference of his first term; and initiated
23 separate Executive Actions to combat gun violence.
(children gasp)
The President: Hi, guys! How's everybody doin'?
Narrator: That's January 11th to January 17th or
On Friday, the President hosted President Hamid Karzi and his
delegation at the White House to discuss our continued transition
in Afghanistan and the enduring partnership between
our two countries.
The President: Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans
when needed.
But let me say it as plainly as I can, starting this spring,
our troops will have a different mission:
Training, advising, assisting Afghan forces.
It will be an historic moment and another step toward full
Afghan sovereignty, something I know that President Karzai cares
deeply about, as do the Afghan people.
Narrator: Friday also marked the 105th anniversary of the designation
of the Grand Canyon as a national monument.
West Wing Week caught up with Secretary of the Interior,
Ken Salazar, for an installment of...
This Day In History!
(short drumroll)
Secretary Salazar: January 11th is a very important day in the history
of the United States.
That's the day when President Teddy Roosevelt declared the
Grand Canyon as a national monument.
♪♪ (spiccato strings music) ♪♪
Today the Grand Canyon hosts as many as 4 million visitors
a year and creates about 6,000 jobs a year for the
surrounding economy.
It is one of the keystones that brings people from around the
world to come and visit the United States of America
and the Southwest.
It is one of our crown jewels of the Southwest.
It ties into our great national parks at Rocky Mountain and
places like Boulder Canyon, the Glen Canyon and so many other
places which truly are economic drivers for our economy.
President Obama has been a strong proponent at making sure
that we're taking care of these very special places because the
President knows that every job we create in America is
important and these jobs that come through conservation
especially affect the rural economies in a very good way.
We're very proud of the work that we've done at
the Grand Canyon.
Narrator: On Monday, the President invited the White House Press Corps to
the East Room for one last news conference before his first term
as President comes to an end.
He used the occasion to explain why Republicans in
Congress should not refuse to increase the debt limit.
The President: So to even entertain the idea of this happening, of the United
States of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible.
It's absurd.
You don't go out to dinner, then eat all you want, and then leave
without paying the check.
If Congress wants to have a debate about maybe we shouldn't
go out to dinner next time, maybe we should go to a more
modest restaurant, that's fine.
♪♪ (trumpets announcing) ♪♪
Narrator: That afternoon, nine recently-posted foreign
ambassadors arrived at the White House for a traditional ceremony
that marks the formal beginning of their tenure in Washington
representing the Republic of Poland;
the Republic of Zambia;
the Republic of Kazakhstan;
the Republic of Paraguay;
the Republic of Maldives;
and Mexico.
The President: You guys wrote me these letters that were truly --
Narrator: On Wednesday, the President and Vice President unveiled a
package of proposals to reduce gun violence as part of the
Administration's response to the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.
The President: Over the month since the tragedy in Newtown, we've heard from so
many and obviously none have affected us more than the
families of those gorgeous children, and their teachers
and guardians who were lost.
But we also heard from unexpected people.
In particular, I started getting a lot of letters from kids.
Four of them are here today: Grant Fritz, Julia Stokes,
Hinna Zeejah, and Taejah Goode.
They're pretty representative of some of the messages that I got.
These are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart
young people.
(camera shutters clicking)
And their voices should compel us to change.
Narrator: The package included 23 Executive Actions that the
President initiated immediately.
And also specific legislative recommendations that Congress
should also act on urgently.
The President: Thank you.
Narrator: Later, Ben Rhodes summarized for us President Hamid Karzi's
visit for...
"The Rhodes Traveled."
Ben Rhodes: Hi. Last week the President met with President Hamid Karzi of
Afghanistan here at the White House and the two leaders made
an important decision that Afghanistan and its security
forces would move into the lead across Afghanistan for security
this spring on the way to a full transition Afghan security by
the end of next year.
It's an important milestone on the path towards ending the war
and once again a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that
our troops have made in Afghanistan over
the last decade.
Narrator: To find out more information on any of these topics or to
see complete videos of these events, go to WhiteHouse.gov.
And thanks again for checking out your West Wing Week!
The President: Come on.
The Vice President: Look at the smile on this guy.
I mean, this guy --
The President: He's a handsome guy.
The Vice President: He is a handsome guy.
The President: He's gonna break some hearts, absolutely.
Come on.
Ben Rhodes: Good?
Producer: Perfect!
Ben Rhodes: There we go!
(hand clap)