ORLANDO, Fla. – President Barack Obama is speaking at Valencia College in Orlando about economic equality for women. Follow our live updates throughout the president’s speech.
5:43 p.m. Obama has concluded his remarks.
Tomorrow in Orlando, POTUS kicks off regional events on women and the economy leading into the WH Working Families Summit. #WomenSucceed
— Jen Psaki (@Psaki44) March 19, 2014
The White House is holding a summit for working families this summer. Obama is closing this Valencia speech by talking about how he thinks the Affordable Care Act has helped women. He says before the act insurance companies were charging women significantly more. Now women can’t be discriminated against in the same fashion, Obama says. “We’ve got to do more.”
Women are still earning 77 cents on every earned by men, the president says. Over the course of a career, women with colleges degrees may earn hundreds of thousands less.
(Editor’s note – 6:35 p.m.: Not everyone agrees with the president that women make 77 cents for every dollar men make. PolitiFact explains here. Depending on the measuring technique used, women make 81 cents on the dollar or 87 cents on the dollar, according to this Salon article.)
Congress should vote to raise the minimum wage, Obama says. It would be good for workers – and business, he says. “Give America a raise,” the president says.
Congress doesn’t always work as we’d like, the president says to laughter from the audience. He says he’s going to take every opportunity to make changes. He points to his executive authority use to make the minimum wage for federal contractors $10.
The economy needs to reward the hard work of women, Obama says. “I’ve got a personal stake in seeing women get ahead … First of all women make up 80 percent of my household, if you include my mother-in-law – and I always include my mother-in-law,” the president says.
“It’s time for a women’s economic agenda that grows our economy,” the president says.
“Here’s the problem,” Obama says. Trends that have hurt middle class families have not improved. “We’ve got to build an economy that works for everybody,” the president adds.
Obama is laying out his four-part agenda. Part one is creating more jobs that pay well. He says they’ve focused on growing tourism in Orlando and points to an increase in spending by foreign tourists.
More Americans have to be trained to take the jobs that are out there, Obama says. That’s part two. Part three is making sure young people can go to college, he says.
Part four, Obama says, is making the economy reward every hard working American.
President Obama commends Valencia College for receiving the Aspen Prize, an award that recognizes the country’s top performing community colleges. In fact, Valencia was the first school in the country to win the prize. The crowd cheers at that statement.
Obama says his “driving force” has been making it so everyone who works hard can get ahead.
Obama says businesses have created 8.7 million new jobs during the past four years. In he says addition, American manufactures are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.
President Obama welcomes the Orlando crowd. He begins with a joke, saying he’s glad the women in attendance are working while “a lot of folks are pretending to work and watching the tournament.” “There must be some Gators fans around here,” Obama says, adding that he has Florida in his Final Four bracket.
Waiting for Pres. Obama to arrive in Orlando to discuss expanding economic opportunity for women. @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/7m1Zibe6fb
— Ryan Raiche (@ryanraiche) March 20, 2014