Tuesday, November 26, 2019

1600 Daily The White House • November 26, 2019 BREAKING: President Trump pardons ‘Butter’ as the 2019 National Thanksgiving Turkey

1600 Daily
The White House • November 26, 2019

BREAKING: President Trump pardons ‘Butter’ as the 2019 National Thanksgiving Turkey

This afternoon, President Donald J. Trump continued a cherished White House holiday tradition by officially pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey.

“Bread” and “Butter,” two birds from North Carolina, were the feathered contestants vying for this year’s honor. In perhaps the closest turkey pardon contest in White House history, Butter won over Americans’ hearts by a slim margin—taking 50.3% of the vote.

 Watch: President Trump pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey!

Speaking from the Rose Garden, President Trump decided to extend a pardon to both lucky birds. He also wished all Americans a happy, peaceful Thanksgiving.  

After a hard-fought race, both turkeys have earned some quality rest and relaxation time. Following today’s Rose Garden ceremony, they are now headed to their new home at “Gobblers Rest” on the Virginia Tech campus. They will be cared for by veterinarians and students at the school’s exhibit, where they can be visited by the public.

Learn more about the famous White House turkey pardon tradition.

WATCH: First Lady receives 2019 White House Christmas Tree

Christmas came early in Washington yesterday, as First Lady Melania Trump kicked off this season’s festivities by receiving the official White House Christmas tree.

Arriving by horse-drawn carriage near the front steps of the White House, the more than 5-meter-tall Douglas Fir will stand tall in the Blue Room, where it will serve as the centerpiece for the White House’s Christmas decorations this December.

Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has held an annual contest to select the official White House Christmas tree. This year’s selection was cut from Mahantongo Valley Farms in Pennsylvania, and owner Larry Snyder had the honor of presenting it for the arrival.

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
President Donald J. Trump pardons Butter in the Rose Garden of the White House | November 26, 2019


Office of the Press Secretary


“We remain committed to preserving and protecting Native American cultures, languages, and history, while ensuring prosperity and opportunity for all Native Americans.” – President Donald J. Trump

PROTECTING NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN: President Donald J. Trump is committed to protecting Native American women and children from harm.

  • Today’s executive order establishes Operation Lady Justice – an interagency task force charged with developing an aggressive, government-wide strategy to address the crisis of missing and murdered women and girls in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
  • The task force will establish multi-jurisdictional teams comprising representatives from Tribal and Federal law enforcement to review unsolved cases.
  • In addition, this new task force will promote greater cooperation among Federal, local, state, and Tribal law enforcement agencies in responding to cases.
  • To better equip communities to respond to the crisis, the task force will undertake efforts to increase public awareness of the issue.
  • This executive order also directs the Department of Justice to issue grants to help improve safety in Native American communities.
ADDRESSING THE CRISIS: The Administration is working to address the crisis of missing and murdered women in Native American communities.
  • The heartbreaking crisis of missing and murdered women is especially severe in Native American communities.
  • One study found that Native American women in certain Tribal communities are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the average American.
  • In October, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded over $273.4 million in grants to improve public safety, serve victims of crime, combat violence against women and support youth programs in Native American communities.
  • Earlier this month, DOJ launched a national strategy to address missing and murdered Native Americans.
SUPPORTING TRIBAL COMMUNITIES: Operation Lady Justice is the latest step in the President’s efforts to support our Tribal communities.
  • President Trump became the first president to officially recognize the grave issue of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives by issuing a “Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day” proclamation.
  • In March 2019, President Trump announced the Presidential Task force on Protecting Native American Children in the Indian Health Service System.
    • This task force helps to safeguard Native American children from abuse in the healthcare system.
  • President Trump signed legislation that restored the opportunity to receive promised land allotments to nearly 3,000 Alaska Native veterans who served in Vietnam.
  • To help expand broadband development in Indian country, the Administration held a National Tribal Broadband Summit this past September.
  • This year, President Trump secured an agreement with President NiinistÓ§ of Finland to repatriate American Indian ancestral remains and funerary objects to the United States.


Office of the Press Secretary


Oval Office


11:24 A.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Thank you very much.  It is my honor to sign an executive order -- we’re going to be doing it right now -- to address a tragedy facing Native American communities: the crisis of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, in particular women and children.  It’s a tremendous problem.  It’s been going on for a long time -- many, many decades, beyond that.  And we’re going to address it.  We’ve addressed it very strongly.

     We’re grateful to be joined by Attorney General William Barr, Secretary David Bernhardt, other members of my administration, and several terrific Native American leaders.   These are great leaders.

     The statistics are sobering and heartbreaking.  Recently, more than 5,000 Native American women and girls were reported missing in a single year.  While the majority return home or are found, too many are still missing and their whereabouts are unknown -- and they usually don’t find them.

     One study showed that Native American women in certain tribal communities are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the average American.  The victims and their families deserve action.  And this should have happened many years ago.

     With my order today, we’re launching Operation Lady Justice -- an interagency task force led by Attorney General Barr and Secretary Bernhardt to develop an aggressive, government-wide strategy to end this terrible situation.  The Department of Justice will also be issuing grants to improve safety in Native American communities.

     We will leverage every resource we have to bring safety to our tribal communities, and we will not waver in this mission.  We’re taking this very seriously.  This has never been done before.  And I’ve seen it, just by reading and watching the news -- it’s a very serious problem.  It’s a horrible problem.

     This is only the latest action my administration has taken to support American Indians and Alaska Natives.  I signed legislation restoring benefits that were unfairly taken away from Alaska Natives serving in Vietnam.  In March, I launched an initiative to improve the health and safety of children in the care of Indian Health Service.  And in September, we hosted the first-ever National Tribal Broadband Summit.  And earlier this month, the White House hosted the first-ever Native American Veterans Conference.  Some of the folks in the room were there.

     With Operation Lady Justice, we will bring new hope to Native American communities across the nation.  We will deliver justice for the victims, closure for the families, and safety to those in harm’s way.  And on behalf of every missing or murdered Native American woman and child, I am going to sign this order, and it will be a great honor to be signing this order.  And thank you all for being here.  Thank you very much.

(The executive order is signed.)

THE PRESIDENT:  So that’s something that should have been done a long time ago -- decades ago, frankly.  (Applause.)

So we have with us some of the great leaders: Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of Mille Lacs Band.

MS. BENJAMIN:  Of Ojibwe.

THE PRESIDENT:  We have Myron -- and would you say some- -- would you like to say something?  Come here a minute, Melanie.  Say a few words, please.

MS. BENJAMIN:  (Speaks in Ojibwe.)  And it is my honor and my privilege to be here today with the signing, because we cannot have this happening anymore.  It’s a historical day to know that our missing and murdered women have a place and a remembrance, and that we care about them and their families.

So, Mr. President, chi-miigwech.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you, Melanie.  That’s really nice.

MS. BENJAMIN:  I really appreciate that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Melanie.  I appreciate that.

We have Myron Lizer, Vice President of the Navajo Nation, and Dottie Lizer and Halle Lizer.  Myron, maybe say a few words, if you would, please.

MR. LIZER:  Yes, sir.  I’m honored, President.  Thank you for having us at this historic legislat- -- executive order.  The Navajo Nation thanks you, and much more First Nations thanks you.  As the host people of the land, we feel that our prayers are being answered.  And First Nations’ prayers are powerful.  So thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

     MR. LIZER:  We look forward to seeing some improvement in Indian country.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate that.  Thank you very much, Myron.

     We have a man whose name I want to use.  I maybe have to change my name, because I love this name: Alvin “A.J.” Not Afraid.  (Laughter.)  Chairman of the Crow Nation.  I love this name.  (Laughter.)

     MR. NOT AFRAID:  Thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Where are you?  Come here.  Say a few words.

     MR. NOT AFRAID:  Yes, sir.  First of all, President, we are honored that you recognize the Native Nations, as well as the Crow Nation.  We have been proponents of the Trump administration and all the endeavors.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

     MR. NOT AFRAID:  And understanding that I personally am affected by the missing and murdered indigenous women events that are circulating.  So knowing that you support in the realm of this executive order, the Crow Tribe is honored.  Thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you for coming.  I appreciate it very much.

     Is that true -- you're not afraid?  Are you not afraid of anything?

     MR. NOT AFRAID:  I also -- yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  I want to know.

     MR. NOT AFRAID:  I also have a gift of our support of the Trump administration.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, that’s beautiful.  Thank you.  That’s very nice.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  That’s very nice.

     Kevin DuPuis, Chairman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.  Where is --

     MR. DUPUIS:  Right here, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you, please.

     MR. DUPUIS:  Thank you.  (Speaks in Ojibwe.)  Mr. President, this directly affects me, just as -- like it did to my brother over there, and Marine -- as my sister, was one of these statistics at one time.

     The importance to us, as one of -- as tribal leaders and as a unique people -- to take a look this.  And how we look at it is: Our women are the ones who raise our children.  Our women are the ones who take care of our village.  Our women are the ones who take care of communities -- our teachers.  Our children are our future.  And these are both being affected in that way.

And it's absolutely -- what’s the right word to use?  How about if I just say this way --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Imperative.

     MR. DUPUIS:  It’s -- yes, it's imperative that this changes, in a manner that we're looked at not as the second-class citizens, but looked like -- looked at as any other group that exists within the continent of the United States.

It's -- because it's very, very important that we, as a people, have a true identity.  And when we lose our women and we lose our children, that goes with them.  And if we look at the principles of seven generations forward -- for every child that has gone, every woman that’s gone, that’s seven generations.

So it's imperative that this is taken care of in a manner that we unite, we become one, and we look out to protect all women and children.  It doesn’t matter what color they are -- all women and children.  So thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very -- it was very well stated.  I appreciate it.

     And Roger Smith.  Where is Roger?

     MR. SMITH:  Right here.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Roger, come on over.  Go ahead.

MR. SMITH:  I like to say, in Ojibwe, "Miigwech, Mr. President.”  As a member of law enforcement for over 20 years, in looking at -- in the tribal government -- I'm also honored to be sitting on Governor Walz from Minnesota's Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.  And to see -- to do away with the party line of addressing this very important issue.  And, again, I thank you for this today.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.  Great to have you here.

Maybe I could ask our great Attorney General to say a few words, and then David Bernhardt.  They’ve worked very hard on this.

     ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR:  Mr. President, this is very much in keeping with your commitment to focus on the issues of those who haven’t gotten the priority they deserved in the past.  This is -- as you know, this is a very vexing and dangerous issue in Indian Country, and I appreciate your leadership on it.  And I’m looking forward to working with the Secretary on this task force.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you very much.  Thanks, Bill.

     And David?  Please.

     SECRETARY BERNHARDT:  Mr. President, this is an opportunity to bring the expertise of the Department of Justice, and the experience and expertise of Interior, together with our teams to work for these communities that desperately can use our help.  And we’re excited about it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  You’re doing a great job.

     SECRETARY BERNHARDT:  Thank you, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  A very great job.

     So this is very important.  It’s very important to me, and to David, and to Bill, and to everybody here.  And these are great leaders.  They’ve suffered tremendously, and we’re going to see if we can stop that.

     So thank you all for being here.  Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.  Thank you.

     Q    One question on Hong Kong, sir.  Did you watch the results coming in of the election they just had in Hong Kong?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, I did.  Yes, I did.

     Q    And what’s your message to the people who voted for those democracy parties?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’re with them.  I have a very good relationship, as you know, with President Xi.  We’re in the final throes of a very important deal -- I guess you could say, one of the most important deals in trade ever.  It’s going very well.  But at the same time, we want to see it go well in Hong Kong, and I think it will.  I think that President Xi can make that happen.  And I know him, and I know he’d like to make it happen.

     Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  Thank you.

                             END                11:34 A.M. EST


Office of the Press Secretary


November 26, 2019


Dear Mr. President:


Consistent with the conditions set forth in the Senate resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia of October 22, 2019, and based on the recommendation of the Department of State, I hereby certify to the Senate that:

        (i)  the inclusion of North Macedonia in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will not have the effect of increasing the overall percentage share of the United States in the common budgets of NATO; and

        (ii)  the inclusion of North Macedonia in NATO does not detract from the ability of the United States to meet or to fund its military requirements outside of the North Atlantic area.




                                    DONALD J. TRUMP

West Wing Reads Trump to Pick Between ‘Bread’ and ‘Butter’ at Annual Turkey Pardoning Ceremony

West Wing Reads

Trump to Pick Between ‘Bread and Butter’ at Annual Turkey Pardoning Ceremony

“The White House released the names of the two turkeys up for consideration for the title of ‘National Thanksgiving Turkey’ at the official turkey pardoning ceremony: Bread and Butter. President Donald Trump will issue a presidential pardon to the turkeys [today] ahead of Thanksgiving, as part of the annual holiday tradition that was made official in 1989 under former President George H.W. Bush,” Jeanine Santucci writes in USA Today.

“Last year, Peas the turkey beat out Carrots for the title, but both were pardoned and sent to live out their days in Virginia at Gobbler's Rest, where they are cared for by Virginia Tech students and veterinarians.”

Click here to read more.
House Democrats have a problem: Support for impeachment continues to fall as their marathon TV hearings produce no actual evidence of wrongdoing by the President. Now, even Democrats’ own voters are losing interest. According to a new Hill-HarrisX poll released yesterday, “the number of Democratic voters who say they are paying close attention to the impeachment inquiry fell 5 percentage points,” The Hill reports.
“The dog injured during the mission that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was honored Monday afternoon during a surprise ceremony at the White House, with President Trump, Vice President Pence and First Lady Melania in attendance.” The President gave “Conan” a medal and a plaque, Nick Givas reports for Fox News.
“President Donald Trump is donating his third-quarter salary to help tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic. A White House official says Trump has given the $100,000 he would be paid in the quarter to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health,” Zeke Miller writes for The Associated Press.
During the holiday season, American shoppers face a significant risk of purchasing counterfeit goods. To confront that rising e-commerce threat, President Trump signed a Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods this year, White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for OMB Vishal Amin write for Fox News.


Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office

5:29 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  This is a very important signing, and we've had two now in a row that are very, very important and inspirational, I might add.  Right?  When you think of it.

     Thank you all for being here today.  I'm pleased to sign the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act into law.  Animal cruelty.  This is something that should've happened a long time ago and it didn’t.  But the people behind me and others have been incredible, and I just want to congratulate you.

     And I ask the same question I asked for another bill that we just signed: Why hasn’t it -- this happened a long time ago?  And I give you the same answer: because Trump wasn’t President.  (Laughter.)

     This commonsense legislation restricts the creation and distribution of videos or images of animal torture.  It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized society.

     We're pleased to be joined by some of the very important people that got this done.  And they worked very, very hard on it.  Representative Vern Buchanan -- fantastic person.  Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh.  Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society.  Jack Hubbard, COO of American Humane.  Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s for Warriors.  Marty Irby, Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action.  Laura Sellards, President and Executive Director of the Warrior Dog Foundation.  Lauren [Lauree] Simmons, President and Founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.  John Thompson, Executive Director of the National Animal Care and Control Association.  Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.  Tracie Letterman, Vice President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.  Anne [Anna] Marie Malloy, Senior Legislative Specialist at the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

     And these people really worked hard together with some of your friends that are in different states all over the country right now, that we were able to get this done a little bit quicker than people thought.  And so they send all of their regards, and some of them are watching this right now, as we do this.

     From battlefields to hospitals, from the ranches of the frontier to the backyards of America, from animals of service to animals of war, our nation’s animals have played a vital role in the development, settlement, security, and happiness of our country.  So true.  We had a great dog named Conan here, just a little while ago.  It's very fitting that it was on the same day, but that’s a little bit what you're talking about.  Conan was something and created quite a stir.

     We have a responsibility to honor the dignity of God’s creation.  With today’s act, we take the critical step toward being more responsible and humane stewards of our planet and all who we want to cherish and take care of, and all of those who live on it.             

     And I will now sign this very important piece of legislation.  And I want to congratulate everybody here.  And after I'm finished, I'd like you to have you maybe say a few words to the media, if you'd like.  Okay?  Thank you very much.

(The bill is signed.)

     Okay, so who's supposed to get this pen?  (Laughter.)

     PARTICIPANT:  Right over there, the Congressman.

     THE PRESIDENT:  And your sons?  Introduce your sons and say a few words.


     THE PRESIDENT:  Great job.

     MR. MATT BUCHANAN:  It's great to be here.

     REPRESENTATIVE BUCHANA:  And thank you for your leadership on animals.  I can tell you this has been six years and coming -- about torturing animals and cruelty to animals.  But without your leadership, this wouldn’t be a reality today.  So thank you very much, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  Great job.  Great job.

     See that, Jeff?

     MR. IRBY:  It's the first ever anti-cruelty statute in American history.  So, you broke another record.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, wow.  That’s fantastic.  (Applause.)

     MR. DIAMOND:  In one stroke of the pen, the President has done more to protect animals and stop animal cruelty in America than anyone in history.  That’s incredible.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s really a very nicely put statement.  Thank you very much.

     MR. DIAMOND:  Yes, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate it.

     MS. BLOCK:  This bill -- this now passage -- it’s a watershed moment.  Animal protection is such a vital issue.  We are so grateful for the signing today and for the support of the American people and all the legislators who stood behind us.  This is an incredibly important moment and for such a great cause.  So thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s great.  That’s a great honor.  Thank you.

     MS. BLOCK:  Thank you.  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  My great honor.  Please.

     SHERIFF WELSH:  Mr. President --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Hi, Sheriff.

     SHERIFF WELSH:  How are you?  On behalf of law enforcement, this is another effort on your part and success on your part to assist federal, state, and local agencies to work together, because animal cruelty -- the cruelty of animals, the destruction in the home, domestic violence -- everything is related.  And what this does is enable law enforcement to work together on the federal, state, and local level to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty.  And we thank you for that.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Sheriff.  And she’s one of the toughest people in the country -- (laughter) -- for law and order.  So that’s a pretty --

     SHERIFF WELSH:  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- interesting combination of events.

     Please.  Go ahead.

     MS. SIMMONS:  We see animal abuse every day in rescue throughout the southeast, throughout the country.  And I really feel that this bill will make people think twice about -- before they abuse an animal, and hopefully end the horrific torture that some of these animals endure.

     Mr. President, I want to thank you for getting behind this, for helping the animals of the United States.  And hopefully you can work a deal and -- with your China trade that we can -- the meat trade over there too.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s pretty tough toward animals, isn’t it, when you think of it, right?  We’re doing actually very well in that regard.

     Tell me, why wasn’t this done many years ago?  Could you -- do you want to answer that?

     MR. DIAMOND:  There is no good answer, sir.  Until you became President, it wasn’t going to happen.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Pretty amazing, you know?  It’s almost common sense, right?

     MR. DIAMOND:  Exactly.

     THE PRESIDENT:  From the heart.  But almost common sense. That’s pretty amazing.

     Anybody would like to say something?

     MR. IRBY:  Yeah, Mr. President.  Thank you so much for all that you’ve done as our President -- and, Mr. Buchanan, you --for making this the first-ever anti-cruelty statute in American history.  I know you must think a lot of that, and that really says a lot about everything you do as our President.  And we’re proud to have you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  Anybody?  Please.

     MR. THOMPSON:  Mr. President --


     MR. THOMPSON:  Yeah, I just want to say that, you know, animals are changing in our society.  It used to be they were just animals; now they’re family members.  And what you’ve done today has another toolbox in the men and women who -- in animal care and control who go out there and fight every day.  Sooner or later, we’re going to put an end to this and the evil that comes with it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s very nicely stated.  Thank you very much.

     REPRESENTATIVE BUCHANAN:  Let me only add, also --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Go ahead.

     REPRESENTATIVE BUCHANAN:  -- Mr. President, I just wanted to say that this is a big bipartisan win.  It takes time, unfortunately -- you know better than anybody -- to try and get something done up here.  But with your leadership -- and we’ve got some other good bipartisan wins we’re going to have shortly, I think.  But this -- this is how it came together.  There was a lot of work by a lot of different groups and members of Congress on both sides.

     THE PRESIDENT:  What were the numbers?

     REPRESENTATIVE BUCHANAN:  A hundred percent, pretty much, for both sides, the House and the Senate.  But again, that’s because of your leadership and what you brought to this effort.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s really great.

     REPRESENTATIVE BUCHANAN:  Thank you very much.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.

     Pam Bondi, would you like to say something?

     MS. BONDI:  I’ve prosecuted way too many of these cases, President.  Way too many of these cases were prosecuted.  And thanks to you, you’re going to save so many animals.  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Pam.

     Well, thank you all very much.  And we appreciate it.  Maybe stay back and we’ll take a couple of pictures and we’ll let the media go.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  I appreciate it.  Thank you.

                                   END               5:38 P.M. EST    


Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office
5:10 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, thank you very much.  In a few moments, I will be signing into law the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act.  This new law directs the Treasury Department to issue 400,000 one-dollar silver coins in a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote.  Nobody is going to take that one off.  We just said -- nobody.  Not with these women.

     We're pleased to be joined on this special occasion by Secretary Elaine Chao, Deputy Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley, Deputy Director Margaret Weichert, Acting Deputy Secretary Kate MacGregor, Administrator Emily Murphy, and Chairman Mary Anne Carter.  Thank you all very much. 

     Also thanks to Senator Marsha Blackburn, who has been doing an incredible job, and Representative Liz Cheney, likewise an incredible job.  And actually, I just learned something, Liz.  Would you say what you just told me about Wyoming?

     REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Yes, sir, Mr. President.  Wyoming was the first place on Earth where women had the right to vote.  We’ve been voting 150 years in Wyoming.   

     THE PRESIDENT:  Number one.  Number one.  (Applause.)

     That's pretty good, right?  (Applause.)

     Also with us are members of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission: Executive Director of the Commission Anna Laymon; Treasurer of the United States Jovita Carranza; Assistant Secretary Susan Combs; President of Independent Women’s Voice Heather Higgins; President of the Heritage Foundation Kay Coles James; President of the Susan B. Anthony List Major -- that's Marjorie Dannenfelser; President of Concerned Women of America -- that's Penny Nance; Julissa Marenco from the Smithsonian; Colleen Shogan from the Library of Congress.  Those are great names, I'll tell you.  (Laughter.)  But they're doing the job.

     The one-dollar coins that we -- will be issued under the Act will honor the vital history of the women’s suffrage movement and celebrate many of the brave heroes who fought for the right to vote, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells.

     All proceeds from the sale of these coins will go to the Smithsonian’s Women’s History Initiative.  My administration will always celebrate the immeasurable contributions of women to every facet of American history and life.  We will fight for every day, and we will fight every night.  We'll make this happen, and we'll continue to make it happen -- this is going to be a tremendous success -- to ensure opportunity, prosperity, justice, and equality for all women in the United States.

     And I'm now going to sign the bill, and then I'm going to ask you, folks, some of you -- whoever would like to -- to say a few words, okay?  Let me sign this first.

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Oh, yes.  Cannot wait.  Long time coming.

     THE PRESIDENT:  This is a big one, right?  You came all the way back for this signing, right?

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  I did.  I did.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.

(The bill is signed.)

     So who should get the first pen, Marsha?  Who?

     PARTICIPANT:  Marsha!

     PARTICIPANT:  Marsha.  (Laughter.)

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  It's my bill!  (Laughter.) 

     THE PRESIDENT:  That sounds reasonable.

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Yes.  (Laughs.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  That's a big thing.  This is a great -- you've been working on this for years, right?  (Applause.)

     So -- and they have.  They've been working on this for years and years.  And I'm curious, why wasn’t it done a long time ago, and also -- well, I guess the answer to that is because now I'm President, and we get things done.  We get a lot of things done that nobody else got done.  But maybe you could say a few words, just on (inaudible).

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Oh, I'll be happy to.  This was a project that so many women have worked on.  Elise Stefanik was the lead sponsor in the House.  Liz Cheney helped shepherd it through the House.  Kirsten Gillibrand was the lead Democrat co-sponsor in the Senate.  We passed it out of the Senate with every single senator voting for it in June --


     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  -- and sent it over to the House.  And then we had to work a little harder to get it through over there.  But it came through with over 300 co-sponsors on the bill.

     And it’s important to realize that women’s suffrage was a 72-year process.  It started at Seneca Falls, New York.  And then, 72 years later, in Nashville, Tennessee -- August 18th, 1920 -- is when the 19th Amendment was ratified.  So Tennessee and New York have a strong history in this, and we’re just thrilled to have this bill.

     Proceeds from this coin -- the Women’s Suffrage Commission and the Smithsonian Women’s History Project -- this will go into funding that process.  Now, we’re doing this coin with no government expenditures because Jovita and her team are doing a great job on the sale of this coin.  And then it will help fund this to make certain that all Americans realize what women have done for the cause of freedom for our nation.  So thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, great job.  (Applause.)

     And Jovita?

     MS. CARRANZA:  I wanted to share with you that the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission had a very robust and very aggressive outreach program, with Senator Blackburn calling the Secretary of Treasury, Secretary Mnuchin.  He got the call and I got the second call, and we made it happen with all of their support.

     And this is great leadership, and we’re looking forward to having several months to position this coin to benefit a very worthy cause, the Smithsonian, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  So why wasn’t this done a long time ago -- years ago?

     MS. CARRANZA:  Well, I think has started out with you nominating Kay Coles James this year --

     THE PRESIDENT:  That helped. (Laughter.)

     MS. CARRANZA: -- and myself as the U.S. Treasurer on the commission.

     THE PRESIDENT:  You know what helps.

     MS. CARRANZA:  And then, of course, we assem- -- we assembled a wonderful team.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Please.  Go ahead, Kay.

     MS. JAMES:  No, I was just going to say thank you.  It has been an honor to be your representative on this commission.

     But one of the things that’s most noteworthy is that we have worked together in such a bipartisan way to celebrate women’s suffrage and the right to vote in this country.  And I’m sorry Barbara couldn’t be here today -- Senator Mikulski.  She has done such a phenomenal job.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That's right.

     MS. JAMES:  And we have great leadership right here, in our chair and our co-chair.  But it has been exciting, and we look forward to educating and celebrating with the women of America.

     THE PRESIDENT:  You did a fantastic job.  Thank you very much.

     MS. JAMES:  Thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  How about our chair saying something?  Please.

     MS. SHOGAN:  Susan.

     ASSISTANT SECRETARY COMBS:  Well, I just want to say that this is a privilege to be your appointee, your nominee, but also to work with this great team.

     And what I really like is the zest and the energy and the enthusiasm everybody showed.  In fact, we just make it impossible not to support this.  So you go from 100 to 300, that's the power of a lot of women working together.  So thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Great job.  Really fantastic.

     Lynne [sic]?  Thank you.  Please, come on up.  Lynne [sic] Cheney.

     REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.  Well, it's an honor to be here.  I think it's really important for us to remember that all of us who are elected officials, who are women, all of us who are serving serve on the shoulders and the accomplishments of so many women who have come before us.  I'm very proud in Wyoming of the strong women -- my mother, my grandmothers, my great grandmothers -- and just the tremendous work and effort that went into this over the years.  And so it's an honor to be here.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Your daughter.

     REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Oh, my daughter.

     THE PRESIDENT:  She's the strongest.  (Laughter.)

     REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Exactly.  That's right.  And my daughter, Elizabeth, who's following in our footsteps.  So thank you very much, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

     Who would like to say something?

     MS. HIGGINS:  Can I add something?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, you can.

     MS. HIGGINS:  I think they're underrepresenting Senator Blackburn and Jovita.  You asked why this hadn’t gotten done before.  Jovita basically took a page from the Wollman Rink in New York, and overcame an awful lot of the process and obstacles to make sure that something happened on time and in the right way.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That's good.

     MS. CARRANZA:  Thank you.

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Yeah, she did.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That's great.  I've heard that.  That's great.  Fantastic.  Proud of you.

     SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Great work.  Good teamwork.

     MS. NANCE:  Mr. President, I would just add that -- I'm Penny Nance with Concerned Women for America.  This has been just a beautiful picture of bipartisanship that I think many in Congress could take a page from.  Women of every ilk were able to come together and actually get something done.  So we hope Congress does that same.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you.  Great job.  Anybody?  Anybody?  Final -- final -- Kellyanne?  How about Kellyanne?

     MS. CONWAY:  Mr. President, thank you --

     THE PRESIDENT:  She's always very laidback and shy.  (Laughter.)

     MS. CONWAY:  I'll be laidback.  Thank you.  I think the women speak for itself.  And thank you for your leadership.  We really look forward to continuing the celebration of the Centennial of the Women's Right to Vote.  We go right up into next August of 2020.  But it's even hard to imagine it's only been 100 years.  And since we still have had -- never had any female President, perhaps we'll have that in our lifetime, but your victory kept that job open.  So we're here to celebrate --

     THE PRESIDENT:  In five years, right?  (Laughter.)  Five years.

     PARTICIPANT:  Or longer.  (Laughter.)

     MS. NANCE:  Yeah, we can wait.

     MS. CONWAY:  That's right.  But, sir, thank you for your leadership.  I think the four-letter word called "will" is the difference between what does not get done and what gets done.  And the leadership and, really, some of your great team here at the White House has been working around this around the clock and has helped.  Thank you, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  They have been working very hard on this.

     So thank you very much.  This is a very important bill, and it's an honor to be involved with it.  And I'm glad we got it done.  (Applause.)  This administration has gotten a lot done.  Thank you.
                             END            5:18 P.M. EST