President Obama on Tuesday reiterated a commitment to ensuring that the perpetrators of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, are brought to justice.
"It's its important for us to send a message to the world: that when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice," Mr. Obama said during a manufacturing-focused event in Pittsburgh that took place just hours after the news became public that the U.S. military had captured one of the suspected leaders of the attack during a secret weekend raid. "Regardless of how long it takes, we will find you, and I want to make sure that everybody around the world hears that message very clearly because my first and most solemn duty as president and commander in chief is to keep the American people safe."
The president added that America's diplomats "need to know that this country has their back and will always go after anybody who goes after us
The visit to Pittsburgh's TechShop, a chain of community-based workshops, offered Mr. Obama a rare chance to talk domestic priorities during several weeks that have otherwise been dominated by international news.
The White House announced several initiatives aimed at supporting the recent growth in the manufacturing sector, including easing access to advanced equipment at more than 700 federal research and development facilities around the country. Entrepreneurs may be able to visit NASA's National Center for Advanced Manufacturing in New Orleans and the Energy Department's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory which have high-strength joints for aeronautics and equipment for additive manufacturing, composites and carbon fiber, respectively.
Five federal agencies also plan to invest more than $150 million in research to support the Materials Genome Initiative, a public-private partnership created with the goal of reducing the time required to develop novel materials for advanced manufacturing.
The White House says it has boosted federal investment in R&D by 35 percent since 2011, increasing spending from $1.4 billion to $1.9 billion.
Later Tuesday, Mr. Obama will attend a pair of fundraisers in New York City, including one at a Democratic National Committee lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) gala. He is likely to get a warm reception from the gay community in the wake of news Monday that he plans to sign an executive order protecting federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Gay rights advocates have been pushing Mr. Obama for years to use his executive authority to protect federal LGBT workers. The White House said it prefers the matter to be handled legislatively, even though Mr. Obama promised in 2008 that he would sign such an executive order.
Last year the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to protect LGBT workers with solid bipartisan support, but the legislation has stalled in the Republican-led House. Consequently, there is no federal protection for workers from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. Just 18 states and the District of Columbia have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while three more have banned discrimination just on sexual orientation.
While in New York, Mr. Obama will also attend a fundraiser for the Senate Majority PAC, which, as a super PAC, can accept unlimited donations. It isthe first time the president is raising money for a super PAC -- he had previously been highly critical of the Supreme Court decision that removed the caps on the amounts political groups can raise.
He also has a fundraising dinner at the home of Vogue editor Anna Wintour.