As we witness the transition of President Barack Obama out of office, let’s reflect on the accomplishments he has made for our country while in office as President of the United States.
Since coming into office on January 21, 2009, President Barack Obama has:
1. Signed an Executive Order on government contracting to fight waste and abuse.
2. Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers.
3. Renewed dialogue with NATO and other allies and partners on strategic issues.
4. Announced a plan to responsibly end the war in Iraq.
5. Provided funding to families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB.
6. Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB.
7. Signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which has created 2.1 million jobs (as of 12/31/09).
8. Launched Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology.
9. Announced the “Making Home Affordable” home refinancing plan.
10. Launched a $15 billion plan to boost lending to small businesses.
11. Invested heavily in education both as a way to provide jobs now and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity.
12. Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America’s Veterans.
13. Signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs.
14. Limited lobbyist’s access to the White House.
15. Issued an Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.
16. Answered questions at the first online town hall from the White House that were submitted and voted on transparently by the public at WhiteHouse.gov.
17. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.
18. Launched Business.gov – enabling conversation and online collaboration between small business owners, government representatives and industry experts in discussion forums relevant to starting and managing a business.
19. Appointed the first ever Federal Chief Information Officer to provide management and oversight over federal IT spending.
20. Signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on February 4, 2009, which provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured.
21. Issued an Executive Order repealing the Bush-Era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.
22. Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis.
23. Announced creation of a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for members of the U.S. Armed Forces to improve quality of medical care.
24. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date.
25. Committed to phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdates weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan.
26. Provided federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research.
27. Provided new federal funding for science and research labs.
28. Played a lead role in G-20 Summit that produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.
29. Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system.
30. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture.
31. Appointed Special Envoys for Climate Change, Southwest Asia, the Middle
East, Sudan, and a Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
32. Empowered states to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards.
33. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect.
34. Increased minority access to capital.
35. Developed a comprehensive new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan that will help defeat Al Qaeda and authorized the deployment of more than 21,000 troops to Afghanistan.
36. Signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act which gives the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud, from lending to the financial system, and creates a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial practices that brought us to this point.
37. Signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act.
38. Increased, for the first time in more than a decade, the fuel economy standards for Model Year 2011 for cars and trucks so they will get better mileage.
39. Issued a Presidential Memorandum to the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.
40. Unveiled a program on Earth Day 2009 to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. These regulations will enable, for the first time ever, the nation to tap into our ocean’s vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner.
41. Announced a new U.S.-Mexico border initiative.
42. Concluded cyberspace policy review.
43. Announced a strategy to address the international nuclear threat.
44. Established a new “U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue”.
45. Announced new policy steps towards Cuba.
46. Provided funding for advanced manufacturing technologies.
47. Issued a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act instructing the Attorney General to issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the processing of FOIA requests.
48. Funded the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015.
49. The Executive Order on Presidential Records brings those principles to presidential records by giving the American people greater access to these historic documents, severely curtailing the ability to use executive privilege to shield those documents.
50. Signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, a hallmark piece of legislation.
51. Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act to protect Americans from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.
52. Signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to provide a coordinated Federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families.
53. Launched a U.S. financial and banking rescue plan.
54. Ordered secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.
55. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards.
56. Launched U.S. Auto industry rescue plan.
57. Provided better body armor to our troops.
58. Authorized cutting the missile defense program by $1.4 billion in 2010.
59. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols.
60. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic.
61. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, and addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference.
62. Supported the first steps of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.
63. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office.
64. Managed several natural disasters successfully, including severe winter ice storms and flooding in several states.
65. Provided new car tax credit.
66. Provided attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles.
67. Purchased fuel efficient American-made fleet of vehicles for the federal government.
68. Endorsed Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax havens.
69. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court. She’s confirmed and becomes the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
70. Helped reverse a downward spiral of the stock market. On January 19, 2009, the last day of President Bush’s presidency, the Dow closed at 8,218.22. Today, the Dow closed at 10,309.24 (February 2010).
71. Earned an unprecedented success rate of 96.7% on winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position. He did even better than legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson who had a 93% success rate in 1965.
72. Provided affordable, high-quality child care to working families.
73. Restored America’s reputation as a global leader that will do the “right thing” in world affairs.
74. Issued an executive order to create the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
75. Increased funding for student loans and pell grants for 2010 students.
76. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals.
77. Provided tax credit to workers thus cutting taxes for 95% of America’s working families.
78. Cracked down on companies that deny sick pay, vacation and health insurance to workers by abusing the employee classification of independent contractor. Such companies also avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes for those workers.
79. Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that made it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
80. Appointed the first Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.
81. Signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act authorizing advance appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs by providing two-fiscal year budget authority thus enabling better medical care for veterans. Endorsed by the American Legion, American Veterans, Blinded Veter…ans Association, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, Military Officers Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Vietnam Veterans of America.
82. Held impromptu press conference to urge Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross and other corporate health insurance companies that raise premiums in high amounts without explanation. Rep. Henry Waxman launches probe. In this case, Anthem Blue Cross wanted to raise premiums 39%. They have now put the increase on hold for two months (as of February 2010). Legislation preventing such increases pending.
83. Designated $1.5 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in the states hardest hit by the housing crisis: California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan. The MBA forecasts that foreclosures will peak in the last quarter of 2010.
84. Protected 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors through the Recovery Act that would have otherwise been lost.
85. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the nation’s unemployed from 9 months to 15 months. Workers laid off between September 1, 2008 and February 28, 2010 qualify.
86. Extended unemployment benefits for 2,000,000 unemployed Americans by 20 weeks. At the time the bill was signed 7,000 unemployed Americans were losing their unemployment benefits each day.
87. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education which was significantly increased during the Bush Administration to $176 million annually.
88. Rescinded the Global Gag Rule.
89. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history including more women appointees than any other incoming president.
90. Committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq through the Defense Authorization Act. For your reference.
91. Provided tax credits to first-time home buyers through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 to revitalize the U.S. housing market.
92. Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs the largest spending increase in 30 years to improve medical facilities and national cemeteries, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.
93. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act.
94. Empowered states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves. Fourteen states have allowed some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
95. Enhanced earth mapping.
96. Increased funding for national parks and forests in 2010, and plans to do it again for FY 2011.
97. Changed failing war strategy in Afghanistan.
98. Allocated special funding to the Labor Department to provide green job training to veterans.
99. Allocated funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police or firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.
100. Created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5% [as of December 31, 2009] through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
101. Signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
102. Responded with compassion and leadership to the earthquake in Haiti.
103. Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. The Act extends the Ryan White programs through 2013.
104. Ordered a review by the Sentencing Commission of mandatory minimum sentences.
105. Signed the Travel Promotion Act of 2010 to increase travel to the United States.
106. Expanded the Rural Energy for America Program and USDA energy grants to empower farmers that want to use renewable energy.
107. Increased funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
108. Launched and extended the “Cash for Clunkers” program.
109. Donated his $1.4 million Nobel Prize to nonprofits.
110. Revitalized and empowered the EPA, OSHA and the SEC to protect workers and consumers by regulating business practices.
111. Signed the HIRE Act, which is two new tax benefits are now available to employers hiring workers who were previously unemployed or only working part time.