Just what has President Obama done for America?
His education policy is in the works and is a source of controversy.
Still in the face of the worst economic disaster in more than 70 years, having inherited two wars, and despite an increasingly volatile political climate, President Obama is rising to the occasion to become one of the country’s most effective leaders.
He withdrew 100,000 troops from Iraq and ending the occupation is in progress:
He added troops to Afghanistan, which is what he said he would do, but he has also announced the withdrawal will begin in summer of this year.
The proposed $117 billion for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, would be the lowest expenditure for the wars since fiscal 2005.
The Pentagon today has roughly 97,000 troops in Afghanistan and 47,000 in Iraq. The 144,000 total is the lowest since July 2006, when the U.S. had about 148,100 deployed, according to military data compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. U.S. troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of this year.
The war-spending number is the smallest since Congress approved $102.6 billion in fiscal 2005, said Amy Belasco, war cost analyst at CRS.
Last week, the DNC passed a resolution calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan
President Obama promised to close Guantanamo, and he is still trying to do so, but not everything goes according to plan: President Obama Correctly Rebukes Congressional Attempt To Hinder Transfer Of Guantánamo Detainees To U.S.
On the environment: 7 Big Green Moves by the Obama Administration
- 7. Offshore oil and gas drilling bans. It was a bit of an obvious call to put a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in the midst of the horrific BP oil spill last year. Nonetheless, it was an important decision. Going further, later on in the year, the administration decided to cut regulatory shortcuts for deep-water drilling projects. It didn’t cut this fast-tracking for shallow-water drilling projects, unfortunately, but at least deep-water projects will receive more oversight. And, in December, the Obama administration extended some of the offshore oil and gas drilling bans that had been implemented in the summer for another 7 years.
6. Fast-tracking of clean tech patent approvals. To help the country roll out promising clean technologies faster, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has had a policy in place for about a year now to significantly speed up clean tech patent approvals. The program is reportedly doing well and helping more clean technology get to market and has been extended for another year.
5. EPA reversed largest Appalachian mountaintop removal permit in U.S. historyIn a big move to help protect the mountains of West Virginia and the communities living in or near them, the EPA recently vetoed the largest single mountaintop removal permit in West Virginia history. This was a huge, unprecedented step that hopefully signals a reversal of mountaintop removal coal mining policies in the U.S.
4. Cape Wind, large offshore wind farm near Cape Cod, finally approved….
3. Clean energy tax credits. Clean energy industries received a lot of support in 2009 when the Obama administration decided to give companies a “tax credit of 30% is for investment in new renewable energy manufacturing facilities and re-equipped or expanded facilities” as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This program has been highly successful at creating jobs and improving the economy and has now been extended for another year (2011).
2. Over $10 billion invested in high-speed rail…
1. The EPA ruled CO2 a pollutant. Due to the fact that CO2 is a major cause of global warming, the EPA finally ruled that CO2 was a pollutant and needed to be regulated in late 2009. With Congress essentially unwilling to address climate change, this ruling is likely to become a very important way for the U.S. to cut its global warming emissions relatively soon. To get things rolling, Obama recently transferred the regulation of greenhouse gases from refineries and coal plants emitting over 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases to the EPA. (Note: with plenty of support from the courts and science, climate zombies would have to find some really innovative, extreme ways to block the EPA from climate action now that this ruling is in place.)
President Obama has also established a record as the most pro-regulation President in last 40 years:
- Obama signs bill putting tobacco products under FDA oversight
- Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act
- Banning antibiotics in livestock production
- Food Safety bill
- Appointed Elizabeth Warren to establish the consumer bureau
- Elizabeth Warren Recruits Dodd-Frank Enforcers From 50 States
- Enacted shareholder rules on executive pay
- Fed’s massive data release offers new insight into financial crisis
- Panel Begins to Set Rules to Govern Financial System (Volcker Rule)
- New EPA Boiler Standards Will Save 6,500 Lives Per Year
- S.E.C. Proposes Crackdown on Wall Street Bonuses
- Obama Reverses Bush Executive Orders, Creates Middle Class Task Force
- Obama Overturns Bush Exec. Order on Project Labor Agreements
- Executive Order: Creating Labor-Management Forums To Improve Delivery of Government Services
- Saving the auto industry
- Nominating Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the SCOTUS
- Hospital Visitation Rights for Gay, Lesbian Partners Take Effect
- Sustainability partnerships
- Grants for renewable energy
- New regulations on debit card fees and credit cards
- Scientific Integrity Directive (America COMPETES Act)
- Obama signs veterans, caregivers legislation
- Health Reform Expands Medicaid Coverage For People with Disabilities
- Expand Pell grants for low-income students
- Providing Free Preventive Care for Seniors.
- President Obama keeps promise, creates “first major federal antipoverty effort in decades”
- President Obama’s Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness (updated)
- Obama signs DADT repeal before big, emotional crowd
- ACLU: President Obama Says Discriminatory “Defense Of Marriage Act” Is Unconstitutional
- Changes for America & Cuba
- January 29, 2009: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-2
- February 4, 2009: Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SCHIP), Pub.L. 111-3
- February 17, 2009: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub.L. 111-5
- March 11, 2009: Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub.L. 111-8
- March 30, 2009: Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-11
- April 21, 2009: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Pub.L. 111-13
- May 20, 2009: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-21
- May 20, 2009: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-22
- May 22, 2009: Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-23
- May 22, 2009: Credit CARD Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-24
- June 22, 2009: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as Division A of Pub.L. 111-31
- June 24, 2009: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 including the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers), Pub.L. 111-32
- October 28, 2009: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Pub.L. 111-84
- November 6, 2009: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-92
- December 16, 2009: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Pub.L. 111-117
- February 12, 2010: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, as Title I of Pub.L. 111-139
- March 4, 2010: Travel Promotion Act of 2009, as Section 9 of Pub.L. 111-145
- March 18, 2010: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, Pub.L. 111-147
- March 23, 2010: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub.L. 111-148
- March 30, 2010: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Pub.L. 111-152
- May 5, 2010: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-163
- July 1, 2010: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-195
- July 21, 2010: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub.L. 111-203
- August 3, 2010: Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-220
- August 10, 2010: SPEECH Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-223
- September 27, 2010: Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-240
- December 8, 2010: Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-291, H.R. 4783
- December 13, 2010: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-296, S. 3307
- December 17, 2010: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-312, H.R. 4853
- December 22, 2010: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-321, H.R. 2965
- January 2, 2011: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-347, H.R. 847
- January 4, 2011: Shark Conservation Act, Pub.L. 111-348, H.R. 81
- January 4, 2011: Food Safety and Modernization Act, Pub.L. 111-353, H.R. 2751
MADDOW: If the Senate ratifies the START Treaty tomorrow, it caps an astonishing period in American political history.
For the last two years, Democrats have held the White House as well as big majorities in both the House and the Senate. Their record of achievement in that time, even in the face of unified, at times totally random Republican opposition, Republican opposition even do things Republicans had proposed in the first place, unified Republican opposition even to their own ideas—their track record even in the face of that is historic.
Whether you agree or disagree with what Democrats have done in the first two years of President Obama‘s presidency, they have freaking done it. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women, expanding children‘s health insurance, new hate crimes legislation that they said could not be done, tobacco regulation, credit card reform, student loan reform, the stimulus – which in addition to helping pull this country back from the brink of a Great Depression was also the largest tax cut ever, the largest investment in clean energy ever, the single largest investment in education in our country ever.
There was also a little thing you may have heard of called health reform. Also, Wall Street reform, the improvements to the new G.I. bill, the most expansive food safety bill since the 1930s.
Presidency in progress.