Platform and Promises
Obama’s 25 Top Promises, all are either Kept or In the Works, except for a
couple that are stalled and one Broken (keeping lobbyists from jobs in agencies
considering related policy for 2 yrs)
Politifact, compiled by the St Petersburg Times keeps a running tally.
Politifact, compiled by the St Petersburg Times keeps a running tally.
Promises pgs 1-26 start here
- scroll down to 111th Congress
- click on each for more info and included ‘other’ acts within acts (summaries below)
Thomas Library of Congress, but this is not as conveniently listed and requires more search for detailed info on voice votes vs roll call, amendments voted up and down, etc.
Articles on executive actions / appointments
Judis “The Quiet Revolution” The
Weisman “Democrats’ Quiet Victories Pile Up,” Wall Street Journal
Sirota “What a Second Stimulus Should – and Shouldn’t – Look Like”
chronological order, as of 13 Sept, 2010)
Restore expertise to Regulatory Agencies
Appointments to critical 'science-based' agencies (see Judis article) "reminiscent of what took place at the start of the New Deal.” e.g.:
Park Service director
Jon Jarvis is a 30-year veteran of the agency--and the first biologist to lead
W. Craig Fugate, who performed outstandingly as Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist’s
head of emergency management in Florida. Fugate may not know anything about
Arabian stallions--but he does know a thing or two about hurricanes."
Restore funding to Regulatory Agencies
in several different bills -- Judis: Reagan's Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs OIRA started cost-benefit analysis, along with AEI
(Regulation journal, Antonin Scalia editor ;-); Nader fought it; liberals
trashed it; conservatives analyzed 'costs' only; Clinton analyzed benefits as
well; Bush gutted funding and allowed OIRA to block funding for 'benefits';
Obama has had much funding restored and raised. OIRA head, Cass Sunstein,
Harvard law prof.
by Cass Sunstein on humanizing cost-benefit analysis at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/oira_speech_02172010
CPSC moved on dangerous toys
Product Safety Commission, chair, Inez Tenenbaum, fined Mattel $2.3
million for selling toys containing lead and Mega Brands America $1.1 million
for improperly reporting a fatality caused by one of its children’s building
sets. (exact date needed)
info on recalls and fines: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html
Mary Schapiro, selected to head the SEC
formerly CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, funded by the
investment industry--appears reluctant to challenge the Wall Street culture.
After boldly proposing last May to conduct 10,000 unannounced inspections of
money managers, she eventually settled in December for only 1,600 inspections.
on the up side: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Schapiro
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-2
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stating that the 180-day statute of limitations for
filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new
discriminatory paycheck. The law was a direct answer to the Ledbetter v.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), a U.S. Supreme Court
decision holding that the statute of limitations for presenting an equal-pay
lawsuit begins at the date the pay was agreed upon, not at the date of the most
recent paycheck, as a lower court had ruled.
Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SCHIP), Pub.L. 111-3
program admin by the US HHS, provides matching funds to states for health
insurance to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest
but too high to qualify for Medicaid. Expansion to families with incomes up to
300% of the federal poverty level -- or $63,600 for a family of four --
eligible. The previous cutoff was 200%.
price tag was too big and would ultimately outstrip the revenue from tobacco
taxes designed to pay for it
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub.L. 111-5
to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the
recession, nominally worth $787 billion. The Act includes federal tax cuts,
expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and
domestic spending in education, health care, and infrastructure, including the
energy sector. The Act also includes numerous non-economic recovery related
items that were either part of longer-term plans (e.g. a study of the
effectiveness of medical treatments) or desired by Congress (e.g. a limitation
on executive compensation in federally aided banks added by Senator Dodd and
Rep. Frank). No Republicans in the House and only three Republican Senators
voted for the bill.
Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-8
bills funding the operations of each of the Cabinet departments, except Defense,
Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs into a single appropriation bill.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act, Pub.L. 111-11
notes declares 1.2 million acres of Wyoming range land off-limits to oil and
R- U.S. Geological Survey, they note, has estimated the Wyoming area holds large natural-gas and oil deposits, which could help the U.S. toward energy independence.
specific public lands and measures detailed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnibus_Public_Land_Management_Act
Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Pub.L. 111-13
and expands the AmeriCorps program first established in 1993.
Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-21
criminal enforcement of federal fraud laws, especially regarding financial
institutions, mortgage fraud, and securities fraud or commodities fraud.
Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-22
purpose of the act, a product of the 111th United States Congress, was to allow
bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages on primary residences, among other
purposes; however, that provision was dropped in the Senate and is not
included in the version that was eventually signed into law. In addition, the
bill amends the Hope for Homeowners Program and makes additional provisions to
help borrowers avoid foreclosure.
Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act Pub.L. 111-22
HUD's Homeless Assistance program, included as part of the Helping Families Save
Their Homes Act of 2009. HEARTH allows for the prevention of homelessness, rapid
re-housing, consolidation of housing programs, and new homeless categories.
In late 2009, some homeless advocacy organizations, such as the National
Coalition for the Homeless, reported and published perceived problems with the
HEARTH Act of 2009 as a HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization bill, especially with
regard to privacy, definitional ineligibilty, community roles, and restrictions
on eligibile activities
Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-23
the way the Pentagon contracts and purchases major weapons systems. CBO
predicted the reforms would cost
$55 million and are expected to save millions, perhaps even billions of dollars
during the 2010s. Many of the Pentagon's weapon systems run far over original
Credit CARD Act, Pub.L. 111-24
credit card reform legislation that aims "...to establish fair and
transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open end
consumer credit plan, and for other purposes." The bill was
passed with bipartisan support by both the House of Representatives and the
Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Pub.L. 111-31
the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate the tobacco industry and
raise tobacco taxes to expand health insurance for children. A signature element
of the law imposes new warnings and labels on tobacco packaging and their
advertisements, with the goal of discouraging minors and young adults from
because the FDA couldn't create a tobacco product that is safe, regulatory
authority could in the end make tobacco illegal.
Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-32
public funds for spending in the Iraq War and Afghanistan War during the 2009
fiscal year. Admin vowed this "war supplemental" will be the last of
its kind, as war funding will be provided for in regular budget bills beginning
in fiscal year 2010. (includes a "cash for clunkers" provision tacked
on in conference)
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub.L. 111-84
3.4% basic military pay raise; repealed the FY 2009 F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft funding and re-directed it to preserving the maintenance and tooling of the existing program; Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE); Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009; Victims of Iranian Censorship Act (or the VOICE Act) Authorizes the Secretary of State to continue efforts in support of Iranian dissidents; Military Commissions Act of 2009 - completely amended the existing statutes; Non-Foreign Area Retirement Equity Assurance Act of 2009; Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (see also hate crimes act)
titles/details at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fiscal_Year_2010
NDA Act includes the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or
perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability; gives the
Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute an expanded definition
of hate crimes and to pre-empt local police when Washington decides too little
is being done about a crime.
unwarranted expansion of federal power. They also say it creates a new category
of violent crime that isn't necessary because the acts it addresses would be
crimes regardless of motivation
Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act, Pub.L. 111-92
an extra 20 weeks of unemployment benefits to workers in states with
unemployment rates over 8.5 percent, but would also give an extra 14 weeks to
the 24 states with lower unemployment, in addition to extending the homebuyer's
tax credit. Besides extending the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers
until April 2010, the Act provided a $6,500 tax credit for current homeowners
who purchase a home between November 6, 2009 and end of April 2010 and increased
the income limits to qualify for the credit, based on modified adjusted gross
income from $75,000 to $125,000 for
single filers and from $125,000 to $225,000 for joint filers.
FTC sued Intel for restraint of trade
chair, Jon Leibowitz, has sued Intel for attempting to prevent computer makers
from using non-Intel chips.
FDA on diacetyl removal
an artificial flavoring used in making popcorn and other food (Ican't find
anything on this after Dec 2009, still legal pending study in EU)
still in pre-rule status, not banned
For David Michaels 2007 article on Bush's FDA and diacetyl in Pump Handle go here
Don't Ask, Don't Tell effort at compromise
specific legislation allowing openly gay service members into the military, but
a compromise pending Pentagon study of effects
not fast enough; partial?
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, as Title I of Pub.L. 111-139, H.J.Res. 45
pay-as-you-go budgeting rules used in Congress from 1990 until 2002, ensuring
that most new spending is offset by spending cuts or added revenue elsewhere
(with several major policy exemptions).
Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, H.R. 2847
payroll tax breaks and incentives for businesses to hire unemployed workers.
Employers are eligible for a payroll tax credit when the employer hires certain
new employees after February 3, 2010, and before January 1, 2011. In order to
take the payroll tax credit, the employee must have either been unemployed for
at least 60 days prior to hire or worked fewer than 40 hours for another
employer during the previous 60 days. Employers do not pay the employer portion
of social security tax, which is 6.2 percent, on wages paid to eligible new
hires. In addition, employers receive a general business income tax break if the
employer continues to employ the new hire for at least 52 weeks. The tax break
is the lesser of $1,000 or 6.2 percent of wages paid to the new employee during
the 52-week period.
Household employers are ineligible for both tax benefits, as are new employees
who are related to the employer. Also ineligible are employees who earn more
than $106,000 per year and employees who displace a current employee, unless the
first employee resigned or was terminated for cause.
Employers may claim the credit after an eligible employee signs a statement
affirming their previous unemployed status, such as Form W-11.
The Act also extends the $250,000 deduction limit under section 179 through
2010, authorizes $20 billion for highway and transit projects, and makes reforms
to municipal bonds.
To offset the costs of the Act, there will be a 30-percent withholding tax on
income from U.S. financial assets held by foreign banks who have not agreed to
disclose their American account holders' balances, receipts, and withdrawals.
Owners of these foreign-held assets on their tax returns if they are worth more
than $50,000. Individuals who do not disclose these assets will be subject to a
40-percent penalty. The Act also closes a tax loophole that investors had used
to avoid paying any taxes on dividends by converting them into dividend
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub.L. 111-148
take effect over the next four years, including expanding Medicaid eligibility,
subsidizing insurance premiums, providing incentives for businesses to provide
health care benefits, prohibiting denial of coverage/claims based on
pre-existing conditions, establishing health insurance exchanges, and support
for medical research. The costs of these provisions are offset by a variety of
taxes, fees, and cost-saving measures, such as new Medicare taxes for
high-income brackets, taxes on indoor tanning, cuts to the Medicare Advantage
program in favor of traditional Medicare, and fees on medical devices and
pharmaceutical companies; there is also a tax penalty for citizens
who do not obtain health insurance (unless they are exempt due to low income or
other reasons). The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the
net effect (including the reconciliation act) will be a reduction in the federal
deficit by $143 billion over the first decade
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Pub.L. 111-152
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub.L. 111-148). The law also
includes the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was attached as a
rider. However, small technical parts of the bill relating to Pell Grants
were removed during the reconciliation process.
OSHA ergonomic injuries
unveiled April 2010 rules governing ergonomic injuries (30 % of compensation
claims filed by workers). Bush OSHA eliminated the reporting column. Obama’s
OSHA immediately restored the column, is working on a new nt'l regulatory
on MSDs rule:
FDA on dietary supplements
on dangerous/questionable supplements issued ... Looking into radiological
devices approved without proper testing under Bush FDA
Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-163
several benefits for veterans and their families.
FCC Broadband and expanded free wireless
(Judis Feb 2010) reportedly mulling a broadband plan to allocate a significant
part of the spectrum to free wireless.
biz - '3rd way' partial regulation will open way for more aggressive (profit
Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-195
apply further sanctions on the government of Iran and punish companies and
individuals who aid Iran's petroleum sector. This increased pressure would be
part of the larger campaign over the Iranian nuclear program, and aims to target
Iranian dependence on imports for its gasoline needs.
New Information Service
week, www.HealthCare.gov, a new online
portal where anyone can go to find insurance options in their state, went live.
It's a very handy resource for information that used to be difficult to find.
It's available to help millions who need insurance find it, and as a resource
for those who want to shop around for new options or find out their new benefits
under the new law. Announcement via MoveOn.org
OIRA on EPA coal-ash regulations
reviewing proposed EPA coal-ash regulations, has met far more frequently with
industry representatives than with environmentalists. (Judis)
analysts from the Center for Progressive Reform recently wrote that the
administration deserves a “B-” for regulation during its first year.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub.L. 111-203, H.R. 4173
most sweeping change to financial regulation in the United States since the
Great Depression and represents a paradigm shift in the American financial
regulatory environment impacting all Federal financial regulatory agencies and
affecting almost every aspect of the nation's financial services industry. Many
titles, full details at
Military Spending Bill ?? (contains several actions not directly related to mil spending)
military spending bill signed into law by President Obama on July 29 includes a
Sanders amendment to make a federal contractor fraud database accessible to the
public. The Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System
is a database created by the Clean Contracting Act of 2008 that lists incidences
of misconduct by federal contractors. The database is an important tool
for tracking the behavior of federal contractors. It lists prior findings of
liability relating to federal contracts, including findings from criminal,
civil, and administrative proceedings. The database also lists whether the
contractor has ever defaulted on a prior federal contract. Finally, it
lists whether contractors have engaged in such egregious behavior to have been
suspended or disbarred from contracting. The Sanders amendment would
require that the database be posted on the Internet, ensuring that the public
has access to this critical, public information about where their tax dollars
Jobs Bill (no Title or Pub.L number given, not found in Thomas)
$26 billion jobs bill to save 300,000 teachers, police and others from election-year layoffs. Passed mainly along party lines by a vote of 247-161. Funded by closing a tax loophole used by multinational corporations and by reducing food stamp benefits for the poor. DOE (Duncan) says ¾ of the nation's districts have said they would be opening the school year with fewer teachers. An additional $16 billion would extend for six months increased Medicaid payments to the states, freeing money for states to meet other budget priorities, including keeping more than 150,000 police officers and other public workers on the payroll.
FCC vs Google/Verizon merger
chair, Julius Genachowski, has come out in favor of net neutrality (Judis, Feb)
Merger threatens 'net neutrality' (Al Franken)
SEC ruling on Stockholders Rights, Fielding Candidates for Corporate Boards
last Wednesday, unions and activists who wanted to change corporate policy had
to do it the old-fashioned way: lobby lawmakers, muster public pressure, and
push for boycotts. But last week the Securities and Exchange Commission handed
brand-new weapon to fight companies on social-justice and workers' rights
issues: the corporate ballot box. The new rule allows shareholders to field
their own candidates for corporate boards and place them on the same ballot as
management's picks. Sought by advocates of corporate accountability for more
than 30 years, it could change the way activists deal with corporations,
allowing unions, for instance, to help elect a labor-friendly director on the
board of Massey Energy, the company responsible for the deadliest mine disaster
in 25 years, which workers regard as particularly unconcerned with safety.
"This is a definite sea change," said Simon Billenness, an Amnesty
USA board member who works on shareholder advocacy for the organization.
"With the SEC's decision, power has shifted away from company management,
and when we are talking with shareholders about possible actions, we have a new
article, via RSN:
of additional ‘lets-not-call-it-stimulus’ $50 billion infrastructure and
jobs bill ‘Kicks Off Campaign with Infrastructure Plan’. (Experts say 35K
jobs for each billion spent.) Must pass Congress.
GOP’s Boehner says it will bankrupt country.
video, summary, transcript of Wisconsin speech
collection of coverage, same old mantra about GOP gains, same old ‘too late’
More on infrastructure
(Parma) OH speech
much of Patriot Act
Concern expressed by ACLU in ReformThePatriotAct project
No Child Left Behind (revision)
to the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act include Race to the Top, $4billion stimulus
for 'positive improvements' backed by Arne Duncan EduSecy; Tom Harkin heads the
Senate committee; many hearings but bill is still not out of committee (?)
no movement, NCLB encourages growth of standard testing and 'teach to the test'
20 pending bills protecting nearly 4 million acres of public lands in a dozen
Could be a lasting legacy left to the American public. Wild land protection enhances the economies of local areas, protects wildlife, air quality and drinking water, and helps to soften the effects of climate change. America's natural heritage is unequaled anywhere in the world.
The Wilderness Society http://wilderness.org/
2010-9-10 petition by Sierra Club
the Giant Sequoia National Monument
by President Bill Clinton in 2000. “The Forest Service has released a new
management plan for the Monument for public review and comment, which includes
several options, including some which propose dramatic increases in logging and other
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) said he plans to help push
through small-business aide bill that
includes tax breaks, a move that would give the President and
Democrats a key victory on the economy before the mid-terms. Voinovich said GOP
obstruction was partisan "messaging." "We don't have time for
messaging," he said. "We don't have time anymore. This country is
Progress, Progress Report, 13 Sept, Think Fast http://thinkprogress.org/
Eases Rules for Reporters Covering Guantanamo Trials