Obama Administration Achievements

A Congressional Quarterly study shows President Obama has a higher legislative success rate than any president in the more than 50 years CQ has been keeping track. And that's just part of the story. See our list of the president's accomplishments below, plus links to other accountings:

Health

  • Historic health care reform, a goal that has eluded presidents since Teddy Roosevelt
  • Three other major health bills:
    • SCHIP
    • Tobacco regulation
    • Stimulus funds for Medicaid, COBRA subsidies, health information technology and the National Institutes of Health
  • Stem cell research protections
  • Reversal of the Bush ban on funding overseas family planning clinics

Economy

  • Economic stimulus package, which rescued the world economy from collapse. Much of the money given to banks has been paid back with interest, and the president is pursuing a temporary tax on bailed out financial institutions in order to recover the rest. Many other policy victories were contained in the stimulus package; some are listed below
  • Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA), greatly strengthening protections against mortgage fraud
  • Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, protecting against excessive rate increases and other abuses
  • Unemployment insurance for up to 99 weeks for the unemployed and modernized state UI programs to cover more of the unemployed
  • Large new investments in the safety net, from food stamps (SNAP) to affordable housing to child care
  • Auto industry rescue, which saved tens of thousands of jobs and stabilized the economies of Michigan and other auto-industry states
  • Billions in stimulus funding for broadband internet access
  • Signed the HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) Act, which provides incentives for small businesses and other measures that foster job creation.

International Relations

  • Withdrawal from Iraq proceeding on schedule, resources redirected to Afghanistan-Pakistan region as promised
  • End of torture and closure of CIA "black sites"
  • Closure of Guantanamo Bay prison under way
  • Transformation of relations with the Arab world through the Cairo speech and other measures. Reconnection with Latin America and other regions.
  • Restoration of the United States' ranking as the most admired country in the world
  • Nobel Peace Prize (the president donated the $1.4 million to non-profits)

Energy & Environment

  • Protection of 2 million acres from oil and gas drilling and other development
  • Gas mileage improvements, with requirements rising to 35mpg
  • Stimulus expansion of state energy conservation programs such as weatherization
  • Stimulus support for transit programs and hybrid / electric vehicle production
  • Stimulus funds for new smart grid investments

Education

  • Billions in stimulus funding for education, with a focus on improved performance under Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a renowned reformer
  • Race to the Top: performance-based state education assistance
  • $5 billion in new funding for Head Start

Civil Rights

  • Lilly Ledbetter gender equity and Equal Pay laws
  • Hate crimes protections for gays, lesbians and others
  • Reform of the Justice Department, including the end of politicized appointments and a dramatic increase in enforcement by the Civil Rights Division
  • Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina ever to serve on the Supreme Court
  • "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on its way to being repealed.

Labor

  • Labor rights reinforced, from project labor agreements to protecting the rights of contractor employees on federal jobs
  • Unionization made easier for airline and railway workers, while labor officials were appointed who will strengthen overall freedom to form unions

Open Government

  • Historic Open Government Initiative: As the government reform coalition Democracy21 reported, the Obama administration has adopted "the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities."
  • Internet access to government data (e.g. via data.gov) in forms that enable and encourage the development of new information sharing applications.
  • Organizing For America, a nation-wide "citizens lobby" that provides a powerful new vehicle for grassroots involvement in governing.

Public Service

  • Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act, which seeks to reinvigorate our culture of national service and provide new opportunities for service to all who want to respond

Other Links:

Obama Accomplishments Facebook page

Media Matters: Press Ignore Obama's Accomplishments

Prof. Robert Walton's list of Obama accomplishments

Newsweek: Best Legislative Success Rate in Recent History