Continuing a verbatim selection of explicit executive actions that Barack Obama has indicated he would take as President. Prefaced by a short summary of Barack Obama’s record as a State and US Senator.
A Brief Guide to Barack Obama’s Legislative Achievements
As a State and U.S. Senator, Barack Obama’s accomplishments included legislation
Against drilling in ANWR, and in parts of Gulf of Mexico.
Blocking overtime restrictions by the Bush administration.
In Springfield, as a State Senator Obama’s achievements included
Expanded Kidcare (health insurance for an additional 20,000 Illinois children)
Welfare reform (a bipartisan bill passed in Republican controlled Senate).
Earned income tax credit (tax relief for working poor families)
Death penalty reform. (He supports the death penalty in exceptional circumstances, but wanted all interrogations to be videotaped. Initially viewed as a highly controversial proposal, Senator Obama listened to all sides of the debate, incorporated ideas from many individuals, and the result was a bill that passed the Senate 58-0, and was signed into law by a governor who originally opposed Senator Obama’s bill.)
Campaign finance reform; and ethics reform. (Obama was pragmatic. The result was the most ambitious campaign finance reform in nearly 25 years, according to good government groups.)
Senator Obama demonstrated political courage in opposing bills he believed were unconstitutional or poorly written, even if the vote could later be used in misleading 30 second commercials against him. He opposed a bill to toughen penalties for violent crimes committed by gang activity, because the bill didn’t clearly define a gang member, and seemed targeted at Hispanics and Blacks. (This does not mean he is soft on crime. He also voted for, or sponsored, over 100 bills to strengthen criminal penalties (e.g. against sex offenders, domestic violence, drug dealers)). He opposed a bill that allowed home owners to use a gun in self defense in their homes. (He opposed that bill because it only applied to towns that already prohibited any private citizen from possessing a handgun. He opposed it because the law could lead to homeowners using guns in the street. He also wanted to defer to local governments.) He also opposed a measure which proponents claimed was designed to protect “live babies born during abortion procedures.” (He felt the measure would define a fetus as a person and criminalize every abortion.)
102 More Things Barack Obama Would Do As President — Verbatim
These verbatim statements are drawn from Obama’s extensive ISSUES section of his official site.
93. Obama will take every step to make our homeland more secure. He will implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations and ensure that the nation is prepared to prevent and respond to catastrophe.
94. Obama will further improve coordination between all levels of government, create better evacuation plan guidelines, ensure prompt federal assistance to emergency zones, and increase medical surge capacity.
95. Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
96. Obama will continue to work for a comprehensive bill that fixes our broken immigration system.
97. Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.
98. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.
99. Obama will launch the most aggressive diplomatic effort in recent American history to reach a new compact on the stability of Iraq and the Middle East. This effort will include all of Iraq’s neighbors — including Iran and Syria.
100. Obama will … provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find a safe-haven.
101. Obama will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.
102. Obama will create a program to directly engage disadvantaged youth in energy efficiency opportunities to strengthen their communities, while also providing them with practical skills in this important high-growth career field.
103. Obama will work to ensure that low-income Americans have transportation access to jobs. Obama will double the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities and that urban planning initiatives take this aspect of transportation policy into account.
104. Obama will increase the number of working parents eligible for EITC benefits, increase the benefits available to parents who support their children through child support payments, increase benefits for families with three or more children, and reduce the EITC marriage penalty, which hurts low-income families.
105. Obama will raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing.
106. Obama will provide all low and middle-income workers a $500 Making Work Pay tax credit to offset the payroll tax those workers pay in every paycheck. Obama will also eliminate taxes for seniors making under $50,000 per year.
107. Obama will sign into law his Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act to remove some of the government penalties on married families, crack down on men avoiding child support payments, and ensure that payments go to families instead of state bureaucracies.
108. Obama will expand the highly-successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all 570,000 low-income, first-time mothers each year. The Nurse-Family Partnership provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families.
109. Obama supports guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year.
110. Obama will create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods.
111. Obama will fully fund the Community Development Block Grant program and engage with urban leaders across the country to increase resources to the highest-need Americans.
112. Obama will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement in cities across the nation. The Promise Neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone.
113. Obama will work with community and business leaders to identify and address the unique economic development barriers of every major metropolitan area.
114. Obama will provide additional resources to the federal Community Development Financial Institution Fund, the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies, especially to their local branch offices, to address community needs.
115. Obama will implement a $250,000 payment limitation so that we help family farmers — not large corporate agribusiness.
116. Obama will close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations.
117. Obama will strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and transparency in prices.
118. Obama will help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. He also will promote regional food systems.
119. Obama will establish a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers. He will also provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm.
120. Obama will increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests.
121. Obama will provide capital for famers to create value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and farmer-owned processing plants. He also will establish a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America.
122. Obama will ensure that rural Americans have access to a modern communications infrastructure. He will modernize an FCC program that supports rural phone service so that it promotes affordable broadband coverage across rural America as well.
123. Obama will ensure that our rural areas continue their leadership in the renewable fuels movement.
124. Obama … will continue the fight to rid our communities of meth and offer support to help addicts heal.
125. Obama will work to ensure a more equitable Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement structure. He will attract providers to rural America by creating a loan forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural areas.
126. Obama will provide incentives for talented individuals to enter the teaching profession, including increased pay for teachers who work in rural areas.
127. Obama will create a Rural Revitalization Program to attract and retain young people to rural America. Obama will increase research and educational funding for Land Grant colleges.
128. Obama will invest in the core infrastructure, roads, bridges, locks, dams, water systems and essential air service that rural communities need.
129. Obama will expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 slots today to 250,000 and he will focus this expansion on addressing the great challenges facing the nation.
130. Obama will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year. He will develop national guidelines for service.
131. Obama will create an energy-focused youth jobs program to provide disadvantaged youth with service opportunities weatherizing buildings and getting practical experience in fast-growing career fields.
132. Obama will expand the YouthBuild program, which gives disadvantaged young people the chance to complete their high school education, learn valuable skills and build affordable housing in their communities.
133. Obama will establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.
134. Obama will ensure that at least 25 percent of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries.
135. Obama will create a Social Investment Fund Network to use federal seed money to leverage private sector funding to improve local innovation, test the impact of new ideas and expand successful programs to scale.
136. Obama will a create an agency within the Corporation for National and Community Service dedicated to building the capacity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.
137. Obama will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall.
138. Obama will protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries alike.
139. Obama will ensure that all employees who have company pensions receive detailed annual disclosures about their pension fund’s investments. This will provide retirees important resources to make their pension fund more secure.
140. Obama will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year.
141. Obama will ensure savings incentives are fair to all workers by creating a generous savings match for low and middle-income Americans.
142. Obama will fight job discrimination for aging employees by strengthening the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and empowering the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to prevent all forms of discrimination.
143. Obama will allow the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices for the Medicare program, just as it does to lower prices for our veterans.
144. Obama … will reduce waste in the Medicare system, including eliminating subsidies to the private insurance Medicare Advantage program, and tackle fundamental health care reform to improve the quality and efficiency of our healthcare system.
145. Obama will require companies to send Medicare beneficiaries a full list of the drugs and fees they paid the previous year to help seniors determine which plans can better reduce their out-of-pocket costs and improve their health.
146. Obama will work to give seniors choices about their care, consistent with their needs, and not biased towards institutional care.
147. Obama will increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which helps low-income citizens — many of them seniors — pay their winter heating and summer cooling bills.
148. Obama will engage more interested seniors into public service opportunities by expanding and improving programs like Senior Corps to connect seniors with quality volunteer opportunities.
149. Obama will protect the Internet’s traditional openness to innovation and creativity and ensure that it remains a platform for free speech and innovation that will benefit consumers and our democracy.
150. Obama … will promote greater coverage of local issues and better responsiveness by broadcasters to the communities they serve.
151. Obama will give parents the tools and information they need to control what their children see on television and the Internet in ways fully consistent with the First Amendment.
152. Obama will support the transition of existing public broadcasting entities and help renew their founding vision in the digital world.
153. Obama will encourage industry not to show inappropriate adult-oriented commercial advertising during children’s programming.
154. Obama will require that parents have the option of receiving parental controls software that not only blocks objectionable Internet content but also prevents children from revealing personal information through their home computer.
155. Obama will strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and will harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy.
156. Obama will also work to provide robust protection against misuses of particularly sensitive kinds of information, such as e-health records and location data that do not fit comfortably within sector-specific privacy laws.
157. Obama will increase the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement budget and will step up international cooperation to track down cyber-criminals so that U.S. law enforcement can better prevent and punish spam, spyware, telemarketing and phishing intrusions into the privacy of American homes and computers.
158. Obama will use the most current technological tools available to make government less beholden to special interest groups and lobbyists and promote citizen participation in government decision-making.
159. Obama will use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks.
160. Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.
161. Obama will position our citizens, particularly our young people, to compete and succeed in an increasingly technology-rich, knowledge-based economy.
162. Obama will define “broadband” for purposes of national policy at speeds demanded by 21st century business and communications.
163. Obama will establish a multi-year plan with a date certain to change the Universal Service Fund program from one that supports voice communications to one that supports affordable broadband, with a specific focus on reaching previously un-served communities.
164. Obama will confront the entrenched Washington interests that have kept our public airwaves from being maximized for the public’s interest.
165. Obama will demand a review of existing uses of our wireless spectrum.
166. Obama will recommit America to ensuring that our schools, libraries, households and hospitals have access to next generation broadband networks.
167. Obama will encourage innovation at the local level through federal support of public/private partnerships that deliver real broadband to communities that currently lack it.
168. Obama will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records.
169. Obama will make the Veterans Health Administration, the nation’s largest integrated health system, a model in the use of technology to modernize and improve health care delivery.
170. Obama will emphasize the importance of technology literacy, ensuring that all public school children are equipped with the necessary science, technology and math skills to succeed in the 21st century economy.
171 Obama will use the authority over spectrum licenses to establish an effective public-private partnership that would facilitate the development of a next generation network for use by public safety agencies on a priority basis.
172. Obama will strengthen the antitrust authorities’ competition advocacy programs to ensure that special interests do not use regulation to insulate themselves from the competitive process.
173. Obama will work to ensure intellectual property is protected in foreign markets, and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere.
174. Obama will ensure that our patent laws protect legitimate rights while not stifling innovation and collaboration.
175. Obama … will be reversing the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans, which has denied care to a million veterans.
176, Obama will make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. He will improve care for polytrauma vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, and women’s health.
177. Obama will establish a national “zero tolerance” policy for veterans falling into homelessness by expanding proven programs and launching innovative services.
178. Obama will crack down on employers who commit job discrimination against guardsmen and reservists.
179. Obama will demand that the military and the VA coordinate to provide a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life.
180. Obama will fully fund the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it. Obama will establish a world-class VA Planning Division to avoid future budget shortfalls.
181. Obama will hire additional claims workers, and improve training and accountability so that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently. He also will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic one to reduce errors and improve timeliness.
182. Obama will improve mental health treatment for troops and veterans suffering from combat-related psychological injuries.
183. Obama will improve mental health care at every stage of military service. He will recruit more health professionals, improve screening, offer more support to families and make PTSD benefits claims fairer.
184. Obama will establish standards of care for Traumatic Brain Injury, the signature injury of the Iraq war.
185. Obama will expand and strengthen Vet Centers to provide more counseling for vets and their families.
186. Obama … will make sure that every child has health insurance, expand educational opportunities for low-income children, extend resources for low-income families, support and supplement our struggling foster care system, and protect children from violence and neglect.
187. Obama will … rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. And he will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.
188. Obama will make strengthening our transportation systems, including our roads and bridges, a top priority.
189. Obama will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities.
190. Obama will continue to ensure that the federal government invests in upgrading our national transportation infrastructure for agricultural and commercial goods.
191. Obama will work with Congress to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system and he will direct the new
FAA Administrator to work cooperatively with the frontline air traffic controllers to restore morale and improve
working conditions and operations at the agency.
192. Obama … will develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan across the nation and will work with the private sector to ensure that all high-risk targets are prepared for disasters both natural and man-made.
193. Obama will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.
194. Obama will continue to fight for Amtrak funding and reform so that individuals, families and businesses throughout the country have safe and reliable transportation options