Through Wall Street Reform, President Obama created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency defends consumers from unfair and abusive financial practices and makes sure that credit card companies and mortgage and payday lenders follow the rules. The President appointed Richard Cordray as director of the CFPB to serve as a watchdog with one job: to look out for the best interests of American consumers.
Romney-Ryan would repeal Wall Street Reform and let Wall Street write its own rules again, putting taxpayers at risk for future bailouts and returning to the conditions that created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Romney claimed the CFPB threatened “constitutional principles,” and he attacked President Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray.
President Obama is creating a rural economy built to last—one focused on reclaiming the security of the rural middle class by growing products that the rest of the world buys, and restoring the basic values of hard work and fair play that made our country great. Under President Obama, American farmers are seeing:
- Record-high farm income;
- Record-high agricultural exports;
- Millions of acres enrolled in conservation programs.
- Agriculture is now one of the fastest-growing parts of our economy, creating one out of every 12 American jobs.
By investing in job creation, clean energy, agriculture and education, President Obama is building a stronger rural economy, where future generations can enjoy the rural American way of life.
- The Obama administration has extended credit to a record number of small business owners, boosting economic growth in rural America.
- President Obama has helped 50,000 rural small businesses access new credit and financing that has spurred entrepreneur¬ship and supported 266,000 jobs.
- In 2011, the President helped 32,000 small- and medium-sized businesses in rural America receive critical loans that helped them promote, build, and sustain their family farms.
President Obama is working aggressively to develop a clean-energy economy that is supporting jobs and helping lower energy costs in rural America.
- Under President Obama, U.S. biofuel production is at its highest level in history.
- The President has made historic investments to support the development and use of renewable fuels, and he is implementing a renewable fuel standard that has helped boost the production of biodiesel to nearly 1 billion gallons in 2011, supporting 39,000 jobs.
- President Obama is also making historic clean-energy investments, supporting more than 5,700 renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement projects in rural America.
- The Obama administration has partnered with thousands of farmers, ranchers and rural businesses to help save energy and improve their bottom lines.
President Obama understands the economic competitiveness of rural America depends on its transportation, water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
- President Obama expanded broadband access to nearly 7 million rural Americans, including 364,000 rural businesses, supporting over 25,000 jobs and helping rural businesses become more competitive.
- The Obama administration is dedicating resources to acceleration of 3G and 4G network deployment in rural areas throughout the U.S., closing gaps in mobile technology coverage.
- The President is investing in building 21st century infrastructure in rural communities, including bridges, critical roads, and rail in rural areas.
- The Obama administration has invested in 5,100 water and wastewater community infrastructure projects, safeguarding the health of 18 million rural residents and supporting 135,000 jobs.
President Obama recognizes that the outdoors is an invaluable national treasure and a critical resource for the tourism industry, and that our farmers and ranchers are leaders in protecting it.
- The Obama administration is working with more than 500,000 farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices on about 30 million acres of land.
- The President signed one of the largest expansions of wilderness protections in 25 years and is taking action to promote outdoor recreation, which contributes more than $1 trillion to the economy and supports more than 9 million jobs.
The President believes Congress should pass the DREAM Act, which would allow responsible young immigrants who came here as children, and were raised as Americans, to earn a path to citizenship by going to college or serving in the military. An overwhelming majority of Democrats voted for the DREAM Act, but Republicans stood in lock-step against it.
President Obama has also taken immediate action to tackle some of our most pressing immigration issues, moving the focus of immigration enforcement’s limited resources away from the "low-priority" cases like DREAMers, veterans, the elderly, and spouses of active U.S. military personnel, and the Administration has also proposed a change in policy that would help keep families together as they pursue legal status in the United States.
The President signed a new law that makes it easier for students to pay back their federal college loans. Starting in 2014, new borrowers will pay no more than 10 percent of their disposable income, and the President recently proposed accelerating this benefit for current students. The law also allows any remaining debt to be forgiven after 20 years. Those engaged in public-service professions—such as teachers, nurses, or members of the armed forces—will have any remaining debt forgiven after 10 years if they make their payments on time.
The Affordable Care Act has helped give more young adults access to the coverage they need. Here’s more on how the President’s health care law is making a difference for young people:
14.1 million: Children who received expanded coverage of preventive services, like well-child visits and flu shots, under the Affordable Care Act in 2011
Up to 17 million: Children with pre-existing conditions who cannot be denied health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to kids with medical conditions
President Obama’s health care law is making health care more affordable for millions of Americans—from offering savings on prescription drugs and preventive care to cracking down on insurance company abuses.
Today, your insurance company has to justify any rate hike of 10 percent or more in front of a state or federal rate review program.
54 million Americans received expanded access to free preventive services, like checkups, vaccines, and cancer screenings.
Over half of all insurance plans used to put lifetime limits on coverage. Now, 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime caps on their insurance policies.
President Obama is committed to keeping the sacred trust we hold with members of our nation’s all-volunteer military. The President has fought to expand and improve benefits for veterans and their families—from access to the health care they need to the education and job opportunities they deserve when they return home.
The President and his administration, along with the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden, have secured commitments from private sector companies to hire unemployed veterans and worked to make sure returning servicemembers can find work when they come home. The President also took executive actions to help match veterans with potential employers, streamline the job search for returning servicemembers, and is working to provide veterans and their families better access to job training. Recently, the President announced his Veterans Jobs Corps initiative, which will put veterans back to work on a range of projects that benefit from the skills they developed in the military.
As part of the President’s plan to support American jobs, he signed into law the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits to encourage businesses to hire unemployed veterans and veterans with service-connected disabilities.
Download this fact sheet to learn more about the President's accomplishments for veterans and military families.
In his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his commitment to lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil and investing in clean energy to protect our environment and create jobs.
The President has announced the opening of public lands for investments in clean energy, and he has committed his administration to approve projects by the end of 2012 that will increase renewable generation capacity to power 3 million homes.
The first bill President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making progress in a decades-long struggle to ensure women have the tools they need to fight for equal pay for equal work.
The President knows we’ve still got a long way to go to create an economy where hard work pays off, regardless of gender. Women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work—that’s why the President established the Equal Pay Task Force and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give women more tools to fight pay discrimination.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan refuse to stand up for fair pay for women. Romney won't say whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and he has avoided taking a position on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Paul Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Working families are protected from losing their health care or being forced into bankruptcy when a family member gets sick or is in an accident. Families have the security of knowing their health insurance will be there when they need it most.
Insurance companies are now required to justify rate hikes, and consumers have the ability to appeal to an independent third party when insurance companies refuse to cover services or care.
Starting in 2014, all Americans will have access to affordable health insurance no matter their circumstances—whether they change jobs, lose their job, decide to start a business, or retire early. Purchasing private insurance in the new state-based health insurance exchanges could save middle-class families who can’t get employer-provided insurance thousands of dollars.
Once fully implemented, the law will slow health care premium growth rates, adding another $2,000 to family savings by 2019.
The law is expected to reduce the deficit by $127 billion from 2012 to 2021.
Take a look at what it would mean for American families if women were paid fairly—and why President Obama is fighting for equal pay.
President Obama has refocused the United States’ efforts on defeating al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
More of al-Qaeda’s senior leadership has been eliminated in the last three years than at any time since September 11th, 2001—including the group’s leader, Osama bin Laden.
President Obama has started to bring home our troops from Afghanistan as Afghans take ownership of the security and leadership of their country.
On May 1st, President Obama signed a historic Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that will help us to complete our mission and end the war in the Afghanistan as fast as we safely and responsibly can. By 2014, America’s combat mission in Afghanistan will end.
This marks a pivotal moment after a decade of war. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half. We have a clear path to finish our work in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda.
The Obama administration has taken major steps to develop offshore wind resources, including approving the country’s first-ever offshore wind farm—which is expected to produce enough clean electricity to power more than 200,000 homes—and taking steps to streamline the leasing process for future offshore wind projects.
The administration has approved the construction of 16 commercial-scale solar facilities, five wind, and eight geothermal projects on public lands that are expected to power about 1.3 million homes and support 12,500 jobs.
Veterans share what the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” means to them.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama challenged schools and states to keep good teachers on the job and keep students in school until they graduate or turn 18.
The Obama administration also fought to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of educators across the country. The Recovery Act supported roughly 300,000 education jobs, and in 2010 President Obama helped school districts prevent 161,000 teacher and school staff layoffs.
Before health reform, insurance premiums were skyrocketing, and the shared cost of caring for the uninsured added $1,000 to the typical family’s policy. The Affordable Care Act promotes better value through preventive and coordinated care, and eliminates waste and abuses.
The Affordable Care Act also helps keep insurance premiums down. Insurance companies must publicly justify excessive rate hikes and provide rebates if they don’t spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care instead of overhead, marketing, and profits. As many as 9 million consumers are expected to get up to $1.4 billion in rebates because the President passed the Affordable Care Act.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, starting August 1st, many insurance plans will be required to fully cover birth control without co-pays or deductibles as part of women's preventive care. This step will help more women make health care decisions based on what's best for them—not their insurance company—and could save them hundreds of dollars every year.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that certain religious organizations, including churches, will be exempt from the rules, and other religious organizations will not have to pay for their insurers to cover birth control.
Here's a look at how the new birth control policy will affect women and religious institutions.Support for birth control coverage
More than half of all Americans already live in the 28 states that require insurance companies to cover birth control.
Most women—including 98 percent of Catholic women—who have had sex have used birth control, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute.
Some religiously-affiliated hospitals and universities already provide birth control coverage to their employees.
A majority of Americans support including birth control coverage in health plans at no cost to women.
Health care experts like the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend birth control as a preventive service.
Under the new provisions in the Affordable Care Act, women will have access to the care and family planning services they need without worrying about the cost.
Women using birth control reduce their risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers to about half the rate of the rest of the population.
Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the new law.
Other non-profit organizations, like religiously affiliated hospitals and universities that employ or serve people regardless of their faiths may qualify for a one-year transition period to prepare for the new law.
No individual health care provider will be forced to prescribe birth control.
No one will be forced to buy or use birth control.
Drugs such as RU-486 that cause abortion are not covered by this policy. The President remains committed to maintaining strict limits on federal funding for abortions.
While the monthly cost of birth control for women ranges between $30 and $50, insurers and experts agree that the savings would more than offset the costs.
It will also save employers money. The National Business Group on Health estimated that employers would pay 15 to 17 percent more not to provide coverage than they would to provide it.
Let us know how the new policy will impact your life.
The next step in the fight for equal pay is the Paycheck Fairness Act. President Obama strongly supports the paycheck fairness, but Republicans in the Senate have refused to allow a vote on the bill, and Mitt Romney refuses to say whether he supports it or not.
When President Obama took office, the economy was losing more than 700,000 jobs per month. President Obama acted quickly to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which cut taxes for small businesses and 95% of working families. It also included emergency funding to support about 300,000 educator jobs, more than 4,600 law enforcement positions, and investments in the clean energy sector that supported 224,500 jobs through 2010. Through May 2012, the economy has added 4.4 million private sector jobs over 28 consecutive months of job growth.
President Obama knows we still have more work to do. That’s why, in his State of the Union address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.
President Obama has fulfilled his promise to responsibly and safely bring our soldiers home. When the President took office in January 2009, there were 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Today, the war in Iraq has ended and the Iraqi people have taken responsibility for the security of their country.
The President made an agreement with auto manufacturers to improve the overall fuel economy of the nation’s passenger auto fleet to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—nearly twice the 27.5 miles per gallon standard that was in place when he took office.
The Obama administration’s groundbreaking standards for cars and light trucks will save families roughly $8,200 at the pump per vehicle by 2025. The standards will also cut in half vehicles’ greenhouse gas pollution, reducing a major cause of climate change.
The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is just one example of the progress we’ve achieved together over the last three years. The Obama administration declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and called for its repeal, and was the first to provide hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights to same-sex couples. The President is working to protect the rights of LGBT individuals both at home and abroad.
Download this timeline to learn about all of the steps President Obama has taken for LGBT equality since taking office.
To give states the flexibility to use local solutions to improve their schools, and in the face of congressional inaction, President Obama acted to offer states relief from No Child Left Behind mandates.
Fact: The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) provides insurance to people with health conditions who have been uninsured for six months, helping those with cancer or other serious conditions to get the treatment they need.
Lilly Ledbetter explains that equal pay isn’t about party affiliation. It’s about human rights, and being treated fairly based on what we do.
Young adults are now eligible to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans as they enter the workforce, until they turn 26. Since the health care law passed, 3.1 million young adults—traditionally the group least likely to be insured—gained insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama wants to grow high-technology U.S. manufacturing capacity and supply clean energy projects with American-made parts and equipment. That’s why he’s provided tax incentives to and made investments in clean energy technologies such as wind turbines and advanced car batteries.
President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort to invest in technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness.
President Obama signed the America Invents Act, historic patent reform legislation that will help American entrepreneurs bring inventions to market sooner, helping to create new businesses and new jobs.
President Obama has upheld our American values by reversing previous administration policies that harmed our national security and moral authority in the world. President Obama has banned the use of torture, closed secret CIA detention facilities, and reformed military commissions. He directed all executive departments and agencies to ensure the lawful interrogation of detainees, requiring them to comply with the Geneva Convention and U.S. law.
The President has revamped military commissions in a manner consistent with the rule of law. His administration established basic protections for those who refuse to testify, prohibited the use of evidence obtained through improper interrogation, and increased the ability of the accused to select counsel.
Under President Obama’s direction, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued the first-ever national standards for mercury emissions and other dangerous toxins from coal- and oil-fired power plants.
The new safeguards will help to clear our skies, preventing up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of asthma each year.
The administration implemented the Race to the Top program, which rewards states for making tough reforms—raising standards, helping teachers improve, and turning around struggling schools.
Since 2010, the administration has awarded Race to the Top grants, including Early Learning Challenge grants, to 21 states and the District of Columbia, which serve 65 percent of the nation’s children and 59 percent of all low-income students in the country. Overall, the Race to the Top competition has encouraged states to adopt a high-quality framework of educational standards—and 46 states have already adopted the reforms.
504,000: Jobs added in the manufacturing sector since January 2010
233,000: Jobs added in the auto industry since June 2009—the most growth in a decade
100%: The percent of investment in plants and equipment that businesses could expense under a tax cut extension President Obama proposed, which would spur investment in the United States
18%: Tax deduction President Obama has proposed for domestic advanced manufacturing technologies—which would double the current 9 percent deduction
20%: Income tax credit the President has proposed providing to companies on expenses related to moving operations back to the United States
President Obama signed and passed the START Treaty with Russia, which will reduce the number of nuclear weapons deployed by Russia and the United States and has allowed the United States to resume inspections of Russian nuclear sites.
President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, allowing the Department of Justice to prosecute crimes motivated by a person’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
President Obama is investing in competitive grants to reform community colleges, supporting partnerships between community colleges and employers to provide pathways to good jobs.
As a candidate, Barack Obama proposed the creation of a community college partnership program to support institutions that provide a stepping stone to better jobs for millions of Americans. As President, he kept his word and created a new Community College to Career Fund to build on that progress.
President Obama made the tough and politically unpopular decision to extend emergency rescue loans to the American auto industry, saving more than 1 million jobs and preventing the loss of over $96 billion in personal income—and the collapse of manufacturing in the Midwest. GM and Chrysler were required to cut labor costs and overhaul their business models in exchange for emergency loans, guaranteeing their accountability to taxpayers—and both repaid their outstanding loans years ahead of schedule.
Today, the Big Three (Chrysler, GM, and Ford) are all profitable for the first time in years, adding shifts and facilities across the country. The industry has added 230,000 jobs since June 2009, and GM is once again the top-selling automaker in the world—posting its largest-ever annual profit in 2011.
Fact: More than 47 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to free health services—including an annual wellness visit, mammograms, and other health screenings—to help detect and treat medical conditions early.
Fact: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, nearly 3.6 million seniors who fell into the Medicare “doughnut hole” last year saved an average of $604 on prescription drugs.
President Obama’s decision to rescue the American auto industry has paid off, saving more than 1 million jobs and adding 230,000 new jobs since June 2009—the most growth in a decade.
Check out the interactive version for an in-depth look at the numbers that have put our automakers back on firm financial footing.
Fact: Along with proposing other common-sense immigration reforms, President Obama is committed to giving the hundreds of thousands of hardworking students who aren’t yet American citizens a chance to earn their citizenship.
Fact: Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to children with medical conditions. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, as many as 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance.
President Obama created the National Export Initiative, an effort to help businesses compete in the global marketplace and double our nation’s exports by 2015—a target we’re on track to meet.
To level the playing field for American businesses and workers, President Obama signed trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Together, the agreements are estimated to increase exports by approximately $13 billion and support more than 70,000 American jobs.
Fact: All new insurance plans are required to cover certain preventive services without charging a co-pay or deductible.
Small businesses are the engine of job creation—responsible for two out of every three new jobs in the United States. That’s why President Obama has passed tax cuts for small businesses 18 times and streamlined the patent process, providing a new fast track option to cut wait times by two-thirds and help small business innovators move ideas from the lab to market.
The Affordable Care Act provides small business owners with better affordable health care options for employees, simpler administrative operating rules, and billions of dollars in tax relief.
When the President took office, Americans faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today:
- Instead of losing jobs, we’re creating them—5.4 million new jobs over 32 consecutive months
- Nearly 75 million women have received tax cuts under President Obama, helping to put an average of $3,600 back in the pockets of the typical working family
- Small businesses across the country have seen 18 tax cuts, helping to lower costs for millions of women-owned businesses
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would take us back to the failed economic policies of the past that benefitted the wealthy but hurt the middle class. According to nonpartisan, independent experts, Romney and Ryan would raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 while giving millionaires and billionaires more tax breaks they don’t need.
President Obama passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to hold Wall Street accountable, prevent future financial crises, and end the era of “too big to fail.” Wall Street reform ensures that if a financial company fails, it will be Wall Street that pays the price—not the American people—and sets ground rules for the riskiest financial speculation. President Obama also enacted a Credit Card Bill of Rights to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, like over-the-limit charges and hidden costs.
Millions of small businesses are now eligible for a tax credit to help pay for their health care premiums. The credit will increase to cover 50 percent of premium costs in 2014.
Under the Affordable Care Act, help for small businesses—including the new insurance exchanges—will reduce small business health care spending by nearly 9 percent, according to independent estimates.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:
- Insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against women, who previously had to pay as much as 150% more for health insurance than men
- New health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, mammograms, birth control pills, and screenings without copays or deductibles
- More than 1.1 million young women now have the security of health coverage under a provision that allows Americans to stay on their parents’ insurance plan up to age 26
- Women will receive insurance rebates if their provider doesn’t use at least 80% of their premiums for patient care
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won’t stand up for women’s health. They would repeal Obamacare and go back to letting insurance companies play by their own rules.
The President has repeatedly stood behind a woman’s right to choose:
- Reversed the global gag rule, ending the ban on government aid for international groups that provide abortion information
- Fought against Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the largest providers of women’s health services in the country
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would turn over some of women’s most personal health care decisions, like birth control coverage, to their bosses, defund Planned Parenthood, and let government intrude on women’s health rights and freedoms. The Republican Party platform includes a human life amendment to ban abortion nationwide, without exceptions for rape and incest.
President Obama is helping millions of students pay for college by reforming the student loan system and investing in students. Since taking office, the President:
- Doubled investment in Pell Grants to help nearly 10 million students and their families pay for college
- Created and extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives students and their families up to $10,000 over four years of college
- Capped income-based federal student loan payments at 10% of monthly income, which will help more than 1.6 million students manage their monthly payments and pursue the career of their dreams
- Launched Race to the Top, which has spurred 46 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning in K-12 schools, helping to prepare students for success in college and the workplace
- Supported nearly 400,000 educator jobs in schools across the country through the Recovery Act
- Expanded access to Head Start and Early Head Start to 64,000 more children and families
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would give tax breaks to millionaires but say we need fewer teachers, and they would abandon a national commitment to improving our lowest-performing schools. They would let schools lay off teachers and pack more kids into fewer classrooms, and support policies that would make college more expensive for students— just like Romney did as governor of Massachusetts. Romney even opposes reducing class sizes, rejecting what parents and teachers know to be best for their children.
The President knows we’re at our best when everyone has a seat at the table and a fair shot at success. That’s why he:
- Tripled the number of women on the Supreme Court by nominating two women to the bench, including the first Latina Supreme Court justice
- Created the White House Council on Women and Girls to support fair treatment in all matters of public policy
- Launched a broad effort to protect victims of domestic violence and reduce violence against women, including increasing funding to enforce the Violence Against Women Act
- Invested in expanded opportunities for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields
FACT: In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a plan to provide tax incentives for companies that bring jobs back to the United States.