Issues

How President Obama is Fighting for Young Americans

  • President Obama took office in the middle of a financial crisis and took action to get the economy moving again. March was the 25th consecutive month that the economy added private-sector jobs, for a total of nearly 4.1 million new jobs.
  • The President announced historic new fuel efficiency standards that will nearly double vehicles’ fuel economy by 2025. That means we’re breathing cleaner air, importing less oil and saving money at the pump.
  • President Obama’s landmark health reform allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they turn 26. That means 2.5 million more young Americans now have health coverage. An estimated 12.1 million young adults will be covered once health reform is fully implemented.
  • By doubling funding for Pell Grants and eliminating billions of dollars in federal subsidies to banks acting as middlemen, President Obama has made a college education more accessible and affordable for millions of students.
  • The President responsibly ended the war in Iraq and is committed to bringing the war in Afghanistan to a responsible end.
  • Under the Obama administration, people who have gone into public service and work in fields like teaching, nursing, and the armed forces will have their federal student loans forgiven after 10 years if they make their payments on time. Income-based repayments on federal student loans will be capped at 10 percent of income.
  • President Obama repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” LGBT men and women can now serve our country without hiding who they are.
  • Under President Obama’s watch, the Environmental Protection Agency has enacted the first national standards for mercury emissions and other dangerous air toxins from coal and oil-fired power plants.
  • President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which helps workers file claims against age and gender wage discrimination.
  • President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act into law, which protects young people from credit card company abuse. One major provision bans companies from marketing to students on college campuses.

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Young Americans and the Affordable Care Act

  • For many young Americans just starting out, the cost of health insurance has put health care out of reach. Others have passed up careers they’ve dreamed about to settle for any job that offers health benefits.
  • President Obama fought for the Affordable Care Act because he understands that access to quality, affordable health care is a foundation of middle-class security, and he wants to help young Americans gain some stability and control as they begin their careers and start families.
  • The law allows young Americans to stay on their parents’ insurance plan up to age 26.
  • It cracks down on insurance companies to prevent them from discriminating against people under the age of 19 with pre-existing conditions, while also creating a special insurance plan for others with pre-existing conditions.
  • On December 14, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control announced 2.5 million more young adults now have health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

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LGBT Equality

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is only one example of the progress we’ve achieved together over the last three years. From hosting the first White House LGBT pride reception in 2009 to declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional this February, here’s a timeline of steps President Obama has taken for LGBT equality since taking office.

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President Obama’s Record on Education

  • Since the early '80s, college costs have risen more than four times faster than inflation, putting a college education out of reach for too many students.
  • Over the same time period, America’s college graduation rates have fallen from first in the world to 16th.
  • This is why President Obama has made education a national priority. The President has invested in education and worked to raise K-12 standards so that kids are better prepared for college. He’s taken steps to make college more affordable so that students from working- and middle-class families can afford the college education they need to compete in the global economy.
  • President Obama made college education accessible to hundreds of thousands more students by doubling funding for Pell grants. He was able to double Pell grant funding by ending billions of dollars in federal subsidies to banks acting as middlemen in the college funding process.

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President Obama’s Record on the Environment

  • President Obama has made the environment a priority, making major progress to improve the quality of our air and water and to protect our natural resources.
  • The President made an agreement with automobile manufacturers that improved the overall fuel economy of the nation’s 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 new standards are projected to save families an estimated $8,200 in fuel costs over the life of a vehicle.

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What the American Jobs Act Means for Young Americans

  • With many young people across the country struggling to find work, President Obama believes that inaction is not an option. That’s why he’s put out a plan to create jobs starting right now, and why he’s fighting for Congress to act on it.
  • The President’s plan will help young workers keep more of what they earn by extending the payroll tax cut, which will increase the paychecks of 45.5 million working young Americans.
  • The Pathways Back to Work Fund will give states $1.5 billion to develop summer job programs for low-income youth. It will also support year-round employment for economically disadvantaged young adults.
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