Barack Obama faced many unique barriers to success during his tenure as President of the United States. Despite the challenges, he was able to bring about positive changes in the lives of Americans. Let’s take a look back at some key achievements of the Obama Administration.
Saving the Auto Industry
The Obama Administration saved and strengthened the auto industry by granting bridge loans to Chrysler and General Motors. The companies were restructured with government backing to increase consumer confidence, improve innovation and immediately become profitable again as leaner, more competitive entities.
Also, by implementing strong fuel-economy and carbon-pollution standards, as well as investing in fuel-efficient vehicle research, the Obama Administration helped to minimize taxpayer loss, save countless jobs, create new auto industry jobs, reduce oil use, and cut pollution.
The Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–or Obamacare–was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, and upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. The law granted Americans new benefits, rights and protections and ensured that millions more U.S. citizens–even those with pre-existing conditions–have access to affordable, quality healthcare.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform
On July 21, 2010, at the signing ceremony for the Dodd-Frank Act, President Obama described the Great Recession as a “…crisis born of a failure of responsibility from certain corners of Wall Street to the halls of power in Washington. For years, our financial sector was governed by antiquated and poorly enforced rules that allowed some to game the system and take risks that endangered the entire economy.”
Although powerful interest groups and a partisan minority attempted to block its passage, Dodd-Frank cracked down on abusive practices in the mortgage industry; made contracts easier to understand and ended many hidden penalties and fees in complex mortgages so people will know exactly what they are signing.
Climate Change Initiatives
President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to state unequivocally that climate change is a fact. Here he is at the 2014 State of the Union Address:
“The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”
Through a series of actions including Executive Orders, President Obama led the most aggressive effort to combat climate change in a generation. His administration reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil, abandoned plans to drill for oil in the Atlantic, and blocked drilling off the coast of California through 2022.
The President also advocated for and signed the historic, international Paris Agreement: the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement that aims to reduce the effects of climate change worldwide.
Despite years of Republican obstructionism and increasing partisan division nationwide, the Obama Administration was still able to implement some policies that lived up to the changes promised during his 2008 Presidential campaign. Providing better lives for many Americans. Thanks Obama.