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The Boston Globe

Politics

Snapshot of Obama’s first term

PROMISES KEPT

Health care overhaul

Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. The law was later upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, and is now starting to be implemented.

Financial reform law

Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on July 21, 2010. That law was designed to crack down on some of the practices that led to the financial collapse in 2008.

Remove combat troops from Iraq

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In August 2010, the last combat brigade left Iraq, fulfilling a 2008 campaign pledge. By December 2011, the last troops who had remained in the country were leaving, ending a war that began in 2003.

COMPROMISE MADE

Repeal Bush tax cuts

During the 2012 campaign, Obama pledged to repeal the tax cuts on income of more than $200,000 (for individuals) and $250,000 (for couples). The incomes in the bill passed ended up being $400,000 and $450,000.

Provide pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants

Obama has not yet convinced Congress to pass legislation overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, but he did sign an executive order last year that provides a pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. Obama has also pledged to work with Congress on a plan soon, something that several Republicans are vowing to work on as well.

Restrict warrantless wiretaps

Obama opposed Bush administration policies that broadened the federal government’s ability to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. But on May 26, 2011, Obama signed a bill reauthorizing key elements of the Patriot Act, including some of the most controversial provisions of the surveillance legislation. But while additional oversights were not written into the law – portions of which expire in 2015 – Obama’s administration has used executive actions to add more oversight within the Department of Justice.

PROMISES BROKEN

Closing Guantanamo

Obama vowed to close the controversial detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in his first year in office. With opposition to his plans, from both inside and outside the administration, he has been unable to fulfill the pledge.

Tougher rules on lobbyists

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Obama promised during his first campaign to limit the influence of lobbyists in his administration, saying former lobbyists would not be allowed to “work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” He signed an executive order doing so on his first day in office. But the administration also set up a waiver system, which allows exceptions to the rule.

Stem climate change though cap and trade system

The House passed legislation in 2009, but it was never voted on in the Senate. Some blame Republicans for blocking the legislation, while others say Obama did not do enough to push for it.

SOURCE: PolitiFact, Globe reporting

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