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A New Direction for America

New Direction


America faces daunting challenges--and clear choices. The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression imperils our nation's vitality and the economic security of every American. America's brave men and women are still fighting a costly war in Iraq while focus needs to be intensified on Afghanistan and terrorism around the globe. The call for change could not be more clear.

The 110th Congress has begun to move America in a New Direction. Toward energy independence and clean, renewable energy and an energy efficient future. To an America more competitive in a global economy, creating high tech and green jobs here at home. Putting our troops and veterans first. Working to make college, energy, health care, and home ownership more affordable for every American. Beginning to change the way we do business in Washington and restore fiscal responsibility and accountability to government.

The New Direction Congress has enacted into law key legislation to rebuild our economy, strengthen our national security, care for America's children and families, protect our planet, and restore accountability--with significant bipartisan support more than 70 percent of the time. More progress was prevented by the failed ideology and the continued obstruction of the Bush Administration and his allies in Congress. A New Direction for America is still needed.



ECONOMIC RECOVERY
red star Economic Rescue Plan with key taxpayer and homeowner protections SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Recovery Rebates to jumpstart economy, help Americans with rising costs SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Extended Unemployment benefits for 3.5 million Americans SIGNED INTO LAW
red star First increase in the minimum wage in a decade SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Saving 380,000 good-paying jobs by meeting shortfall in Highway Trust Fund SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Authorizing completion of key highway projects, creating 40,000 good-paying jobs SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Farm Bill with historic new investments in nutrition, energy, and conservation, and launching reforms to farm payments to reflect farmer need VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS, ENACTED INTO LAW
red star Terrorism risk insurance extension, aiding economic growth SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Curtailing tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs off shore SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Making CEO pay subject to shareholder approval PASSED HOUSE
   
HOUSING FORECLOSURE CRISIS
red star Comprehensive housing foreclosure crisis bill, preventing families from losing their homes and their neighbors from losing value in their homes, and creating a federal backstop and tough, independent regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold half the nation's mortgage debt SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Helping states/localities purchase foreclosed homes, stabilizing communities SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Tax credit for first-time homebuyers, and property tax deduction for non-itemizers SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Reform of the Federal Housing Administration, expanding access to affordable mortgages, and to “reverse mortgages” for seniors who need equity from their homes SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Stopping tax on “income” when lender forgives part of mortgage in foreclosure SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund for rental housing SIGNED INTO LAW
   
EDUCATION AND COMPETITIVENESS
red star Largest college aid expansion since the GI Bill in 1944, cutting college loan rates in half SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Uninterrupted access to low-cost student loans, despite credit crunch SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Giving colleges incentives to rein in tuition increases and expand access for low-income students SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Cleaning up abuses in the student loan industry SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Innovation agenda creating a math/science teacher corps; doubling research funding SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Extended tax cut for innovative research & development SIGNED INTO LAW

red star Head Start preschool improved and expanded SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Key investments in education VETOED BY PRESIDENT
   
REDUCING TAXES
red star A tax cut for 19 million middle-income American families facing the AMT in 2007 SIGNED INTO LAW
red star A tax cut for 25 million middle-income American families facing the AMT in 2008 SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Internet tax moratorium extension SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Extended tax cuts for homeowners, families with children, college students, teachers SIGNED INTO LAW
   
AMERICAN WORKERS
red star Minimum wage increased for the first time in a decade, 2nd phase this month SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Reversing Supreme Court decisions that had weakened Americans with Disabilities Act SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Extending & improving help for workers who lose jobs to foreign competition PASSED HOUSE
red star Strengthening the Equal Pay Act by providing more effective remedies PASSED HOUSE
red star Rectifying a Supreme Court decision to allow workers to pursue pay discrimination claims PASSED HOUSE
red star Prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation PASSED HOUSE
red star Collective bargaining rights for first responders PASSED HOUSE
red star Free choice for workers to choose their own bargaining representative PASSED HOUSE
   
AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
red star Health care coverage for 10 million American children VETOED BY PRESIDENT
red star Expansion of life-saving stem cell research to cure or prevent chronic diseases VETOED BY PRESIDENT
red star Key investments in health care VETOED BY PRESIDENT
red star Ensuring 44 million American seniors and people with disabilities have access to doctors they know and trust VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS, ENACTED INTO LAW
red star Ban on genetic information discrimination in health coverage SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Ending discriminatory treatment of mental health care coverage SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Medicare required to negotiate cheaper drugs for seniors and disabled Americans PASSED HOUSE
red star Blocking $18 billion cut in health care for low-income children & seniors SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Making America healthier by providing FDA regulation of tobacco PASSED HOUSE
   
NATIONAL SECURITY
red star 9/11 Commission terrorism recommendations given force of law SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Investments to begin to fix the military readiness crisis SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Iraq benchmarks, progress reports required SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Providing for responsible redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq VETOED BY PRESIDENT
red star Extending ban on torture to U.S. intelligence personnel VETOED BY PRESIDENT
red star Tighter foreign investment rules, after Dubai Ports scandal SIGNED INTO LAW
   
TROOPS AND VETERANS
red star New GI Bill to give free college education to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Largest veterans' health care funding increase in history SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Wounded Warrior Act, improving health care after Walter Reed scandal SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Major pay raise for troops in both FY 2008 and FY 2009 SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Tax relief for military families SIGNED INTO LAW
   
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND GLOBAL WARMING
red star Landmark Energy Independence law: first new fuel efficiency standards in 32 years, historic commitment to renewable American bio-fuels SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Historic new support for non-food bio-fuels in the Farm Bill VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS, ENACTED INTO LAW
red star Tax incentives to invest in clean, renewable energy and create hundreds of thousands of green jobs SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Comprehensive Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act PASSED HOUSE
blue star Making Big Oil pay its fair share for taxpayer-owned resources and transition to energy independence
blue star Protect consumers by releasing oil from the government stockpile and increasing home heating assistance
blue star National Renewable Electricity Standard (15% by 2020)
blue star Responsible compromise on off shore drilling and increased American production
blue star Standards for more efficient homes and buildings
blue star Reduced transit fares and expanded service
red star
Further close “Enron-like Loophole” to curb excessive petroleum speculation PASSED HOUSE

red star Holding OPEC and Big Oil accountable for price fixing; cracking down on price gouging PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE

red star Greening the Capitol, making Congress carbon neutral ENACTED BY HOUSE
   
REBUILDING AMERICA
red star Aid to the Gulf Coast recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Major new commitment to flood control & environmental restoration projects VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS, ENACTED INTO LAW
red star Omnibus Public Lands Bill, with new protections for national parks, wilderness, historic sites, trails, and water resources from coast to coast SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Modernizing and improving Amtrak and other inter-city passenger rail for energy efficiency SIGNED INTO LAW
   
CONSUMER PROTECTION
red star Most sweeping FDA drug safety provisions in more than a decade SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Banning toxic toys and children's products from China and other countries and toughening enforcement of the Consumer Product Safety Commission SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights PASSED HOUSE
red star Passenger Bill of Rights for airline travelers PASSED HOUSE
   
FIGHTING CRIME
red star Improved background checks for gun purchases SIGNED INTO LAW
red star 5,200 New Border Patrol Officers over two years SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Saved the critical COPS program, proposed for elimination by the President SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Reauthorized and strengthened Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) for local law enforcement, which the President had proposed eliminating SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Tools and resources to prevent and prosecute hate crimes PASSED BY HOUSE
   
FISCAL DISCIPLINE
red star Pay-as-you-go budget discipline ADOPTED IN HOUSE RULES
red star A fiscally responsible budget that balances by 2012 and invests in key priorities PASSED BY HOUSE AND SENATE, NO PRESIDENTIAL ACTION REQUIRED
red star Cracking down on “no-bid” contracts PASSED BY HOUSE AND SENATE
red star Prohibiting profiteering by U.S. contractors operating in war zones PASSED BY HOUSE
red star Requiring mandatory fraud reporting for U.S. contractors PASSED BY HOUSE
   
RESTORING ACCOUNTABILITY
red star Widely-acclaimed landmark lobbying and ethics reform SIGNED INTO LAW
red star New historic independent Office of Congressional Ethics ADOPTED IN HOUSE RULES
red star Banning pensions for Members of Congress convicted of certain crimes SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Strengthening Freedom of Information Act for government transparency SIGNED INTO LAW
red star U.S. Attorney appointments depoliticized SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Reducing enormous backlog in passport processing SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Closing offshore tax loopholes for federal contractors SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Whistleblower protections strengthened PASSED BY HOUSE AND SENATE
red star Strengthening independence of federal Inspectors General SIGNED INTO LAW
red star Holding private security firms in war zones accountable for criminal actions PASSED BY HOUSE
red star Withholding federal contracts from tax-delinquent companies PASSED BY HOUSE
red star Closing off shore tax loopholes for federal contractors PASSED BY HOUSE
red star Requiring more transparency by companies that rely on federal contracts PASSED BY HOUSE
red star Requiring standards for the preservation of White House and federal agency e-mails PASSED BY HOUSE