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Progress For The American People

A New Direction

The 111th Congress has made historic progress, working with President Obama to take America in a New Direction. We are working to turn our economy around and create good jobs; to make common sense reforms to how Wall Street does business; to make quality health insurance affordable for every American; and to launch a clean energy jobs revolution that makes America more secure. These efforts are being tackled with fiscal discipline and accountability.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND CREATING JOBS
AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT, enacted in the first month of President Obama's term, to jumpstart our economy, create and save 3.5 million jobs, give 95% of American workers a tax cut, and begin to rebuild America's road, rail, and water infrastructure, with unprecedented accountability. (Signed into Law)

CASH FOR CLUNKERS, jump-starting the U.S. auto industry, providing consumers with up to $4,500 to trade in an old vehicle for one with higher fuel efficiency - spurring the sale of 700,000 vehicles. (Signed into Law)

WORKER, HOMEOWNERSHIP & BUSINESS ASSISTANCE ACT, stimulating growth and creating jobs with up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to the million Americans hit hardest by the recession, an extended and expanded first-time homebuyer tax credit, and enhanced tax relief for struggling small businesses--now broadened to struggling medium and large U.S. businesses. (Signed into Law)

STUDENT AID AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT, to make the largest investment in college aid in history - increasing Pell Grants and keeping federal student loan interest rates low - and to strengthen early learning for children from birth through age five, while reducing the federal deficit. (Passed by House)

HELPING FAMILIES SAVE THEIR HOMES ACT, building on the President's initiative to stem the foreclosure crisis, with significant incentives to lenders, servicers, and homeowners to modify loans. (Signed into Law)

EDWARD M. KENNEDY SERVE AMERICA ACT, tripling volunteerism opportunities to 250,000 for national service for students to retirees; increased college financial awards. (Signed into Law)

JOB CREATION THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACT, to give established small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups the needed tools and resources to thrive, create jobs and drive economic growth. (Passed by House)

SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING & INVESTMENT ACT, to reform federal small business lending to help save or create 1.3 million jobs annually--making it easier and more affordable to get loans and access capital, and providing tools for veterans, women, and rural families. (Passed by House)

PERMANENT ESTATE TAX RELIEF FOR FAMILIES, FARMERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES at the 2009 level to ensure that 99.8 percent of estates in America never pay a dime of taxes, and to offer certainty and stability for farmers and small businesses. (Passed by House)

TAX EXTENDERS ACT, to extend the R&D tax credit for American companies that invest in innovative jobs; extend deductions for millions of parents, teachers, and families for college tuition, classroom expenses, property and state and local sales taxes; and help ensure National Guard and Reservists called up to active duty do not face a pay cut. (Passed by House)

INNOVATION AGENDA, investing $31 billion in science, technology, innovation, math education, cutting-edge research, advanced manufacturing technologies, and workforce training. (Signed into Law)

LABOR-HHS-EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS, providing targeted increases for health, education and worker training, including NIH research, Pell Grants, Head Start and clean energy jobs. (Signed into Law)

WATER QUALITY INVESTMENT ACT, to create an estimated 680,000 jobs over the next five years by launching clean water projects for families and communities across America. (Passed by House)

AFFORDABLE QUALITY HEALTH CARE
HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM, landmark legislation to lower costs to consumers, preserve and provide choice of doctors and health plans including a public option, ensure peace of mind that coverage can't be delayed or denied, and expand access to affordable health coverage for millions of Americans. (Passed by House)

HEALTH CARE FOR 11 MILLION CHILDREN, to finally provide cost-effective health coverage for 4 million more children and preserve coverage for 7 million children already enrolled. (Signed into Law)

FDA REGULATION OF TOBACCO, granting the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate advertising, marketing, and manufacturing of tobacco products, the #1 cause of preventable U.S. death. (Signed into Law)

MEDICARE PHYSICIAN PAYMENT REFORM, to protect Medicare beneficiaries' access to physicians by permanently replacing the broken Medicare physician payment system and to repeal the scheduled 21 percent fee reduction; supported by the AMA and AARP. (Passed by House)

FOOD SAFETY, to fundamentally change the way we protect our food supply; close gaps exposed by recent food-borne illness outbreaks; give the FDA new authorities. (Passed by House)

RYAN WHITE HIV/AIDS TREATMENT EXTENSION ACT, guaranteeing access to lifesaving medical services, primary care, and medications for low-income patients with AIDs and HIV. (Signed into Law)

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS & CONSERVATION
AMERICAN CLEAN ENERGY AND SECURITY ACT, to create millions of jobs that can't be outsourced; reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil; reduce the carbon pollution causing climate change; keep costs low for Americans, with lower income Americans seeing no cost; with no increase in the deficit. (Passed by House)

OMNIBUS PUBLIC LAND MANAGEMENT ACT, the most significant conservation bill in 15 years, strengthening tourism and rural economies with more than 2 million new acres of wilderness and parks. (Signed into Law)

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
BUDGET BLUEPRINT, reflecting the President's plan to get the economy moving again, cutting taxes for most Americans by $1.5 trillion and creating jobs with targeted investments in health care, clean energy and education - cutting the Bush deficit more than half by 2013. (Passed by House and Senate; Action Completed)

STATUTORY PAY-AS-YOU-GO, to restore 1990s law that turned record deficits into surpluses, by forcing tough choices; Congress must offset new policies that reduce revenues or expand entitlements. (Passed by House)

PROTECTING CONSUMERS AND TAXPAYERS
WALL STREET REFORM AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, the most comprehensive financial reforms since the Great Depression to help restore common sense rules of the road for Wall Street and prevent future crises from ever happening again; to end taxpayer-funded bailouts and ‘too big to fail' financial institutions, protect consumers from predatory lending and our retirement and college savings from unnecessary risks through a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, inject transparency and new accountability into a financial system run amok, and give shareholders a say on executive compensation. (Passed by House)

CREDIT CARDHOLDERS' BILL OF RIGHTS, providing tough new protections for consumers--including banning unfair rate increases, abusive fees, and penalties--and strengthening enforcement. (Signed into Law) To speed up effective date with card companies raising rates before reforms take effect. (Passed by House)

FRAUD ENFORCEMENT & RECOVERY ACT, providing tools to prosecute mortgage scams and corporate fraud that contributed to financial crisis; creating an outside commission to examine its causes. (Signed into Law)

DEFENSE PROCUREMENT REFORM, cracking down on Pentagon waste and cost overruns, which GAO says total $296 billion just for 96 largest weapons systems, increasing oversight and competition. (Signed into Law)

STRENGTHENING OVERSIGHT OF TARP, expanding authority of the TARP Special Inspector General, to help ensure taxpayers' funds are effectively used to get credit flowing to businesses and families. (Signed into Law)

LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT, restoring the rights of women and other workers to challenge unfair pay--to help close the wage gap where women earn 78 cents for every $1 a man earns in America. (Signed into Law)

MORTGAGE REFORM & ANTI-PREDATORY LENDING ACT, to stop predatory and irresponsible mortgage loan practices that played a major role in the current financial meltdown and to help ensure that the mortgage industry follows basic principles of sound lending and consumer protection. (Passed by House)

PAY FOR PERFORMANCE ACT, to prohibit unreasonable or excessive compensation and non-performance-based bonuses for executives at companies receiving TARP funds. (Passed by House)

FINANCIAL SERVICES APPROPRIATIONS, investing in key efforts to crack down on excessive financial risk-taking by Wall Street, rebuild protections for homeowners, investors and consumers by federal agencies, and strengthen America's small businesses. (Signed into Law)

AIRLINE PASSENGER CONSUMER PROTECTIONS & SAFETY, to require contingency plans for long tarmac and flight delays, improve safety, and modernize air traffic control systems and infrastructure. (Passed by House)

NATIONAL SECURITY/TROOPS AND VETERANS
FY 2009 SUPPLEMENTAL, for rest of FY 2009, providing our troops with everything they need to wind down the Iraq war, change strategy in Afghanistan; requiring a progress report; and making retroactive payments to 185,000+ service members whose enlistments were involuntarily extended since 9/11. (Signed into Law)

TRANSFER OF NEW GI BILL BENEFITS TO CHILDREN OF FALLEN TROOPS, expanding New GI Bill benefits to cover the full cost of a college education for all children of fallen U.S. service members. (Signed into Law)

DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION, authorizing a 3.4% pay raise for our troops, strengthening military readiness, expanding support for military families such as health care and housing, focusing on our strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan and redeployment from Iraq, and military procurement reform. (Signed into Law)

VETERANS HEALTH CARE BUDGET REFORM & TRANSPARENCY ACT, a top priority of veterans' groups, authorizing Congress to approve VA medical care appropriations one year in advance to ensure reliable and timely funding and prevent politics from ever delaying VA health care funding. (Signed into Law)

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION-VETERANS ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATIONS, strengthening quality health care for more than 5 million veterans by investing 11% more than 2009 for medical care, benefits claims processors, and facility improvements. (Signed into Law)

SERVICE MEMBERS HOME OWNERSHIP TAX ACT, extending the homebuyer tax credit for troops overseas for a year and making payments to military personnel moving due to base closures tax exempt. (Signed into Law)

SECURITY FOR AMERICA'S COMMUNITIES
HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT, giving law enforcement resources to prevent and prosecute hate crimes against Americans based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. (Signed into Law)

PUTTING 50,000 COPS ON THE BEAT, to authorize $1.8 billion a year for COPS grants over the next five years, to put an additional 50,000 police officers on the street. (Passed by House)

ENHANCING TRANSPORTATION SECURITY, to improve security for over 10 billion American mass transit trips each year - tripling resources for transit security. (Passed by House)

HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS, strengthening security at our ports and borders and on commercial airlines, giving first responders tools to respond to terrorism. (Signed into Law)

CHEMICAL & WATER SECURITY ACT, to increase security and safety of the nation's chemical plants and water facilities vulnerable to terrorist attacks and the millions of Americans that live nearby. (Passed by House)