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Progress For the American People

A New Direction

“This is one of the most productive Congresses in history.”
Norman Ornstein, Congressional Scholar at American Enterprise Institute, Financial Times 3/19/10

“… Congress and the White House have completed 16 months of activity that rival any other since the New Deal in scope or ambition… If there is a theme to all this, it has been to try to lift economic growth while also reducing income inequality.”
David Leonhardt, New York Times 5/22/2010

The New Direction Congress is on your side--shifting control from insurance companies to Americans and from Wall Street to Main Street, creating jobs, closing tax loopholes that send jobs overseas and helping small businesses--while Congressional Republicans continue to side with the special interests. Creating jobs while responsibly reducing the deficit, the 111th Congress is building a new prosperity for America.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND CREATING JOBS
AMERICAN RECOVERY & REINVESTMENT ACT
, enacted in the first month of President Obama's term, to jumpstart our economy, create and save 3.5 million jobs, give a tax cut to small business and 95% of American workers, begin to rebuild America's road, rail, and water infrastructure, and make a historic commitment to education, clean energy, and science and technology, with unprecedented accountability. (Signed into Law)

STUDENT AID & FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT, making the largest investment in college aid in history - increasing Pell Grants, making college loans more affordable, and strengthening community colleges - while reducing the federal deficit by ending wasteful student loan subsidies to banks. (Signed into Law)

HIRE ACT, creating 300,000 jobs with tax incentives for businesses that hire unemployed Americans, unleashing billions of dollars to rebuild highways and infrastructure, strengthening small businesses with tax credits and accelerated write-offs, and cracking down on offshore accounts for the wealthy. (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)

AMERICAN JOBS & CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES ACT, to prevent corporations from shipping jobs overseas at U.S. taxpayer expense, make Wall Street billionaires pay their fair share of taxes, and promote American jobs by restoring credit to small businesses, extending tax incentives for American R&D and tax relief for middle class American families, rebuilding American infrastructure, and expanding summer jobs for young people. (Passed by House and Senate)

WORKER, HOMEOWNERSHIP & BUSINESS ASSISTANCE ACT, boosting the economy and creating jobs with more unemployment benefits for Americans hit by the recession, an expanded 1st-time homebuyer tax credit, and enhanced small business tax relief--expanded to all struggling U.S. businesses. (Signed into Law)

HOME STAR JOBS, to provide incentives for consumers to make their homes energy-efficient -- creating 168,000 jobs, cutting energy bills for 3 million families, and reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and dirty fuels. (Passed by House)

AMERICA COMPETES REAUTHORIZATION, to invest in modernizing manufacturing; basic R&D; high risk/high reward clean energy research; and teaching science, technology, engineering and math. (Passed by House)

JOBS FOR MAIN STREET ACT, to boost small business, rebuild highways, and hire and retain teachers, police, and firefighters; paid for by redirecting TARP funds from Wall Street to Main Street. (Passed by House)

SMALL BUSINESS & INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS ACT, to extend Build America Bonds to help finance the rebuilding of schools, hospitals, roads and bridges; and target tax incentives to spur investment in small businesses and help entrepreneurs looking to start a new business. (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)

PERMANENT ESTATE TAX RELIEF at the 2009 level to ensure that 99.8 percent of estates never pay a dime of taxes and offer certainty and stability for farmers and small businesses. (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)

AFFORDABLE QUALITY HEALTH CARE
HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM
, landmark legislation putting American families and small business owners--not the insurance companies--in control of their own health care; lowering costs for middle class and small business; holding insurance companies accountable to prevent denials of care and coverage, including for pre-existing conditions; strengthening Medicare and lowering prescription drug costs; creating up to 4 million jobs; and reducing deficit by largest amount in almost two decades. (Signed into law)

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. deaths, and to stop tobacco companies from targeting our children. (Signed into Law)

ENSURING SENIORS' ACCESS TO THEIR DOCTORS, by blocking scheduled 21% cut in Medicare physician payments through 2011 and updating payments by 2.2% in 2010 and 1.0% more in 2011. (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
, historic legislation to create 1.7 million jobs (with the Recovery Act); help free us from funding terrorism with our dependence on foreign oil; reduce the carbon pollution causing climate change; keep costs low for Americans; will not increase 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
, creating jobs with investments in health care, clean energy and education; cutting taxes for most Americans by $1.5 trillion; cutting Bush deficit by more than half by 2013. (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. (Signed into Law)

PROTECTING CONSUMERS AND TAXPAYERS
WALL STREET REFORM & CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
, common-sense financial regulatory reform to help prevent a crisis from happening again; to end taxpayer-funded bailouts and ‘too big to fail' financial institutions; protect consumers from predatory lending and life savings from unnecessary risks; inject transparency and accountability into the financial system; and give shareholders a say on executive pay. (Passed by House and Senate)

CREDIT CARDHOLDERS' BILL OF RIGHTS, providing tough new protections already saving consumers money--like banning unfair rate hikes, abusive fees, and penalties--and strengthening enforcement. (Signed into Law)

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)

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 irresponsible loan practices behind the financial meltdown -- ensuring mortgage industry follows sound lending principles. (Passed by House)

AIRLINE PASSENGER CONSUMER PROTECTIONS & SAFETY, to require plans for long tarmac and flight delays, modernize air traffic control, and strengthen commercial pilot training requirements. (Passed by House)

NATIONAL SECURITY/TROOPS AND VETERANS
FY 2009 SUPPLEMENTAL
, meeting our troops' needs to wind down the Iraq war, change strategy in Afghanistan; make retroactive stop loss payments to 185,000+ service members; and expand New GI Bill to cover college education for all children of fallen U.S. service members since 9-11-01. (Signed into Law)

FY 2010 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION, authorizing 3.4% troop pay raise, strengthening military readiness and military families support, focusing our strategy in Afghanistan and redeployment from Iraq. (Signed into Law)

FY 2011 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION, to increase hostile fire and imminent danger pay and troop protection; extend TRICARE dependent coverage up to age 26; and strengthen counterterrorism. (Passed by House)

REPEAL OF DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL, to provide for the repeal of this outdated policy, contingent on the President, Defense Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certifying that the military review has been completed and that repeal would not impact military readiness. (Passed by House)

VETERANS HEALTH CARE BUDGET REFORM & TRANSPARENCY ACT, ensuring reliable and timely veterans health care funding by authorizing Congress to approve VA medical care a year in advance. (Signed into Law)

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

CAREGIVERS AND VETERANS OMNIBUS HEALTH SERVICES, landmark legislation providing help to family members and other caregivers of disabled, ill or injured veterans, while expanding and improving VA health care services for the nation's 1.8 million women veterans. (Signed into Law)

SECURITY FOR AMERICA'S COMMUNITIES
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)

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 in COPS grants to put an additional 50,000 police officers on the street over the next five years. (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)

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)

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