The 111th Congress is off to a strong start, working with President Obama to take America in a New Direction, to turn our economy around and create good jobs, with common sense reforms and targeted investments in: affordable health care, clean energy jobs, educational excellence, fiscal responsibility, and tax fairness.
RECENTLY SIGNED INTO LAW
CREDIT CARDHOLDERS' BILL OF RIGHTS, to provide tough new protections for consumers by banning unfair rate increases, abusive fees, and penalties--such as retroactive rate hikes on existing balances and double-cycle billing -- giving consumers clear information, and strengthening enforcement.
MILITARY PROCUREMENT REFORM, to crack down on Pentagon waste and cost overruns, which GAO says amount to $296 billion just for the 96 largest weapons systems, by dramatically beefing up oversight of weapons acquisition, promoting greater use of competition, and curbing conflicts of interest.
HELPING FAMILIES SAVE THEIR HOMES ACT, building on the President's housing initiative, to provide significant incentives to lenders, servicers, and homeowners to work together to modify loans and to avoid foreclosures, which cost families their homes every 13 seconds in America.
FIGHTING MORTGAGE AND CORPORATE FRAUD & CREATING COMMISSION ON CAUSES OF CRISIS, to provide tools for prosecuting the mortgage scams and corporate frauds that contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; and to create an outside commission to examine its causes.
SIGNED INTO LAW EARLIER THIS YEAR
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 measures -- no earmarks, new state whistleblower protections, and an historic degree of transparency at www.recovery.gov.
HEALTH CARE FOR 11 MILLION CHILDREN, to finally provide cost-effective health coverage for 4 million more children whose parents earn too little to provide their own insurance, but too much to qualify for Medicaid, and preserve coverage for 7 million children already enrolled.
LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT, to restore 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.
OMNIBUS PUBLIC LAND MANAGEMENT ACT 0F 2009, the most significant conservation bill in 15 years, to boost economic development and tourism at 160 mostly rural American sites; creating 2 million new acres of wilderness across 9 states; establishing 3 new national park units; designating 1,000 miles of wild and scenic rivers; and designating a National Monument and 3 National Conservation Areas.
EDWARD M. KENNEDY SERVE AMERICA ACT, tripling volunteerism opportunities for national service to enroll 250,000 students to retirees; creating new service corps for education, health care, energy and veterans; establishing a Summer of Service for middle and high school students; and increasing college financial awards.
STRENGTHENING OVERSIGHT OF TARP, to expand the authority of the TARP Special Inspector General, to help ensure that taxpayers' funds are effectively used to get credit flowing to businesses and families.
PASSED BY HOUSE AND SENATE
BUDGET BLUEPRINT, reflecting the President's plan to get the economy moving again, by cutting taxes for middle-income families by $1.5 trillion and creating jobs with targeted investments in health care, clean energy and education - while cutting the Bush deficit by nearly two-thirds by 2013. [ACTION COMPLETED]
PASSED BY HOUSE
WAR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL, to provide funds for the remainder of FY 2009 to provide our troops in harm's way with what they need, implement the President's plans for winding down the war in Iraq and changing strategy in Afghanistan, require a report on progress, and fund pandemic flu response.
FDA REGULATION OF TOBACCO, granting the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the advertising, marketing, and manufacturing of tobacco products, currently the number-one cause of preventable death in America, with 1,000 children each day becoming new, regular smokers.
MORTGAGE REFORM AND ANTI-PREDATORY LENDING ACT, to stop the 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.
PUTTING 50,000 COPS ON THE BEAT, to authorize $1.8 billion a year for COPS grants over the next five years, which will fund putting an additional 50,000 police officers on the street across the country.
GREEN SCHOOL MODERNIZATION, to provide critical investments to modernize, renovate, and repair school facilities across the country, while encouraging energy efficiency and creating nearly 140,000 new jobs.
HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT, to give law enforcement the resources they need to prevent and prosecute hate crimes against Americans because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, as well as because of their race, color, religion, or national origin.
WATER QUALITY INVESTMENT ACT, to launch clean water projects for families and communities across America, creating an estimated 680,000 jobs over the next five years.
REDUCING MILITARY FAMILIES TAX, which currently unfairly penalizes the 55,000 surviving spouses of military personnel who died as a result of their service-connected injuries.
PAY FOR PERFORMANCE ACT, to prohibit unreasonable or excessive compensation and non-performance-based bonuses for executives at companies receiving TARP funds, to stabilize our financial system.