Today, President Barack Obama celebrates his 55th birthday and nothing says happy birthday quite like waking up in the White House, a place Obama’s been able to celebrate in since 2008, when he was elected to be President of the United States.
Over the course of eight Earthstrongs in the Oval Office, Obama has seen his fair share of accomplishments and criticisms as President. Here’s a rundown of accomplishments during Obamas tenure as the 48th President of the U.S.A.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 3, 2016
1. Passed Health Care Reform: Signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The act covered 32 million uninsured Americans in 2016.
2. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.
3. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009
4. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry: In 2009, injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration)
5. Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.
6. Eliminated Osama bin Laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the terrorist leader.
7. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.
8. Moammar Gaddafi: In March 2011, joined a coalition of European and Arab governments in military action.
9. Reversed Bush Torture Policies: Bush-era rulings that had allowed detainees in U.S. custody to undergo interrogation techniques considered inhumane under the Geneva Conventions.
10. Mubarak: On February 1, 2011, publicly called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept reform or step down.
11. Improved America’s Image Abroad: From 2008 to 2011, favorable opinion toward the United States rose in ten of fifteen countries surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, with an average increase of 26 percent.
12. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decades-old practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans.
13. Created Race to the Top: With funds from stimulus, started $4.35 billion program of competitive grants to encourage and reward states for education reform
14. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis: To keep world economy out of recession in 2009 and 2010, helped secure from G-20 nations more than $500 billion for the IMF to provide lines of credit
15. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.
16. Expanded Stem Cell Research: In 2009, eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, which shows promise in treating spinal injuries, among many other areas.
17. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Appointed two envoys to Sudan and personally attended a special UN meeting on the area.
18. Created Recovery.gov: provides public with detailed information on every contract funded by $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
19. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections: Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, existing hate crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.
20. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection: Signed Omnibus Public Lands Management Act 2009, which designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, created thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails.
21. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill: in 2010 to a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; $6.5 billion already paid out without lawsuits.
22. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology: 2009 stimulus, invested $90 billion, more than any previous administration, in research on smart grids, energy efficiency, electric cars, renewable electricity generation, cleaner coal, and biofuels.
23. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders: Issued executive order in 2009 requiring all federal agencies to make plans to soften their environmental impacts by 2020
The President has also been notable for:
24. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program
25. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
26. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
27. Expanding vaccination programs
28. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
29. Closed offshore tax safe havens
30. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
31. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
32. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices
33. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
34. Lower drug costs for seniors
35. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs.
36. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
37. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
38. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
39. New federal funding for science and research labs
40. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
41. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
42. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
43. New funds for school construction
44. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
45. US Auto industry rescue plan
46. Housing rescue plan
47. $789 billion economic stimulus plan
48. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
49. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
50. Notable TV appearances such as, Jimmy Kimmel Live, John Stewart, and The Oprah Winfrey show.
51. Gave a stirring graduation address at Howard University Commencement 2016
52. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
53. Successful release of US captain held bySomali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
54. announced his intention to push for energy reform
55. Has announced his intention to push for education reform
It looks like the POTUS has a few reasons to celebrate. Happy birthday!