Some of President Obama’s successes in his eight years in office.
In February 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 billion stimulus package meant to provide relief from the Great Recession. It included funds for infrastructure, education and energy.
Obama signed a law in October 2009 making it a federal crime to assault someone because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. He said it would protect people “from violence based on what they look like, who they love.”
Creating “Obamacare,” in March 2010 he signed the Affordable Care Act. It mandated health coverage, set up insurance exchanges and provided subsidies. Insurers had to accept all applicants. The 2016 uninsured rate was a record low 8.6 percent.
Congress in December 2010 voted to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals from military service. In July 2011, Obama formally certified that the military was ready to implement the changes.
Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaida, which carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, was killed in May 2011 by Navy SEALs in an operation ordered by Obama. “Justice has been done,” he told the nation in a televised address.
The last convoy of U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq in December 2011, ending almost nine years of war that cost almost 4,500 American lives. There are now almost 5,000 U.S. troops there helping to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
”I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in May 2012, becoming the first sitting president to express that view. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must allow same-sex marriages.
In December 2015, the representatives of 195 countries, including the United States, agreed in Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature increases. Obama also authorized regulations to cut carbon emissions.
The national jobless rate when Obama took office in January 2009 was 7.6 percent. It rose to 10 percent in October of that year, but since then it has remained in the single digits. The most recent rate, in December 2016, was 4.7 percent.