What does a “year of action” mean, exactly?
The President will continue to work with Congress wherever he can to keep our economy moving forward and creating jobs. But in the meantime, he’s also going to do everything he can on his own to fight for middle-class families every single day.
And he’s been busy. Using his pen and his phone, the President has helped create new manufacturing jobs, expand apprenticeships, and job training, make student loan payments more affordable, support equal pay and workplace flexibility, cut carbon pollution, and rally support across the country while raising the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts. And that’s not all.
Read on below for a summary of the major actions the President has taken so far, complete with shareable graphics and tweets to help spread the word.
Taking Action on Equal Pay and Workplace Flexibility:
President Obama took action to promote pay transparency by prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation and taking steps to collect new summary data on contractor compensation. The President also hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, at which he announced new actions designed to expand flexible workplace policies in the federal government as well as initiatives to remove barriers to training and access to non-traditional occupations.
Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants:
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposed commonsense carbon pollution standards for existing plants to protect the health of our children. This plan puts our nation on the path toward a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030. In addition, the release of the third National Climate Assessment provides the most authoritative and comprehensive source of scientific information to date about climate change impacts in the United States.
Ensuring Student Debt Remains Affordable:
The President directed the Secretary of Education to let borrowers cap their monthly student loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly incomes, making this option available on all direct loans. Up to 5 million borrowers are expected to benefit.
Call for $10.10 Minimum Wage Has Spurred State, Local and Business Action:
Since the State of the Union – and the President’s Executive Order requiring a $10.10 minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts – states like Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont have taken action to raise wages at or near $10.10 that will benefit well over 1.5 million workers. In total, 13 states have raised wages since the President’s original call to increase the minimum wage in 2013. In addition, cities have taken steps to raise the minimum wage for contractors or employees, and companies like the Gap have raised wages for their workers.”
Creating Jobs Through Increased Travel and Tourism to the United States:
The Administration is developing a national goal to improve the entry process and reduce wait times for international travelers to the United States, including action plans at the 15 largest airports for international arrivals. These actions will build on efforts that have already cut visa wait times from as much as several months to an average of 5 days and are poised to help increase visitors to the United States from 55 million in 2009 to 100 million by 2021, which will support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs.
Supporting Efforts to Foster Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Investment in the United States:
The Administration helped convene more than 90 mayors who are offering manufacturing entrepreneurs more opportunities to start and grow their businesses, while it also took steps to assist entrepreneurs with access to billions of dollars worth of cutting edge equipment to help start businesses. The Administration also continues to implement the SelectUSA program, which has now assisted more than $18 billion in investment.
- June 23: Actions taken to support working families as part of Summit on Working Families, including a Presidential Memorandum directing federal agencies to enhance workplace flexibilities
- June 18: First-Ever White House Maker Faire, expanding access to tools to launch businesses, learn STEM skills, and lead a grassroots renaissance in American manufacturing
- June 17: New actions by federal agencies, Mayors, and local leaders to invest locally in manufacturing entrepreneurship
- June 17: Actions announced to preserve and protect oceans, including to combat black market fishing
- June 14: Nearly $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition announced, to support innovative local resilience projects
- June 13: Announced steps to strengthen Native American communities through education and economic development
- June 12: Proposed rule issued to raise minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour
- June 9: Presidential Memorandum directing ED to allow all direct loan borrowers to cap their loans at 10 percent of income, !benefiting up to 5 million with student loans
- June 4: Joined four governors and 77 mayors to call for an end to veterans homelessness by the end of 2015
- June 2: Proposed the Clean Power Plan to protect the health of our children and put our nation on the path toward a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030
- May 30: My Brother’s Keeper Federal Task Force issued its 90-day report recommending a series of steps we can take – working across agencies and across sectors – to expand opportunity for young people across the country
- May 29: Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit
- May 28: Energy Datapalooza with commitments from utilities and cities to use open data to drive energy efficiency
- May 27: 4th White House Science Fair with new steps to help more students excel in STEM education and ConnectED commitments
- May 22: Presidential Memorandum directing DHS and Commerce to take steps to improve the entry process for international arrivals
- May 21: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument declared
- May 20: Announcement of 2015 SelectUSA Summit and over $18 billion in investment facilitated by SelectUSA to date
- May 14: Plan released to reduce the aggregate time it takes to conduct reviews and make permitting decisions for infrastructure projects, while producing measurably better environmental and community outcomes
- May 13: Actions announced by HUD and FHFA to reduce lender uncertainty and expand access to mortgage credit
- May 9: Commitment by 300 public and private sector organizations to cut energy waste and deploy enough solar energy to power nearly 130,000 homes
- May 6: Third National Climate Assessment released
- April 25: Laid out plan to strengthen America’s teacher preparation programs
- April 16: Announcement that nearly $500 million in community college grants will be used for “job-driven” models, along with $100 million to support apprenticeships
- April 8: Executive Order fighting pay discrimination among federal contractors
- April 7: Award of $100 million in grants to redesign high schools
- March 28: Released strategy to reduce methane emissions
- March 19: Climate Data Initiative launched
- March 14: Gainful employment regulations released to protect many students from unaffordable college loans
- March 13: Presidential Memorandum directing Secretary of Labor to update overtime pay protections
- March 11: Permanently protected the first shoreline addition to the California Coastal National Monument
- March 7: “FAFSA Completion Initiative launched to help students apply for college financial aid
- February 27: Launch of My Brother’s Keeper initiative, a new public-private effort to expand opportunity
- February 25: New manufacturing institutes launched in Chicago and Detroit
- February 19: Executive Order directing the timely completion of the International Trade Data System
- February 18: “President directs EPA and DOT to adopt new fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks
- February 12: “Executive Order raising minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts
- February 7: Launch of “Made in Rural America” initiative
- February 5: New USDA regional climate hubs established
- February 4: Along with Feb. 28 and May 27 event, $2 billion in private sector commitments on ConnectED – following $2 billion federal commitment from State of the Union
- January 31: More than 300 companies signed on to best practices on recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed, along with $150 million committed towards Ready to Work Partnership Grants
- January 30: Presidential Memorandum directing federal training program review led by the Vice President to ensure they are job-driven
- January 29: Presidential Memorandum directing Treasury to create myRA retirement program
- January 16: College Opportunity Summit with more than 150 commitments by colleges, universities and organizations
- January 15: New manufacturing institute launched in Raleigh
- January 9: First five Promise Zones announced
SOURCE: The White House