Campaign Promises

Other/Miscellaneous -> Independent Organizations


ItemIndependent Organizations
CFTCGrade
IO-1
The Promise: "Current loopholes in Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations have contributed to the skyrocketing price of oil on world markets...will enact simple legislation to close these loopholes and increase transparency on the market to help bring oil prices down and prevent traders from unfairly lining their pockets at the expense of the American people."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "New Energy for America" dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_New_Energy_0804.pdf
Status:In CY2008, oil prices skyrockted to over $147 per barrel.

To mitigate the potential repeat of the CY2008 situation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a proposal on 01/14/10 to cap the number of contracts the 10 largest position holders can hold in all markets.

Under Section 737 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (aka "Financial Reform Bill") signed into law by President Obama on 07/21/10, the CFTC is bound to "establish limits (including related hedge exemption provisions) on the aggregate number or amount of positions in contracts based upon the same underlying commodity (as defined by the Commission) that may be held by any person, including any group or class of traders..."

This initiative to close the oil-related loopholes would extend the CFTC's authority to the over-the-counter market for the first time in over 30 years.

This promise to enact legislation designed to close the stated loophole has been fulfilled.
1.00
CNCSGrade
IO-2
The Promise: "Will build on the foundation of sites like USAFreedomCorps.gov and VolunteerMatch.org and leverage technology to increase awareness of and participation in service opportunities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country", 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The creation of the website "Serve.org" by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) fulfills this promise.
1.00
IO-3
The Promise: "Will expand and fund AmeriCorps from 75,000 slots today to 250,000 ...to establish five new Corps: Classroom Corps, ...Health Corps, ...Clean Energy Corps, ...Veterans Corps, ... and Homeland Security Corps.."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:By signing the $5.7 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law on 04/21/09, which more than triples the size of the domestic volunteer group AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 by 2017, with incremental manpower increases as follows:

- 88,000 in FY2010
- 115,000 in FY2011
- 140,000 in FY2012
- 170,000 in FY2013
- 200,000 in FY2014
- 210,000 in FY2015
- 235,000 in FY2016
- 250,000 in FY2017

As of early-CY2013 and four years after the above law was signed, with only 82,600 persons in national service positions, President Obama's plan has not yet met the goal established for FY2010 (88,000). At this rate, the mandated increase in national service positions to 250,000 will not be met by FY2017.

The above law also supported the creation of a "Healthy Futures Corps," a "Clean Energy Service Corps," and a "Veterans Corps." Although reference is made in the above law to citizen participation in classroom and homeland security support initiatives, no specific "Classroom Corps" or "Homeland Security Corps" has been created as of early-CY2013.

This promise, while partially fulfilled, appears to be on the path of non-fulfillment both from a personnel strength perspective and a corps creation perspective.
0.35
IO-4
The Promise: "...will engage more interested seniors into public service opportunities by expanding the Senior Corps program..."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Helping America's Seniors", dated 10/26/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/f6f6e3259bb8cf1554_6xlnmvr35.pdf
Status:In the President's 2010 Budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), this promise is covered by the statement: "The President's Budget would expand and improved Senior Corps programs, which connect individuals over the age of 55 to local volunteer opportunities, allowing more retirees to help meet the needs and challenges in their communities."

For FY2009, the enacted budget level for the Senior Corps was $214M. This went up slightly to $221M in FY2010, but was funded below the FY2009 level for FY2011 and FY2012 ($207M respectively). President Obama's request for FY2013 maintains the $207M level of funding.

Based on the above negative funding trend, this promise is considered unfulfilled.
0.00
IO-5
The Promise: "Will support the creation of an "Artists Corps" of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Champions for Arts and Culture", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.artsdel.org/advocacy/Obama_Arts.pdf
Status:Section 1302 of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (H.R. 1388), signed into law by President Obama on 04/21/09 provides, in part, for "skilled musicians and artists to promote greater community unity through the use of music and arts education and engagement through work in low-income communities..."

The logical organization to assume the responsibility for the creation of the "Artist Corps" would be the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), however no specific "Artist Corps" has been established as of early-CY2013.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-6
The Promise: "...will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government...national service plan will cost about $3.5 billion per year when it is fully implemented..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:Under President Obama, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) forecasted on 08/22/12 that the U.S. budget deficit will be $1.3B for FY2012, the same as for FY2011 (and up from about $450B in FY2008) and equal to 7.3% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). OMB awaits final passage of the FY2013 budget and appropriations before making firm budget deficit predictions for that year.

Pessimistic about the ability of Congress and the White House to reduce the nation's federal budget deficit, Standard and Poor's reduced the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ on 08/05/11 -- the first credit rating downgrade in the nation's history.

A bipartisan supercommittee (Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka "Simpson-Bowles Commission") was formed under the Budget Control Act of 2011 signed into law on 08/02/11. Although this Act increased the national debt ceiling to $16.4T, the supercommittee was mandated to identify $1.2T over ten years in federal spending cuts by 11/23/11. If the supercommittee failed to agree on these spending cuts, cuts to national defense in the amount of $600B and another $600B from other agencies would be automatic.

On 11/09/11, Republicans on the supercommittee offered a $1.2T package that included new taxes in the amount of $300B in return for maintaining lower tax rates that originated during the Bush presidency. The supercommittee Democrats rejected this package, claiming that the rich would gain a tax windfall and the middle and poor classes would suffer under the Republican plan.

The supercommittee was not so super after all. It announced failure to meet the dictates of its mandate on 11/21/11. President Obama promised on the same date to veto any legislation designed to prevent the above automatic cuts, to take effect in CY2013. At the same time, he indicated that he would ignore most of the supercommittee's recommendations.

On 02/13/12, President Obama presented his $3.8T spending plan. Interpretation of this 10-year plan reveals that annual deficits will exceed $6.7T over the next decade despite an estimated $4T in deficit reduction initiatives. At the same time, the national debt held by foreign investors is projected to grow to $18.7T by FY2021, equivalent to 76.5% of the U.S. national economy.

As of 09/03/12, the national debt which was increased by President Obama by $5.4T since he took office in CY2009, breached the $16T level. To resolve this debt, which grew to $16.5T by 02/13, each of America's citizens would have to pay nearly $53K.

As to the proposed "national service plan," Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced the "Universal National Service Act" (H.R. 5741) on 07/15/10 that would have required "all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security..."

H.R. 5741 did not progress beyond the introductory phase and expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010. It was replaced by the "Universal National Service Act of 2011" (H.R. 1152), also introduced by Congressman Rangel, on 03/17/11. This bill did not progress beyond initial committee reviews and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

The promise to "maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit" has not, as of early-CY2013, been fulfilled. Nor is it apparent to the average American taxpayer that President Obama is committed to eliminating this deficit other than his repeated insistence that the solution lies primarily in the raising of taxes on the so-called 1% "rich" folks.
0.00
IO-7
The Promise: "Will create a Social Investment Fund Network."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The creation of a Social Investment Fund occurred under the aegis of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed into law on 04/21/09 by President Obama. Initial funding in the amount of $50M for this fund, now referred to as the "Social Innovation Fund," came to fruition under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on 12/16/09. Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-8
The Promise: "...will also create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "New Energy for America," dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_New_Energy_0804.pdf
Status:President Obama created the Clean Energy Service Corps as part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act he signed into law in 04/09.

The Clean Energy Service Corps, which will be part of AmeriCorps, is intended to train people and put them to work installing solar panels, weatherizing low-income homes, conducting home energy audits, and consulting small businesses on their energy use.

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-9
The Promise: "Under the current federal work-study program...at least 7 percent of that funding is supposed to go to community service jobs like tutoring...we need to raise the service threshold to 25 percent...will work to help colleges and universities reach the goal of 50 percent in serve-study..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:Under Title 34, Chapter VI, Part 675.18 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended), an institution must use at least 7% of the sum of its initial and supplemental Federal Work-Study (FWS) allocations for an award year to compensate students employed in community service activities.

As of CY2012, Department of Education rules indicate that schools must use at least 7% of their FWS allocation to employ students in community service jobs with at least one student employed as a reading tutor or performing family literacy activities. We've seen no activity on the part of President Obama to raise this community service threshhold to 25%, let alone 50%.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-10
The Promise: "I am also going to create a 5-E Youth Service Corps. The "E's" stand for energy efficiency, environmental education and employment."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech, Hampton, VA, dated 06/05/07.
Source: http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?file=Obama-Speeches.ask&dn=Hampton%20University%20Annual%20Ministers%27%20Conference
Status:There is not yet any sign that the promised "5-E Youth Service Corps" is being established, logically under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that was reauthorized under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009.

While there exist several programs that include America's youth such as the "America's Great Outdoor Initiative" the "21st Century Conservation Service Corps" and "YouthBuild," President Obama said he would "create" a specific "5-E Youth Service Corps" and has not done so.

As of early-CY2013, this promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-11
The Promise: "There will be a comprehensive, easily searchable web presence with information about service opportunities, and a full strategy to ensure that people interested in opportunities can find them. This will essentially be a craigslist for service... will also use technology to make service opportunities available for people who may prefer to work out of their homes or at unusual hours."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has a web site entitled "Interactive Program Selector for Individuals," an interactive program designed to guide individuals to Americorps and Senior Corps programs that may interest them.

This site also has a link to www.serve.gov, a site that provides other leads to volunteer opportunities.

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-12
The Promise: "...will tie a plan to give schools a substantial infusion of funds to support teachers and principals and improve student learning to the condition that school districts develop programs to engage students in service opportunities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The perfect vehicle to deliver on this promise was the "Learn and Serve" program. This program offered approximately 1M students from kindergarten through college the opportunity to get involved by integrating community service projects with classroom activities.

The "Learn and Serve" program funding started to stagnate in FY2009 with funding limited to $37.4M. The budget hit continued in FY2010 ($36.5M) until Congress killed this program in FY2011.

The promise for a "substantial infusion of funds" was not apparent in President Obama's first budget proposal (FY2010). The rest is history.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-13
The Promise: "...believe that middle and high school students should be expected to engage in community service for 50 hours annually during the school year or summer months. They will develop national guidelines for service-learning and community service programs, and will give schools better tools both to develop successful programs and to document the experience of students at all levels."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) "Learn and Serve America" program was the perfect vehicle to support promise fulfillment. This program was cancelled by Congress in FY2011.

Other than existing state and district service-learning policies and guidelines, there has been no known development of "national guidelines" or any specific mandate articulated by the Obama Administration to CNCS that ALL middle school and high school students engage in community service.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-14
The Promise: "...will create an agency within the Corporation for National and Community Service dedicated to building the capacity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector. The agency will be charged with: improving coordination of programs that support nonprofits across the federal government; fostering nonprofit accountability; streamlining processes for obtaining federal grants and contracts, and eliminating unnecessary requirements; and removing barriers for smaller nonprofits to participate in government programs. The agency will make grants to build the infrastructure of the nonprofit sector and capacity of nonprofit organizations, including their ability to ensure accountability, manage volunteers, and improve outcomes."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The "Nonprofit Capacity Building Program" (NCBP) was created under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009. It satisfies all of the criteria addressed in this promise. Under this law, the NCBP was authorized $25M over a period of five years.

For FY2010 and FY2011, the CNCS had approximately $1M available to award new cooperative agreements under this program.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
EPAGrade
IO-15
The Promise: "Will establish a goal of making all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030...will also establish a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade to help us meet the 2030 goal."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "New Energy for America" dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_New_Energy_0804.pdf
Status:The proposed "Cap-and-Trade Bill", a two-part regulatory system in which the "cap" is a government-imposed limit on carbon emissions, and the "trade" is a government-created market to buy and sell greenhouse gas credits. This bill (H.R. 2454) was passed by the House on 06/26/09.

The above bill did not pass the Senate before the 111th Congress adjourned at the end of CY2010. Had it passed Congress and been signed into law, the above bill would have fallen far short of the "zero emissions" or efficiency goals in "all new buildings" promised by 2030.

On 10/05/09, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 entitled: "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance." This document mandates that 100% of all new "federal" buildings meet a "zero-net-energy" goal by CY2030.

Since this promise was directed toward "all new buildings," no national goal has been formally set and this promise is considered unfulfilled.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-16
The Promise: "As President, I will set a hard cap on all carbon emissions at a level that scientists say is necessary to curb global warming - an 80% reduction by 2050...I will also commit to interim targets toward this goal in 2020, 2030, and 2040. These reductions will start immediately..."
When/Where: Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Real Leadership for a Clean Energy Future, Portsmouth, NH , 10/08/07.
Source: http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?doc_handle=2147644&file=Obama-Speeches.ask&query=cap&search=yes
Status:Reductions didn't exactly start "immediately" as Candidate Obama promised. The proposed "Cap-and-Trade" initiative was included in President Obama's FY2010 budget proposal of 02/26/09, but warranted no mention in his FY2011 budget proposal.

Proposed "Cap-and-Trade" legislation (H.R. 2454) was passed by the House 06/26/09. The Senate did not take any action on this bill before the 111th Congress expired at the end of CY2010. In essence, Senate Democrats abandoned a 7-year effort to pass some version of "Cap and Trade" legislation that would have addressed climate change by regulating and taxing the carbon emissions of power plants and other companies.

With Republicans in control of the House since the 11/10 elections, it is unlikely that they will support any new version of this bill prior to the end of President Obama's first term in 01/13. This is supported by the view of many (rightly or wrongly) that the setting of artificial caps on carbon dioxide emissions will not be as effective as the employment of practical solutions such as the pursuit of natural gas by drilling into shale formations (i.e. fracking).

Draft legislation entitled the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011" was unveiled on 02/02/11 by Congressman Fred Uption (R-MI). One of the stated purposes of this proposed act is to prevent the EPA from "imposing a backdoor cap-and-trade tax" on industries identified as polluters that would ultimately raise the cost of gasoline, electricity, fertilizer and groceries for the American consumer.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-Finnish study revealed in 07/11 that the extent of global warming during the period CY1998-CY2008 was less than publicized by other studies. In fact, despite an increase in carbon dioxide emissions during that period, global temperatures actually dropped slightly, a condition attributed to China's increased use of coal-fired power plants that release sun-blocking sulfates.

Further, the 7th International Climate Change Conference held in Chicago, IL in 05/12 concluded that global temperatures have cyclically declined since CY2000 and that this decline will continue through at least CY2030.

The bottom line, however, is that President Obama promised to address the setting of a "hard cap" on carbon emissions "immediately" (meaning shortly after his 01/09 inauguration). This was not done.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
IO-17
The Promise: "Will increase fuel economy standards 4 percent per year ..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America entitled: "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://campaign-promises.com/wp-content/uploads/obamablueprintforchange.pdf
Status:A Presidential Memorandum signed 01/26/09 directs "increased fuel economy for model year 2011". For 2011, the standards were set at a combined average of 27.3 miles per gallon (mpg), saving an estimated 887M gallons of fuel over 2010.

On 04/01/10, a joint rule between the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was announced, setting a 35.5 mpg average for the auto industry by 2016, which the government said would further cut fuel consumption by 40%.

In 06/11, the Obama Administration presented a proposal to the auto manufacturing industry that encouraged car makers to strive for a fuel economy standard of 56.2 mpg by CY2025. The auto/light truck industry considered this goal too high to meet.

On 07/29/11, President Obama announced a compromise with the auto/truck industry by lowering the goal to 54.5 mpg by CY2025 for cars and light trucks starting with the CY2017 model year. While auto/light truck manufacturers still consider this goal challenging, they do not consider it impossible to meet.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-18
The Promise: "I am committed to pursuing greater funding for the EPA."
When/Where: Candidate Obama letter to the National President, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, dated 10/20/08.
Source: http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/Obama_EPA.pdf
Status:The EPA's FY2009 budget authorization was $7.633B This was supplemented by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 in the amount of $7.220B for a total FY2009 budget of $14.853B.

After FY2009, EPA funding steadily declined. Discretionary budget authority for the EPA during the ensuing years was as follows:
- FY2010: $10.281B (Actual)
- FY2011: $8.681B (Actual)
- FY2012: $8.450B (Estimate)
- FY2013: $8.344B (President's Request)

However, when the plus-up under the FY2009 ARRA is set aside, the annual appropriations for the EPA have been superior to the FY2009 baseline discretionary budget authority since President Obama assumed the presidency.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-19
The Promise: "...will restore the strength of the Superfund program by requiring polluters to pay for the cleanup of contaminated sites they created."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:The "Superfund" moniker came about after the passage into law of the "Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980." Under this Act, the U.S. Government was able to collect nearly $4B in taxes from the chemical and oil industries. These funds were used by the EPA to clean up some of the approximately 650 orphaned sites (toxic sites for which there is no longer an identifiable potentially responsible party (PRP)). This tax was left to expire in CY1995, at which time the fund had about $6B. This $6B ran out in CY2003 and any EPA cleanups since (one or two dozen per year) have been paid by the U.S. taxpayer through funds appropriated by Congress.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorized $600M for a Superfund Remedial program (including EPA management and oversight expenses). Reportedly, these funds either began or accelerated work at more than 50 Superfund sites in accordance with the EPA's National Priority List.

President Obama's FY2010 budget proposal called for the reinstatement of excise taxes to collect $1B to clean up the nation's most toxic sites under the EPA's Superfund program. But, the taxes were deferred "until CY2011, after the economy recovers." This didn't happen. The enacted Superfund budget for FY2010 was $1.306B.

In President Obama's FY2011 budget proposal, the funding of the Superfund based on excise tax receipts was estimated at $1.203B. In reality, the enacted appropriation amount for FY2011 under Continuing Resolution procedures was $1.413B, an increase from the FY2010 level. The requested funding for FY2012 dropped down to $1.236B of which $1.180B was enacted. For FY2013, the President's request reflects a further decrease to $1.142B.

But Congress has not yet acted on the prerequisite reinstatement of some form of excise tax on the oil and chemical industries. Even new bills such as the "Polluter Pays Restoration Act" (S.461) introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) on 03/02/11, or the "Superfund Reinvestment Act" (H.R. 1596) introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on 04/15/11, have had little-to-no chance to get beyond the preliminary committee reviews.

Under CERCLA 106 (42 U.S.C. Section 9606), PRPs can be ordered to clean up their own toxic sites. The EPA is also empowered to fine non-compliant entities up to $25,000 per day for each non-compliant day.

Despite the absence of new excise taxes for PRPs, the EPA's Superfund accounts are just about at the funding level they should be. Consequently, this is considered a promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-20
The Promise: "...will reinvigorate the drinking water standards..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/environmentfactsheet.pdf
Status:The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974 remains the principal legal vehicle under which the EPA sets legal limits of contaminents in drinking water. SDWA allows individual states to set their own drinking water standards, so long as those standards meet the EPA's standards.

Reinvigoration of the nation's drinking water standards under President Obama started with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which provided a supplementary $6B to the EPA for its Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF).

The President's FY2010 budget proposal included $3.9B for SRF, up from $1.5B enacted for FY2009. Congress ultimately appropriated $3.5B for SRF in FY2010. In FY2011, the amount proposed for SRF by President Obama is $3.3B.

On 02/02/11, the EPA announced that it will regulate the presence of perchlorate and 16 other cancer-causing chemicals (referred to as "volatile organic compounds") in drinking water, reversing a Bush Administration decision not to regulate perchlorate. The perchlorate regulation is expected to be available for public review and comment in CY2013.

The promise to reinforce drinking water standards is being fulfilled.
1.00
IO-21
The Promise: "...will continue leadership in protecting national treasures like the Great Lakes from threats such as industrial pollution, water diversion, and invasive species."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/environmentfactsheet.pdf
Status:President Obama's FY2010 budget submission to Congress included $475M for an "interagency Great lakes restoration initiative, which will taget the most significant problems in the region, including invasive aquatic species, non-point source pollution, and contaminated sediment."

His FY2011 budget submission included another $300M for this purpose.

The promise to "continue leadership" in this area has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-22
The Promise: "...will call for full and stringent enforcement of all applicable laws related to Florida's water resources, including the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting Florida's Waterways" dated 10/16/08.
Source: http://news.caloosahatchee.org/docs/Obama_On_Florida_Waters.pdf
Status:In 01/10, the EPA issued a proposed rule establishing nutrient criteria for Florida's water resources. In doing so, the EPA committed to issue a final rule by 10/15/10 for lakes and flowing waters. The final rule entitled "Water Quality Standards for the State of Florida's Lakes and Flowing Waters" was published in the Federal Register on 12/06/10.

The final rule for Florida's estuaries and coastal waters is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register not later than 11/15/12.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-23
The Promise: "...will encourage federal partnership with the state of Florida and local municipalities in researching new and innovative ways to insure the health and safety of Florida's waters."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting Florida's Waterways" dated 10/16/08.
Source: http://news.caloosahatchee.org/docs/Obama_On_Florida_Waters.pdf
Status:More than three years into President Obama's first term in office, there is no sign of any new "federal partnership" with Florida to protect Florida's waters.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-24
The Promise: "...will establish policies to help high-growth regions like Northeast Florida with the challenges of managing their water supplies...will restore better federal financing for water and wastewater treatment infrastructure so we can protect the St. John's..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting Florida's Waterways" dated 10/16/08.
Source: http://news.caloosahatchee.org/docs/Obama_On_Florida_Waters.pdf
Status:The St. John's River Water Management District (SJRWMD), operating largely under Florida's Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Act of 1987, and in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and other local government partners, is implementing a $700M plan on reclaimed water projects. Under a River Accord signed in 07/06, SJRWMD is also spending $150M on water reuse cost-share projects over a 10-year period.

The goals of SJRWMD's efforts are to reduce point source (wastewater and industrial discharges) pollution, reduce nonpoint source (stormwater) pollution, reduce bacteria in the tributaries, restore degraded aquatic habitat, increase water quality compliance and enforcement, and increase public awareness of river issues.

More than 20 reclaimed water projects are expected to begin or be completed by CY2014. It is estimated that they will remove from the St. John's River approximately 1.6M pounds of nitrogen per year and 32M gallons of wastewater per day (or 10B gallons of wastewater per year by CY2025.

And all this without direct federal involvement. There is no sign of any "policies" established by the Obama Administration to help Northeast Florida manage its water supplies.

Federal financing assistance for the St. John's River Water Management District (STRWMD) has been minimal during the Obama Administration. For FY2010, federal funding accounted for only 0.7% of the STRWMD's budget of $254M. For the FY2011-2012 budget cycle, federal funding accounted for only 0.4% of the reduced STRWMD budget of $204M.

This promise is not being fulfilled.
0.00
IO-25
The Promise: "...amending the Clean Water Act to clarify that it protects isolated wetlands."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Supporting the Rights and Traditions of Sportsmen" dated 08/06/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/84b2062fc4a5114715_ftxamv9ot.pdf
Status:The Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (S. 787), introduced by Senator Russel Feingold (D-WI) on 04/02/09, was reported on by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on 06/18/09. This proposed bill would have clarified that the Clean Water Act includes protection of the nation's wetlands. This legislation was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar on 12/10/10 where it sat when the 111th Congress expired at the end of CY2010.

No similar legislation was introduced during the 112th Congress.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-26
The Promise: "...will work to provide low-income communities the legal ability to challenge policies and processes that adversely affect the environmental health of low-income and minority communities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/environmentfactsheet.pdf
Status:Executive Order 12898 signed by President Clinton on 02/11/94 directs federal agencies to develop environmental justice strategies to address environmental effects on minority and low-income populations.

In 08/11, the heads of 17 government departments and agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898. While this MOU ultimately helps low-income communities to more effectively engage with Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) members on environmental justice issues, no proof can be found substantiating that any work has been done by the Obama Administration to provide low-income and minority communities the "legal ability" to challenge what they deem to be negative environmental health policies.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-27
The Promise: "...will work to strengthen the EPA Office of Environmental Justice and expand the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, which provides non-profit organizations across the nation with valuable resources to address local environmental problems."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/environmentfactsheet.pdf
Status:In FY2009, the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program was funded at the $1M level. The program was not expanded beyond the $1M level for FY2010 thru FY2012 respectively.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-28
The Promise: "...the Environmental Protection Agency will strictly monitor and regulate pollution from large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)...with fines for those who violate tough air and water quality standards."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/environmentfactsheet.pdf
Status:Under the Clean Water Act, an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) is a facility in which livestock or poultry are housed in confinement for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period and crops are not grown over the facility for feeding/grazing purposes. A CAFO is an AFO with more than 1,000 animals. A facility with 300-999 animals may be classified as CAFOs if pollutants are discharged from a manmade conveyance or are discharged directly into waters near the animal housing area. Facilities with fewer than 300 animals may also be classified as CAFOs if the EPA or State permitting authority determines that the facility contributes to water pollution.

On 05/28/10, the EPA released its guidance document entitled "Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations - CAFOs That Discharge or Are Proposing to Discharge" (EPA-833-R-10-006). While this document is not legally enforceable, it does provide clarification of regulatory requirements.

As part of the EPA's 2008-2010 CAFO enforcement strategy, a CAFO that discharges pollutants under the Clean Water Act must have a State/National Polution Discharge Elimination System (S/NPDES) Permit. EPA regulations also require permits for CAFOs that "propose" to discharge at some point in the future, whereas CAFOs that have the "potential" to discharge pollutants do not require a permit.

Sanctions for CAFO S/NPDES permit violations include severe civil and criminal penalties for each day of violation. Basic monetary penalties could be up to $32,500 per day. Stiffer criminal penalties of up to $50,000 per day or three years' imprisonment, or both, could be levied for negligent or knowing violations of the Act. A fine of up to $250,000 or 15 years' imprisonment (or both) could be levied if a violation is considered "knowing endangerment" and leads to the imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury of another person.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-29
The Promise: "...will work with my scientific advisors to develop a strategy to protect marine life and ensure that the mechanisms we choose to implement that strategy are effective. My administration will ensure that sound science -- not ideology or profits -- guides federal environmental policy."
When/Where: Candidate Obama response to Greenpeace letter dated 12/03/07.
Source: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/Global/usa/binaries/2010/4/obama-questionnaire-response.pdf
Status:On 06/12/09, President Obama unveiled his "Ocean Protection Plan," dovetailing the standards set by President Bush in CY2006. In doing so, President Obama announced the creation of an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force to be led by his chief environmental advisor, Ms. Nancy Sutley, to come up with a recommended policy/strategy for protecting and restoring "the health of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources."

The Task Force issued its interim report on 09/10/09. This interim report recommends (1) a national policy emphasizing the importance of our oceans, (2) the establishment of an interagency National Ocean Council, and 9 categories for action to manage the largest issues facing our oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes. Among these proposals is coastal and marine "spatial planning" as the answer to protecting marine life.

The final Task Force recommendations report was released by the White House on 07/19/10. With it, President Obama signed Executive Order 13547 entitled "Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes." That Executive Order establishes the policy for the United States to "use the best available science and knowledge to inform decisions affecting the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes, and enhance humanity's capacity to understand, respond, and adapt to a changing global environment."

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
FAAGrade
IO-30
The Promise: "Will work with Congress to modernize the nation's air traffic control system."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: https://transportist.org/2008/02/
Status:President Obama's FY2010 budget outline proposed $800M for a 'Next Generation (NextGen) Air Transportation System', a long-term, 24-satellite constellation to improve the ground-based Air Traffic Control (ATC) system by CY2025. The actual enacted amount for NextGen was $867.7M in FY2010, a 24% increase over FY2009.

Also in CY2009, a Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General report stated that the FAA's computer systems remained vulnerable to cyber attacks by criminals, terrorists, or other nations. The FAA's position on this matter was that it had accorded priority to upgrading critical ATC systems, while ignoring the improvements needed in those systems' intrusion detection capabilities. This left vulnerable to attack the operational systems that control communications, surveillance and flight information used to keep flying aircraft at safe distances from one another.

On 10/20/10, the FAA announced it had awarded TASC a 10-year $828M contract to help launch the NextGen network by 2025. Under this initial progress initiative, TASC was tasked to work on advanced systems engineering, investment and business case analysis, planning and forecasting, and business, financial and information management support services.

The President's FY2011 budget proposal included an increase to $1.14B (from the FY2010 enacted amount of $867.7M) for NextGen. The government's NextGen Air Transportation System initiatives excluded funding to equip commercial aircraft with the new onboard systems they will need to interface with the new ground-based air traffic control stations.

On 08/01/10, President Obama signed into law the 15th extension of the last multi-year aviation bill that expired in 09/07. This stopgap measure remained in effect until 09/30/10. By that date, it was anticipated that both houses of Congress would agree on the contents of the $34.5B FAA Reauthorization Bill of 2009 (H.R. 915) so that the $22B needed to upgrade the air traffic control system's WWII-era radars with the NextGen satellite-based system at the nation's busiest airports by CY2014 could be appropriated. This didn't happen and H.R. 915 expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010.

Since then, major airlines reportedly lost confidence in the FAA's ability to field NextGen GPS-based capabilities in the relatively near term. According to a DOT Inspector General report of mid-05/11, the FAA was found deficient in its inability to produce an "integrated master schedule" for NextGen. The report further specified some FAA NextGen design decisions that threatened the entire program's cost (estimated at between $29B and $42B for equipment, software and training by CY2025) and schedule targets.

On 02/03/11, the FAA announced that it would spend $4.2M to equip JetBlue Airways aircraft with advanced onboard systems to prove to other carriers that such investments on their part would accrue significant savings in the long term. As of end-CY2012, the JetBlue initiative has proven that the adaptation of NextGen technologies results in fuel savings, faster approaches, more direct routes, and more system capacity.

After 23 funding extensions, the Senate finally approved the $63B FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 658) on 02/06/12. President Obama signed this bill and it became law on 02/14/12. One of the key tenets of this bill is the annual authorization of $3B for the development of the NextGen ATC system.

President Obama's promise was for him to work with Congress to modernize the ATC system. By signing the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act into law, he has fulfilled this promise.
1.00
IO-31
The Promise: "...will direct the new FAA Administrator to work cooperatively with the frontline air traffic controllers to restore morale and improve working conditions and operations at the agency."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on 11/30/09 (GAO-10-89) addressing the continuing morale problem at the FAA. In that report, the FAA was ranked 214 out of 216 best places to work in the federal government based on a study published by the Partnership for Public Service and American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation.

According to Congressman John Mica (R-FL), the morale problem is partially attributed to the fact that "Congress has failed to reauthorize the FAA for the longest period in decades...With no reauthorization, and a significant lack of fairness in its personnel system, don't expect morale at FAA to improve." President Obama signed the 17th 3-month extension of the FAA on 12/30/10.

According to the GAO report, although the FAA has created "a performance-based culture that could improve employees' workplace satisfaction," only 55% of the FAA's workforce is under performance-based compensation and there is no accountability for the plan's success. Part of the issue is that a contract between the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and the FAA resulted in the removal of NATCA's 16,000 members (45% of the FAA's workforce) from the performance-based pay system -- granting them automatic pay raises.

Meanwhile, the 111th Congress failed to pass an FAA reauthorization bill, greatly jeopardizing policy, long term acquisition planning,safety projects and air traffic control modernization initiatives. During the first half of its term, the 112th Congress didn't do any better. As a consequence, the FAA's funding ran out on 07/23/11 (air traffic controllers were not affected). 4,000 FAA employees and about 24,000 airport construction workers were furloughed and the FAA lost about $160M per week from fuel tax and ticket revenues. Consequently, morale at the FAA continued to decline more than three years into President Obama's first term in office.

On 08/05/11, the Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent to approve a 21st extension to the FAA Reauthorization Bill for a period of six weeks, thereby permitting FAA and airport construction workers to return to work. A 22nd and 23rd extension through 02/17/12 followed.

Finally on 02/06/12, the Senate approved the $63B FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 658) (introduced by Congressman Mica on 02/11/11). President Obama signed this bill and it became law on 02/14/12.

Given the prevailing low morale within the FAA, coupled with an estimated 1,895 ATC errors in CY2011 alone, this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Its fulfillment may not be validated until issuance of the next GAO report on this subject.
0.00
FCCGrade
IO-32
The Promise: "...the Federal Communications Commission should provide an accurate map of broadband availability using a true definition of broadband instead of the current 200 kbs standard and an assessment of obstacles to fuller broadband penetration."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Business, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:The FCC released the National Broadband Plan on 03/16/10.

Some provisions of the plan follow:
- make broadband available to all U.S. residents;
- connect 100M U.S. households to "affordable" 100 Mbps broadband service by 2020;
- connect anchor institutions such as hospitals, schools and government buildings in every U.S. community to 1 Gbps broadband service in the next decade;
- restructure the FCC's Universal Service Fund and redirect $15.5B from traditional telephone subsidies to broadband deployment over the next decade.

The FCC was called upon to produce a plan. This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-33
The Promise: "...true broadband to every community in America..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Science and Innovation dated 09/25/08
Source: http://www.faseb.org/portals/0/pdfs/opa/2008/ObamaFactSheetScience.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, has $7.2 billion earmarked for improving the U.S. broadband infrastructure, particularly in rural/remote areas, under management of the FCC. Of this amount, $4.7B went to the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration for broadband deployment, adoption and data collection.

The FY2010 budget submitted by President Obama included an additional $1.3B under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) budget plan to increase broadband capacity in rural areas.

Further, the President's FY2011 budget proposal includes "$418M in USDA loans and grants to move rural communities into the modern information economy." The FY2011 budget proposal also includes $24M to initiate what may become known as the "Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Administration."

There is a significant issue that may hinder promise fulfillment in the near future. A planned nationwide broadband wireless network may interfere with spectrum reserved for satellite communications services reserved for Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Such interference could impact commercial, private and military aviation, 911 responders (police, ambulance, fire), and consumer navigation devices.

A 06/30/11 report from the U.S. GPS Industry Council to the FCC revealed that a start-up firm called "Lightsquared" has been developing a wireless-by-satellite network that could potentially knock out 500M GPS receivers used by first responders, commercial and military aviation, and others. "Lightsquared" maintained that the use of filters on its devices and on the potentially affected GPS receivers could allow its services and GPS technologies to operate on the same band of satellite spectrum. This potential anomaly was resolved in 02/12 by the FCC disallowing the fielding of Lightsquared's solution.

As of 11/01/11, Congress was considering legislation to authorize the FCC to conduct incentive auctions for about 120 MHz of spectrum from broadcast TV to be allocated to wireless uses. Instead, the FCC made 95 MHz of government-controlled wireless spectrum available for commercial use on 03/26/12.

According to a Congressional Research Service report dated 12/28/16, (FCC there remain two ongoing federal funding vehicles to fund broadband infrastructure: the broadband and telecommunications programs at the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Universal Service Fund (USF) programs under the Federal Communications Commission).

As of end-CY2016, only about half of rural residents enjoy a download speed faster than 25MB per second. 34M Americans do not, 23.4M of them residing in rural areas. To mitigate this situation would, by some accounts, cost about $80B more than the amounts appropriated as of end-CY2016.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
IO-34
The Promise: "...will reform the Telephone Universal Service Program, direct the FCC to better manage the nation's airwaves, and encourage public-private partnership to get more low-income communities connected."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:The Universal Service Reform Act of 2010 (H.R. 5828) was introduced on 07/22/10 by Congressman Frederick Boucher (D-VA) and Lee Terry (R-NE). It was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that date and no further action was taken on this bill.

This bill was intended to improve and modernize the USF by reining in the size of the fund and promoting broadband deployment, going beyond the "telephone" aspect of this promise.

This proposed bill expired at the end of CY2010 with the 111th Congress.

On 10/27/11, the FCC approved a 6-year program to transfer funds from the USF to a new $4.5B per year "Connect America Fund" for broadband Internet expansion. This move will end the USF by CY2018.

As a consequence of the above, the Telephone Universal Service Program has been reformed to the extent that it could be totally replaced by CY2018.

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-35
The Promise: "...will support the transition of existing public broadcasting entities and help renew their founding vision in the digital world."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:For FY2010, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) was set at $420M under regular appropriations, plus $36M for digital conversion and $25M for radio interconnection. These amounts were supplementated by $25M under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 for "fiscal stabilization grants to public radio and television stations, which have experienced a downturn in revenues due to the recession."

The CPB had sought a 50% increase in funding to $59.5M for digital conversion in FY2011, but Congress appropriated $36M for the CPB's transition to digital broadcasting.

CPB's baseline funding was increased from $420M to $430M as enacted in FY2009, and for FY2012, appropriations of $445M were enacted in FY2010.

All aspects considered, the Obama Administration has fulfilled the campaign promise to "support the transition" of public broadcasting from analog to digital media.
1.00
IO-36
The Promise: "...strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet....will protect the Internet's traditional openness to innovation and creativity and ensure that it remains a platform for free speech and innovation that will benefit consumers and our democracy."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet content, sites, platforms, applications, devices, services and networks are to be treated equally. Some FCC oversight of the Internet is arguably warranted to ensure that Internet providers do not exercise favoritism or block access to Internet sites that offer competing products or services.

In 04/10 under the Obama Administration, the FCC received a court decision that the FCC has no regulatory authority over Internet service providers. Google and Verizon responded by offering a commitment to net neutrality if accompanied by limited enforcement authority for the FCC where violations were detected. To many, this formulation of "neutrality" left many loopholes.

On 12/21/10, the FCC passed net neutrality rules that appeared to provide equal access to the Internet. In reality, the new rules gave the U.S. Government a say in how the Internet would be operated and managed, and how broadband services and networks would be respectively priced and financed.

The new rules do not apply to wireless access the same way they apply to broadband access. Under these new rules, Internet providers would technically be able to slow down wireless access to sites on a selective basis. Further, mobile network providers would have the legal right to stop access to Internet content or applications -- again on a selective basis.

While President Obama's support of the principles of net neutrality were not in question, unless the FCC revised its 12/21/10 rules and issued new, more comprehensive rules to include wireless applicability, the promise to protect the Internet's "traditional openess" was not being fulfilled. Because of this, the House deleted funding for FCC enforcement of net neutrality from the draft FY2012 Financial Services Appropriations bill in mid-CY2011.

On 11/10/11, the Senate voted 52-46 to reject the House bid to repeal the FCC's net-neutrality rules that would prevent Internet service providers from speeding up or slowing down website access. Meanwhile, the service provider Verizon filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that the FCC's net neutrality rules violated the right to free speech. The Verizon case was assigned to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that ruled against the FCC when it tried to enforce the principle of net neutrality against Comcast in CY2010. The court initially had until 09/12 to respond to Verizon's charges. That didn't happen. Verizon was joined by prepaid wireless provider "MetroPCS" in attempts to overturn the FCC regulation.

In its opinion that the FCC had overstepped its authority with regard to the Internet, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's net neutrality rule on 01/14/14. After this ruling, the FCC introduced a proposal that would allow companies providing Internet access to charge content providers such as Google extra for faster, more reliable service. This proposal has generated protests as it comes up for an FCC vote and lengthy public comment period in 05/14. This isn't over.

In view of the Obama Administration's relative silence on the net neutrality issue, this promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-37
The Promise: "...will encourage industry not to show inappropriate adult-oriented commercial advertising during children's programming."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:In 1974, the National Advertising Review Council (NARC) established the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). As a self-regulatory program to promote responsible children's advertising, CARU monitors and reviews advertising directed to children, initiates and receives complaints about advertising practices, and determines whether such practices violate children's programs standards.

In addition to CARU's efforts, the Children's Television Act of 1990 is enforced by the FCC to serve children's information and educational needs. Under this Act, the FCC can also impose fines on broadcast companies that violate the limits on the use of advertising during children's programming.

In 07/09, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recommended to the Senate Commerce Committee that parents be empowered with the tools to determine appropriate TV content for their children in lieu of more government regulation of TV content.

On 05/28/10, the FCC fined seven TV stations a total of $250K for violating children's programming rules. These rules limit commercial advertising time during children's shows to 10.5 minutes per hour on weekdays and 12 minutes per hour on weekends. But adult-oriented advertising is not specifically addressed in the Act cited above.

While efforts are made to curb adult-oriented advertising during core children viewing hours, children also watch feature presentations such as the Super Bowl during which beer commercials and other topics restricted to adult follow-up are routine.

In 06/12, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell estimated that the FCC had a backlog of approximately 1.5M indecency complaints on file tied to 9,700 broadcasts. This indicates that on-air indecency in general is taking place at just about the same rate as did in CY2009 when President Obama assumed the presidency and the number of complaints on file stood at 1.6M.

President Obama is not known to have exercised any specific initiative to encourage the TV industry to limit its adult-oriented advertising to those hours when children are least likely to be watching.

More than three years into President Obama's first term in office, this promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-38
The Promise: "...will encourage improvements to the existing voluntary rating system, exploiting new technologies like tagging and filtering, so that parents can better understand what content their children will see, and have the tools to respond."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:More than three years into President Obama's first term in office at the end of CY2011, there is no record anywhere that he has aggressively pursued improvements to the TV industry's voluntary rating system.

Nonetheless, the FCC announced in 02/11 that it was looking at an improved "V-Chip" to replace the V-Chip mandated to be installed on all TV sets with screens over 13 inches manufactured since CY2000. To current date, the FCC guidelines for applying ratings have no legal force and do not apply to news and sports broadcasts. There has been little-to-no encouragement from President Obama to pursue improved tagging/filtering technology.

As of early-CY2013, there have been no improvements to the TV rating system since it went into effect on 01/01/97.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-39
The Promise: "...will work to give parents the tools to prevent reception of programming that they find offensive on television and on digital media."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:The primary tool to prevent reception of offensive TV programming is the "V-Chip," which blocks programs on the basis of their ratings category (Y, Y-7, FY-FV, G, PG, 14, and MA). The V-Chip was mandated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to be built into all television sets manufactured starting in CY2000. The V-Chip guidelines have no legal force and do not apply to news, sports programming and regular commercial break advertising.

The basic tools for restricting the reception of offensive programming on TV existed long before President Obama arrived on the national scene. Those tools could be improved, but the basic "V-Chip" has existed on all TVs with a screen larger than 13 inches since CY2000. The best tool to shield families from viewing offensive TV content remains, in the opinion of many, parental monitoring and control.

Tools to prevent similar reception via the Internet also exist. See Promise Number IO-47 for a listing. Again there's no substitute for parental monitoring and control of what their children are permitted to view.

This promise sounded good during President Obama's campaign but the tools already existed at that time. Consequently, this promise has not been fulfilled because it didn't need to be fulfilled by President Obama.
0.00
IO-40
The Promise: "...will encourage the creation of Public Media 2.0., the next generation of public media that will create the Sesame Street of the Digital Age and other video and interactive programming that educates and informs."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:For reference purposes, "Public Media 1.0" consisted of 20th Century public broadcasting, cable access, nonprofit satellite set-asides, and focused national and international journalism. These media occasionally hosted political debates, aired major Congressional hearings, reported news, and broadcast cultural events. "Public Media 1.0" was also limited in generating public conversations by the "one-to-many" structure of mass media.

"Public Media 2.0" is intended to become media both for and by the public. The plan is for "Public Media 2.0" to be multiplatform, participatory, and digital. It will be held together by a combination of four features: (1) a trusted national network to coordinate communication and media practices, (2) funding for content creation, curation and archiving, (3) partnerships among outlets, makers, and allies, and (4) the standards and measurements that providers of public media uphold.

Much as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting relies heavily on federal funding for its Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR)($430M in federal funding for FY2011 and a projected $446M for FY2012) for its survival, "Public Media 2.0" will require increased funding from taxpayers as well as the corporate world and partnering foundations.

While several successful experiments with the evolution of "Public Media 2.0" have been conducted ($36M was projected for digital conversion, $25M was projected for the Public Radio Interconnection System (PRSS) and $27.3M was projected for its "Ready to Learn (RTL) programs in FY2010), progression from the "Public Media 2.0" concept to its acceptance by the general public is not yet assured.

None of President Obama's four budget proposals addressed "Public Media 2.0" as one of his priorities, nor is he known to have come out publicly to "encourage" its creation since assuming the Office of the Presidency.

For all practical purposes, "Public Media 2.0" remains at the conceptual stage as of early-CY2013.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-41
The Promise: "...will promote greater coverage of local issues and better responsiveness by broadcasters to the communities they serve."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:Localism is an old FCC regulatory requirement that radio and TV stations must meet to receive and maintain their broadcast licenses. On 01/14/10, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell stated that "all of us should be asking why the Commission needs to devote scarce time and resources to reviving any old localism rules at all...Broadcasters must adapt to meet the needs and desires of their communities if they want to stay alive."

The perceived intent of this promise was interpreted by many as a new effort for the FCC to enforce the 1949 Fairness Doctrine. On 08/08/11, FCC Commissioner McDowell acknowledged that the FCC could find a 'back door' way to impose localism rules without congressional concurrence and in doing so, would find a way to implement the principles of the Fairness Doctrine.

Despite Commissioner McDowell's comments above, this "localism" promise has not been fulfilled by the Obama Administration as of early-CY2013.
0.00
IO-42
The Promise: "...will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:On 05/25/10, the FCC launched its quadrennial review of broadcast media ownership, as mandated by Congress, to determine whether rules preventing any broadcast company from controlling too many media properties in the same market still serve the public interest.

Five rules are the focus of the FCC's latest studies: (1) local TV ownership, (2) local radio ownership, (3) newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership, (4) radio/TV cross-ownership, and (5) dual network rule. It's important to note that these rules were initiated and probably more relevant/effective in the days when there were only three TV networks and local newspapers were plentiful. Some of these rules have since been loosened/deregulated by the FCC.

On 07/21/10, the FCC filed a brief with the 3rd U.S. Appeals Court defending its CY2007 decision to weaken the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership (NBCO) rule, a rule that was designed to protect local communities from media monopolies and increase diversity in the broadcast media marketplace. Congress didn't agree.

As of early-CY2013, the FCC has not taken the actions necessary to permit fulfillment of President Obama's campaign promise. The promise to encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-43
The Promise: "...supports efforts to provide greater technical assistance to local and state first responders and dramatically increase funding for reliable, interoperable communications systems...supports a more rapid turnover of broadcast spectrum to first responders."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity," dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report entitled: "Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations" dated 01/05/12, the U.S. "has yet to find a solution that assures seamless communications among first responders and emergency personnel..."

Part of the solution to acquire a more reliable, interoperable communications system would be the pursuit of the "Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) system. To expedite the transition to NG9-1-1, President Obama signed into law the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012" (H.R. 3630) on 02/22/12. This law defines NG9-1-1 as an Internet Protocol-based system that "supports data or video communications needs for coordinated incident response and management" and "provides broadband service to public safety answering points or other first responder entities."

To make this all happen, President Obama's FY2013 budget proposal seeks over $10B derived from the sale and reallocation of spectrum. Specifically, the President's request proposes to reallocate D Block spectrum valued at over $3.1B, and provides $7B to
support the deployment of this network, including up to $300M to fund R&D and support for standards and technologies to ensure the network capabilities meet the mission requirements of public safety.

This "support" promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
FTCGrade
IO-44
The Promise: "I'll institute a five-star rating system to inform consumers about the level of risk involved in every credit card."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech, Raleigh, NC dated 06/09/08.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/us/politics/09transcript-obama.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
Status:On 04/30/09, the House voted in favor of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. Also known as the Credit Card Act of 2009, the Senate passed it on 05/19/09. President Obama signed it into law on 05/22/09.

The major reforms introduced by this new law: bans unfair rate increases, prevents unfair fee traps, plain sight/plain language disclosures, accountability, and protections for students and young people.

While the above were all positive steps with regard to consumer credit card protections, there was no "five-star rating system" established by this legislation as promised.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-45
The Promise: "In addition to being able to easily understand how risky a given credit card is, every American should have a uniform set of rights while dealing with credit card companies, no matter their financial status or credit history. To protect those rights, Barack Obama will require the Federal Trade Commission to analyze credit card company compliance with these basic rights, and provide the Department of Justice with the full authority to investigate and penalize non-compliant companies."
When/Where: Obama's Economic Agenda: "Keeping America's Promise," dated 01/29/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/8f478c5e1bb07ca0b1_sh1umv2zy.pdf
Status:After an initial 04/23/09 meeting with credit card company leaders and passage of legislation for the promised Bill of Rights for credit card holders, Obama signed this bill on 05/22/09 in fulfillment of this promise.
1.00
IO-46
The Promise: "...will require that parents have the option of receiving parental controls software that not only blocks objectionable Internet content but also prevents children from revealing personal information through their home computer."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Source: http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
Status:Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that became effective on 04/21/00 gives parents control over what information websites can collect from their children. Any website for children under 13, or any general site that collects personal information from children it knows are under 13, is required to comply with COPPA.

Under COPPA, sites have to get a parent's permission if they want to collect or share a child's personal information such as full name, address, email address, or cell phone number.

Quite a few software packages are available to help parents control a child's Internet experience and protect the child in the process. These range from the free "K9 Web Protection" by BlueCoat, to paid applications such as Internet Child Protection, NetNanny, CyberSitter, SafeEyes, Puresight PC, CyberPatrol, McAfee Family Protection, FilterPak, imView, and others.

As of early-CY2013, there is no record that President Obama has taken steps to "require" that parents have the option of receiving parental control software.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
NARAGrade
IO-47
The Promise: "...will institute a national declassification center to make declassification secure but routine, efficient and cost-effective."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://campaign-promises.com/wp-content/uploads/obamablueprintforchange.pdf
Status:A 05/27/09 presidential memo directs the National Security Advisor to come up with recommendations toward promise fulfillment within 90 days. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy took up this mission with the institution of its "Declassification Policy Forum".

Over the period 07/01/09-07/05/09, for example, no less than 15 well-founded recommendations were received via this forum that, if implemented, would directly support the creation of a National Declassification Center (NDC).

On 07/08/09, a document entitled "A Concept of Operations for a National Declassification Center" was released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an organization subordinate to the Archivist of the United States. This document proposed the creation of the NDC at a NARA facility in College Park, MD.

On 12/29/09, President Obama signed Executive Order 13526 creating the NDC.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
NASAGrade
IO-48
The Promise: "...supports congressional efforts to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight to fly a valuable mission and to keep the workforce engaged."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:Although the additional mission was signed into law under the Bush Administration, credit is given to the Obama Administration for funding it in NASA's FY2010 budget of $18.7B on top of the $1B provided for NASA under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Among the budget highlights: "an additional flight may be conducted if it can safely and affordably be flown by the end of 2010". Space Shuttle "Discovery" was rolled out on 09/20/10 for its 39th and final flight to the International Space Station (ISS). This 11-day STS-133 mission was targeted to lift off at the Kennedy Space Center on 11/01/10 but faced delays until 02/24/11 due to technical problems. The mission transported several items to the space station, including the Permanent Multipurpose Module "Leonardo" which was left permanently docked to one of the station's ports. The shuttle also carried the third of four ExPRESS Logistics Carriers to the ISS, as well as a humanoid robot called Robonaut.

After technical delays, a second additional flight (STS-134) by the shuttle "Endeavour" lifted off on 05/16/11 for a 16-day mission to the ISS, carrying a $2B Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector and spare parts. "Endeavour's" last mission successfully ended on 06/01/11.

On 10/21/10, NASA announced that a third additional shuttle flight (STS-135) was necessary to stock the ISS with food, water and other supplies needed to sustain a crew of six for one year. STS-135, flown by the shuttle "Atlantis," lifted off for a final 14-day shuttle mission to the ISS on 07/08/11. When "Atlantis" came back to planet Earth on 07/21/11, it was retired and shuttle missions to the ISS ended.

While the promise to add one additional shuttle flight was fulfilled, the other part of this promise ("to keep the workforce engaged") was not. Retirement of the shuttle program during President Obama's first term in office has cost the loss of 9,000 government and contractor jobs in Florida and at least 4,000 in Texas and other states. The Constellation program, had it not been cancelled by President Obama, could have mitigated these job losses.

With 50% of this promise fulfilled, the grade assigned is consistent at 50%.
0.50
IO-49
The Promise: "Will enlist other federal agencies, industry and academia to develop innovative scientific and technological research projects on the International Space Station."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:On 08/06/09, NASA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) NNH09CAO003O entitled "Opportunity for the Use of the International Space Station (ISS) by Domestic Entities Other than U.S. Federal Government Agencies" with expiration date 12/31/14.

The RFP proposes to provide access to the ISS to "U.S. federal, state and local government entities, and to U.S. private entities (including, but not limited to commercial firms, non-profit entities, and academic institutions)...".

It may be sometime in 2015 before an RFP respondent is "enlisted" to conduct of basic and applied research, technology development and industrial processing on the ISS -- at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

The RFP issuance by NASA was a huge step in the right direction toward promise fulfillment, but President Obama is not 100% there yet, as an invitation to respond to the RFP does not constitute enlistment of the entities identified in the original promise.

Nonetheless, tangible progress has been made toward promise fulfillment.
0.75
IO-50
The Promise: "Will stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate spaceflight capabilities."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program was launched on 08/04/09 by the issuance of solicitation JSC-CCDev-1.

As of mid-CY2010, at least five contracts had been awarded against the above solicitation "to stimulate effort within the private sector to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities. This effort is intended to foster entrepreneurial activity leading to job growth in engineering, analysis, design, and research, and to economic growth as capabilities for new markets are created."

The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for the 12/08/10 launch to low-earth orbit and recovery of a reusable "Dragon" capsule powered by an 18-story "Falcon 9" rocket. The ultimate objective of that extremely successful debut test flight was to someday transport cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and beyond. That goal came to fruition on 05/22/12 when SpaceX launched it first trial mission carrying 1,000 lbs of equipment and supplies to the ISS.

Under a $1.6B contract with NASA, SpaceX then launched the first of 12 regularly scheduled supply missions to the ISS on 10/07/12. The second successful "Dragon" mission splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 03/26/12.

Meanwhile, operating under a $1.9 billion contract for eight resupply flights to the ISS, Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, VA plans to launched its first Antares rocket test flight in 04/13 from NASA's Wallops, VA facility. Orbital then launched its first cargo delivery "Orb-1" Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS on 01/09/14.

Given SpaceX's and Orbital Sciences Corporation's steady progress toward filling the void left by the cessation of shuttle flights to the ISS, private sector efforts have evidently been stimulated and this promise is being fulfilled.
1.00
IO-51
The Promise: "...will use the ISS for fundamental biological and physical research to understand the effects of long-term space travel on human health and to test emerging technologies to enable such travel."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:In 05/09, President Obama established the "Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee" to assess planned human spaceflight activities so that the nation can achieve "its boldest aspirations in space."

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report dated 11/09 states that full research utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) will be impeded by (1) the Administration's plans to halt Space Shuttle activities in the CY2010/11 timeframe, (2) high cost for launches and developing research hardware and the absence of a reliable funding stream for research on the ISS, and (3) limited crew time available for research due to fixed crew size (only 6) and the need to conduct other maintenance and safety activities. The limited payload of alternate international shuttle capabilities also exacerbates this dilemna.

To ensure the best return on the American taxpayer's investment of $49B for ISS design, development and assembly over a 25-year period, the President's Human Space Flight Plans Committee advised him that it would be unwise to de-orbit the ISS in CY2015 after only 5 years of full operations after its final assembly. In response, President Obama announced on 04/15/10 that he would seek extended funding for the ISS through CY2020. For FY2011, he obtained $2.7B for ISS operations, an amount increased to $2.8B in FY2012. The President's request is $3.0B for FY2013.

The next NASA manned spaceship, the "Orion," will not be ready for human-crewed deep-space flight until CY2017. That spacecraft was delivered to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in 07/12 for its initial Exploration Flight Test (EFT-1).

The long-term goal of months long space travel to Mars and beyond appears to be on track and it also appears that funding will be provided to make the uninterrupted ISS-based biological and physical research possible through CY2020.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-52
The Promise: "Will consider options to extend International Space Station (ISS) operations beyond 2016."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:Original plans were for NASA to deorbit the ISS in the first quarter of 2016. The Summary Report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee dated 09/08/09 and issued by the Augustine Committee recommended "that the return on investment of ISS to both the United States and the international partners would be significantly enhanced by an extension of ISS life to 2020..."

President Obama apparently listened to this advice, as his FY2011 budget proposal states in part: "...provides funds to extend operations of the Space Station past its previously planned retirement date of 2016." Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-53
The Promise: "Will endorse the goal of sending human missions to the Moon by 2020, as a precursor in an orderly progression to missions to more distant destinations, including Mars."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:On 02/01/10, President Obama announced his decision to cancel the Constellation Program (CxP) effective with the FY2011 NASA budget. Although NASA had already spent about $10B on this project, he stated his preference to dedicate research and development dollars toward new technologies for an eventual mission to Mars and beyond.

On 07/15/10, while considering the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation unanimously agreed to cancel the $150B return-to-the-moon program by cancelling the Ares I rocket in favor of a larger heavy-lift rocket to be developed starting in CY2011 for more distant missions after CY2015.

Meanwhile, NASA continued to spend precious taxpayer dollars on the Constellation program to the tune of $215M in 10/10 and 11/10 alone.

NASA has also been working on versions of a humanoid robot (Robonaut). Such a robot ("Robonaut 2") was delivered to the International Space Station in early 11/10 to help with housekeeping chores and, eventually, spacewalks. Sending an upgraded "Project M" Robonaut to the moon could be accomplished, according to NASA, at a cost of about $500M, which could be largely defrayed with innovative corporate sponsorship/advertising.

Despite the progress reflected above, the promise to endorse a human mission to the moon by CY2020 has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-54
The Promise: "Will enlist international partners to provide International Space Station (ISS) cargo re-supply and eventually alternate means for sending crews to the ISS."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:The introductory portion of President Obama's FY2011 budget proposal ("Laying a New Foundation for Economic Growth") talks about reinvigorating space science and exploration by forging "international partnerships." However, the President's budget proposal for NASA itself appears to contradict this goal.

President Obama's FY2011 budget proposal for NASA includes the statement: "The Budget funds NASA to contract with industry to provide astronaut transportation to the International Space Station as soon as possible, reducing the risk of relying solely on foreign crew transports for years to come."

Thus, as of early-CY2013, NASA still appears to be relying solely on Russia for its transport of human cargo to the ISS. The fact that no less than five (5) of Russia's launched, space-destined missions crashed in CY2011 alone is no confidence builder in this sole source of transport to/from the ISS.

Enlisting new "international partners" since the original Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was signed on 01/28/98 with Russia, Japan, Canada and the members states of the European Space Agency has not happened. Brazil once partnered with NASA to provide ISS hardware, but cancelled that contract due to cost issues. Chinese participation is opposed by U.S. lawmakers.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-55
The Promise: "...will support a robust research and technology development program that addresses the long-term needs for future human and robotic missions. He supports a funding goal that maintains at least 10 percent of the total exploration systems budget for research and development."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:Since assuming the presidency, President Obama's budget requests have been supportive of NASA's exploration objectives but have fallen short of the 10% goal for exploration R&D.

In FY2011, the total NASA budget for exploration purposes was $3.821B, of which $232M was earmarked for "Exploration Research and Development," or about 5.3% of the total exploration budget. For FY2012, the budget for exploration was down to $3.712B, of which $299M or about 8.1% was planned for exploration R&D. The President's request for NASA's exploration budget line item is $3.932B, of which $333M or 8.5% is to be earmarked for exploration R&D.

Since "at least 10 percent of the total explorations systems budget" was to be for exploration R&D, this promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-56
The Promise: "Will support increased investment in research, data analysis, and technology development across the full suite of exploration missions including the Mars Sample Return mission and future missions to the Moon, asteroids, Lagrange points, the outer Solar System and other destinations"
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:This promise is not to be confused with space exploration by humans and does not contradict the President's cancellation of the Constellation program for a return to the Moon by humans.

Rather, the President's FY2011 budget proposal clearly stated that he supported and wanted to provide $1B annually through FY2015 for "space science research grants and dozens of operating missions and telescopes currently studying the planets and stars as well as many more in development - including a telescope to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope, missions to study the Moon, and two Mars exploration missions."

Supportive of this goal, President Obama in 04/10 reversed an earlier decision to cancel the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle in which the U.S. Taxpayer had invested $4.8B as of end-CY2010. In response, NASA's Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT) recommended that NASA begin immediately to develop a heavy lift rocket, derived from the space shuttle, and capable of transporting 100 metric tons into orbit.

On 09/30/10, Congress passed the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, clearing the way for the $6.9B development of a heavy-lift space launch system (SLS) capable of carrying 70-100 metric tons (and later 130 metric tons) into low Earth orbit, as well as a $3.92B Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). Congress also set a 12/31/16 deadline for NASA to reach an "operational capability" for these new systems. A separate Senate appropriations report proposed that funding for the SLS be capped at $11.5B through FY2017, and the MPCV be capped at $5.5B. NASA publicly acknowedged that these funding limits were insufficient to reach the mandated operational targets.

On the plus side, NASA successfully launched its "Juno" mission to Jupiter on 08/05/11, a voyage that will take five years. The objective of this mission is to investigate Jupiter's magnetic field, learn how the planet was formed and evolved, whether it has a solid core, and whether it has or had water.

On the minus side, insufficiency of funding was evident in NASA's acknowledgement on 01/02/11 that it would need an additional $82M in CY2011 to complete testing of the $2.5B "Curiosity" NextGen Mars rover. Funds were found and "Curiosity" was lauched on its 8.5 month, 354M-mile mission to Mars on 11/26/11. The rover safely landed on Mars on 08/05/12.

Because of reduced funding for planetary exploration from $1.5B in FY2012 to $1.2B in FY2013, NASA cancelled the start of its Mars Sample Return program, and delayed the launching of probes to distant planets and the launching of Discovery-class explorer missions.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to be launched in 10/18 to replace the Hubble Telescope was also in jeopardy. In 11/11, Congress decided not to cancel the JWST but limited funding to complete the project to $8B.

Despite perturbations in funding authorizations addressed above, the Orion project was successfully launched on its initial test flight on 12/5/14, landing in the Pacific Ocean 4.5 hours after its launch. Among several long-term goals, Orion could put a human on the surface of Mars after CY2030.

Under President Obama, investments have been sufficient to permit progress in exploration missions. Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-57
The Promise: "Will stimulate the commercial use of space and private sector utilization of the International Space Station. He will establish new processes and procurement goals to promote the use of government facilities."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:In President Obama's FY2011 budget proposal for NASA, a section entitled "Supports Promising Commercial Space Transportation" specifies that "A strengthened U.S. commercial space launch industry will bring needed competition, act as a catalyst for the development of other new businesses capitalizing on affordable access to space, help create thousands of jobs, and help reduce the cost of human access to space." The key word in this promise was to "stimulate" commercial participation in the space program. Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-58
The Promise: "...will work to launch "without further delay" the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, an international effort to improve climate, weather, and hydrological predictions through more accurate and more frequent precipitation measurements."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:On 12/02/09, NASA approved the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to proceed to its implementation phase with its primary collaborator, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The mission: study global rain, snow and ice to better understand our climate, weather, and hydrometeorological processes.

On 05/10/10, NASA awarded a $48.5M contract to Bell Aerospace and Technology Corporation for the GPM Microwave Imager Instrument Flight Unit 2 which was to be identical to the Flight Unit 1.

As of end-CY2011, the GPM Core Observatory (Flight Unit 1) was scheduled for launch in 07/13 from JAXA's Tanegashima launch site. This launch has been delayed to at least 02/14. Funding for Flight Unit 2, referred to as a "Low Inclination Orbiter," was cancelled by Congress under the FY2012 budget.

The CY2008 promise to launch GPM capabilities "without further delay" (interpreted to mean during President Obama's four-year first term in office) has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-59
The Promise: "...will expand the use of prizes for revolutionary technical achievements that can benefit society, and funds for joint industry/government rapid-to-the-consumer technology advances."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:Since CY2005, NASA has awarded $4.5M to 13 different teams responding to 19 competitions for creative solutions to problems that NASA seeks to resolve. Its "Centennial Challenges" program has produced solutions from students, "citizen inventors", and entrepreneurial firms for technologies ranging from lunar landers, space elevators, fuel-efficient aircraft to astronaut gloves.

In CY2009 alone, five competition events were held with winners declared in four of them, winning $3.65M in prizes.

To further solidify President Obama commitment to fulfilling this promise, his Administration's policy to "increase the use of prizes and challenges as tools for promoting open government, innovation, and other national priorities" was released by the Office of Management of Management and Budget (OMB) on 03/08/10.

This promise is being fulfilled.
1.00
NASCGrade
IO-60
The Promise: "Between 1958 and 1973, the National Aeronautics and Space Council oversaw the entire space arena for four presidents; the Council was briefly revived from 1989 to 1992. Barack Obama will re-establish this Council reporting to the president. It will oversee and coordinate civilian, military, commercial and national security space activities. It will solicit public participation, engage the international community, and work toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope on new technologies as it pursues a balanced national portfolio that expands our reach into the heavens and improves life here on Earth."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:The National Aeronautics and Space Council (NASC) was established during the Eisenhower Administration under the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. It was disbanded in 1973, later to be reformed as the National Space Council by President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

This council was again disbanded when in 1993 when its functions were assumed by the National Science and Technology Council.

In order to bridge a gap between the civil and military space agencies, President Obama promised to re-establish the NASC. Well into his fourth year in office, however, there is no known activity underway that could lead to the NASC's resurrection.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
National Infrastructure BankGrade
IO-61
The Promise: "... creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance ... existing federal transportation investments... The Bank will receive ... $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation."
When/Where: Stated in Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007, during the Bush Administration, was the first step toward creating the promised bank. Under this bill, an independent entity of the government led by a five-member board of directors would be tasked with evaluating and financing regional and national infrastructure projects. The bank would develop a financing package for a selected project with credit from the government. The financing package could include direct subsidies, direct loan guarantees, long-term tax-credit general purpose bonds, and long-term tax-credit infrastructure project specific bonds. The Infrastructure Bank, however, would not replace existing formula grants or earmarks for infrastructure. This initiative expired with the 110th Congress.

A new bill, entitled the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2009 was introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on 05/20/09, did not get further than the House Financial Services Committee, and expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010.

Meanwhile, President Obama's FY2010 budget outline of 02/26/09 included $5 billion for the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank and showed projected outlays of $25 billion for infrastructure improvement projects over the FY10-FY14 timeframe.... far short of the promised $60 billion goal. This bank was not created under the FY2010 budget.

But, this National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, as promised or by any other name, was forgotten in President Obama's FY2011 budget submission which, instead, proposed the creation of a National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund to be funded at the $4B level under the purview of the Department of Transporation (DOT). This sounded a lot like the intent of the original promise, but the projected funding profile was inconsistent with the promise of "$60B over 10 years." This proposal did not go anywhere and under Title XII, Section 2202 of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1473), DOT National Infrastructure Investment funds were limited to $528M for FY2011.

With the arrival of the 112th Congress in 01/11, Congresswoman DeLauro a new National Infrastructure Development Bank Act (H.R. 402) on 01/24/11. This government-owned bank would be capitalized at a level of $5B per year for five years. This bill has got no further than the House Financial Services Committee and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

On the Senate side, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a bill entitled "American Infrastructure Financing Authority" (AIFA) (S. 652) on 03/17/11. This government entity would be authorized to make loans not exceeding $10B during each of its first two years of operation, not exceeding $20B during each of the following seven years, and not exceeding $50B during any fiscal year thereafter. This bill sat with the Senate Committee on Finance until it too died at the end of the 112th Congress.

On 12/13/11, Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the "Act of the 99%" (H.R. 3638) which included the establishment of a "National Infrastructure Development Bank" to be capitalized at the $5B level for five years starting in FY2012. This bill did not progress beyond initial House committee reviews and also expired with the 112th Congress.

Lastly, President Obama included the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank in his FY2012 and FY2013 budget proposals. However on 07/20/12, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the creation of such a bank would significantly duplicate current programs such as the Department of Transportation's "Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act" (TIFIA) program.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
NEAGrade
IO-62
The Promise: "Will "support increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.""
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Champions for Arts and Culture" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.artsdel.org/advocacy/Obama_Arts.pdf
Status:When President Obama assumed the presidency in 01/09, the National Endowment for the Arts was funded at $155M.

The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 economic stimulus bill signed into law 02/17/09 by President Obama included $50M in supplementary funding for the NEA.

President Obama then proposed to raise the FY2009 allocation of $155M to $161.3M. The House and Senate passed the final version of the bill for FY2010, increasing President Obama's proposed amount to $167.5M.

In the face of budget cutbacks, NEA funding was reduced to $154.6M for FY2011 against the President's request for $161.3M. NEA's budget was further reduced to $146.2M for FY2012, consistent with the President's request. The President's request for the NEA for FY2013 is $154.2M.

Despite a promising start for increased funding of the NEA in FY2010, that funding started to fall below the last Bush Administration budget level in FY2011. What would have been reflected as a positive grade up until FY2011 was reversed in FY2012 when President Obama's budget request for the NEA fell below the FY2009 enacted level and stayed below that level for FY2013. This indicates that his "support" for increased NEA funding was short-lived.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
OMBGrade
IO-63
The Promise: "...will reform federal contracting and reduce the number of contractors, saving $40 billion a year."
When/Where: Obama/Biden Plan: "The Change We Need in Washington," dated 09/22/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/0080cc578614b42284_2a0mvyxpz.pdf
Status:Implementation of the reform called for in this promise would likely be an action for OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).

On 03/04/09, President Obama ordered a government-wide review of federal contracting practices with a view to increasing competition and accountability. He repeated his 09/08 promise that federal contracting reform would save $40B per year. His memorandum was published in the Federal Register in the same timeframe.

Understanding that government contracting reform must also come from within, President Obama instituted the "Securing American Value and Efficiency" (SAVE) Award program in CY2009, which over the ensuing three years has produced over 75,000 cost-cutting ideas from federal workers among which dozens have been included in the President's annual budget proposals. Meaningful contracting reform, however, requires supporting legislation.

On 05/06/10, Senator Russ Feingold introduced the "Federal Contracting Oversight and Reform Act of 2010" (S. 3323) that sought to bring more transparency to the government contracting process.

On 07/13/10, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced H.R. 5726, also entitled the "Federal Contracting Oversight and Reform Act of 2010."

Neither of the above bills were acted upon beyond preliminary committee review by the time the 111th Congress expired at the end of CY2010. No exact or near-exact replica of the above bills was introduced during the 112th Congress, except for purpose-specific contracting reform bills (i.e. "Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act" (S. 3286) or "Overseas Contractor Reform Act" (H.R. 3588), etc.). Both of these bills expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012 anyway.

With the 03/09 issuance of a Presidential Memorandum to the heads of relevant agencies and departments, President Obama took initial steps toward promise fulfillment. This promise would have been considered as fulfilled if appropriate legislation had been signed into law. This didn't happen.

Promise not fulfilled as of early-CY2013.
0.00
OPICGrade
IO-64
The Promise: "...will provide initial capital for an SME [Small and Medium Enterprises] Fund...through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation [OPIC]...The SME Fund will be designed to provide seed capital and technical assistance to catalyze the establishment of job-creating small and medium enterprises, and to build the capacity of entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into viable businesses..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) existed as an OPIC program long before President Obama ran for office. In short, the SME Finance Program has two forms of eligibility:

- SME Direct Loan Eligibility for U.S. corporations with less than $250M in revenues and U.S. individuals or investment entities with less than $67M in equity.

- SME Loan Eligibility (Expedited Approval Process) for U.S. corporations with less than $35M in revenues and individuals or investment entities with less than $27M in equity.

In the USA, one of the most effective SME support programs is the Small Business Innovative Research (SMIR) program, in existence since CY1982 and funded at over $2B annually.

OPIC itself has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the SME sector in collaboration with financial giants such as Citi and GE Capital. In Central America alone, SME's were financed in the Pre-Obama era (pre-CY2009) as follows: Costa Rica $60M, El Salvador $47.5M, Guatemala $35M, Honduras $37.5M, Nicaragua $12.5M and Panama $7.5M.

Also while President Obama was Candidate Obama in CY2008, OPIC was in the process of investing $150M in private SMEs in Jordan.

OPIC also committed $100M to Garanti Bank of Turkey in 12/09 to finance its medium-to-long term loans to SME clients. The same bank received another $400M in financing from OPIC in CY2012.

So the promise to provide "initial capital" to OPIC's SME support program was without foundation.

This promise has not been fulfilled as stated.
0.00
IO-65
The Promise: "...will provide initial capital for...creation of regional 'SME Universities' supported by America's business schools."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:As of early-CY2013, there is no sign that any specific regional Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) "Universities," not to be confused with Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) student chapters, have been created since President Obama assumed the presidency in CY2009.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
OPMGrade
IO-66
The Promise: "...will thin the ranks of Washington middle managers, freeing up resources both for deficit reduction and for increasing the number of frontline workers."
When/Where: Obama/Biden Plan: "The Change We Need in Washington," dated 09/22/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/0080cc578614b42284_2a0mvyxpz.pdf
Status:While the national budget deficit is causing individual government organizations and agencies to cut spending by up to 10% over the next few years, and such spending cuts would normally mean job cuts, there is no direction from the White House that orders the thinning of ranks as promised by President Obama in CY2008.

One could argue that cuts in one area will simply shift the middle managers from their current organizations to the new organizations mandated by the health care reform, financial reform, and other spending projects that President Obama has championed since he took office.

For example, when President Obama made this promise in CY2008, there were a total of 4.206M federal government employees across all departments/agencies (Source: www.opm.gov/feddata/historicaltables/). During his first year in office, this number grew to 4.430M. In part attributed to the CY2010 Census, the number of federal government employees grew further to 4.443M in CY2010 but started a decline in CY2011 (4.356M) to reach the level of 4.306M by mid-CY2012. Projections for FY2013 are that the total federal workforce (executive, legislative, judicial, including military) will go down by 0.8% to 4.269M. Further reductions will likely occur due to retirements coupled with hiring freezes as well as program reductions/eliminations resulting from inevitable budget cuts across the entire government.

There are really two ways to thin the ranks of Washington middle managers: attrition (i.e. retirements, deaths etc. without replacement) and reclassification of managerial jobs to non-managerial status.

We have seen no specific proof that the ratio of middle managers to frontline workers has gone down since President Obama assumed the presidency. There certainly has been no deficit reduction since he became president.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
SBAGrade
IO-67
The Promise: "Obama and Biden will work to help more entrepreneurs get loans, expand the network of lenders, and simplify the loan approval process."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Businesses, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:On 03/16/09, Obama announced plans to facilitate credit applications by small businesses by increasing the percentage of loans backed by the U.S. Government (via the SBA) from 75% (over $150,000) or 85% (under $150,000) to 90% across the board, as well as waiving certain fees for SBA-backed loans.

This was codified in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) signed into law by President Obama on 09/27/10. Under Section 1206(e) of this law, the network of lenders was expanded by the entry "Any lender that is participating in the Delegated Authority Lender Program of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States...shall be eligible to participate in the Preferred Lenders Program."

This act also simplified, to some extent, the loan approval process.

In 06/15, Congress decided not to renew the the 70-year old charter of the Ex-Im Bank to ccontinue extending new loans. The bank will continue, however, to service the $110 billion in loans already extended.

Nonetheless, the original intent of this promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-68
The Promise: "Strengthen Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms"
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Businesses, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $730M to the SBA and made changes to the agency's lending and investment programs so that they can reach more small businesses, including minority-owned businesses. The normal budget for the SBA was increased by $3B to $28B in FY2010 over $25B in FY2009. The FY2010 $28B level for small business financing and loan programs is expected to be maintained for FY2011 according to the SBA's and the President's FY2011 budget request.

In Section 4103 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) signed into law by President Obama on 09/27/10, a subparagraph entitled "Outreach to Minorities, Women, and Veterans" calls for institutions receiving capital investments under the program to provide "linguistically and culturally appropriate outreach and advertising in the applicant pool describing the availability and application process of receiving loans."

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
IO-69
The Promise: "Will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by establishing a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Businesses, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law on 02/28/09 recognizes and improves support to the nation's small businesses. Included in this Act was $6.9B in discretionary appropriations for "rural development activities such as...rural business programs..."

President Obama's FY2010 budget submission of 02/21/09 proposed $20B in loans and grants "to support and expand rural development activities, including small businesses...". Of this amount, $61M was proposed for "microentrepreneur" assistance programs, $250M for rual America development of renewable energy, and $70M for rural revitalization, education and land grant programs, to name a few.

The President's FY2011 budget proposal for the Department of Agriculture goes further by supporting the USDA's Rural Innovative Initiative under a $2.6B line item for rural development.

While this is all good, what's missing is the specific establishment of a "small business and micro-enterprise" program for rural America. The opportunity to establish the promised program surfaced under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) signed into law on 09/27/10 by President Obama. This did not happen.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-70
The Promise: "...would direct the Small Business Administration to amend regulations under the Small Business Act that provide preferences in federal contracting to small businesses owned by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups to include individuals with disabilities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Empower Americans with Disabilities," dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=3073
Status:Numerous references to this preferential treatment promise were made by President Obama during 2009, but no specific actions, either in his annual budget proposals nor the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 point directly to the fulfillment of this promise.

Several small business "set-asides" such as the '8(b)' program for minority and/or women-owned business already exist. While policy set forth in Section 1313 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) calls for all federal agencies to provide "small business concerns with appropriate opportunities to participate as prime contractors and subcontractors in the procurements of the Federal agency," no specific preference for the disabled (other than disabled veterans) has been addressed to date.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-71
The Promise: "Expand the Small Business Administration's loan and micro-loan programs which provide start-up and long-term financing that small firms cannot receive through normal channels."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Businesses, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:The president's FY2011 budget request asked Congress to increase the maximum size of 7(a) loans from $2 million to $5 million, and increase the size limits on 504 loans from $2 million to $5 million on regular projects and from $4 million to $5.5 million for manufacturing projects.

For FY2011, the SBA disbursed an all-time record of $19.6B in 7(a) loans, but the proposed budget for FY2013 reduces that amount to $16B.

From an appropriated amount of $4.9B in FY2009, the 504 loan program funding level was increased to $5.0B in FY2011, to $5.8B in FY2012 and the target for FY2013 is $6.1B.

Under President Obama, the Micro-Loan program funding level increased from $9.0B in FY2009 to $9.6B in FY2011, to $9.7B in FY2012 and is proposed to receive $12.9B in FY2013.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
IO-72
The Promise: "...will implement the Women Owned Business contracting program that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, but has yet to be implemented by the Bush Administration."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Businesses, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:On 03/02/10, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced a proposed rule that would expand federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSB), making it available for 60 days to the public for comment. By its own admission, the SBA acknowledged that since the program was signed into law, resources were dedicated to study and analyze the market to determine the extent of WOSB participation across all industries.

The studies found that WOSB's were under-represented in the federal contracting marketplace in 83 industries. President Obama opted to create one comprehensive rule embodying the results of all previous studies. The new proposed rule would include the following major provision: "To be eligible, a firm must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be "small" in its primary industry in accordance with SBA's size standards for that industry.

In order for a WOSB to be deemed "economically disadvantaged," its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the proposed rule."

Implementation of the WOSB program, sometimes referred to as the "8(m)" program, took effect on 02/04/11 for manufacturing contracts valued at less than $5M and less than $3M for other contracts as announced in the 10/07/10 edition of the Federal Register.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
SSAGrade
IO-73
The Promise: "The SSA's [Social Security Administration's] disability claims backlog has reached a record high of 755,000, up from 311,000 in 2000. The average wait time for an appeals hearing averages 505 days and...can exceed three years...Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to streamlining the current application and appeals procedures to reduce the confusion that surrounds these important programs."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Empower Americans with Disabilities" dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=3073
Status:In FY2009, the number of claims received by the Social Security Administration (SSA) was about 2.8M. At the end of FY2009, there were 779K claims for disability benefits awaiting hearing before Administrative Law Judges.

For FY2010, the number of initial disability claims rose to 3.1M. The SSA saw a $1B increase in its budget for FY2010, up to $11.4B. This increase should have permitted information technology improvements that could have improved the claims processing turn-around time. This didn't happen. The SSA was also to open eight new hearing offices. This also didn't happen.

It was estimated that with the 5,800 additional personnel the SSA was to hire in FY2010 and increased overtime to handle an escalating workload, the SSA would have been on track to eliminate its claims processing backlog by FY2013. Federal budget cuts have put the brakes on this potential momentum -- the SSA is under a hiring freeze and has no funds for overtime for its current staff.

Now, the backlog of disability cases isn't getting better, but worse. The mounting number of disability claims combined with the ever-expanding backlog is causing some disability applicants to wait nearly four years (over 1,400 days) before their disability benefits can begin. While 270 days is the goal that the SSA aims for, a goal that the President's FY2013 budget proposal claims will be met for disability appeal hearings by 09/13, 316 days is the actual average the SSA was experiencing as of end-CY2012.

There were over 759K disability claims pending at the end of FY2011, down from 842K in FY2010. This number went down slightly to about 750K at the end of FY2012.

The promised streamlining of the disability appeal process has not materialized and probably won't in the face of the country's budget deficit posture. Slight improvements in the number of backlogged cases and the average waiting time before an applicant receives benefits as of early-CY2013 are insufficient to consider this promise as having been fulfilled.
0.00
IO-74
The Promise: "...will also ensure that the SSA [Social Security Administration] has the funding it needs to hire judges and staff and to invest in technology to expedite final decisions. Obama supported the $150 million increase in the SSA's budget that was vetoed by President Bush this year. As president, he will continue to work to ensure that the SSA has the resources it needs for hiring and to more effectively process its caseloads."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Empower Americans with Disabilities" dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=3073
Status:Based largely upon the President's request, the FY2010 budget for the Social Security Administration (SSA) was $11.4B, a 10% increase over the FY2009 enacted level. This increase was intended to permit the SSA to hire about 5,800 replacement and 1,300 new personnel largely intended to replace the SSA's information technology infrastructure.

In FY2011, reality set in. The SSA was supposed to receive $12.4B but operated on its FY2010 budget of $11.4B. The SSA also lost $200M in funds intended for addressing its claims backlog. Those funds were taken by Congress as part of the stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown in 03/11.

SSA's plans to open eight new SSA hearing offices have been postponed. There was also a hiring freeze in effect for FY2011 at the SSA and no funds were available for overtime to pay the current staff to accelerate elimination of benefits payments caseload backlogs. FY2012 hiring was limited to positions classified as critical to the SSA.

As of early-CY2013, the SSA does not have the resources it needs for hiring additional personnel and to more effectively process its caseloads. In fact, the SSA acknowledged a loss of 4,000 personnel in FY2011, another 3,000 in FY2012 and expects to lose an additional 2,000 in FY2013 due to budget cuts.

The completion of efforts to develop a Disability Case Processing System (DCPS) and Health Information Technology (Health IT) systems in late-CY2012 to replace up to 54 COBOL-based systems currently used will be a huge step in mitigating caseload backlogs.

Nonetheless, as of early-CY2013, this promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
Trade RepresentativeGrade
IO-75
The Promise: "...will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world."
When/Where: Obama's Economic Agenda: "Keeping America's Promise," dated 01/29/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/8f478c5e1bb07ca0b1_sh1umv2zy.pdf
Status:The Congressional Trade Agenda has typically focused on:

1. Asia: China (at issue - perception that its yuan is undervalued) and South Korea (at issue - belief that the U.S. is shut out of Korea's auto market).

2. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): at issue - Congress wants assurances that TPP rules do not put the U.S. at a disadvantage. President Obama's goal was to conclude TPP negotiations between its nine member nations (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam) by the time the USA hosted a 21-member nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 11/11 in Hawaii. That didn't happen.

In order for negotiations on a TPP to take place, a new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) needed to be in place to replace the TPA that expired in CY2007. A new TPA was signed into law by President Obama on 06/29/15. This paves the way for TPP negotiations between the USA and Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

3. There were Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 14 nations and mulilateral agreements among several parties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the USA, Mexico and Canada when President Obama took office in 01/09. At that time, FTAs with three nations were pending: Columbia, Korea and Panama. The impediments to timely Congressional approval of these FTAs were:

Columbia - human rights, environmental and labor issues;
Korea - access to the Korean auto and beef markets;
Panama - labor, environmental, and tax-transparency issues.

President Obama pulled these three trade agreements off the table shortly after he came into office and proceeded to tweak their labor and environmental rights aspects to his and Trade Representative Ron Kirk's satisfaction.

Following positive mock mark-up votes by the Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees in 07/11, the White House finally submitted proposed trade agreement legislation to Congress on 10/03/11 to authorize trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama in addition to legislation to help workers who are hurt by increased trade. The White House had held back submitting this proposed legislation to Congress out of fear that Republicans would not take action on legislation extending "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA). TAA was authorized under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and further defined under the Trade Act of 1974 for the protection of workers (administered by the Department of Labor), farmers (by Agriculture) and firms and communities (by Commerce).

Congress ratified the three trade agreements on 10/12/11 and President Obama signed them on 10/21/11. While these agreements address some labor and environmental standards, they are specific to the three countries. They do not constitute fulfillment of the promise to "spread good labor and environmental standards around the world."

On 02/13/13, President Obama called for a new FTA with the European Union (EU). Negotiation of such an agreement is expected to take several years.

We consider the above as tangible progress toward promise fulfillment.
0.75
Independent Organizations GPA0.44