To the editor:
Recent letters published in The Eagle-Tribune seek to keep score on what President Obama has accomplished during his first term in office. I wish to offer my own presidential scoreboard for publication:
1. Directed our military forces to assassinate Osama bin Laden.
2. Passed air toxic regulations under the Clean Air Act.
3. Ended the Iraq War.
4. Eliminated the need for Interior Department approval for Native American development projects on Indian reservations.
5. Signed into law historic health care legislation, Affordable Care Act.
6. Established 20-year ban on new mining claims on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon.
7. Streamlined the defense budget by eliminating two Army brigades from Europe.
8. Rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project due to likely impacts on drinking water in Nebraska and an unrealistic approval deadline imposed by Congress.
9. Reformed the school lunch program to increase nutritional standards for students and lower calorie and fat levels.
10. Established a mortgage program enabling qualified mortgage holders to rewrite loans at lower rates to avoid foreclosure.
11. Established an end date for the U.S. military role in Afghanistan.
12. Signed the new START treaty in 2010 that mandates a reduction of long range nuclear weapons by Russia and the United States to 1,550 by February 2018.
13. Signed into law education reform, called “Race to the Top,” in order to increase student achievement standards in 46 states.
14. Reformed the student loan program to streamline funding and eliminate overhead costs imposed by lenders.
15. Signed the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
16. Signed into law Drug discounts for Senior Citizens.
17. Conducted a successful bailout of the auto industry. Loans have been paid back and the industry is investing in new plants and technology.
18. Repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
19. Signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank).
20. Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
21. Appointed two new associate justices to the Supreme Court.
22. Settled long standing grievances with 41 Native American tribes including land mismanagement and unlawful use of properties by the federal government.
23. Signed the JOBS Act into law. Provides for crowd funding for small businesses.
24. Declared that same sex marriage should be legalized.
25. Proposed to tighten air quality standards for fine soot particles.
26. EPA greenhouse gas regulations were upheld by Federal Appeals Court.
27. Reduced sulfur content of fuel used by large ships traveling within 200 miles of shore.
28. Directed the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting DREAM Act eligible young people and provide work permits for 1.5 million undocumented immigrants.
29. NASA landed the scientific land rover, Curiosity, on Mars.
30. Finalized new fuel efficiency vehicle standards for model years 2017 to 2025 that require the U.S. auto fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
31. Crafted an economic recovery plan that resulted in 4.5 million jobs being created since 2009.
Given the presence of a do-nothing Congress during the past two years and a Senate whose minority leader vowed to limit the president to one term, it is fair to say that the president’s record of accomplishments is quite significant.
John F. Zipeto