Speaking to the crowd about the economic situation, jobs, health care and responsibility [ + zoom ]
The streets were covered in fog this morning as I drove downtown, hoping to get a chance to hear Barack Obama speak in person.
I did, and it was awesome.
A good chunk of that awesomeness was the crowd; super positive folks of all sorts, congregating with purpose.
If you’ve heard Barack’s most recent speeches, you’re already familiar with the thoughts he shared on that baseball diamond this morning in Dayton.
But I know more than a few undecided voters, and these words don’t add up to much without action. It’s a concern I’ve heard more than once.
So in an effort to have a better understanding of his experience and accomplishments as a senator, I’ve collected this information to share:
Barack has 10 years of senate experience (8 state senate, 2 federal)
He has sponsored 136 bills and 145 amendments since Jan 4, 2005.
He has co-sponsored 659 bills and 278 amendments in the same time period.
Two bills have become law (both examples of bipartisan effort):
Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (aka “Google for Government”)
Authored by U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), this successful bill created a Google-like search engine and database to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans. The site is available online at usaspending.gov.
The Proliferation and Threat Reduction Initiative
Authored by U.S. Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Barack Obama (D-IL), this successful bill expands U.S. cooperation to destroy conventional weapons. It also expands the State Department’s ability to detect and prohibit weapons and materials of mass destruction.
Other notable items authored, under consideration, or passed:
|Introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 to provide tax credit to companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America; maintain their corporate headquarters in America; pay competitive wages; prepare workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees who serve in the military
Introduced the Stop Fraud Act to increase penalties for mortgage fraud and provide more protections for low-income homebuyers
Introduced and passed legislation to create a centralized, federal database to help reunite families displaced by an emergency
Introduced the “Step Up" Plan that was signed into law; addresses achievement gaps in grade schools and provides for summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children
Co-sponsored the Healthy Kids Act of 2007 and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 to ensure that more children have affordable health care coverage
Co-introduced comprehensive chemical plant security legislation that would establish a clear set of federal regulations that all plants must follow
Introduced legislation to establish guidelines for tracking, controlling, and accounting for spent fuel at nuclear power plant
Authored legislation to create Teaching Residency Programs to prepare teachers to work in high-need districts
Introduced the Success in the Middle Act, which will provide federal support to improve the education of middle grades in low-performing schools
Sponsored an amendment that became law; provides $40 million for commercialization of a combined flexible fuel vehicle/hybrid car within 5 years
Co-sponsored a measure urging the Department of Health and Human Services to provide clear and reliable information on the Medicare prescription drug benefit and to ensure that Medicare recipients are protected from fraudulent claims by drug plan agents
I’ll pose this summary from a moderate philosophy professor to provide some additional context:
(Barack Obama’s) bills tend to have the following features: they are good and thoughtful bills that try to solve real problems; they are in general not terribly flashy; and they tend to focus on achieving solutions acceptable to all concerned, not by compromising on principle, but by genuinely trying to craft a solution that everyone can get behind.
– quoted from Obsidian Wings, written in October of 2006
In closing, I do intend to extend the same research on John McCain. It takes some time but worth every while. I’ll share my findings before too long.