Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Legislative Record of 111 st. Congress


The American Recovery and  Reinvestment Act was enacted in the first month of President Obama’s administration, to jumpstart our economy, create and save 3.5 million jobs, give 98 percent of American workers a tax cut, and begin to rebuild America’s road, rail, and water infrastructure, with unprecedented accountability.
The Democratic Priorities in Tax Relief and Unemployment Insurance Act was the result of a controversial Obama-GOP agreement that includes Democratic priorities to create jobs and promote recovery, including cutting taxes for the middle class and small businesses for the next 2 years.  It provided a $120 billion payroll tax reduction for workers, and extended unemployment insurance for 13 months.
Small Business Tax Cut landmark legislation provided for 17 small business tax cuts, that include the Small Business Jobs Act, which created up to 500,000 jobs, by leveraging up to $300 billion in private sector lending for small businesses through a lending fund for community banks, and was fully paid for.  Additionally, Nancy Pelosi secured the House passage of the  Hired Act that created 300,000 jobs with tax incentives for businesses hiring unemployed Americans and spurred small business investment, and unleashing investments to rebuild infrastructure.
The Teacher Jobs/State Aid/Closing Tax Loopholes legislation created and saved about 319,000 jobs.  Thereby saving 161,000 teacher jobs and providing state aid that created and save another 158,000 jobs.  It was fully paid for by closing loopholes that encourage companies to ship American jobs overseas.
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act made the largest investment in college aid in history by increasing Pell Grants, making college loans more affordable, and strengthening community colleges, while reducing the federal deficit by ending wasteful student loan subsidies to banks.
The Cash For Clunkers Act jump-started the U.S. auto industry, with consumer incentives for trading in an old vehicle for one with higher fuel efficiency.  It spurred the sale of 700,000 vehicles.
The landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act prohibited insurance companies from discriminating against Americans with pre-existing conditions and dropping coverage when they got sick and need it the most.  It made coverage affordable for families and small businesses, thus strengthening Medicare, created up to 4 million jobs, reduced the deficit, and extended coverage to 32 million more Americans.
Child Nutrition legislation combated both childhood obesity and childhood hunger by improving the nutritional quality of school lunches and expanded access for needy children to nutrition programs.
Health Care for 11 million children legislation provided cost-effective health coverage for 4 million more children and preserving coverage for 7 million children already enrolled.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act create millions of American jobs, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution, and is keeping costs low for Americans.
Statutory Pay as You Go legislation restored a 1990s law that turned record deficits into surpluses.
Weapons Acquisition Reform legislation cracked down on Pentagon waste and cost overruns.
Wall Street Reform legislation was signed into law, that ended taxpayer-funded bailouts and the idea of too big to fail. It empower consumers to make best decisions on homes, credit cards, and financial future.
Legislation that overhaul our Food Safety System was passed in wake of tainted food scandals, putting a new focus on prevention of food contamination and accelerating the response to outbreaks.
Credit Card Holder’s Bill Of Right legislation banned unfair rate hikes, abusive fees/ penalties.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restored rights of women and others to challenge unfair pay.
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act ensured reliable and timely veterans health care funding by authorizing Congress to approve VA medical care a year in advance.
FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act provided for a 3.4 percent military pay raise, thereby strengthening military readiness and military families’ support, while focusing our strategy in Afghanistan and redeployment from Iraq.
Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell provide for the repeal of that outdated policy, but contingent on the certification of a completed military review, that repeal would not impact readiness.
Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Heath Services legislation provided help to caregivers of disabled, ill or injured veterans, and improving VA health care services for women veterans.

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