“Let’s Make This A Year Of Action.” That’s what President Obama said in this year’s State of the Union address — and he’s been doing his part. Since January, using his pen and the phone, the president has taken more than 40 executive actions to help families succeed across the country, reports the White House. This includes helping to make student loan payments more affordable, supporting equal pay and workplace flexibility, cutting carbon pollution, and signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts.
But at this make or break moment for the middle class, Republicans in Congress — the least productive Congress in history — have set records in obstruction and are now wasting time and taxpayer dollars on political stunts like speaker Boehner’s plan to sue the president for doing his job, according to White House officials. Not only are Republicans in Congress pushing for the same failed top-down policies that cut taxes for millionaires, state officials, but they’ve also blocked simple yes or no votes to raise the minimum wage, cut student loan interest rates, and ensure women get paid equally for doing the same job as a man.
On the White House Website is a detailed document outlining the more than 40 actions the president has taken. Here’s a quick glance:
June 23: Actions taken to support working families as part of Summit on Working Families, including a Presidential Memorandum directing federal agencies to enhance workplace flexibilities.
June 18: First-ever White House Maker Faire, expanding access to tools to launch businesses, learn STEM skills, and lead a grassroots renaissance in American manufacturing.
June 17: New actions by federal agencies, mayors, and local leaders to invest locally in manufacturing entrepreneurship.
June 17: Actions announced to preserve and protect oceans, including to combat black market fishing.
June 14: Nearly $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition announced, to support innovative local resilience projects.
June 13: Announced steps to strengthen Native American communities through education and economic development.
June 12: Proposed rule issued to raise minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour.
June 9: Presidential Memorandum directing ED to allow all direct loan borrowers to cap their loans at 10% of income, benefiting up to five million with student loans.
June 4: Joined four governors and 77 mayors to call for an end to veterans homelessness by the end of 2015.
June 2: Proposed the Clean Power Plan to protect the health of our children and put our nation on the path toward a 30% reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030.
May 30: My Brother’s Keeper Federal Task Force issued its 90-day report recommending a series of steps we can take—working across agencies and across sectors— to expand opportunity for young people across the country.
May 29: Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit.
May 28: Energy Datapalooza with commitments from utilities and cities to use open data to drive energy efficiency.
May 27: Fourth White House Science Fair with new steps to help more students excel in STEM education and ConnectED commitments.
May 22: Presidential Memorandum directing DHS and Commerce to take steps to improve the entry process for international arrivals.