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In 2008, the American people turned to Barack Obama to lead the country through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. His North Star was to make the economy work for the middle class and for those fighting to join it. He took steps to create jobs, rescue the auto industry, and rebuild the economy on a new foundation for growth and prosperity.

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In 2008, the American people turned to Barack Obama to lead the country through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. His North Star was to make the economy work for the middle class and for those fighting to join it. He took steps to create jobs, rescue the auto industry, and rebuild the economy on a new foundation for growth and prosperity.


 Bar chart that shows that when President Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8%, and at its peak in October 2009 at 10%. By November 2016, that had lowered to 4.6%. Bar chart showing that in 2009 the change in real median household income was -0.7% and in 2015 it was up to 5.2%. Bar chart showing that in 2008-2009, high school graduation rate was 75%, and in 2014-2015 the graduation rate was 83%.

Stabilized an Economy in Crisis and Laid the Groundwork for Long-Term Growth

 

Took steps to help the hardest-hit Americans. Without the Recovery Act’s boost to household incomes, the poverty rate would have risen an additional 1.7 percentage points—which translates into about 5.3 million additional people that would have slipped into poverty in 2010

Helping the Hardest-Hit Americans

 

Provided tax relief that gave the typical American family a tax cut of $3,600 over the first four years of the Administration — helping to restart job growth — and made important tax cuts permanent for working families and families with college students.

Tax Relief for Middle Class and Working Families

  • Created the Making Work Pay tax credit for families with incomes of up to $150,000, providing a credit of up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples as the economy recovered from the depths of the Recession in 2009 and 2010.
  • Cut the payroll tax for everyone who pays it, boosting the typical family’s income by about $1,000 in 2011 and 2012 and helping about 160 million workers and their families.
  • Expanded the Child Tax Credit for low-wage working families; later made that expansion permanent in the 2015 tax and budget agreement.
  • Expanded the Earned-Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families with more than two children and reduced EITC marriage penalties; later made those expansions permanent in the 2015 tax and budget agreement.
  • Created the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), an up to $2,500 per-year tax credit (up to $10,000 over four years) to help students and their families pay for college; later made the AOTC permanent in the 2015 tax and budget agreement.

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Secured substantial reforms to improve education for all Americans — from catalyzing reforms of K-12 education to investing in community colleges to making it easier for students to afford higher education

A Down Payment on Education

  • Catalyzed significant state education reforms to adopt higher academic standards to prepare students for college and careers, which 49 states and the District of Columbia have done; invested in great teachers and leaders; and turned around low-performing schools through $4 billion in Race to the Top competition. Following these reforms, the high school graduation rate reached its highest level ever recorded, dropout rates fell sharply for low-income and minority students, and since 2008, college enrollment for African-Americans and Hispanics has increased by more than one million students.
  • Increased maximum Pell Grant awards by $500 in the Recovery Act; later increased the maximum by more than $1,000 above the 2008 level, helping millions of students afford college.
  • Supported continuing education for American workers by increasing available funding for incumbent workers and working with companies to upskill thousands of workers.
  • Provided federal funding to prevent hundreds of thousands of teacher and first responder job losses.
 

Invested in building the economy of the future, from physical and technological infrastructure — including roads, bridges, and broadband — to scientific research to the largest investment in clean energy in history

Critical Investments in the Future

Brought Stability to a Financial Sector in Crisis

 

Restructured AIG, the world’s largest insurer, to prevent its catastrophic collapse; recovered the entire taxpayer investment plus a $22.7 billion positive return

Restructured AIG

Treasury Sells Its Final Share of AIG Common Stock

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Recapitalized the financial system so it could withstand the downturn and start lending again; recovered the entire taxpayer investment into the banks, plus a nearly $30 billion positive return

Treasury invested approximately $245 billion across five bank programs. Each of these programs was established to accomplish different goals as part of the overall effort to stabilize America's banking system. Because of the aggressive response, the financial system stabilized and Treasury has recovered $275 billion, a nearly $30 billion positive return to the taxpayer.

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Created and conducted a comprehensive stress test for the nation’s largest banks in May 2009 to ensure they had sufficient capital to withstand a Great Depression-like scenario. The added transparency helped banks to raise $66 billion in capital from private markets within a month of the stress test.

Supervisory Capital Assessment Program & Capital Assistance Program

The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP) and the Capital Assistance Program (CAP) were established to ensure that our major banking institutions had adequate capital buffers to withstand losses and continue to lend to businesses, large and small, and consumers to support the economy.

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Launched programs to restart crucial lending markets for student and auto loans, other forms of consumer credit, housing, and small businesses

Restarted Crucial Lending Markets

  • Expanded the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to kick-start a secondary lending market to lower borrowing costs and get credit flowing again, especially for student and auto loans; recovered the entire taxpayer investment.
  • Established the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) to create markets for the legacy securities and real estate-related assets that were at the center of the financial crisis; recovered the entire taxpayer investment of $18.6 billion plus a net positive return of more than $3.9 billion on a cash basis.
  • Launched the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) Securities Purchase Program as part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help small businesses; recovered the entire taxpayer investment plus a small positive return.

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Coordinated a global response to the financial crisis at a London G-20 meeting in April 2009 that marshaled more than $1 trillion of support to restore credit, growth, and jobs in the global economy

“During our London Summit, we and our G-20 partners agreed that we will make more than $1 trillion in financial resources available to support global growth and trade. Much of that total will go to the emerging and developing countries, which as recently as the fall of last year accounted for fully 42% of all U.S. exports.  That will improve their economic and financial health which, in turn, will help improve ours.” – Secretary Timothy F. Geithner

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Brought Stability to The Housing Sector

 

Made it easier for responsible homeowners to stay in their homes — avoiding foreclosures that would have hurt them and the economy and helping underwater homeowners refinance. In all, more than 10 million mortgage modification and other forms of mortgage assistance were completed to help mitigate the foreclosure crisis

Helped Families Stay in Their Homes

President Barack Obama delivers a statement to neighbors at the home of Valerie and Paul Keller in Reno, Nevada, May 11, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama delivers a statement to neighbors at the home of Valerie and Paul Keller in Reno, Nevada, May 11, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
  • Established a loan modification program to help more than 1.5 million homeowners lower their mortgages and avoid foreclosure, with more than 4.5 million more homeowners receiving private modifications that built on the framework provided by the government model.
  • Helped underwater homeowners avoid foreclosure through programs that allow them to sell their home or reduce payments on—or extinguish—their second lien.
  • Provided a delayed payment plan of up to 12 months for unemployed homeowners.
  • Launched an Office of Housing Counseling and worked with HUD-approved housing counselors to assist millions of families in making smart and informed financial decisions, including by providing housing counseling for unemployed homeowners at job training centers.

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Established a mortgage refinancing program for underwater borrowers (i.e. those whose house is worth less than their mortgage), to help more than 3.3 million Americans overcome barriers to refinancing and lower their monthly payments

Check out our latest housing scorecard for more on our response to the housing crisis. 

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Helped state and local housing finance agencies through the New Issue Bond Program to extend affordable mortgage credit to families and enable the development and rehabilitation of tens of thousands affordable rental units

New Issue Bond Program

The New Issue Bond Program filled in the financing vacuum for Housing Finance Agencies when the tax exempt market seized up during the crisis. It enabled tens of thousands of affordable multi-family units to be financed during the crisis and tens of thousands of mortgages for affordable homes to be funded through participating Housing Finance Agencies.

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Launched a program to require investors who purchase distressed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans to maintain the properties in a manner that avoids the kinds of vacancy and abandonment that downgrade the community

The Minimum Property Standards (MPS) establish certain minimum standards for buildings constructed under HUD housing programs. This includes new single family homes, multi-family housing and health care type facilities.

 

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Stepped up lending through the FHA, bolstering its capital reserves to the point where the Administration was able to lower the FHA mortgage insurance premium

Making Homeownership More Accessible and Sustainable​

In 2015, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reduced annual mortgage insurance premiums by 0.5 percentage point from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. For the typical first-time homebuyer, this reduction translates into a $900 reduction in their annual mortgage payment.

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Negotiated the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement with 49 state attorneys general and major banks and mortgage companies to establish new servicing standards and provide more than $50 billion of relief to distressed homeowners

The National Mortgage Settlement

On February 9, 2012, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government and 49 states had reached a settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage servicing, foreclosure, and bankruptcy abuses (the “National Mortgage Settlement”). 

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Launched mortgage fraud cases against thousands of defendants

Protecting Taxpayer Dollars and Consumers Against Financial Fraud While Ensuring Competitive Markets

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Improved the quality of public housing for residents across the country through a new HUD tool that helps provide stable sources of funding for property improvements

The Rental Assistance Demonstration provides public housing authorities (PHAs) with a way to rehabilitate or repair units without depending on additional money from Congress. Congress has not provided enough funding for PHAs to keep up with capital needs. As a result, PHAs have had to make tough choices between things like repairing roofs and replacing plumbing—or worse, demolishing public housing.

Learn more about the Rental Assistance Demonstration.

Saved the American Auto Industry

 

Required that Chrysler and General Motors (GM) adopt viable restructuring plans in exchange for temporary federal loan support, including building more fuel efficient cars

President Obama on Stabilizing the Auto Industry

Watch on YouTube

 

 

Read the transcript of the event.

 

The auto industry has fully exited the temporary federal programs that supported them, repaying the American taxpayer every dollar and more of what the Obama Administration committed

On December 19, 2014, Treasury announced that it had exited the last Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) equity investment under the Auto Industry Financing Program.

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Launched “Cash for Clunkers” to spur auto sales

Did 'Cash-for-Clunkers' work as intended?

A plausible interpretation of the available data, in fact, is that many of the auto sales catalyzed by the CARS program were to the kinds of thrifty people who can afford to buy a new car but normally wait until the old one is thoroughly worn out. Stimulating spending by such people acted as an incredibly positive countercyclical fiscal policy in an economy suffering from temporarily low aggregate demand.
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Reformed Wall Street

 

Adopted the Volcker Rule to prohibit banks from risky proprietary trading and from sponsoring investment funds that are unrelated to core banking activities

Statement by the President on the Volcker Rule

Watch on YouTube

 

 

Read the transcript.

 

Set higher capital and liquidity standards for financial institutions both domestically and internationally

Also required the largest, most complex firms in the U.S. to meet higher capital, liquidity, and risk management standards than other firms that pose less systemic risk.

Since the crisis, banks have added more than $600 billion of additional capital, which is money they can lend and which increases their resiliency.

 

Established orderly liquidation authority to prevent serious harm to the entire economy and to protect taxpayers from bearing the losses of private firms by giving regulators the tools to safely wind down large, complex financial institutions that fail

Meet the Law That’s Been Quietly Protecting You and Strengthening Our Economy for the Past 6 Years

"When large, complex, or interconnected firms (like Lehman Brothers) failed during the crisis, the regulators didn’t have the tools they needed to wind them down safely, without bringing down our entire financial system. That left us with a pretty awful choice: Let our system collapse and risk another Great Depression (which nearly happened after Lehman failed), or have taxpayers step in to clean up the mess? Wall Street reform fixed that. Today, regulators have something called “orderly liquidation authority,” which is a fancy way of saying that if a big Wall Street firm implodes again, taxpayers aren’t on the hook — investors in the firm and the financial industry pick up the tab. By law, no firm is too big to fail."

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Expanded reporting requirements for hedge funds and private equity funds

Greater Transparency: Wall Street Reform re-aligned incentives in derivatives and securitization markets, hedge fund reporting requirements, and executive compensation:

  • Derivatives Reform: Wall Street Reform is bringing oversight and transparency to the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets — shedding light on complex derivatives transactions.
  • Securitization Reform: Dodd-Frank has strengthened the securitization process, to better protect investors and minimize the threats to financial stability.
  • Hedge Fund Registration: Hedge funds and other private funds are now subject to registration, recordkeeping, and disclosure obligations.
  • Executive Compensation: Wall Street Reform helps align business decisions and compensation with the interests of shareholders — increasing disclosure of executive compensation for publicly traded firms, giving shareholders an advisory “say on pay” for senior executives, and requiring that the board compensation committees be independent.

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Overhauled the $600 trillion derivatives market to make it safer and more transparent, including by leading an international push to mandate central clearing of standardized derivatives, setting capital and margin requirements for derivatives that are not centrally cleared, and imposing new oversight of major swap dealers and participants

Transparency: Five Years after the Dodd-Frank Act

The financial crisis demonstrated that financial markets had become unacceptably and dangerously opaque. This lack of transparency allowed risks to build and be transmitted across different sectors of the financial system. As the financial crisis unfolded, not only did federal financial regulators lack adequate tools to address these risks, they had limited knowledge of their size, nature, and interconnectedness. And market participants pulled back further during the depths of the crisis in part as a result of incomplete market information.

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Set new accounting standards to move all exposures onto firms’ balance sheets

The Financial Crisis: Five Years Later

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Required large banks to create “living wills” to help regulators wind down bankrupt firms in an orderly fashion

New rules help make large financial companies simpler to unwind by requiring “living wills” that provide a roadmap for resolving the institution. These reforms force firms to bear the costs of their own risk-taking, instead of the taxpayer.

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Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to hold financial institutions accountable and protect consumers from the types of abuses that preceded the crisis

Since its creation, this new independent watchdog has:

  • Established safer national mortgage standards to better determine a borrower’s ability to repay over the long term.
  • Launched new transparency requirements that clearly spell out interest rates and payments, establish caps on fees and points, and impose training qualifications on lenders.
  • Subjected credit reporting agencies, debt collection agencies, and payday lenders to federal supervision for the first time.
  • Taken enforcement action against companies to crack down on deceptive marketing and unreasonable fees, recovering nearly $12 billion for more than 257 million consumers who had been harmed.
  • Worked with industry to give over half of Americans with credit scores free access to their scores, to help consumers improve their credit health and monitor for identity theft.

LEARN MORE: CONSUMERFINANCE.GOV

Laid the Groundwork for a Manufacturing Resurgence and Fostered U.S. Competitiveness

 

Launched Manufacturing USA, already up to thirteen manufacturing hubs that bring together industry, academia and government partners to bridge the gap between applied research and product development, leading the way to new advanced manufacturing capabilities

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden view a 3D-printed carbon fiber Shelby Cobra car during a tour of Techmer PM in Clinton, Tenn., Jan. 9, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden view a 3D-printed carbon fiber Shelby Cobra car during a tour of Techmer PM in Clinton, Tenn., Jan. 9, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Manufacturing USA invests in U.S. leadership in emerging manufacturing technologies critical to our future competitiveness. Each manufacturing hub is designed to build U.S. leadership and regional excellence in critical emerging manufacturing technologies by bridging the gap between early research and product development; bringing together companies, universities, and other academic and training institutions, and federal agencies to co-invest in key technology areas that can encourage investment and production in the United States; and serving as a ‘teaching factory’ for workers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs looking to develop new skills or prototype new products and processes.

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Established a new investment tax credit to support companies building new factories and new jobs to produce advanced, clean-energy products in the United States

Energy Department Announces $150 Million in Tax Credits to Invest in U.S. Clean Energy Manufacturing

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Launched the Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnerships (IMCP) program to pool resources of multiple federal agencies in order to spur communities to develop integrated, long-term economic development plans, improving their ability to attract global manufacturers and their supply chains and create and sustain good jobs

The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) program is an initiative designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds. It encourages communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen their competitive edge for attracting global manufacturer and supply chain investments.

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Formed the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to convene industry, academia, labor, and government leaders to address the challenge of expanding advanced manufacturing across the United States

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Actions to Further Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing

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Created SelectUSA, the first federal government-wide investment-promotion program, which has directly facilitated billions of dollars in job-creating foreign direct investment and connected thousands of investors with state and local economic development officials

About SelectUSA

Recognizing that the competitiveness and job-generating ability of a nation is determined by its desirability as a place for businesses to operate, SelectUSA was created at the federal level to showcase the United States as the world’s premier business location and to provide easy access to federal-level programs and services related to business investment.

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Launched new infrastructure finance centers at the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Interior to increase private investment in U.S. infrastructure and encourage more public-private collaboration on transportation, water and other projects

FACT SHEET: Building a 21st Century Infrastructure: Increasing Public and Private Collaboration with the Build America Investment Initiative

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Funded research in next-generation robotics through the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the Department of Agriculture

President Obama launched the National Robotics Initiative as part of a broader effort to promote a renaissance of American manufacturing through the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.  Four agencies (the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the Department of Agriculture) have issued a joint solicitation that will provide research funding for next-generation robotics.

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Signed into law the first long-term surface transportation bill in a decade, with increased investment levels — ending the era of short-term patches

President Obama on a lite rail train

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), a 5 year, $305 billion surface transportation bill that increases Federal surface transportation investments by 11 percent, an important first step in addressing the significant infrastructure deficit in the U.S. The FAST Act also created the country’s first dedicated freight program and reformed the Federal infrastructure permitting process.

The administration signed into law the first long-term surface transportation bill in a decade. Learn more: wh.gov/the-record/economy
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Helped Small Businesses Get Back on Track and More Entrepreneurs Start New Businesses

 

Used proceeds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to stabilize banks that lend to small businesses

President Obama Announces New Efforts to Improve Access to Credit for Small Businesses 

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Supported the liquidity of key SBA lending programs

Learn more about the U.S. Small Business Administration

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Signed legislation that expanded SBA lending programs and created new sources of credit for small businesses

Learn more about the U.S. Small Business Administration

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Eliminated borrower and lender fees for SBA loans under $150,000 as part of the crisis response, fueling a spike in the small-dollar loans disproportionately used by minority-owned small businesses

Business Lending Showing New Signs of Strength

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Established two new small business credit programs—the State Small Business Credit Initiative and the Small Business Lending Fund

State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)

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Small Business Lending Fund

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Cut taxes 18 times for small businesses in the first term and made many of those tax cuts permanent

Tax Relief for Small Businesses

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Created BusinessUSA.gov as a “no wrong door” portal for entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking government information and services

BusinessUSA implements a "no wrong door" approach for small businesses and exporters by using technology to quickly connect businesses to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency's website, call center, or office they go to for help. Looking forward, the more federal agencies continue to add resources to BusinessUSA to encompass the full range of business programs and services, the more we will be able to reduce the confusing array of websites that exist today.

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Launched the Startup in a Day initiative to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business by reducing the amount of time it takes to register and apply for permits and licenses at the local level

FACT SHEET: The White House and Small Business Administration Launch Startup in a Day Initiative and Prize Competition

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Raised Academic Standards in Our Schools and Made New Investments From Preschool Through 12th Grade

 

Expanded access to high-quality preschool for children from low-income families through the Preschool Development Grants, which provided resources to 18 states, and through investments in the Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge competition.

Since the President’s call to action, 38 states have boosted their investments in preschool. Between 2013 and 2016, increased investments totaled over $1.5 billion and 30 states increased their preschool enrollment from 2009-2014. Read more.

Raised the bar on quality through enactment of bipartisan child care legislation that raised health, safety, and quality standards for federally-subsidized child care. Made significant reforms to Head Start and secured funding to increase number of programs in all 50 states.

 

Signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which fixes the No Child Left Behind Act and carries forward many of the policies and programs that the Administration has supported since 2009.

ESSA will maintain critical protections for equal educational opportunity and students’ civil rights by:

  • Requiring, for the first time in law, every student be taught to high learning standards in order to prepare them for college and careers.
  • Requiring statewide, annual assessments of all students’ progress towards these standards, providing vital information to educators, families, and communities.
  • Maintaining the expectation that there will be accountability and interventions in schools that are chronically underserving their students or have low graduation rates, and where particular student groups are not making progress.
  • Providing more children access to high-quality preschool.
  • Supporting innovations, including evidence- and place-based innovations developed by local educators and leaders.

LEARN MORE (PDF)

 

Reached a record high graduation rate of 83 percent. Graduation gaps are closing for students of color, students from low-income families, and students with disabilities and English learners.

U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits New Record High

Cut the number of so-called "dropout factories" — high schools where no more than 60 percent of students who start as freshmen make it to their senior year — nearly in half since 2008.

 

Announced a new Testing Action Plan (TAP) to make sure that any tests used in our nation’s classrooms are high quality and worth taking, don’t take up too much classroom time or crowd out teaching and learning, and are used alongside other types of information to paint a fuller picture of how our students and schools are doing.

"Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble. So we’re going to work with states, school districts, teachers, and parents to make sure that we’re not obsessing about testing, that the principles I just outlined are reflected in classrooms throughout the country—to make sure that our kids are enjoying learning, that our teachers are able to operate with creativity, to make sure we are preparing our kids for a lifetime of success." — President Obama (October 24, 2015)

WATCH THE FACEBOOK VIDEO

 

Expanded access to high-quality preschool through the Preschool Development Grants competition, which has provided development and expansion grants to 18 states to support high-quality early childhood education programs for children from low-income families

Many states have boosted their investments in early childhood education; in FY 2014-2015 alone, 28 states and the District of Columbia increased their own investments in preschool.

Raised the bar on quality through enactment of bipartisan child care legislation, a Race to the Top in early learning, and Head Start reforms including requiring programs that don’t meet certain standards to compete for continued funding and securing funding to increase the number of programs providing a full school day and year program.

 

Made critical investments in practices proven to improve educational outcomes.

Every Student Succeeds Act: A Progress Report on Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Invested hundreds of millions of dollars in over 50 Promise Neighborhoods — working with over 700 schools — in our most distressed communities, helping to break cycles of intergenerational poverty.
  • Established the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), which has provided more than $1 billion in grants to support districts, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education to research, replicate, and scale-up promising practices that improve educational outcomes.

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Launched the President’s ConnectED initiative to invest in connectivity, teacher professional development, hardware, software, and digital content to facilitate personalized digital learning experiences for students and teachers

Through the President’s ConnectED initiative, the Administration made unprecedented public and private investments in connectivity, teacher professional development, hardware, software, and digital content to provide personalized digital learning experiences for students.

Since launching ConnectED:

  • More than 20 million more students have access to high-speed Internet, cutting the connectivity divide in schools in half since 2013.
  • Over 5 million students are leveraging $2 billion+ of private sector commitments.
  • Students in low-income families now have access to a world class library of eBooks.
  • Teachers and education leaders are leading the charge, with over 3,000 school districts — representing over 19 million students — having committed to the ConnectED vision. These “Future Ready” leaders have received high-quality professional develop to make digital transitions in their schools.

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Expanded Scholarships, Made Student Loans More Affordable, and Kept College Within Reach for More Americans

 

Expanded Pell Grants for millions of students

Increased the maximum Pell Grant scholarship by more than $1,000 and total Pell funding by 70 percent, helping millions of low- and moderate-income students afford college every year.

 

Created the American Opportunity Tax Credit

  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) provides a tax credit of up to $2,500 per year – or $10,000 over four years – to help pay for college tuition, fees and books.
  • The AOTC cuts taxes by over $1,000 on average for nearly 10 million families a year, compared to prior law.
  • The AOTC was made permanent in the 2015 tax and budget agreement.
 

Made student loans more affordable

 

Made applying for financial aid easier and faster

  • Reduced the time required to complete FAFSA by two-thirds to about 20 minutes by allowing automatic retrieval of tax information and by revamping the online form for all families so they can skip questions that are not relevant to them.
  • Made the FAFSA available earlier in the college application process so more students applying to start school the following fall can access college and make more informed college choices. Beginning in October 2016, students will also be able to fill out this early FAFSA form using the tax income data from an earlier year.

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Encouraged greater transparency for students and families and accountability for institutions through the College Scorecard, which provides the clearest, most accessible, and most reliable national data on college cost, graduation, debt, and post-college

Information about college costs, graduation rates, and earnings will be featured front and center in hundreds of millions of Google searches related to colleges and universities.

FACT SHEET: Providing Students and Families with Comprehensive Support and Information for College Success

FACT SHEET: Empowering Students to Choose the College that is Right for Them

 

Led a movement to make community college free for responsible students, with states, communities, and community colleges across the country announcing new programs or introducing legislation since the President’s announcement in January 2015

America's College Promise: A Progress Report on Free Community College

Invested in strengthening more than 700 community colleges, connecting them with employers to train students for jobs in fast-growing fields like high-tech manufacturing, energy, IT, and cybersecurity.

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Encouraged greater innovation and evidence-based spending to decrease costs and increase completion rates through First in the World grants and regulatory waivers granted to 15 experimental sites.

Fact Sheet: Department of Education Launches Experiment to Provide Federal Pell Grant Funds to High School Students Taking College Courses for Credit

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U.S. Department of Education Launches Second Chance Pell Pilot Program for Incarcerated Individuals

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FACT SHEET: Department of Education Launches the Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) Experiment to Provide Low-Income Students with Access to New Models of Education and Training

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U.S. Department of Education - The FITW program

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Expanded and Improved Job-Training Opportunities

 

Secured a six-year extension and expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in June 2015, which provides vital job training, income support and other benefits to American workers displaced by the forces of globalization. This extension means that over 750,000 Americans will be eligible to apply for these benefits.

Secured a six-year extension and expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in June 2015, which provides vital job training, income support and other benefits to American workers displaced by the forces of globalization. This extension means that over 750,000 Americans will be eligible to apply for these benefits.

 

Upgraded federally funded job training and employment programs to focus funding on programs that used strategies that produce strong results in connecting Americans to training that leads to well-paying jobs and reduce unnecessary and ineffective training

In his 2014 State of the Union address, the President tasked Vice President Biden with leading a review of federal employment and training programs that reach approximately 20 million people per year, with the aim of making them more job-driven. That review was completed, and the White House released a report you can read on progress and next steps. So far, the Administration has reoriented more than $1.5 billion in job training grants to align with job-driven training best practices.

READ MORE (PDF)

 

Signed the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the first reform of federal job training programs in nearly 20 years; WIOA improves business engagement, accountability, access, and alignment across job training, employment service, and adult education programs

WIOA is bringing job training programs into the 21st century by building on what we know works based on evidence — more partnerships with employers, tools to measure performance, and flexibilities for states and cities to innovate and run their training programs in ways best suited for their particular demographics and particular industries.

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Launched dozens of new career academies that are exposing over 25,000 high school students to skills for high-demand fields like technology, energy, and manufacturing

We challenged America's high schools to make sure students learn the skills that businesses are looking for in high-demand fields. And we asked high schools to develop partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on real-life applications for the fields of the future — fields like science and technology and engineering and math.

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Invested $2 billion to significantly expand partnerships between employers and community colleges to prepare students for in-demand jobs in fields like health care, information technology and energy

The Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College and Career Training grants have created 2,300 in-demand education and training programs at community colleges in all 50 states.  Nearly 300,000 participants have enrolled in these programs, which are helping job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in industries like information technology, health care, energy, and advanced manufacturing. Programs targeting high-demand jobs have been launched at more than half of community colleges across the country.

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Together, we've improved our economy after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. See the record: wh.gov/the-record/economy
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Expanded Registered Apprenticeship programs, resulting in employers, labor unions, and training providers adding more than 125,000 apprenticeships, the nation’s largest increase in nearly a decade, since President Obama issued a challenge to double the number of registered apprenticeships within five years

This growth was the result of the largest ever federal investments in apprenticeship including $175 million in grants to 46 public-private partnerships to expand apprenticeship to new industries and $90 million provided by Congress for new investments through ApprenticeshipUSA to help states strengthen regional industry partnerships, spur partnerships in fast-growing and high-tech industries, and increase diversity among apprentices. Investing in apprenticeships leads to strong outcomes for hardworking Americans and businesses. Nearly 90% of apprentices are employed after completing their apprenticeship, with an average starting salary above $50,000. And international studies suggest that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers may get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste, and greater front-line innovation.

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Launched TechHire, a community-based, public-private initiative to prepare more people from all backgrounds for the well-paying tech jobs of the future and made investments to spur new accelerated tech training for low-income young people that will offer training and jobs to over 40,000 Americans over the next four years

TechHire is a bold, multi-sector initiative and call-to-action to empower Americans with the skills they need, through universities and community colleges but also nontraditional approaches like “coding boot camps,” and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job, often in just a few months. Since the President launched TechHire in March 2014, more than 70 cities, states, and rural areas working with nearly 1,500 employers have signed on, and over 4,000 people have been trained and placed into tech jobs.

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Launched the public-private Upskill initiative to help low-skill workers build the skills they need to advance into high-paying roles

In his 2014 State of the Union address, the President launched the Upskill Initiative, calling on businesses to help workers of all ages earn a shot at better, higher-paying jobs, even if they do not have a higher education. To date, over 100 employers have committed to best practices to give their workers more opportunity to grow and contribute in the workplace.

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Worked with over 300 businesses, including 80 from the Fortune 500, to adopt recruiting and hiring practices to expand pathways to jobs for Americans who have been unemployed for 6 months or longer, and released grants that have trained nearly 5,000 long-term unemployed people for jobs in the past two years.

As more jobs are created, it is critical that Americans with skills, experience, and a desire to work have every opportunity to get back to work to maximize the full potential of our talent pool. That’s why the White House has partnered with employers to ensure that the long-term unemployed have a fair shot at the same opportunities as other job-seekers. From the time businesses responded to the President’s call to action in January 2014 through November 2016, the long term unemployment rate was cut in half, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the total drop in unemployment.

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Improved Retirement Security

 

Finalized rules to protect Americans’ hard-earned savings by ensuring that retirement advisers provide advice in their clients’ best interest

Weekly Address: Ensuring Hard-Working Americans Retire with Dignity

Watch on YouTubeRead the Transcript

 

 

We’re cracking down on conflicts of interest in retirement advice to protect your savings.

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Finalized rules and put forth guidance to facilitate creation of state-sponsored retirement savings plans geared at workers without access to workplace savings plans, similar to the federal automatic IRA proposal put forward by the President in every budget since taking office.

Press Release: State retirement initiatives get guidance from US Labor Department

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Created a new myRA account to provide a simple, no-fee way for Americans who don’t have access to employer-sponsored plans to save for retirement

About myRA

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Took administrative action to promote the use of automatic enrollment in retirement plans and other automatic features shown to increase retirement savings

Blog Post: Treasury’s Continued Work to Promote Retirement Security

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Clarified rules to allow greater use of retirement-savings products that provide lifetime income like deferred annuities and longevity annuities, by, among other things, allowing auto-enrollment into qualified fixed annuities in 401(k) plans and permitting deeply deferred longevity annuities in 401(k)s and IRAs

An America Built to Last: Strengthening Economic Security in Retirement

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Made the Tax System Fairer

 

Oversaw period of lowest federal income tax rates for middle-class families during any presidency since the 1950s

  • Middle-class taxes are at historically low levels, with the typical middle-income family paying lower federal income taxes than in almost any other period in the last 60 years.
  • President Obama’s new tax policies have increased the after-tax income of families in the lowest quintile of the income distribution by more than 6 percent on average – or more than $850 – thereby reducing the extent and severity of poverty for millions of working families and their children.

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Economic Record of the Obama Administration: Progress Reducing Inequality

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Made permanent tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans as part of the bipartisan fiscal cliff agreement in January 2013, while allowing costly tax cuts to expire for those with the highest incomes — which will reduce deficits by more than $800 billion over the next ten years

Seven Things You Need to Know About the Tax Deal

READ THE BLOG POST

 

Made permanent important expansions to tax credits for working and middle-class families in the 2015 tax agreement that were first enacted in the 2009 Recovery Act, providing a tax cut averaging about $1,000 to roughly 24 million families each year

​The Budget Agreement Permanently Expands Important Tax Credits for Working Families

  • Expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit provide an average tax cut of about $900 for roughly 16 million working families a year. This can have a major impact: If a single mother of two works full-time all year for the federal minimum wage — earning $14,500 a year — she receives an additional Child Tax Credit of $1,725 each year as a result of the expansion. She would not receive any CTC if the provision expired.
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides a maximum credit of $2,500 per year for the first four years of college — up to $10,000 per student – to help students and their families afford college.

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Ensured the wealthy pay more of their fair share, including by reversing the costly “Bush tax cuts” for those with the highest incomes -- which will reduce deficits by more than $800 billion over the next ten years

As part of the President’s balanced approach to deficit reduction, he fought to reverse tax cuts for the highest-income Americans – pushing back on inequities in our tax code that leave some wealthy families paying a lower rate than many working families. The Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 cut the top tax rates for high-income Americans. The American Taxpayer Relief Act the President signed into law reversed these costly tax cuts, including by:

  • Restoring the top income tax rate from 35% to its Clinton-era level of 39.6%
  • Increasing the top tax rate on investment income from 15% to 20% (23.8% including increases enacted in the Affordable Care Act)
  • Restoring limits on deductions for high-income taxpayers

After these changes became effective in 2013, effective tax rates increased sharply for the highest-income Americans, reversing a decade-long trend of tax cuts for the highest-income Americans. Altogether, reversing the high-income Bush tax cuts will reduce the deficit by more than $800 billion over the next decade. Overall, relative to the tax code in place before the Administration, in 2017:

  • The top 1 percent of families – who on average earn $1.6 million a year – will pay effective tax rates about 5 percentage points higher than they would have under the pre-Obama tax code, meaning they are contributing over $80,000 more in taxes on average.
  • The top 1 percent of families – who on average earn $1.6 million a year – will pay effective tax rates about 5 percentage points higher than they would have under the pre-Obama tax code, meaning they are contributing over $80,000 more in taxes on average.

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Cracked down on corporate inversions through new rules that make it harder for U.S. companies to escape paying U.S. taxes on foreign earnings

Although Congress has not acted on the President’s proposal to stop corporate tax inversions, Treasury has used its authority under existing law to reduce the tax benefits of – and when possible, stop – corporate tax inversions. Treasury’s actions significantly diminish the ability of inverted companies to escape U.S. taxation.

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Took action to curb harmful loopholes for the wealthy

Treasury proposed regulations to end a specific abuse of the carried interest loophole – the use of “management fee waivers” to convert fees into low-taxed carried interest.

Treasury proposed regulations to close a loophole that allows wealthy families to use certain estate planning strategies to claim large discounts on the value of their assets to reduce their estate and gift taxes.

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Cracked down on offshore tax evasion through criminal investigations and prosecutions, international agreements, and a new law aimed at preventing banks from facilitating U.S. tax evasion (FATCA)

Treasury.gov: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

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Made the Research and Experimentation tax credit permanent, bringing certainty to companies investing in innovation

A Critical Step Forward for a Stronger Economy and a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code

READ THE BLOG POST

 

Put a real expiration date on dozens of business tax breaks that have been extended repeatedly for years without much scrutiny, which would save more than $200 billion over the next decade

A Critical Step Forward for a Stronger Economy and a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code

READ THE BLOG POST

Fought for Working Families

 

Expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-wage working families and made those expansions permanent. Together, the CTC and EITC improvements reduce the extent or severity of poverty for more than 16 million people — including about 8 million children — each year.

The CTC and EITC expansions provide an average tax cut of about $900 for roughly 16 million working families a year. If a single mother of two works full-time all year for the federal minimum wage – earning $14,500 a year – she receives an additional CTC of $1,725 each year as a result of the expansion. She would not receive any CTC without this provision. The tax cut expansions increase the EITC for families with more than two children, a group with disproportionately high poverty rates, and reduce the EITC’s “marriage penalty,” making married couples eligible for the EITC at higher levels of combined income. The benefits of these changes are widespread: according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, among the 16 million families who benefit from CTC and EITC expansions are:

  • About 5 million Latino working families
  • About 2 million African American working families
  • About 1 million veteran and military families
  • About 2.6 million rural families
  • And more than 6 million millennial workers
 

Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, empowering workers to recover wages lost to discrimination by extending the time period for parties to bring pay discrimination claims, and took other steps helping to shrink the gender pay gap by more than 10 percent

 

Led the way on paid sick and family leave, promoting state and local action and signing an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to offer 7 paid sick days to workers. Since taking office, the number of private sector workers with paid sick leave has grown by 10.6 million and with paid family leave by 6.2 million.

 

Fought to expand overtime protections to 4.2 million workers, which would boost pay by $12 billion over the next decade

FACT SHEET: Growing Middle Class Paychecks and Helping Working Families Get Ahead By Expanding Overtime Pay

READ THE FACT SHEET

 

Promoted workers’ rights to express their voice in the workplace, and defended their right to choose to organize and collectively bargain

 

Launched the White House Equal Pay Pledge, signed by more than 100 leading businesses committing to conduct an annual pay audit and combat pay gap. Established the collection of pay data by sex, race, and ethnicity from all businesses with 100 or more employees.

Learn more about the White House Equal Pay Pledge:

READ MORE

FACT SHEET: Helping Working Americans Get Ahead by Expanding Paid Sick Leave and Fighting for Equal Pay:

READ MORE

 

Strengthened workplace safety and health protections, such as limiting exposure to silica, and preventing thousands of deaths and life-altering injuries on the job

Read more about the final rule to protect workers from silica.

Tapped the Full Potential of the Digital Age While Ensuring All Americans Share in The Benefits

 

Supported the FCC’s “net neutrality” decision to adopt the strongest rules possible to ensure Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot become gatekeepers to the Internet’s content or create paid fast lanes for access to the best services

 

Supported the FCC’s move to pre-empt state laws that restrict the expansion of municipal broadband networks

Together, we've improved our economy after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. See the record: wh.gov/the-record/economy
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Aggressively repurposed spectrum to ensure that the United States remains a leader in next-generation wireless services, including staying on track to free up 500 MHz of valuable spectrum for mobile broadband, refocusing on new ways to share lucrative airwaves, and opening up massive slices of high-band spectrum for the ultrafast 5G services of the future well before any other country.

 
 

Signed the America Invents Act into law to reform the nation’s patent laws for the 21st Century, helping companies and inventors avoid costly delays — especially in key industries like biotechnology, medical devices, telecommunications, the Internet, and advanced manufacturing, that depend on a strong and healthy intellectual property system

Together, we've improved our economy after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. See the record: wh.gov/the-record/economy
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Began work on over a dozen Executive Actions designed to combat patent trolls who make a business model out of threatening innocent companies with infringement — actions that allowed companies to focus on innovation, not costly and needless litigation

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Launched the Startup America campaign to encourage federal agencies to streamline technology-transfer procedures, support government-industry collaboration, and encourage the commercialization of novel technologies flowing from federal laboratories

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Worked with industry to collaboratively develop a “cybersecurity framework” of baseline standards that is helping to protect critical infrastructure from disruptive cyberattack

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Ordered government agencies that process payments to employ enhanced security features, including chip-and-PIN technology, to reduce fraud and better protect Americans’ personal financial information

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Following a petition drive launched on WhiteHouse.gov, signed legislation to restore the basic consumer freedom to “unlock” cell phones, allowing customers to switch carriers without purchasing new equipment

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Successfully encouraged companies to sign a voluntary pledge to protect student privacy by banning the sale of personal data collected in the classroom to third parties for marketing purposes

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Released first-of-their-kind sanctions tools to dissuade and deter foreign hackers and nation-states that would seek to steal our trade secrets or disrupt our economic wellbeing

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Launched ConnectHome, an initiative to help communities build partnerships with the private sector to expand high-speed Internet to all Americans by delivering low-cost in-home broadband, digital literacy, and devices for low-income families living in public and assisted housing

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Launched ConnectALL, an initiative to help 20 million more Americans get online and to facilitate access to the tools needed to take full advantage of the Internet. As part of this initiative, the Administration supported the FCC’s modernization of the Lifeline low-income phone subsidy program to include broadband.

 
 

Encouraged the safe and responsible testing and deployment of automated and connected vehicles on American roads and streets to save lives and transform mobility, productivity, and sustainability

We released first ever Federal policy to guide the responsible testing and deployment of automated vehicles, which has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in the United States.

Read more about the policy. See what President Obama had to say.

We released a proposed rule that would mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication on light vehicles, allowing cars to “talk” to each other and prevent hundreds of thousands of vehicle crashes.

READ MORE

 

Enabled a new generation of aviation technology to transform how we gather information about our world, enable more accurate science, move products around the country, and protect public health and the environment

We released a groundbreaking rule that provides the first national, uniform guidelines for non-recreational operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). These systems will create jobs, enhance public safety, and advance public inquiry.

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Launched the White House Smart Cities Initiative to help communities use technology to tackle local challenges and improve city services

We partnered with Columbus, OH to prototype the transportation system of the future, supported by $40 million from the Smart City Challenge.

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We tackled climate, transportation, and public safety by working with over 70 cities and communities to use technology to solve urban challenges.

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Released the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to provide a blueprint for consumer privacy that sets out principles for how companies should handle consumers’ personal information

 
 

Negotiated and brought into force the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield, a new transatlantic data privacy agreement allowing transfer of personal data between the U.S. and the EU, subject to world-class privacy protections

This critical agreement will help grow the more than $260 billion in digital services trade already conducted across the Atlantic each year.

 

Negotiated and signed the U.S.-EU Data Privacy Protection Agreement, providing a mechanism for transatlantic exchange of law enforcement data, with world-class protections for citizens’ privacy. The President also signed into law the Judicial Redress Act, extending additional privacy protections to citizens of our allies and partners.

 
 

Engaged with global partners and built consensus for an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace, including international norms of behavior in cyberspace

 
 

Defended a free and open Internet internationally, promoting multistakeholder internet governance led by civil society, industry, and other global stakeholders while maintaining the security and functionality of the internet

 
 

Established mechanisms to target, among others, persons determined to have used information and communications technology in ways that assist in or enable human rights abuses by or on behalf of the Governments of Syria or Iran

 
 

Created coordinated mechanism for developing Federal broadband access policy and increased resources for broadband investments to expand access and reduce costs for families around the country

 
 

Released the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to provide a blueprint for consumer privacy that sets out principles for how companies should handle consumers’ personal information

 

Made Government More Efficient, Transparent, and Technology Savvy

 

Launched We the People, a new platform that gives all Americans a way to create and sign petitions on a range of issues affecting our nation

 

Hired the federal government’s first Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer to smooth operations and ensure the government is making the most effective and efficient use of innovative technological advances

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Signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government on the first day of the administration to usher in a new era of open and accountable government in order to bridge the gap between the American people and their government

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Launched Data.gov to increase access to government information that the public can readily find and use

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Launched open-data initiatives in health, energy, education, and public safety to make information about government operations more readily available and useful

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Signed the Telework Enhancement Act requiring federal agencies to promote the use of telework

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Established the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to recruit technology innovators to spend six months working on special projects for the federal government

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Increased tracking of how government uses federal dollars with easy-to-understand websites like Recovery.gov, USASpending.gov, and the IT Dashboard

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Launched Challenge.gov, a one-stop shop where entrepreneurs and citizens compete to solve problems based on creative thinking and innovation

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Launched the Government Accountability and Transparency Board to root out misspent tax dollars and making government spending more accessible and transparent

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Established the National Science and Technology Council Task Force on Smart Disclosure to promote better disclosure policies and aid in the timely release of complex information in standardized, machine-readable formats

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Expanded access to Trusted Traveler Programs allowing expedited security screening for participants, including a major expansion of Global Entry and creating TSA Precheck

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Accelerated international arrivals process at key airports through new passport control technology and other important improvements

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Expanded the validity of business and tourist visas from 1 to 10 years between China and the United States, and from 1 to 5 years for students, leading to an economy-boosting surge in Chinese travelers and tourists

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Streamlined legal immigration to boost our economy, including by providing portable work authorizations for high-skilled workers and their spouses, enhancing options for entrepreneurs and making key improvements to the H-1B program

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Established the National Science and Technology Council subcommittee on around-the-corner technologies and emergent sectors to identify new potential industry growth areas, as well as new target-rich environments for follow on research and development

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Supporting International Growth and Financial Reform

 

Concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a high-standard trade agreement that, if passed by Congress, would boost Made-in-America exports and support American jobs, while setting strong rules of the road on labor and the environment across the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.

 

At the depth of the financial crisis in early 2009, succeeded in arresting the freefall in the global economy and financial system through coordinated policy action by governments around the world that injected $5 trillion in global fiscal stimulus to raise global output, support growth, and restart international trade

Together, we've improved our economy after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. See the record: wh.gov/the-record/economy
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Elevated the G-20 to be the premier forum for international economic policy coordination, giving key dynamic emerging economies a seat at the table for major decisions

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Mobilized more than $1 trillion for international financial institutions, including through general capital increases at the multilateral development banks that expanded their capacity to promote growth and combat extreme poverty around the world, while enhancing the voice and vote of emerging economies

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Worked with the G-20 to establish the Financial Stability Board to coordinate international efforts on financial reform, and through that channel agreed on rules to increase the quality and consistency of bank capital, to strengthen global liquidity standards so that banks are less vulnerable to runs, and introduced an internationally consistent leverage ratio

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Signed into law the 2010 IMF quota and governance reforms that modernize the IMF and better anchor fast-growing emerging economies in the multilateral system led by the United States, while preserving our veto over major IMF decisions

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Launched Power Africa to bring together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power

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Signed the Korea, Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements

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Signed into law a renewed and improved ten-year extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

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Challenged unfair trade practices by foreign countries at an unprecedented rate at the World Trade Organization, setting up an Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to mobilize the resources of the government to defend

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Secured strong commitments against currency manipulation by G-20 countries

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Negotiated organic equivalency arrangements with Canada, the E.U., Japan, Korea and Switzerland, providing U.S. organic farmers and businesses with streamlined access to international organic markets valued at over $35 billion

Read more about how this Administration strengthened organic agriculture and local food systems.

Spurred Competition

 

Undertook steps towards reform of occupational licensing to reduce the prevalence of unnecessary and overly broad labor requirements that are hurting workers and consumers

  • Put out a call to action and set of best practices for state policymakers to enact reforms to diminish the pervasiveness of unnecessary occupational licenses that can artificially create higher costs for consumers and prohibit skilled American workers like florists or hairdressers from entering jobs in which they could otherwise excel. In 2016 alone, over 11 states have proposed or passed reform bills in line with the White House best practices.
  • Made available $7.5 million in federal fundingfor organizations to work with groups of states to design and implement approaches that enhance the portability of licenses across states and reduce overly burdensome licensing restrictions in general.
  • Directed federal departments and agencies to ensure that federally-issued occupational licenses are not presumptively denied on the basis of a criminal record.
 

Launched the Competition Initiative, which mandated federal departments and agencies to act within 60-days to identify competition barriers and to encourage a fair, efficient, and competitive marketplace for American workers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers using every tool at their disposal outside of the enforcement and merger review context

 

Acted to create a more competitive airline market, one that makes traveling simpler and fairer for consumers

  • Took steps to promote more fair and transparent competition in the airline industry, including: the first step toward a rulemaking to require refunds for delayed baggage; requiring airlines not to “cherry-pick” the data they report on on-time arrivals by requiring them to share information on their smaller, “code-sharing” partners; requiring online ticket agents (Trip Advisor, Kayak, etc.) to disclose any biasing of their results; and requiring disclosure of mishandling of wheelchairs so disabled passengers have better information.
 

Combated anti-competitive employer practices that have inhibited the ability of workers to earn competitive wages and limited workers’ ability to seek employment at another employer

  • Released reports from Treasury and the White House on the overuse of non-competes. Followed up that work with a call to action and set of best practices for state policymakers to enact reforms to reduce the prevalence of non-compete agreements that are hurting workers and regional economies. Elected officials in Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, and Utah signed on in support of the call to action.
  • Issued a brief by White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) on monopsony power, which occurs when companies with power in labor markets can set the wages they pay at lower levels and hire fewer workers than if there was strong competition. These lower wages have real consequences for families and the economy more broadly.
  • Provided guidance for HR professionals on how to spot and report wage collusion among competing employers that may violate antitrust laws.
 

Took steps to eliminate barriers in the hearing aid market and make it easier for nearly 30 million Americans currently suffering from hearing loss to shop for and purchase hearing aids

  • Announced that the FDA does not intend to enforce the requirement for American adults to get a medical evaluation before obtaining most hearing aids.
  • Launched a process to facilitate the availability of over-the-counter hearing aids that could deliver new, innovative, and lower-cost products to millions of consumers.
 

Responded to trends of diminished innovation within the cable television industry by reducing barriers to entry for competition and encouraging more variety, higher-quality, and lower-cost products and services for consumers

 
 

Filed in support of the FCC's initiative to open up the set-top cable box to competition.

Thinking Outside the Cable Box: How More Competition Gets You a Better Deal

READ MORE

 

Acted to support fairness for poultry, cattle, and swine growers by issuing the Farmer Fair Practices Rules

Three USDA Actions to Help Farmers Get a Fair Shake, Explained

READ MORE

 

 

This article was originally posted on https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-record/economy

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Central African Republic, Central African Republic, Chad, Chad, Chile, Chile, China, China, Christmas Island, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Colombia, Comoros, Comoros, Congo, Congo, Cook Islands, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Cote d'ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cote d'ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Croatia, Cuba, Cuba, Curacao, Curacao, Cyprus, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Denmark, Djibouti, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ecuador, Egypt, Egypt, El Salvador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eritrea, Estonia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Faroe Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Fiji, Finland, Finland, France, France, French Guiana, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, French Southern Territories, Gabon, Gabon, Gambia, Gambia, Georgia, Georgia, Germany, Germany, Ghana, Ghana, Gibraltar, Gibraltar, Greece, Greece, Greenland, Greenland, Grenada, Grenada, Guadaloupe, Guadaloupe, Guam, Guam, Guatemala, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Guyana, Haiti, Haiti, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hungary, Hungary, Iceland, Iceland, India, India, Indonesia, Indonesia, Iran, Iran, Iraq, Iraq, Ireland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Man, Israel, Israel, Italy, Italy, Jamaica, Jamaica, Japan, Japan, Jersey, Jersey, Jordan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kenya, Kiribati, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Laos, Latvia, Latvia, Lebanon, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lesotho, Liberia, Liberia, Libya, Libya, Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Macao, Macao, Macedonia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Madagascar, Malawi, Malawi, Malaysia, Malaysia, Maldives, Maldives, Mali, Mali, Malta, Malta, Marshall Islands, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mayotte, Mexico, Mexico, Micronesia, Micronesia, Moldava, Moldava, Monaco, Monaco, Mongolia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montenegro, Montserrat, Montserrat, Morocco, Morocco, Mozambique, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Namibia, Nauru, Nauru, Nepal, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nicaragua, Niger, Niger, Nigeria, Nigeria, Niue, Niue, Norfolk Island, Norfolk Island, North Korea, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Norway, Oman, Oman, Pakistan, Pakistan, Palau, Palau, Palestine, Palestine, Panama, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Paraguay, Peru, Peru, Phillipines, Phillipines, Pitcairn, Pitcairn, Poland, Poland, Portugal, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Qatar, Reunion, Reunion, Romania, Romania, Russia, Russia, Rwanda, Rwanda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Helena, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Samoa, San Marino, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Senegal, Serbia, Serbia, Seychelles, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somalia, South Africa, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, South Korea, South Korea, South Sudan, South Sudan, Spain, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Suriname, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Swaziland, Sweden, Sweden, Switzerland, Switzerland, Syria, Syria, Taiwan, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tanzania, Thailand, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Togo, Tokelau, Tokelau, Tonga, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uganda, Ukraine, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, United States, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Uruguay, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Vatican City, Venezuela, Venezuela, Vietnam, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, US, Virgin Islands, US, Wallis and Futuna, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Western Sahara, Yemen, Yemen, Zambia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
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