In his State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to pitch himself as a job-creator, in direct contrast to Congress, which has stymied his attempts to boost employment. The White House has released a video outlining the different ways President Obama says he's doing more to help the middle class by going around Congress and intransigent Republicans. The list of actions he's taken includes:
Boosting Tourism, Jan. 19, 2012: Obama directs the Homeland Security Department and the State Department to increase visas to tourists.
Incentivizing ‘Insourcing’, Jan. 11, 2012: Paired with a proposal to cut taxes on companies hiring domestically, Obama asked commerce agencies to encourage foreign investors to consider the U.S.
Appointing Cordray and NLRB members, Jan. 4, 2012: Despite Republicans’ best efforts to leave the positions vacant, President Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three others to positions on the National Labor Relations Board. The appointments came during Congress’s “pro forma” session that the administration considered a recess.
Making Records More Transparent, Dec. 29, 2011: Calling their record-keeping practices “outdated,” Obama calls for agencies to make their records digital and easily accessible.
Guaranteeing Pay For In-Home Caregivers, Dec. 15, 2011: Caregivers for Medicare beneficiaries will receive minimum wage.
Increasing AIDS funding, Dec. 1, 2011: On World AIDS Day, Obama announces a new goal to treat 2 million overseas patients.
Consolidating Student Loans, Oct. 26, 2011: Obama announces a new plan for students and graduates to consolidate their debt.
Cutting Government Waste, Nov. 9, 2011: After a year of research and initiatives from Vice President Joseph Biden’s “Campaign to Cut Waste,” Obama called on agencies to submit specific plans to cut in areas including “swag.”
Strengthening Head Start, Nov. 8, 2011: Following up on a congressional order that the pre-K programs raise their standards, Obama announced a new law requiring Head Start centers to submit applications for funding rather than receiving it automatically.
Boosting Veterans' Employment. Obama announced many initiatives to curb unemployment among veterans and military families. Among them: direct counseling to help veterans find work, commitments by companies to hire veterans under the first and second ladies’ “Joining Forces” initiative, and training to help medical personnel transfer skills from the battlefield to the hospital.
Speeding-Up Grant Approval Process, Oct. 28, 2011: In an effort to “speed up innovation,” Obama asks government agencies to shorten the time they take to approve grants to technology companies.
Making it Easier to Refinance, Oct. 24, 2011: The first of the executive orders: Obama announces a boost to the Home Affordable Refinance Program to encourage more potential homeowners to participate.