Busy lame duck gets Obameter moving
It's the final weeks of the 111th Congress, so Democrats are working to get as many initiatives through Congress as they can before Republicans take control over the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011. All the activity means new ratings for President Barack Obama's campaign promises.
We examined four of Obama's campaign promises and will be looking at more in the days and weeks to come. Here's a quick summary of our ratings; click through each promise to read the full report:
• No. 293: Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." President Obama signed into law legislation that ends the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. The bill creates a transition period so that Department of Defense officials can plan for the new policy. But the legislation removes the legal barriers to gays and lesbians serving, so we rated this Promise Kept.
• No. 37: Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes. Obama and Senate Republicans agreed on a tax package that included extending the current tax rates for all incomes. The extension expires in 2012. We rated this one Promise Kept.
• No. 38: Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes. Obama campaigned on letting tax rates increase for couples who make more than $250,000 and individuals who make more than $200,000. The tax compromise violated those pledges. So we rated this one Promise Broken.
• No. 41: Freeze the 2009 estate tax law. Obama campaigned on raising taxes on estates, but the Republicans were able to negotiate somewhat lower rates. So we rated this promise Compromise.