Checking up on Obama's campaign promises
We've been busy fact-checking statements about the oil spill, the 2010 elections, and the national debt, but we've also been updating our massive database of President Barack Obama's campaign promises and rating them for completion.
Obama made more than 500 campaign promises during the campaign. We've categorized them according to subject, including health care, taxes , foreign policy, and the economy. We've also selected 25 of Obama's most important promises and categorized them as PolitiFact's Top Promises.
We also keep a count on the rating of the promises. The latest breakdown:
• 117 Promise Kept
• 19 Promise Broken
• 36 Compromise
• 81 Stalled
• 249 In the Works
Finally, here's a summary of some of our most recent updates and new ratings. Click through to the full reports for more details and a complete list of sources, with hyperlinks.
No. 452, Weatherize 1 million homes per year: Obama said he would commit the federal government to weatherizing at least 1 million low-income homes each year for 10 years. He said it would "reduce energy usage across the economy and help moderate energy prices for all." When Obama signed the stimulus bill, it sent $4.73 billion to programs to insulate homes and improve their energy efficiency. But the program has been slow to get off the ground, so we rated this promise Compromise.
No. 59, Invest in electronic health information systems: Obama promised $10 billion a year over the five years "to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records." The health care law he signed in March sent about $30 billion to electronic health care records, so he still has about $20 billion to go to meet his funding goal. We rated the promise In the Works.
No. 109, Fully fund the Veterans Administration: Obama signed two separate laws that increased funding for the Veterans Administration. One of those mandated that Congress appropriate money for veterans medical care programs one year in advance. So we rated this one Promise Kept.
No. 294, Support repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Obama pledged to work for the repeal of the federal law that bans gay marriage. Because his support seemed tepid in 2009, we rated the promise Stalled. Later, Obama started speaking out in favor of the repeal and took other steps to advance gay rights. So we moved the promise from Stalled to In the Works.
No. 308, Fully fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): Obama said he would roll back reductions in funding for Community Development Block Grants that happened under the Bush administration. His budgets show that he kept his word and raised funding levels. The grants pay for housing projects in low-income areas, provide relief to disaster areas, and other community development and poverty relief programs. We rated this one Promise Kept.
No. 433, Sign a "universal" health care bill: Obama said he would sign a health bill that covers everyone, and this year's health care law includes a requirement that everyone have insurance. There's a pending lawsuit against the individual mandate, and questions on how many people will defy the mandate. Still, the mandate is now enshrined in law. We rated this Promise Kept, but we'll be watching to see if the mandate is repealed or doesn't work as its supporters planned.
No. 63, Require health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care: The health care law gave state and federal officials the power to hold health plans accountable for what they spend on patient care. So we rated this Promise Kept.
No. 524, Strengthen international rules against commercial whaling: We added this promise recently after readers brought it to our attention. During the campaign, Obama said he would strengthen the international moratorium on commercial whaling. "Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable," Obama said. We added the promise to our database, reported his administration's actions as part of the International Whaling Commission, and rated the promise In the Works.
No. 203, Develop a comprehensive cyber security and response strategy: We looked into new action on the Obama administration's work on developing a cyber security strategy. They're working on a plan, but it's not finished yet. We rated this promise In the Works.