Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Tracking politicians' promises

The Obameter

Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises

GOP Pledge-O-Meter

Tracking the promises of the GOP Leadership in Congress

Promises we’ve rated recently

Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba

The Promise:

"Cuban American connections to family in Cuba are not only a basic right in humanitarian terms, but also our best tool for helping to foster the beginnings of grassroots democracy on the island. Accordingly, as president, Obama will grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island."

Update December 18th, 2014: Historic agreement expands visiting rights and more

Make the Veterans Administration a national leader in health reform

The Promise:

"Make the VA a leader of national health care reform. … This includes efforts to improve electronic records interoperability, expand effectiveness research, promote wellness programs, and instill more accountability for performance and quality improvement initiatives."


Update November 12th, 2014: Legislation passed to address veterans’ health problems, but what will impact be?

Reduce the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog

The Promise:


"There are currently over 400,000 claims pending within the Veterans Benefits Administration, and over 800,000 claims receipts are expected in 2008 alone. … Obama will hire additional claims workers and convene our nation's leading veterans groups, employees and managers to develop an updated training and management model that will ensure that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently, and stem from adequate training and accountability for each claims adjudicator."


Update November 12th, 2014: We note some progress, but the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog is still large

Support network neutrality on the Internet

The Promise:

"Support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."


Update November 10th, 2014: Obama reaffirms support for net neutrality by backing major shift in federal regulations

No signing statements to nullify instructions from Congress

The Promise:

"While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability. I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law."


Update June 4th, 2014: After ignoring provision about notifying Congress of Guantanamo detainee transfers, this moves to Promise Broken

Set a standard for utility companies that 80 percent of the nation's electricity comes from clean sources by 2035

The Promise:

"Setting a standard for utility companies to that 80 percent of the nation's electricity comes from clean sources by 2035"


Update June 2nd, 2014: New EPA proposal puts this promise back in play

Encourage videotaping of interrogations in capital cases

The Promise:


Will encourage states to adopt a law similar to one he shepherded through the Illinois legislature, "requiring videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital cases to ensure that prosecutions are fair."


Update May 30th, 2014: Obama administration goes beyond its original promise

End the war in Afghanistan in 2014

The Promise:


"President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq and will end the war in Afghanistan in 2014."


Update May 28th, 2014: Obama announces plan to end combat operations this year

Reduce the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog

The Promise:


"There are currently over 400,000 claims pending within the Veterans Benefits Administration, and over 800,000 claims receipts are expected in 2008 alone. … Obama will hire additional claims workers and convene our nation's leading veterans groups, employees and managers to develop an updated training and management model that will ensure that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently, and stem from adequate training and accountability for each claims adjudicator."


Update May 22nd, 2014: Rated broken in 2012, wait times now back in the headlines

Make the Veterans Administration a national leader in health reform

The Promise:

"Make the VA a leader of national health care reform. … This includes efforts to improve electronic records interoperability, expand effectiveness research, promote wellness programs, and instill more accountability for performance and quality improvement initiatives."


Update May 22nd, 2014: Long wait times overshadow other accomplishments

Support network neutrality on the Internet

The Promise:

"Support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."


Update May 15th, 2014: FCC proposal moves forward, not set in stone

Support network neutrality on the Internet

The Promise:

"Support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."


Update April 28th, 2014: After a court ruling and a new FCC proposal, a Promise Kept unravels, at least for now

Develop a comprehensive cyber security and response strategy

The Promise:

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ensure that his administration develops a Cyber Security Strategy that ensures that we have the ability to identify our attackers and a plan for how to respond that will be measured but effective."

Update March 21st, 2014: Progress on a framework, but trust shattered by Snowden revelations

Double American exports over the next five years

The Promise:

"President Obama set a goal to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016 and is working to double American exports over the next five years by promoting U.S. goods and removing trade barriers, expanding access to credit, and promoting strong growth."


Update March 6th, 2014: Since he made this promise in 2012, exports aren't on a pace to double

Create a new trade enforcement unit that will address China's trade practices

The Promise:

Standing up for American workers and businesses in the global marketplace, taking on China's unfair trade practices through a new trade enforcement unit to level the playing field.


Update March 6th, 2014: The unit has been created, but we're waiting on its results