The Obameter

Tracking Obama's promises

The Obameter Scorecard

PolitiFact tracked 533 campaign promises made by Barack Obama on our Obameter. Browse the library of promises below or see the final report card and our special interactive report here.

Promises we’ve rated recently

Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center

The Promise:

"As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo."


Update January 20th, 2017: 41 prisoners remain at Gitmo as Obama leaves office

Create a prison-to-work incentive program

The Promise:


"Will create a prison-to-work incentive program, modeled on the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, to create ties with employers, third-party agencies that provide training and support services to exoffenders, and to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates."


Update January 5th, 2017: Obama took some steps to help ex-offedenders find jobs

Create a National Health Insurance Exchange

The Promise:


Create a "National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance."

Update January 3rd, 2017: Marketplace today is similar to original vision, but not identical

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 December 29th, 2016: Veterans benefits claim backlog dropped in Obama's second term

Expand eligibility for Medicaid

The Promise:

"Expand eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs and ensure that these programs continue to serve their critical safety net function."


Update December 29th, 2016: Supreme Court threw wrench in full Medicaid expansion

Create a public "Contracts and Influence" database

The Promise:

"Will create a 'contracts and influence' database that will disclose how much federal contractors spend on lobbying, and what contracts they are getting and how well they complete them."


Update December 28th, 2016: The database was never developed

Increase the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions

The Promise:

Will support "efforts to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund would use a small percentage of the profits of two government-sponsored housing agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to create thousands of new units of affordable housing every year...Will also restore cuts to public housing operating subsidies, and ensure that all Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs are restored to their original purpose."


Update December 27th, 2016: Housing promise only partially built out

Establish regulations to secure chemical plants

The Promise:

"Barack Obama will establish a clear set of federal regulations that all plants must follow, including improving barriers, containment, mitigation, and safety training, and, where possible, using safer technology, such as less toxic chemicals."


Update December 27th, 2016: Rules on chemical plants are not as strong as envisioned

Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study of federal cancer initiatives

The Promise:

"As president, Barack Obama will immediately direct his Secretary of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with agency officials, academic researchers, cancer survivors and advocates for people with cancer, and state public health officials, to comprehensively examine the various cancer-related efforts of federal agencies, and provide recommendations to eliminate barriers to effective coordination across federal agencies and between the federal government and other stakeholders."


Update December 22nd, 2016: Cancer Moonshot takes steps to unify federal agencies

Fix problems of voter access such as long lines on Election Day and on early voting days

The Promise:

"I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that."


Update December 22nd, 2016: Wait times at the polls improve in 2016, but battle isn't over

Support improved weather prediction program

The Promise:

Will work to launch "without further delay" the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, "an international effort to improve climate, weather, and hydrological predictions through more accurate and more frequent precipitation measurements."


Update December 21st, 2016: Key observatory was launched in 2014 and is operating smoothly

Advance the biomedical research field

The Promise:


"Will strengthen funding for biomedical research, and better improve the efficiency of that research by improving coordination both within government and across government/private/non-profit partnerships. An Obama administration will ensure that we translate scientific progress into improved approaches to disease prevention, early detection and therapy that is available for all Americans."


Update December 20th, 2016: Despite big infusions from stimulus and Cures Act, annual funding is down compared to 2008

Provide at least $2 billion for services to Iraqi refugees

The Promise:

"Provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries."


Update December 20th, 2016: US spent $2.5 billion on displaced Iraqis over Obama's two terms

Phase out incandescent light bulbs

The Promise:

"I will immediately sign a law that begins to phase out all incandescent light bulbs - a measure that will save American consumers $6 billion a year on their electric bills."


Update December 19th, 2016: Through mix of federal standards and consumer actions, LED bulbs are growing fast

Extend Production Tax Credit to encourage renewable energy

The Promise:

"Will . . . extend the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for 5 years to encourage the production of renewable energy."


Update December 19th, 2016: Extension through 2020 passed with bipartisan support in 2015