(Reuters) - President Barack Obama said at a fundraiser in California this week he has kept 60 percent of his 2008 campaign promises.
Here are some of his major promises made on the campaign trail in 2008 and where they stand:
* CLOSING GUANTANAMO BAY - Obama said he would shut down the facility set up by President George W. Bush to be the central prison for terror suspects in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“As president, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists,” Obama said in August 2007.
Obama has said allegations of prisoner mistreatment there had hurt the United States’ reputation and has called the detention center a recruiting symbol for anti-American groups.
In January 2009, Obama ordered Guantanamo to close within a year but he came under intense pressure from Republicans and in March signed an executive order lifting a two-year freeze on new military trials at Guantanamo Bay. He set measures for reviews to be held at least every four years for prisoners held indefinitely without charge or trial.
The prison still holds 171 people, down from 245 when Obama took office in January 2009.
* END COMBAT MISSIONS IN IRAQ BY AUG. 31, 2010 - “Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end,” Obama said early in his presidency.
In Iraq, where the U.S. force peaked at around 190,000 during the height of Bush’s troop surge in 2007, almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers have died. The war has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $700 billion in military spending.
By August 31, 2010, the Obama administration had pulled out 50,000 troops from Iraq and cleared the way for a shift from combat missions to assistance for Iraq’s security forces.
On October 21, Obama vowed to pull out all U.S. troops from Iraq this year.
* REPEAL DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL - Last December, Obama signed legislation repealing a military policy that banned gays from openly serving in the armed forces. The policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” had been signed into law in 1993 under President Bill Clinton.
Obama has since hailed the repeal, which went into effect in September, and urged Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
* UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE - In March 2010, Obama signed into law a bill to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. This followed months of wrangling and political standoffs with Republican lawmakers, who vehemently opposed the most sweeping social policy legislation in decades.
The law requires Americans to obtain health coverage, imposes fines on those who don’t and provides federal subsidies to help low- and middle-income families afford insurance.
The law has since been challenged in court by 14 states, which have argued it undercuts their rights. Congressional Republicans, who had unanimously opposed the bill, have vowed to keep fighting it as Obama runs for a second term.
* FINANCIAL REGULATION - While running for president, Obama promised to rein in Wall Street forces and their risky practices that pushed America into its worst recession in decades.
Obama, who inherited a weak economy, called for comprehensive financial regulations and consumer protection rules to prevent future financial crises.
In July 2010, he signed into law a plan that would set up a new financial consumer watchdog, create a protocol for dismantling troubled financial firms and mandate higher bank capital standards. The moves were all part of an effort to avoid a repeat of the 2007-2009 credit crisis that hammered the economy and triggered taxpayer bailouts of troubled firms.
The law, which tightens financial industry oversight and aims to prevent risky lending practices, was one of the most ambitious promises on Obama’s domestic agenda.
The president has since come under intense pressure from Republicans and Wall Street interests calling for limited government regulations in the financial sector.
* REPEAL BUSH TAX CUTS - As a presidential candidate,
Obama vowed to oppose Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans -- families making over $250,000 or individuals earning more than $200,000.
But in December last year, Obama brokered a tax deal in Congress and agreed to a Republican demand to continue the Bush tax cuts until 2012 in exchange for taxes laid out in his 2009 stimulus plan and an extension of unemployment benefits for another year.
In September, Obama called for $3.6 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years, with half of the savings coming from higher taxes on the wealthy and big corporations.
* IMMIGRATION REFORM - Obama’s 2008 election victory can be partly attributed to a huge turnout of reliably Democratic Hispanic voters drawn by his promise to deliver immigration reform that would allow millions of illegal immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship.
Obama broke his promise to tackle immigration reform in his first year in office, partly because it was sidelined during his long push for healthcare reform. Obama has acknowledged that he is still committed to this pledge for federal immigration reform, but said it will have to wait.
When a bill, known as the Dream Act, which would have created a path citizenship for illegal immigrants who attend college or serve in the military failed in Senate last year, it was another blow to Obama’s immigration policy.
* ISRAEL-PALESTINE - In foreign policy, Obama pledged to set in motion a diplomatic push to achieve a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state of Israel.
After taking office in January 2009, Obama appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as a special envoy in charge of bringing peace to the Middle East. After Mitchell resigned in March, Obama appointed Daniel Shapiro as U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Obama’s diplomatic efforts have yet to produce tangible progress or a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York in September, Obama called for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This angered Palestinian leaders, who launched a bid for statehood at the United Nations despite Israeli and U.S. objections.
* REVOLVING DOOR- Obama, who stood for “change we can believe in” on the campaign trail, promised to reform unethical practices in Washington. On his first day in office, he signed an order requiring former lobbyists taking up government posts and former government officials entering lobby groups to wait two years.
According to politifact.com, the Obama administration has granted recusals and waivers to former lobbyists. For instance, an exception was made after a waiver was granted to former lobbyist Celia Munoz, who was appointed as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House in 2009.
Reporting by Malathi Nayak; editing by Chris Wilson
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