Obama’s second term: A timeline


January 16 – Obama proposes overhaul of nation’s gun laws to end the “epidemic” of gun violence, two months after 26 were killed in the shooting at Newtown, Conn.

January 29 – In an address in Las Vegas, Obama calls for comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

{mosads}February 12 – Obama delivers State of the Union, vowing to push economic policies to aid the middle class and withdraw 34,000 troops from Afghanistan.

April 17 – The push for gun control fails after the Senate rejects measures to ban assault-style weapons and expand background checks.

May 10 – During a speech to the American Bar Association, IRS official Lois Lerner admits conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were targeted.

May 23  In a speech at the National Defense University, Obama lays out new guidelines for drone strikes and pledges to push ahead to shutter the prison at Gitmo.

June 5 – The Guardian publishes documents from leaker Edward Snowden detailing the NSA’s surveillance programs.

June 26  In a major address at Georgetown University, Obama unveils his second-term climate goals, calling for limits on coal plants. The same day, the Supreme Court strikes down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a victory for gay rights supporters.

June 27 – The Senate passes comprehensive immigration reform, but House Republicans refuse to take up the bill.

July 19 – Obama addresses racial profiling and race relations in the U.S. after a jury returns a not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. “Trayvon Martin could have been me,” Obama says.

August 31 – Obama asks Congress to approve military action against Syria, after accusing the regime of using chemical weapons on civilians.

September 10  Obama addresses the nation on Syria and asks lawmakers to delay a vote on authorizing force, amid strong Congressional opposition.

October 1 – The federal government shuts down as Republicans try to defund ObamaCare. The shutdown plays terribly for the GOP, giving Democrats hope of success in the 2014 midterm elections.

October 17 – Obama signs legislation ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling.

October 21 –’s disastrous Oct. 1 launch is the number one story in the country. Obama addresses the issues in a Rose Garden speech, saying he finds the problems “unacceptable,” but insisting the healthcare law is here to stay.

November 7 – The president says “I am sorry” in an interview after reports consumers had health insurance plans that didn’t meet ObamaCare’s requirements cancelled. During the campaign, Obama said consumers could keep their plans if they liked them.

November 21 – In a 52-48 vote, the Senate approves the “nuclear option” limiting the GOP’s powers to filibuster Obama’s executive branch nominees.

November 24  Obama announces a 6-month deal with Iran to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

December 20 – During his year-end press conference, Obama called the healthcare website his biggest mistake of the year, but vowed 2014 would be a “breakthrough year.” Before the presser, a CNN poll found his approval rating at 41 percent, the lowest level in their tracking.



January 14 – Obama vows a year of action with executive orders to bypass Congress. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” he says.

January 27 – Obama downplays threat from ISIS. “If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

February 12 – The president signs an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, a move opposed by Republicans and small business groups.

March 6 – Obama issues the first economic sanctions targeting Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

March 31 – Open enrollment in the first year of ObamaCare ends, with the administration passing their 7 million target.

May 30 – VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigns amid a scandal over long patient wait times. A day later,Obama secures the release of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan, in exchange for five Taliban commanders. But the move, made without informing Congress, sparks controversy.

June 2 – The Environmental Protection Agency rolls out climate rules for power plants.

August 5 – Obama’s second term approval rating hits all time low of 40 percent.

August 19 – A video of ISIS beheading American journalist James Foley surfaces. Obama is criticized after returning to the golf course during a vacation after denouncing the murder.

September 19 – A man with a knife manages to scale the White House fence and enter the building before being apprehended, putting the Secret Service under the spotlight.

September 30 – U.S. gets its first reported Ebola case. The patient in Dallas will later die from the deadly disease.

September 30– Obama approves a plan allowing unaccompanied migrant children to apply for refugee status and provides more money for immigration lawyers.

November 4 – In a tough midterm for Democrats, Republicans hold the House and seize control of the Senate.

November 10 – Obama asks the FCC to implement tough net neutrality rules, including reclassifying broadband as a public utility.

November 20 – Obama moves to defer deportations for as many as 4 million illegal immigrants, sparking GOP ire. Republicans vow to defund the action.

December 17 – Obama announces plans to normalize relations with Cuba.



January 9 – Obama proposes two years of free community college.

January 20 – Obama delivers State of the Union address, urging Congress to embrace his policies on “middle class economics.” Obama said the U.S was ready to “turn the page” on the recession. 

February 24 – Obama vetoes the first bill passed by the GOP Congress, a measure authorizing construction of the Keystone pipeline.

March 4 – Obama signs a clean Homeland Security bill after a long fight with Republicans who sought to defund his immigration actions.

April 16 – Obama signs a $200 Medicare reform bill, hailing it as a bipartisan achievement.

June 2 – Obama signs a bill renewing the Patriot Act but including long sought for reforms to surveillance programs.

June 25 – The Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare’s subsidies in King v. Burwell.

June 26 – The Supreme Court recognizes a right to same-sex marriage nationwide.

June 29 – Obama unveils plans to expand overtime pay for millions of workers. The same day, Obama finally signs legislation granting him fast-track trade authority after a long fight, clearing the way for the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Tags Barack Obama Eric Shinseki Illinois

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