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Obama has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 by creating a market-based cap-and-trade system.[64] He also has planned to improve air and water quality through reduced carbon emissions.[64]

Obama worked

Obama worked as a member of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during the 109th Congress.[65] During the presidential campaign, he rejected John McCain's proposed suspension of federal gas taxes, claiming that it would hurt consumers, hinder highway construction, and endanger jobs. Obama criticized the idea of a gas tax "holiday" as a ploy by his rivals "designed to get them through an election" and not actually help "struggling consumers".[66]

Obama opposes offering reparations to the descendants of slaves. "I have said in the past – and I'll repeat again – that the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed," Obama said. An apology for slavery would be appropriate but not particularly helpful in improving the lives of African Americans, he said. Reparations could also be a distraction, Obama said.[67] "I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds," Obama told a meeting in Chicago in July 2008.[68]

Obama's administration offered a brief in support of affirmative action in March 2010 vis-à-vis a court case seeking to challenge Grutter v. Bollinger and the legality of "race-conscious" college admissions.Obama's administration offered a brief in support of affirmative action in March 2010 vis-à-vis a court case seeking to challenge Grutter v. Bollinger and the legality of "race-conscious" college admissions.[69]

Following the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, President Obama gave a 20-minute speech on July 19, 2013, in which he addressed the shooting of Trayvon Martin, racial profiling, as well as the state of race relations in the United States.[70]

Obama has stated, "The bond that I would like to create between an Obama administration and the [Native American] nations all across this country...is something that is going to be a top priority." Obama added that "few have been ignored by Washington for as long as native Americans – the first Americans" and that "too often Washington has paid lip service to working with tribes while taking a one-size-fits-all approach" and promised "that will change when I am president".[71]

Obama was given honorary membership into a Native American tribe, the Crow Nation. At a private adoption ceremony, Obama was given the Crow name "One Who Helps People Throughout the Land".[

Obama was given honorary membership into a Native American tribe, the Crow Nation. At a private adoption ceremony, Obama was given the Crow name "One Who Helps People Throughout the Land".[71]

Obama voted in favor of the 2006 version of the USA PATRIOT Act.[72] He voted against the Military Commissions Act of 2006[73] and later voted to restore habeas corpus to those detained by the U.S. (which had been stripped by the Military Commissions Act).[72] He has advocated closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but has not supported two specific bills that would have done so.[74] Obama still opposes the use of torture[75] and used to oppose warrantless domestic wiretaps by the U.S.[76] He voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment in 2006, arguing that flag burning didn't justify a constitutional amendment, but said that he would support a law banning flag burning on federal property.[77] As of August 8, 2008, the ACLU has given Obama a score of 80% on civil liberty issues for the 110th Congress U.S. Senate.[78]

USA PATRIOT Act

As noted above, Obama voted to re

As noted above, Obama voted to reauthorize the USA PATRIOT Act, which extended the Act, but with some amendments. Such amendments would clarify the rights of an individual who has received FISA orders to challenge nondisclosure requirements and to refuse disclosure of the name of their attorney.

He voted against extending the USA PATRIOT Act's Wiretap Provision on March 1, 2006. This bill would give the FBI the authority to conduct "roving wiretaps" and access to business records. Voting against this bill would prolong the debate, keeping the USA PATRIOT Act provisional whereas voting for thi

He voted against extending the USA PATRIOT Act's Wiretap Provision on March 1, 2006. This bill would give the FBI the authority to conduct "roving wiretaps" and access to business records. Voting against this bill would prolong the debate, keeping the USA PATRIOT Act provisional whereas voting for this bill would extend the USA PATRIOT Act as permanent.[79]

Obama had previously opposed legislation that granted legal immunity for telecommunications companies that helped the Bush administration to conduct wiretaps without warrants but later voted in favor of a compromise bill that included such provisions.[80]

Death penalty

Obama has said tha

Obama has said that the death penalty is used too frequently and inconsistently. However, he favors it for cases in which "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage."[81] Speaking as a state senator about the Illinois legislature's constant additions to the list of factors that render a defendant eligible for the death penalty, Obama said, "We certainly don't think that we should [...] have this laundry list that does not make any distinctions between the run-of-the-mill armed robbery that results in death and systematic killings by a terrorist organization. And I think essentially what the reduction of aggravating factors does is, it says, 'Here's a narrower set of crimes that we think potentially at least could deserve the death penalty.'"[82] In his own words, "While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime; I believe there are some crimes – mass murder, the rape and murder of a child – so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment. On the other hand, the way capital cases were tried in Illinois at the time was so rife with error, questionable police tactics, racial bias, and shoddy lawyering, that 13 death row inmates had been exonerated."[83]

On June 25, 2008, Obama condemned United States Supreme Court decision Kennedy v. Louisiana, which outlawed the death penalty for a child rapist when the victim was not ki

On June 25, 2008, Obama condemned United States Supreme Court decision Kennedy v. Louisiana, which outlawed the death penalty for a child rapist when the victim was not killed. He said that states have the right to consider capital punishment, but cited concern about the possibility of unfairness in some sentences.[84]

On October 15, 2008, during the third and final presidential debate, Obama said, "I will look for those judges who have an outstanding judicial record, who have the intellect, and who hopefully have a sense of what real-world folks are going through."[85] According to MSNBC, on July 17, 2007, Obama said, "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."[86] However, he stated at the final debate that "the most important thing in any judge is their capacity to provide fairness and justice to the American people."[85]

Internet regulation

On November 10, 2014, On November 10, 2014, President Obama recommended the Federal Communications Commission reclassify broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service in order to preserve net neutrality.[87][88]

Parental responsibility<

During a February 28, 2008, speech in Beaumont, Texas, Obama said, "It's not good enough for you to say to your child, 'Do good in school,' and then when that child comes home, you got the TV set on, you got the radio on, you don't check their homework, there is not a book in the house, you've got the video game playing... So turn off the TV set, put the video game away. Buy a little desk or put that child by the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don't know how to do it, give them help. If you don't know how to do it, call the teacher. Make them go to bed at a reasonable time. Keep them off the streets. Give 'em some breakfast... I also know that if folks letting our children drink eight sodas a day, which some parents do, or, you know, eat a bag of potato chips for lunch, or Popeyes for breakfast [...] You can't do that. Children have to have proper nutrition. That affects also how they study, how they learn in school."[89] According to the White House website: "The President has also proposed an historic investment in providing home visits to low-income, first-time parents by trained professionals. The President and First Lady are also committed to ensuring that children have nutritious meals to eat at home and at school, so that they grow up healthy and strong."[90]

District of Columbia voting rights

As a state legislator in Illinois, Obama supported banning the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic firearms, increasing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms and requiring manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.[98]

In 1996, during Obama's run for the Illinois State Senate, he was surveyed by a Chicago nonprofit, the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI) about criminal justice and other issues. Obama's questionnaire showed that he supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. Subsequently, Obama denied that his writing was on the document and said that he never favored a ban on the sale and possession of handguns.[99][100][101] In 1999, he urged prohibiting the operation of any gun store within five miles of a school or park, which according to gun-rights advocates would eliminate gun stores from most of the inhabited portion of the United States.[102] He sponsored a bill in 2000 limiting handgun purchases to one per month.

As state senator, he voted against a 2004 measure that allowed self-defense as an affirmative defense for those charged with violating local laws making it otherwise unlawful for such persons to possess firearms.[103] H

In 1996, during Obama's run for the Illinois State Senate, he was surveyed by a Chicago nonprofit, the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI) about criminal justice and other issues. Obama's questionnaire showed that he supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. Subsequently, Obama denied that his writing was on the document and said that he never favored a ban on the sale and possession of handguns.[99][100][101] In 1999, he urged prohibiting the operation of any gun store within five miles of a school or park, which according to gun-rights advocates would eliminate gun stores from most of the inhabited portion of the United States.[102] He sponsored a bill in 2000 limiting handgun purchases to one per month.

As state senator, he voted against a 2004 measure that allowed self-defense as an affirmative defense for those charged with violating local laws making it otherwise unlawful for such persons to possess firearms.[103] He also voted against allowing persons who had obtained domestic violence protective orders to carry handguns for their protection.[102]

From 1994 through 2002, Obama was a board member of the Joyce Foundation, which amongst other non-gun related activities provides funds for gun control organizations in the United States.[104][105]

While in the U.S. Senate, Obama has supported several gun control measures, including restricting the purchase of firearms at gun shows and the reauthorization of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.[106] Obama voted against legislation protecting firearm manufacturers from certain liability suits, which gun-rights advocates say are designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.[99] Obama did vote in favor of the 2006 Vitter Amendment to prohibit the confiscation of lawful firearms during an emergency or major disaster, which passed 84–16.[107]

During a February 15, 2008, press conference, Obama stated, "I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation."[citation needed] Obama has also stated his opposition to allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms[108] and supports a national law outlawing the practice,[109][110] saying on Chicago Public Radio in 2004, "I continue to support a ban on concealed carry laws".[111]

Obama initially voiced support of Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and said that it was constitutional.[112] Following the Supreme Court decision that the ban was unconstitutional, he revised his position in support of the decision overturning the law, saying, "Today's decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe."[113] He also said, in response to the ruling, "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms... The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view."[114]

After being elected as President, Obama announced that he favors measures that respect Second Amendment rights, while at the same time keeping guns away from children and criminals. He further stated that he supports banning private transfers of firearms at gun shows (referred to as "closing the gun show loophole"), "making guns in this country childproof", and permanently reinstating the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban.[115]

The Obama administration had changed the stance of the United States regarding the proposed United Nations treaty on trade in small arms from strong opposition to support for the treaty if it is passed by "consensus."[116] According to recent deliberations regarding the treaty, signatory countries would be required to adopt "international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms" in order "to prevent the diversion of conventional arms from the legal market into the illicit market."[117] Despite popular claims to the contrary, the treaty would not restrict U.S. citizens' Second Amendment rights for various reasons.[118] Most notably, a specific provision in the preamble acknowledges "the right of States to regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership, exclusively within their territory."[119]

On January 16, 2013, one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, President Obama outlined a series of sweeping gun control proposals, urging Congress to reintroduce an expired ban on "military-style" assault weapons, such as those used in several recent mass shootings, impose limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, introduce background checks on all gun sales, pass a ban on possession and sale of armor-piercing bullets, introduce harsher penalties for gun-traffickers, especially unlicensed dealers who buy arms for criminals and approving the appointment of the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the first time since 2006.[120]