Twelve bills signed by President Obama in 2012

FILE - This March 23, 2010 file photo shows Ttwenty two pens next to President Barack Obama as he signs the health care reform bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It's a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest company health plans, and much of that is likely to be passed on to employees. Multiple pens are used to sign legislation, and then distributed to supporters of the legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)


Twelve bills signed by President Obama in 2012

Here are a dozen bills which passed Congress and were signed into law by President Obama in 2012.

Storified by Digital First Media· Mon, Dec 31 2012 09:25:03

The last session of Congress is set to become the least productive since the 1940s. But that doesn’t mean that nothing got done. Here are a dozen bills which passed both chambers and were signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2012.

Extend a payroll tax cut

As part of a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts in 2010, Congress approved a temporary reduction in the payroll taxes used to fund Social Security, from 6.2 percent down to 4.2 percent. In February, Congress extended that tax cut through December, when it’s now all but certain to expire. (HR 3630)

Create new rules on Congressional insider trading

A 2011 report on “60 Minutes” about possible insider trading by members of Congress prompted the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, which passed both chambers overwhelmingly. The STOCK Act would require lawmakers and staffers submit financial reports, though its implementation has since been delayed. (S. 2038)

Allow crowdfunding for small businesses

The success of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites inspired the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. Among other things, the JOBS Act would exempt some small businesses from Securities and Exchange Commission regulations to allow crowdfunding. The SEC is currently developing rules for how it will work. (HR 3606)

Accept military training for some licenses

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The Veterans Skills to Jobs Act would allow veterans moving back into civilian life to earn certain professional licenses by showing they had equivalent military training. Many veterans have training which exceeds standards required of civilians but they had been required to retake similar courses to earn licenses. (HR 4155)

Streamline presidential appointments

In recent years, the Senate process for confirming presidential appointees has slowed to a crawl. The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamling Act, a bipartisan effort, was designed to streamline that process by no longer requiring Senate confirmation for about 170 executive branch appointments. (S. 679)

Impose economic sanctions on Iran

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As part of an effort to persuade Iran not to develop nuclear weapons, Congress passed the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act, which imposed tougher economic sanctions and warned that the United States could consider military action as well. (HR 1905)

Allow members of Congress to charge electric cars

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Congress will get its own battery-recharging stations for electric cars under a law passed in August. The new stations in the House and Senate parking lots would be paid for with user fees, so they are designed to have no net cost to the federal government. (HR 1402)

Allow Apollo astronauts to keep mementoes

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Astronauts who flew in the Apollo missions often kept mementoes such as flight manuals. But the National Aeronautics and Space Administration claimed those were government property, making it difficult for the astronauts to sell or donate them. A law signed in October allows Apollo astronauts to keep the mementoes. (HR 4158)

Create a Mark Twain commemorative coin

A law signed in December would direct the U.S. Mint to produce 100,000 $5 and 350,000 $1 coins commemorating Mark Twain, celebrated American author of such classics as “Huckleberry Finn.” The coins will be sold at a mark-up to benefit four Twain historical and research sites. (HR 2453)

Highlight Russian corruption

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A law signed in December bars any Russian official from entering the United States who is responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian attorney who died in police custody after alleging widespread corruption. Russia retaliated by passing a law barring adoptions of orphans by U.S. citizens. (HR 6156)

Eliminate ATM fee stickers

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Banks used to be required to post stickers on ATMs warning of fees, but they argued that many customers were tearing the stickers off and then filing frivolous lawsuits. A law signed in December allows banks to notify customers of ATM fees just through the electronic menu. (HR 4367)

End the use of the word ‘lunatic’

The word “lunatic” derives from discredited ancient theories blaming the moon for mental illness. Now considered offensive, the word remains in a number of older laws and regulations. A law signed in December would require the word be struck from all federal laws. (S 2367)

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