Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence on SCOTUS vacancy: 'Elect Hillary Clinton and you better get used to being subject to unelected judges using unaccountable power to take unconstitutional actions'
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Supreme Court immigration ruling: 'Today's decision shows the terrible human cost of Senate Republicans' reckless refusal to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by Justice Scalia's death'
Statement: White House counsel says American Bar Association has assess Merrick Garland as 'unanimously well-qualified and affirming he has the experience and character to serve on the United States Supreme Court' - @ABC
The presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009, when Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, took office as Vice President on the same day. Obama was a United States Senator from Illinois at the time of his victory over Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. Obama is the first African American president, the first non-white president, the first president born in Hawaii, and the fifteenth Democratic president.
Obama's first-term actions addressed the global financial crisis and included a major stimulus package, a partial extension of the Bush tax cuts, legislation to reform health care, a major financial regulation reform bill, and the end of a major US military presence in Iraq. Obama also appointed Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the latter of whom became the first Hispanic American on the Supreme Court. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress until Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. Following the elections, Obama and Congressional Republicans engaged in a protracted stand-off over government spending levels and the debt ceiling.
Obama won election to a second term in 2012, making him the seventeenth person to win two presidential elections. In his second term, Obama took steps to combat climate change, signing an executive order to limit carbon emissions as well as a major international climate agreement. Obama also presided over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other legislation passed in his first term. Republicans took control of the Senate after the 2014 elections, and Obama continued to grapple with Congressional Republicans over government spending, immigration, judicial nominations, and other issues. The number of American soldiers in Afghanistan fell dramatically during Obama's second term, though the United States currently plans to leave soldiers in Afghanistan until at least 2017. Obama's presidency is set to end on January 20, 2017, when the 45th president is expected to take office.