breaks with spending on infrastructure projects, extension of welfare benefits, and education. The final cost of the bill was $787 billion, and almost $1.2 trillion with debt service included. Obama signed the Act into law on February 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.
On March 9, 2009, Obama lifted restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and in doing so, called into question some of George W. Bush's signing statements. Obama stated that he too would employ signing statements if he deems upon review that a portion of a bill is unconstitutional, and he has issued several signing statements.
Early in his presidency, Obama signed a law raising the tobacco tax 62 cents on a pack of cigarettes. The tax is to be "used to finance a major expansion of health insurance for children", and "help some [smokers] to quit and persuade young people not to start".
 Approval ratings and opinion
See also: United States presidential approval rating
After his transition period, Obama entered office with an approval rating of 82%. At the end of his first week, 68% of respondents in a Gallup poll approved of how Obama was handling his job, matching the early approval ratings of Dwight D. Eisenhower and trailing only John F. Kennedy in post-World War II presidents.
Throughout early February polls showed scattered approval ratings: 62% (CBS News), 64% (USA Today/Gallup), 66% (Gallup), and 76% in an outlier poll (CNN/Opinion Research). Gallup reported the congressional address in late February boosted his approval from a term-low of 59% to 67%.
Throughout autumn 2009, Rasmussen estimated Obama's approval as fluctuating between 45 and 52% and his disapproval between 48 and 54%; as of November 11, Pew Research estimated Obama's approval between 51 and 55% and his disapproval between 33 and 37% since July.
 Handling of the economy
Rasmussen reported in mid-February 2009 that 55% of voters gave Obama good or excellent marks on his handling of the economy. In early March, a Wall Street Journal survey of 49 economists gave Obama an average grade of 59 out of 100, with 42% of the respondents surveyed giving the administration's economic policies a grade below 60 percent. In comparison, only 30% of those same economists considered the response of governments around the world to the global recession to have been adequate. In April, a Gallup poll showed trust in Obama's economic policy with 71% saying they had "a fair amount" or "a great deal" of confidence in Obama's handling of the economy, higher than for Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, or leaders of Congress. Another Gallup poll in June showed 55% of Americans approved Obama's overall handling of the economy, but 48% and 51% disapproved of his handling of the federal budget deficit and controlling federal spending, respectively. A CBS News poll taken August 27–31 showed 53% of those polled approved of his handling of the economy. A Rasmussen poll taken on November 12 found 45% of Americans rating Obama's handling of the economy as poor and 39% rating him as doing a good or excellent job. They found 72% of Democrats rated his handling of the economy as good or excellent, while only 10% of Republicans and 27% of voters not affiliated with either party agreed.
On March 25, 2010, following his signing of landmark health care reform legislation into law, Obama's polling was revealed by Bloomberg to be 50%, with higher marks for relations with other countries (58%) and his running of the war in Afghanistan (54%). "Obama's approval rating is roughly equal to what Bill Clinton had at this point in his presidency, according to data maintained by Gallup (and) higher than the 45 percent Ronald Reagan recorded in April 1982" and more favorable than Democrats or Republicans office in 2010. They found Obama's approval rating was at 85% among Democrats, compared with 46% among independents and 11% among Republicans.
Fox News released the results of two polls on April 8–9, 2010. The first showed a drop in Obama's approval rating to 43%, with 48% disapproving. In that poll, Democrats approved of Obama's performance 80–12%, while independents disapproved 49–38%. The other poll, which concentrated on the economy, showed disapproval of Obama's handling of the economy by a 53–42% margin, with 62% saying they were dissatisfied with the handling of the federal deficit. According to a Gallup Poll released April 10, 2010, President Obama had a 45% approval rating, with 48% disapproving. In a poll from Rasmussen Reports, released April 10, 2010, 47% approved of the President's performance, while 53% disapproved.
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 Major legislation
January 29: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
February 4: Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
February 11: DTV Delay Act
February 17: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
March 30: Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009
April 21: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
May 20: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act
May 20: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
May 22: Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009
June 22: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
August 6: Cash For Clunkers Extension Act
October 22: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
October 28: Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
October 28: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
October 30: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
November 6: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
January 27: Emergency Aid to American Survivors of Haiti Earthquake Act
March 4: Travel Promotion Act
March 18: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act)
March 23: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
March 30: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
May 5: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
May 17: Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act
July 1: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act
July 21: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
July 22: Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010
July 22: Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010
August 10: SPEECH Act of 2010
September 27: Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010
December 9: Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010
December 13: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
December 17: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
December 22: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
January 2: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R. 847)
January 4: Food Safety and Modernization Act, Pub.L. 111-353, H.R. 2751
January 7: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011
August 2: Budget Control Act of 2011
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