THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION'S RECORD OF STRENGTHENING
FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
November 4, 1999
Since 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have been
committed to empowering and supporting working families and to tapping
the potential of America's urban and rural communities. They have a
demonstrated record of creating new initiatives and expanding existing
initiatives to support children and families and to promote community
and economic development. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked
with the private sector, states, and localities to help revitalize
America's communities by bringing capital, jobs, and opportunity to
distressed areas and cleaning up the urban environment. At the same
time, this Administration has worked with our state and local partners,
the business community, and community-based organizations to support
working families - moving them toward self-sufficiency and out of
poverty. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have created or
expanded the following initiatives over the last six years.
SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES
Expanded EITC to Put Money Back in Working Families' Pockets
The EITC helps working families supplement their earnings through tax
credits. In PresidentClinton's 1993 Economic Plan, EITC was expanded to
make work pay for 15 million working families.
In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million Americans out of poverty - more
than twice as many as in 1993. The average family received an EITC
credit of $1,890.
Minimum Wage Hike Increased Pay By $1,800 for Full-time Workers
In 1996, the President and Vice President fought for and won a minimum
wage increase from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour for nearly 10 million
Now, the President is fighting for another minimum wage increase - $1
over two years - to make work pay for 11.4 million workers and help
ensure that parents who work hard and play by the rules can raise their
children out of poverty.
Provided Health Care to Low-Income Working Families
The President has successfully fought to increase low-income families'
access to health care by allowing states to expand Medicaid to cover
low-income two-parent families whowork and working with states to ensure
that uninsured families receive Medicaid when eligible.
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965
The President, with bipartisan support from the Congress, created the
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Balanced Budget Act of
1997 allocated $24 billion over five years to provide affordable health
insurance to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for
Medicaid but too low to purchase private insurance through
On September 8, 1999, President Clinton announced that all 50 states
and every territory are participating in this new program, bringing us
closer to our goal of providing insurance for up to 5 million children
through a combination of Medicaid and CHIP.
Improved Access to Affordable and Quality Child Care
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child care
has increased by 80 percent, helping parents pay for the care of about
1.25 million children.
The 1996 welfare reform law increased child care funding by $4 billion
over six years to provide child care assistance to families moving from
welfare to work. Last year, the President succeeded in securing $140
million in new funds for after-school care and $173 million for child
care quality activities.
Initiated $3 Billion Welfare-to-Work Initiative
The Clinton-Gore Administration fought for a $3 billion
Welfare-to-Work initiative as part of the 1997 Balanced Budget
Agreement. During FY 1998 and FY 1999, nearly $2.7 billion in grants
have been awarded to states, local communities, and tribes across the
nation to help long-term welfare recipients, and certain low-income
fathers, work and support their families.
Funds are targeted at individuals and communities facing the greatest
challenges. To date, these resources are helping nearly 100,000
individuals to get or keep a job.
Helping People Get to Work
With the Administration's leadership, the Transportation Equity Act
for the 21st Century (TEA-21) authorized $750 million over five years
for the President's Job Access initiative and reverse commute grants.
The Omnibus Budget Act included $75 million for this program in FY
1999, and in May, Vice President Gore awarded grants to 179 communities
in 42 states around the country to assist states and localities to
develop flexible transportation alternatives for welfare recipients and
other low-income workers. The program is funded at $75 million for FY
Welfare-to-Work Housing Vouchers
In 1999, the President proposed and Congress approved $283 million for
50,000 new welfare to work housing vouchers for current and former
welfare recipients who need housing assistance to get or keep a job.
Families will use these welfare-to-work housing vouchers to move
closer to a new job, to reduce a long commute, or to secure more stable
housing that will help eliminate emergencies which keep them from
getting to work every day on time. The FY 2000 budget funds 60,000 new
Helping People Who Want to Work but Can't Find a Job
Acknowledging that finding a job often takes time, the Balanced Budget
Act of 1997 provided funds for work slots and food stamp benefits to
help those who are willing to work, but through no fault of their own,
have not yet found employment.
Passage of Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit and Work Opportunity Tax Credit
The Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit, enacted in the 1997 Balanced Budget
Agreement, provides a credit equal to 35 percent of the first $10,000 in
wages in the first year of employment, and 50 percent of the first
$10,000 in wages in the second year, to encourage the hiring and
retention of long-term welfare recipients.
This credit complements the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which expands
eligible businesses to include those who hire young adults living in
Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities. In FY 1999, the President
requested and Congress accepted extending the credit throughJune 30,
Introduced $500 Per-Child Tax Credit, Benefiting 13 Million Children
from Low-income Families
27 million families with 45 million children are receiving the $500
per-child tax credit included in the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.
As a result of the President's efforts, 13 million children from
families receiving the EITC will alsobenefit from the $500 child tax
Increased WIC by $1 Billion
Under President Clinton, participation in WIC has expanded by 1.7
million - from 5.7 million in 1993 to 7.4 million women, infants, and
children in 1999. Funding has risen from $2.9 billion to $3.9 billion.
Helping Working Families to Buy Food
In July 1999, the President took executive actions to help ensure
working families who need Food Stamps have access. These steps include:
a new policy making it easier for working families to own a car and
still receive food stamps
a new regulations simplifying rules so that families do not have to
report income as often and states won't be penalized for small errors in
projecting families' future earnings
a new public education campaign to educate working families about food
Established of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)
In 1992, the President proposed to establish IDAs to empower
low-income families to save for a first home, post-secondary education,
or to start a new business. The 1996 welfare reform law authorized the
use of welfare block grants to create IDAs.
In 1998, the President signed legislation creating a five-year $125
million IDA demonstration program. In FY 1999, $10 million was awarded
to establish savings accounts for over 10,000 low-income workers in 40
communities, and the President proposed to double the commitment to $20
million in FY 2000.
INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION: FROM HEAD START TO GEAR-UP TO PELL GRANTS
Expanded Head Start By Nearly 70 Percent
Since 1993, President Clinton and Congressional Democrats have
expanded Head Start by 57 percent, from nearly $2.8 billion in FY 1993
to nearly $4.7 billion in FY 1999.
The program now serves an estimated 835,000 children, reaching more
kids than at any time since its creation in 1965 and more than 200,000
additional children than in 1992.
Launched the Reading Excellence Program
Two years ago, President Clinton launched the America Reads Challenge,
a multi-faceted effort to help states and communities ensure that all
children can read well and independently by the end of the third grade.
The program received $260 million in FY 1999 and another $286 million
has been requested in FY 2000 to allow the program to continue. The
funds help to train reading tutors and coordinate after-school, weekend
and summer reading programs linked to in-school instruction. In
addition, over 1,000 colleges have pledged to use federally-financed
work-study positions for tutoring programs.
Helping Students Most in Need
Title I funds provide over $8 billion to help 11 million low-income
students benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum
geared to higher standards.
Strong Investments in Educational Technology
The Clinton-Gore Administration has made strong investments in
educational technology. Funding for education technology at the
Department of Education has increased from $23 million (FY 1993) to $698
million (FY 1999) to $801 million (FY 2000 request).
States and local communities are given a great deal of flexibility in
how they use the money for computers, teacher training and software --
but they are required to develop a plan for ensuring equity.
The "E-rate" provides $2.25 billion in discounts to connect schools
and libraries to the Internet. Discounts are 90 percent for the poorest
schools that need it most, and 20 percent for the wealthiest schools.
E-rate was a critical part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which
the President signed into law.
Providing Safe After-School Opportunities
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the 21st Century Community
Learning Centersprogram has been expanded to provide safe and
academically enriching after-school opportunities for nearly 400,000
school-age children in rural and urban communities each year.
In his FY 2000 budget, the President proposes to triple funding to
$600 million, reaching 1.1 million students.
Creation of Youth Opportunity Grants
President Clinton proposed the $1.25 billion Youth Opportunities
Grants program, a five year grants initiative that was authorized as
part of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act. This program focuses
primarily on out-of-school youths. The program provides them with job
training and has a strong emphasis on mainstreaming youth into the
private sector, both in terms of immediate job placement and work-based
learning opportunities to increase long-term employment prospects.
The Youth Opportunities program will receive $250 million this fall
and will make a significant attack on concentrated poverty and
unemployment. This initiative represents a strong investment in
Empowerment Zones and Communities and other urban and rural areas that
are considered high-poverty areas.
The main goal of the program is to increase employment in the private
sector, increase college enrollment and decrease dropout rates.
Creation of the GEAR-UP Initiative
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the new mentoring initiative
GEAR-UP was created to better prepare up to an estimated 260,000
low-income middle school children for entrance to and success in higher
GEAR UP grants will fund partnerships involving more than 1,000
organizations, such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H programs,
Salvation Army, libraries, arts organizations, local chambers of
commerce, and individual companies such as Wal-Mart, Unisys,
Hewlett-Packard, Bell Atlantic, and the New York Times Newspaper in
In August 1999, $120 million in grants were awarded to 164
partnerships and 21 grants to states (for statewide program).
Assisting Migrant Children and Families
Migrant families face difficult obstacles to gaining the education and
training they may need to improve their standard of living. President
Clinton improved the Migrant Education Program in the 1994
reauthorization, and won a 16 percent increase in FY 1999.
Expanding Pell Grants
President Clinton and the Congressional Democrats have increased the
Pell Grant maximum grant amount from $2,300 in FY 1993 to $3,215 in
1999. In 1999, nearly 4 million students will receive a Pell Grant of
up to $3,125, the largest maximum award ever.
HELPING TO BRING PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND CAPITAL TO DISTRESSED AREAS
Expanding Microenterprise Lending and Technical Assistance
Microenterprise development programs provide access to capital, other
financial services,and training to those traditionally bypassed by the
mainstream financial sector, such as thepoor women, minorities and those
in economically distressed areas.
President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's proposal also includes a
doubling of support for technical assistance in SBA's Microloan Program
and a doubling of support for SBA lending to leverage over $75 million
in new microlending.
The microenterprise strategy will also involve new funding for
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and for SBA's One-Stop Capital
Cleaning Up the Urban Environment through Brownfields Redevelopment
The Clinton-Gore Administration has launched a landmark effort,
including the Brownfields Tax Incentive, to clean up and redevelop
Brownfields sites. In total, the Brownfields action agenda has marshaled
funds to clean up and redevelop up to 5,000 properties.
Created the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund
In 1994, President Clinton proposed and signed into law the CDFI Fund.
Through grants, loans, and equity investments, the Fund has created a
network of approximately 270 CDFIs in distressed areas across the
nation. CDFI activities leverage investments from banks, foundations,
and other sources.
Since the Fund's creation, it has made more than $190 million in
awards to communitydevelopment institutions and financial institutions.
This investment is expected to leverage three to four times the amount
of the investments in total capital raised for CDFIs over the next few
years. In FY 1999, funding for the CDFI Fund was increased 19 percent
to $95 million.
Strengthened and Simplified the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
President Clinton made clear that he was prepared to veto long overdue
legislation to modernize the financial landscape, if it allowed a bank
with an unsatisfactory CRA rating totake advantage of the new powers
under the bill. As a result, the conferees on the financial
modernization bill provided that, for the first time, a bank's CRA
ratingis relevant to its merger or expansion in non-banking activities.
In addition, President Clinton fought to eliminate provisions that would
have excluded some banks from CRA coverage and limited the effectiveness
of the merger application review process. President Clinton thus
assuredthat CRA remains vital and relevant in the new financial
In April 1995, the Clinton-Gore Administration reformed the CRA
regulations to emphasize performance. According to the National
Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the private sector has pledged
more than $1 trillion going forward in loans to distressed communities -
and more than 95 percent of these financial commitments have been made
Banks made $18.6 billion in community development loans in 1997 alone.
Lending to minority and low-income borrowers is also on the rise.
The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) and Section 108 Loan Guarantee
EDI grants are used to infuse capital into community development
projects, enhancing the debt financing provided by the Section 108 loan
guarantee program. Together, the programs support critical economic
development in distressed communities. Estimated jobs supported by EDI
and the Section 108 loan guarantee have grown by 300,000 from 1994 to
1998. During this time period EDI and the Section 108 loan guarantee
program have funded $3.5 billion for more than 650 separate project
In FY 2000 many projects will be eligible to participate in the
Community Empowerment Fund Trust, a pilot program, which will enable the
pooling of loans and the creation of a private sector secondary market
for economic development loans. The CEF specifically targets
Welfare-to-Work and City-Suburb Business Connections, building upon the
success of HUD's EDI and Section 108 loan guarantee program.
135 Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities
After pushing to have Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Enterprise
Communities (ECs) passed into law, the Clinton-Gore Administration has
designated 135 urban and rural EZs and ECs across the country. The First
Round EZ/EC initiative, which included 105 EZs/ECs, was proposed by
President Clinton and passed by Congress in 1993. The Second Round of
30 EZs/ECs was also proposed by the President, and in FY 1999 the
President andCongress provided first-year funding for the new EZs and
Designated communities were chosen on the basis of their strategic
revitalization plans, and receive special incentives and resources to
help carry out their plans. The EZ/EC initiative has already
leveraged over $10 billion in additional public and private sector
investment in community revitalization efforts.
Rural/Urban Empowerment Zones will receive $70 billion in FY2000. All
of the urban and rural EZs (20 zones) and rural enterprise communities
(20 ECs) that were designated by the Vice President in January 1999 as
Round II zones will receive funding.
Providing Community Resources
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds activities such as
economic and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, public services,
community development and renewal of distressed communities.
In 1999, CDBG funds assisted nearly 200,000 households in up to 900
communities around the country that are eligible for CDBG funding.
President Clinton's FY 2000 Budget included an expansion of CDBG. The
final budget increases funding for CDBG from $4.750 billion in FY 1999
to 4.775 billion in FY 2000, a $25 million expansion this year.