PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON
Eight Years of Peace, Progress and Prosperity
The Clinton Presidency: A Historic Era of Progress and Prosperity
The Clinton Presidency: Eight Years of Peace, Progress and Prosperity
January 22 Abolished Restrictions on Medical Research and the Right to Choose As his first executive actions, President Clinton revoked the Gag Rule, which prohibited abortion counseling in clinics that receive federal funding to serve low-income patients. He also revoked restrictions on a woman's legal right to privately funded abortion services in military hospitals, restrictions on the import of RU-486, and restrictions on the award of international family planning grants (the "Mexico City Policy"). The President also lifted the moratorium on federal funding for research involving fetal tissue, allowing progress on research into treatments for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and leukemia. (Executive Memoranda, 1/22/93) February 1 Helped States Take the First Steps Toward Welfare Reform President Clinton ordered the Federal Government to make it easier for states to receive waivers from government regulations in order to implement innovative welfare reform projects. Between 1993 and the signing of the Welfare Reform bill in 1996, the Administration granted waivers to a record 43 states. Those waivers laid the foundation of the new welfare reform law by strengthening work requirements, time-limiting assistance and demanding parental responsibility. (Presidential Directives 2/1/93) February 5 Family and Medical Leave Act The Family & Medical Leave Act -- the first piece of legislation the President signed into law -- has enabled millions of workers to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a new baby or ailing family member without jeopardizing their job. The previous administration vetoed the bill twice. (PL 103-3, signed 2/5/93) March 3 "Reinventing Government" Initiative Launched President Clinton asked Vice President Gore to head the National Performance Review aimed at making government work better for less. The Vice President's Reinventing Government Initiative has resulted in 377,000 fewer civilian employees in the federal government -- the lowest level since the Kennedy Administration -- and reduced federal spending as a share of the economy from 22.2 percent in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent in 2000, the lowest since 1966. April 1 Childhood Immunizations The President launched a major childhood immunization effort to increase the number of children who were being immunized. Since 1993, childhood immunization rates have reached all-time highs, with 90 percent or more of America's toddlers receiving critical vaccines for children by age 2. Vaccination levels are nearly the same for preschool children of all racial and ethnic groups, narrowing a gap estimated to be as wide as 26 percentage points a generation ago. May 20 Motor Voter Registration Signed The Clinton Administration made it easier for millions of Americans to register to vote by allowing registration at the same time they get a driver's license. The Motor Voter law led to the registration of more than 28 million new voters, more registered voters than the passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18 years. (PL 103-31, signed 5/20/93). August 10 Clinton-Gore Deficit Reduction Plan Enacted Passed without a single Republican vote, the Clinton-Gore Administration's economic plan established fiscal discipline by slashing the deficit in half -- the largest deficit reduction plan in history -- while making important investments in our economic future, including education, health care, and science and technology research. This legislation also extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by three years. Fiscal discipline established by the Clinton-Gore Administration has turned the largest deficits in our country's history into the largest surplus. (PL 103-66, signed 8/10/93) Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion/Working Family Tax Cut President Clinton succeeded in passing an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, giving a tax cut to 15 million of the hardest-pressed American workers. In 1999, the EITC lifted 4.1 million people out of poverty -- nearly double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. (PL 103-66, signed 8/10/93). Student Loan Reform The Clinton-Gore Administration created the Direct Student Loan Program, which cut red tape and administrative costs by eliminating subsidies and bureaucracy in the Student Loan Program. The program has saved taxpayers $4 billion since 1993 and allowed interest rate reductions for students. (PL 103-66, signed 8/10/93) Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Communities Program Created nine Empowerment Zones and 95 Enterprise Communities with tax incentives and $100 million per EZ in discretionary investment dollars to spur local community planning and economic growth in distressed communities. At the President's request, Congress expanded the program in 1994, 1997, and again in 2000. To date, the EZ program has leveraged over $10 million in additional private investment into EZs. The EZ program represents the most ambitious incentives program ever offered by the federal government to promote private sector investment in distressed areas in America. Childhood Immunization Initiative In 1992, less than 60 percent of two-year-olds were fully immunized -- the third lowest rate in the Western Hemisphere. The Clinton-Gore Economic Plan contained investments to guarantee the health of children and prevent the easily avoidable costs of preventable childhood diseases. Today, the nation's overall immunization rate for preschool children is the highest ever recorded.
September 21 AmeriCorps Community Service Initiative Enacted
AmeriCorps allows individuals to serve communities across the country while earning money for college or skills training programs. Since its inception, 150,000 volunteers have participated in AmeriCorps; that means that more people have enrolled in this Clinton Administration initiative in its first five years than did in the Peace Corps' first 20 years. (PL 103-82, signed 9/21/93)
November 30 Brady Act Signed
After seven years of debate under previous administrations, the President signed legislation requiring a background check before the purchase of a handgun and establishing a National Instant Check System. Since its enactment, the Brady Law has helped to prevent a total of more than 600,000 felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns. Since 1992, the gun-related crime rate has declined by 40 percent. (PL 103-159, signed 11/30/93) December 8 NAFTA Ratified President Clinton worked to pass bipartisan legislation implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement, creating the world's largest free trade zone. Since passage of NAFTA, the U.S. manufacturing sector has created 400,000 jobs, and exports to Canada and Mexico support 600,000 more jobs today than in 1993. (Signed 12/8/93)
March 31 Goals 2000 Education Standards Enacted This legislation provided assistance to states to implement high standards and challenging curricula to help all children succeed. Today, 49 states require students to meet tough standards in core subjects, and 48 states test reading and mathematics skills in elementary, middle and high school to ensure students are meeting those standards. (PL 103-227, signed 3/31/94) May 18 Head Start Reform and Creation of Early Head Start President Clinton and Vice President Gore advocated for legislation increasing Head Start participation and quality. The new bill established minimum performance standards, strong accountability and created the Early Head Start program for children aged 0 to 3. The Administration has increased funding for Head Start by more than 90 percent since 1993. Head Start and Early Head Start will reach approximately 935,000 in 2001. (PL 103-252, signed 5/18/94)
September 13 Crime Bill Signed
Enacted the Clinton-Gore Administration's tough and smart crime fighting strategy. The Bill contained tougher penalties, including "three strikes and you're out" legislation, helped states build more prisons and increased prevention and victims rights. As a result, the overall crime rate has dropped for 8 years in a row -- the longest continuous drop on record -- and is now at a 26 year low. (PL 103-322, signed 9/13/94) Assault Weapons Ban President Clinton and Vice President Gore overcame intense opposition by the gun lobby to ban 19 of the most dangerous assault weapons. Thanks in part to the Clinton-Gore Administration's efforts to take these dangerous guns off the streets, overall gun violence has declined by 40 percent since 1992. (PL 103-322, signed 9/13/94) 100,000 Community Police Officers The Clinton-Gore Administration succeeded in passing a bill authorizing local governments funding to hire and redeploy 100,000 community police officers. COPS helped contribute to a decline that brought the overall crime rate to the lowest level in 26 years. In 1999, crime fell for the eighth consecutive year nationwide. (PL 103-322, signed 9/13/94) Violence Against Women Act The Clinton-Gore Administration fought for and signed this bill, which contains new penalties, resources to prosecute more domestic violence offenders, and quadrupled funding for battered women's shelters. The Administration also established a nationwide 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline. This initiative represents the first federal effort to address domestic violence and violence against women. Today, the number of victims of domestic violence has fallen from 1.1 million in 1993 to 876,340 in 1998. (PL 103-322, signed 9/13/94)
September 23 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)
Fund Created Meeting an early campaign commitment, the President signed legislation creating the CDFI Fund to support both specialized financial institutions and traditional banks that serve lower-income communities. As of late 2000, the CDFI Fund had certified over 400 community development banks, community development credit unions, housing and business loan funds and venture capital firms as CDFIs. The CDFI Fund has provided over $427 million in funding to institutions that provide capital and financial services to underserved markets. October 20 Improving America's Schools Act This reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act ended the era of lower expectations for disadvantaged children by insisting that all students be held to the same high academic standards. The bill also strengthened accountability for student performance and required states to turn around low-performing schools. October 31 California Desert Protection Act Signed The largest land protection bill since 1980 protected nearly 8 million acres of wilderness and created three new national parks. (PL 103-433, signed 10/31/94) December 8 GATT Ratified The Clinton-Gore Administration worked with a bipartisan majority in the Senate to pass legislation implementing the General Agreement on Tariffs and trade (GATT). This agreement allows American workers and businesses to compete in a freer, fairer, and more effective global trading system. (PL 103-465, signed 12/8/94)
January 25 Called for National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy In his State of the Union address, the President challenged Americans to join together in a national campaign against teen pregnancy. Both teen birth rates and teen pregnancy rates are now at the lowest level on record. January 31 Loans Preventing Economic Collapse in Mexico Issued After Congress refused to act, President Clinton issued $20 billion in emergency loans to Mexico to stabilize the country's financial markets. Loans from the United States and the International Monetary Fund stopped the collapse of the peso, prevented economic crisis, and helped the country return to solid economic growth. Mexico repaid the loans with interest three years ahead of schedule. U.S. taxpayers made a net gain of nearly $580 million from the loan.
February 27 Federal Child Support Enforcement Expanded
The President issued an executive order stepping up federal efforts to collect child support payments. The Clinton Administration's strategy of encouraging parental responsibility and increasing child support enforcement efforts has doubled collections of child support from $8 billion in 1992 to $16 billion in 1999. (Exec. Order 12953) March 8 Executive Order Preventing Permanent Striker Replacement Issued In order to maintain fairness and balance between workers and management, President Clinton issued an executive order preventing the federal government from contracting with businesses that hire permanent replacements for employees engaging in lawful strikes. (Exec. Order 12954) July 12 Religious Freedom in Schools Protected In order to protect religious expression in public schools while preserving the separation of church and state, President Clinton issued an executive memorandum outlining several principles of religious expression in schools. This directive clarified that under our Constitution students are free to express their religious views, pray and discuss religion at school in a non-disruptive and non-coercive manner and that teachers may teach about the importance of religion in art, literature and history. At the same time, schools and teachers may not endorse religious activity or doctrine, nor may they coerce participation in religious activity. (Exec. Memorandum 7/12/95) August 10 First-Ever Comprehensive Plan to Reduce Youth Smoking Proposed The Clinton-Gore Administration proposed the first-ever comprehensive plan to reduce youth smoking. The proposal required young people to prove their age to buy cigarettes, banned vending machines in places where minors can go, ended the marketing of cigarettes and tobacco to minors, and required the tobacco industry to fund an education campaign to prevent kids from smoking. The proposal took effect when new FDA regulations were announced on August 23, 1996.
December 14 Dayton Peace Accords Signed
Leaders of the rival factions in the Bosnian civil war signed a treaty to end the nearly four-year-old conflict, formally approving the pact they had initialed in November in Dayton, Ohio after three weeks of U.S.-sponsored talks.
January 23 National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was formed in response to the President's 1995 State of the Union. Since President Clinton took office, teen birth rates have dropped 18 percent, to the lowest level on record. February 8 Telecommunications Reform Signed President Clinton and Vice President Gore achieved the first major overhaul of the telecommunications laws in 60 years. Reforms of the 1934 Telecommunications Act opened up competition between local telephone companies, long distance providers and cable companies; and required the use of new V-chip technology to enable families to exercise greater control over the television programming that comes into their homes. The Act also contained the Vice President's E-Rate proposal, which provides low-cost Internet connections for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals. (PL 104-104, signed 2/8/96)
February 24 Encouraged the Adoption of School Uniforms
President Clinton took steps to offer support and make it easier for schools to voluntarily adopt school uniform policies. Schools across the nation have demonstrated that school uniforms can lead to safer schools, more disciplined and orderly classrooms, and free teachers to focus on teaching and students to focus on learning. April 24 Antiterrorism Law The President signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act into law at a ceremony at the White House. President Clinton first sent this legislation to Congress in February 1995 and called for additional antiterrorism measures and actions after the devastation of the federal building in Oklahoma City. The 1996 law included measures to combat terrorism at home and abroad including provisions to provide broad Federal jurisdiction to prosecute terrorist acts, bar terrorists from entering the United States in the first place, toughen penalties over a range of terrorist crimes and increase controls over biological and chemical weapons. May 17 Megan's Law The President signed Megan's law to require states to notify communities when a dangerous sexual predator resides or moves to the community. The passage of Megan's Law built on provisions contained in the 1994 Crime Bill, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, which promoted the establishment of state sex offender registration systems for child molesters and other sexually violent offenders. July 16 Moving Welfare Recipients to Work President Clinton took the first national steps to require welfare recipients to move to work. An executive memorandum issued by the President required participants in federal training programs for welfare recipients to work to agree to go to work within two years or face the prospect of losing their federal assistance. (Exec. Memorandum 7/16/96) August 3 Food Quality Protection Act Signed This Act established the toughest standards for pesticide residues in food ever, and for the first times required that the standards take into account special risks to children. (PL 104-170, signed 8/3/96) August 6 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act required the strongest standards of safety and purity in America's drinking water while establishing a revolving loan fund to help communities upgrade their water treatment facilities. (PL 104-182, signed 8/6/96) August 20 Minimum Wage Increased President Clinton and Vice President Gore fought for and won a 90-cent per hour increase in the minimum wage -- increasing wages for 10 million workers. This increase was the first in 6 years and in 1996 it was the largest single-year increase ever. (PL 104-134, signed 8/20/96) August 21 Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Reform (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) This bipartisan health insurance reform bill prevents individuals from being denied coverage because they have a preexisting medical condition. It requires insurance companies to sell coverage to small employer groups and to individuals who lose group coverage without regard to their health risk status. It also prohibits discrimination in enrollment and premiums against employees and their dependents based on health status. Finally, it requires insurers to renew the policies they sell to groups and individuals. As many as 25 million people have benefited from the greater flexibility that this law ensures. (PL 104-191, signed 8/21/96) Requiring Mental Health Parity for Annual and Lifetime Insurance Limits To help eliminate discrimination against individuals with mental illnesses, the President enacted legislation containing provisions prohibiting health plans from establishing separate lifetime and annual limits for mental health coverage. New Protections for Mothers and Newborns The President signed into law common sense legislation that requires health plans to allow new mothers to remain in the hospital for at least 48 hours following most normal deliveries and 96 hours after a Cesarean section. Eliminating the Discriminatory Tax Treatment of the Self- Employed HIPAA increased the tax deduction from 30 percent to 80 percent for the approximately 10 million Americans who are self-employed. The President also signed into law a provision to phase it in to 100 percent in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Fighting Fraud and Waste in Medicare The Kennedy-Kassenbaum legislation created a new stable source of funding to fight fraud and abuse that is coordinated by the HHS Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Justice. Since its passage, nearly $1.6 billion in fraud and abuse savings has been returned to the Medicare Trust Fund. Since 1993, the Clinton Administration has assigned more federal prosecutors and FBI agents to fight health care fraud than ever before. As a result, convictions have gone up a full 410 percent saving more than $50 billion in health care claims. August 22 Welfare Reform Enacted President Clinton kept his promise to end welfare as we know it by requiring welfare recipients to work, limiting the time they can stay on welfare, and providing child care and health care to help them make the move from welfare to work. The landmark bipartisan welfare reform law signed by the President also enacted tough new child support enforcement measures proposed by the President. Since January 1993, the number of people on welfare has fallen by nearly 60 percent, from 14.1 million to 5.8 million, the smallest welfare rolls in 32 years, and millions of parents have joined the workforce. (PL 104-193, signed 8/22/96)
September 5 Designated Commission to Design Patients' Bill of Rights
President Clinton created the National Commission on Health Care Quality and charged it with studying the need for consumer protections and ways to guarantee the quality of care. Commission members represented government, consumers, health care providers, insurers, and businesses. The recommendations of the Commission formed the basis for the Patients' Bill of Rights. (Exec. Order 13017)
September 18 Created Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
The creation of this National Monument preserved unspoiled remote canyons and extensive geologic and world-class paleontological sites. President Clinton was the first President to designate a National Monument since 1978 and throughout his term the President has protected more land as national monuments in the lower 48 states -- over 4.6 million acres -- than any president in history. (Presidential Proclamation, 9/18/96)
February 19 Launched Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
The President unveiled his National Drug Control Strategy that set forth a long-term national effort to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences. Highlights of the Strategy included: a new $175 million national media campaign targeting illegal drug use by youth; 500 additional border patrol agents to stem the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest Border; and $40 million for counter-drug programs in Peru -- the primary cocaine source country. March 4 Banned Federal Research on Human Cloning Because of the profound ethical issues raised by advances in cloning technology, the President issued a memorandum prohibiting the use of federal funds to clone human beings and urged the entire scientific and medical community to adopt a voluntary moratorium on the cloning of human beings. (Exec. Memorandum, 3/4/97) April 24 Chemical Weapons Convention Ratified The Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, which makes the production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons illegal. (Ratified 4/24/97) May 20 Created the Welfare to Work Partnership The Welfare to Work Partnership was launched at the President's urging to lead the national business effort to hire people from the welfare rolls. Now 20,000 businesses strong, the Partnership has helped an estimated 1.1 million welfare recipients move to employment. Under Vice President Gore's leadership, the Administration has also done its fair share, hiring 50,000 welfare recipients, and has fostered partnerships between employers and community and faith-based organizations that help families move from welfare to work. June 4 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Reauthorized The expanded IDEA applies the same high academic standards for all children, ensuring that children with disabilities learn the same things with the same curricula and the same assessments as all other children. It also ensures that more children with disabilities can be in regular classrooms and take part in all school functions including field trips and extracurricular activities. (Signed 6/4/97) June 12 Established the Initiative for One America To help facilitate a national dialogue aimed at narrowing America's racial divide, the President appointed a seven-member Advisory Board on Race. Over the next 15 months, Board members, individually and in teams, held hundreds of meetings involving thousands of people in every region of the country. They submitted several policy proposals that have guided the Administration in its effort to close the racial gaps that still exist in America. These include increased civil rights enforcement, increased early childhood education and undertaking efforts to make sure all Americans benefit from our country's prosperity. The work of the Advisory Board also led to the creation of the One America Office in the White House to promote the President's goals of educating the American public about race, encourage racial reconciliation through national dialogue on race, identify policies that can expand opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities, and coordinate the work of the White House and federal agencies to carry out the President's vision of One America. July 16 Stronger Air Quality Regulations Released The President approved the strongest air quality standards in history to control pollution from smog and soot. The standards could prevent 15,000 premature deaths every year and will improve the lives of millions of Americans suffering from respiratory illness. Enforcement of the new standards has been delayed by court action. (7/16/97) August 5 Balanced Budget Agreement Reached In February, the President submitted the first plan to finish the job of eliminating the deficit and the balanced budget in 27 years. On August 5th, he signed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which finished the job of eliminating the $290 billion budget deficit. (PL 105-34, signed 8/5/97) $500 per Child Tax Credit As part of the Balanced Budget Agreement, the President secured a $500 per child tax credit for approximately 27 million families with children under 17, including thirteen million children from families with incomes below $30,000. (PL 105-34, signed 8/5/97) Children's Health Insurance Program Created At the urging of the Clinton-Gore Administration, Congress invested $48 billion for the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- the single largest investment in health care for children since the enactment of Medicaid in 1965. This new program, together with Medicaid, will provide meaningful health care coverage for up to five million previously uninsured children -- including prescription drugs, vision, hearing, and mental health services. Within three years of enactment, all 50 states have implemented S-CHIP programs, and over 2 million children have been covered. In addition, the number of states covering children up to 200 percent of poverty increased by more than sevenfold -- to 30 states -- during that time. (PL 105-34, signed 8/5/97) Strengthening the Medicare Trust Fund When the President came into office, Medicare was projected to become insolvent in 1999. The Balanced Budget Act extended the life of the Trust Fund by an additional 10 years resulting in the longest Medicare Trust Fund solvency in a quarter century, extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by a total of 26 years and offering premiums that are nearly 20 percent lower today than projected in 1993. Modernizing the Medicare Benefit Package The BBA included a series of structural reforms which modernize the program, bringing it in line with the private sector and preparing it for the baby boom generation. These reforms: waived cost-sharing for mammography services and provided annual screening mammograms for beneficiaries age 40 and older to help detect breast cancer; established a diabetes self-management benefit; ensured Medicare coverage of colorectal screening and cervical cancer screening; ensured coverage of bone mass measurement tests to help women detect osteoporosis, and increased reimbursement rates for certain immunizations to protect seniors from pneumonia, influenza, and hepatitis. HOPE Scholarships/Lifetime Learning Tax Credits President Clinton proposed and passed the largest increase in college opportunity since the GI bill. The HOPE Scholarship provides a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college. When fully phased-in, the Lifetime Learning tax credit will provide a 20 percent tax credit on the first $10,000 of tuition and fees for students beyond the first two years of college, or taking classes part-time. (PL 105-34, signed 8/5/97) Welfare-to-Work Grants Due to President Clinton's leadership, the Balanced Budget Act included $3 billion over two years for Welfare-to-Work grants to help states and local communities move long-term welfare recipients and certain non-custodial parent in lasting, unsubsidized jobs. This funding, used for job creation, placement and retention efforts, has helped the hardest-to-serve welfare recipients and promotes parental responsibility among non-custodial parents who need to find work to honor their responsibilities to their children. Landmark Education Investments: America Reads, Charter Schools, Education Technology The President succeeded in doubling investments in education technology, increasing charter school funding, expanding Head Start to reach more than 800,000 children, and increasing the maximum Pell Grant by 63 percent, to the largest maximum award ever. The Budget also provided $300 million for the President's America Reads Challenge. Together, these programs are the most significant increase in education funding at the national level in 30 years. (PL 105-34, signed 8/5/97) Created 20 more Empowerment Zones and 20 more rural Enterprise Communities Following Congress' 1994 designation of Cleveland and Los Angeles as EZs, the President requested a Round 2 of 20 new EZs and 20 new rural Enterprise Communities. The Round 2 EZs received expanded tax-exempt bonding authority to increase their ability to stimulate private-sector job creation for low-income residents. August 9 Created Smoke-Free Federal Workplaces President Clinton issued an Executive Order protecting Federal Government employees and members of the public from exposure to tobacco smoke in the Federal workplace and encouraged Federal agencies to establish programs to help employees stop smoking. The Clinton-Gore Administration has also made our nation's health a priority by developing the first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco, raising the federal tobacco tax, and by giving the American people their day in court against the tobacco manufacturers who engaged in decades of deception about the dangers of tobacco. August 13 Required Drug Companies Provide Adequate Testing for Children President Clinton directed an important Food and Drug Administration regulation requiring manufacturers to do studies on pediatric populations for new prescription drugs -- and those currently on the market -- to ensure that prescription drugs have been adequately tested for the unique needs of children. August 27 America Reads Child Literacy Initiative Launched The President set a national goal of making sure that every child can read independently by the end of third grade. To reach this goal, the President issued the America Reads challenge, calling for one million tutors -- college, university students, senior citizens, and private sector employees -- to help children learn to read. In 1997, Congress funded the initiative, with $300 million in grants to help states improve children's reading skills. More than two million children have been tutored to read by national service programs such as AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Foster Grandparents. October 9 Reached Agreement to Provide Child-Safety Locks With Handguns The President announced an agreement with eight of the country's largest gun manufacturers to include child safety locks with all new handguns. The voluntary agreement was reached after negotiations between the President, the gun manufacturers and the American Shooting Sports Council. The President had previously issued an Executive Memorandum requiring federal law enforcement authorities to provide child safety locks for their officers' firearms.
November 19 Adoption and Safe Families Act Passed
This bipartisan legislation enacted many of the recommendations of the President's Adoption 2002 report. In order to meet the President's challenge of doubling the number of adoptions by 2002, the Act provides incentives to states to permanently place children in foster care. In 1999, 46,000 foster care children were adopted -- more than a 64 percent increase since 1996 and the biggest increase in adoptions since the National Foster Care Program was created almost 20 years ago. (PL 105-89, signed 11/19/97)
November 20 Endorsed the Recommendations of the Historic Quality
Commission. In 1996, the President created a non-partisan, broad-based Commission on quality and charged them with developing a patients' bill of rights as their first order of business. In October of 1997, the President accepted the Commission's recommendation that all health plans should provide strong patient protections, including guaranteed access to needed health care specialists; access to emergency room services when and where the need arises; continuity of care protections; and access to a fair, unbiased and timely internal and independent external appeals process. The work of the Commission lay the foundation for subsequent administrative and legislative initiatives to improve patient protections and quality improvement.
November 21 FDA Reform Legislation Signed
The President supported and signed the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the first major food and medical products reform in 35 years. The Act cut approval times of new drugs in half, simplified the review process for medical devices, expanded participation in experimental treatments for AIDS, Alzheimer's and cancer patients, and protected consumers by ensuring accurate food labeling. (PL 105-115, signed 11/21/97)
December 16 NATO Expanded to Eastern Europe
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright signed protocols for the accession of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO. The expansion of NATO to include these three former Warsaw Pact nations was a historic step in ensuring peace and stability in Eastern Europe. NATO expansion was ratified in May 1998 after it was approved by a strong bipartisan Senate majority.
January 7 Child Care Initiative The President successfully initiated an historic effort to improve child care for America's working families. President Clinton's initiative responded to the struggles our nation's working parents face in finding child care that they can afford, trust, and rely on. The President's initiative helped working families pay for child care by more than doubling funding for child care subsidies and nearly doubling funding for Head Start; it built a supply of good after-school programs that will serve 1.3 million children in 2001; and, it is working to improve the safety and quality of care, and promote early learning through the recently passed Early Learning Opportunities Act.
February 20 Implemented the Patients' Bill of Rights for Federal
Health Plans In order to ensure that 85 million Americans in federal health plans benefit from essential health protections developed by the President's Health Care Quality Commission, President Clinton ordered federal health plans to comply with provisions of the Patients' Bill of Rights. The President's order guaranteed choice of providers and plans, access to emergency services, participation in treatment decisions, confidentiality of health information and a fair complaint and appeals process. Medicare, Medicaid, S-CHIP, the Indian Health Service, FEHBP plans, the Veterans Administration facilities, and the Military Health System are responding by ensuring that all protections that can be extended under current law be provided. April 11 Good Friday Peace Accords Signed President Clinton helped conclude the Good Friday Peace Accords, a historic peace agreement between all the major parties to the long conflict over Northern Ireland. The accord represents the best hope in a generation for a just and lasting peace in Northern Ireland. (4/11/98) July 16 Child Support Incentives The President signed into law the "Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998," which built on prior legislative and executive actions to improve child support collections by establishing performance-based rewards for states on a range of key child support goals. The Clinton Administration has taken great strides in promoting responsible fatherhood; since 1992, paternity establishment has tripled and child support collections have doubled. July 21 Improving Nursing Home Quality In July of 1998, President Clinton initiated a new nursing home quality initiative that ensures swift and strong penalties for nursing homes failing to comply with standards, strengthened oversight of state enforcement mechanisms, and implemented unprecedented efforts to improve nutrition and prevent bed sores. Finally, the Administration recently instructed states to eliminate corrective periods during which nursing homes could avoid the imposition of sanctions, such as fines, when a nursing home is found to have caused harm to a resident on consecutive surveys, in order to put additional pressure on nursing homes to meet all health and safety standards. August 7 Workforce Investment Act Long championed by President Clinton and Vice-President Gore, this bi-partisan legislation was enacted to streamline and bring greater accountability to our nation's job training system. (signed 8/7/98) October 7 GEAR UP Initiative Created In his 1998 State of the Union address, President Clinton urged Congress "to support our efforts to enlist colleges and universities to reach out to disadvantaged children, starting in the 7th grade, so that they can get the guidance and hope they need so they can know that they, too, will be able to go on to college." Congress enacted GEAR UP without a single dissenting vote. GEAR UP provides intensive early intervention services that have helped prepare up to 700,000 students at high-poverty middle schools for college. GEAR UP was included in the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, which also reduced student loan interest rates, saving students about $50 for every $1,000 in debt; supported partnerships between universities and school systems to strengthen teacher preparation and quality; and created the first federal performance-based organization to administer student aid. (signed 10/7/98) October 21 Class Size Reduction Initiative Launched After initially refusing to provide any funding at all, Congress agreed to provide $1.2 billion for the first year of the President's new initiative to hire 100,000 new teachers to reduce class size in the early grades to a national average of 18. This initiative is the first comprehensive effort to reduce class size across the nation. (PL 105-277, signed 10/21/98) 21st Century Community Learning Centers In 1998, a Clinton Administration initiative launched a series of dramatic funding increases for before- and after-school programs, turning a small demonstration program into one of the most popular Federal education programs. President Clinton won $846 million for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program for 2001, up from only $1 million in 1997, and it will serve about 1.3 million children. October 23 Wye Middle East Peace Agreement Signed After nine days of negotiations at the Wye Conference Center in Maryland, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat signed an agreement that will strengthen Israeli security, expand the area of Palestinian control in the West Bank, and enhance opportunities for the Israeli and Palestinian people. (10/23/98) October 27 Head Start Expansion and Reauthorization (Human Services Reauthorization Act) The reauthorization of Head Start paved the way for further quality improvements, doubled participation in the Early Head Start program and moved toward the President's goal of providing quality Head Start opportunities for one million children. (PL 105-285, 10/27/98) Individual Development Accounts In addition to reauthorizing Head Start, the Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998 also created the Individual Development Account Demonstration Program to encourage low-income families to save for a first home, post-secondary education or to start a new business. (PL 105-285, 10/27/98)
December 12 Global Warming Protocol Signed in Kyoto, Japan
With critical leadership from the Clinton-Gore Administration, 160 nations agreed on the basic architecture of a strategy to combat global warming on December 12, 1997. This agreement is the first time that major nations of the world ever committed themselves to a comprehensive plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
December 16 Air Attacks on Saddam Hussein
Beginning December 16, 1998, American forces attacked Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological programs, and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors. Saddam Hussein had announced that he would no longer cooperate with UN inspectors to conduct inspections that would guarantee that Iraq does not try and rebuild its capacity to create weapons of mass destruction.
April 29 Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 Signed Ed-Flex is designed to help districts and schools carry out educational reforms and raise the achievement levels of all children by providing increased flexibility in the implementation of federal education programs. In exchange, states are required to demonstrate enhanced accountability for the performance of all students. March 12 Clarifying Over The Counter Drug Labels. The President unveiled a historic new FDA regulation that, for the first time, requires over-the-counter drug products to use a new product label with larger print and clearer language, making it easier for consumers to understand product warnings and comply with dosage guidance. The new regulation provides Americans with essential information about their medications in a user friendly way and takes a critical first step towards preventing the tens of thousands of unnecessary hospitalizations caused by misuse of over-the-counter medications each year. April 27 Education Flexibility Partnership Act Signed This legislation expanded the Ed-Flex demonstration program to enable all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories to form Ed-Flex partnerships, giving states and communities the ability to use federal resources in the ways that best complement local efforts and innovation. Under Ed-Flex, states can waive many of the requirements of federal education programs in exchange for accountability for results. May 12 100,000 Officers Funded Under budget and ahead of schedule, the President's goal of funding 100,000 officers was reached. The President's successful community policing initiative has played a key role in producing the longest continuous drop in crime on record. In November 1999, President Clinton secured funding for the first installment of his 21st Century Policing Initiative over Congressional opposition. The new initiative will fund up to 50,000 additional community police officers by 2005 and equip them with new, advanced tools to fight crime. (PL 106-113, signed 11/29/99) June 16 Leading the World in Eliminating Child Labor In June 1999, the President traveled to the International Labor Organization Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to urge adoption of an historic international convention that would ban the worst forms of child labor. The next day, the Child Labor Convention was unanimously adopted by delegates at the conference. It represents the largest investment in American history to end abusive child labor around the globe. June 20 Achieving Victory in Kosovo President Clinton led the NATO Alliance in a 79-day air war that expelled Serb forces from Kosovo and restored self-government to the province, ending a decade of repression and reversing Slobodan Milosevic's brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing. In the face of Allied unity, American military superiority, and strong Presidential leadership, Milosevic withdrew his troops and permitted international peacekeepers to begin returning refugees. (3/24-6/20/99) October 29 Medical Privacy Protections Announced President Clinton announced new regulations to protect the privacy of personal medical records. The President's action gave consumers greater access to and control over their records, restricted the disclosure of protected health information to the minimum necessary, and established new disclosure requirements for researchers and others seeking access to health records.
November 12 Financial Modernization Legislation Enacted
President Clinton signed the Financial Modernization Act into law, finally revamping a banking system that had been in place since the Great Depression. The new law will increase innovation and competition in the financial services industry, including traditional banking, insurance and securities industries, giving consumers greater choice and lower prices. The President insisted that the new regulatory structure permit banking institutions to expand into these newly authorized lines of business only if they satisfactorily serve the credit needs of their communities, and that the law include many of the consumer privacy provisions he proposed. (PL 106-102, signed 11/12/99)
November 18 Expanded Federal Investment in After-School and Summer
School Programs President Clinton signed a significant increase in 21st Century Community Learning Centers, expanding the federal investment in after-school and summer school programs from a small pilot project. This initiative currently serves over 850,000 Americans nationwide, and will serve 1.3 million children next year.
November 29 Work Incentives Improvement Act Signed
After months of congressional inaction, President Clinton insisted that Congress pass the Work Incentives Improvement Act as a condition of the budget agreement. This bipartisan Act allows people with disabilities to maintain their Medicare or Medicaid coverage when they go to work. This law represents one of the most important legislative advances for people with disabilities since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (PL 106-113, signed 11/29/99) Leveraged $90 Billion in International Debt Relief President Clinton has been an international leader in recognizing and solving the debt problems of developing countries. To meet the commitments he made at the G-7 Economic Summit in Cologne in June and at his address to the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings in September, President Clinton secured funds from Congress to leverage over $90 billion of debt relief for developing nations. Along with funds from other creditor nations, this plan tripled the amount of debt relief available to the world's poorest nations. (PL 106-113, signed 11/29/99)
December 14 Enacted New Legislation to Help Young People Leaving
Foster Care Today, when young people emancipate from foster care, they face numerous health risks, but too often lose their health insurance. The new law grants states the option for these young people to remain eligible for Medicaid up to age 21. HHS issued guidance to all State Medicaid Directors encouraging them to take up this option. (Public Law 106-169)
March 17 Historic Smith & Wesson Agreement The President announced the Administration's historic Agreement with several cities and counties and the nation's largest handgun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, to reform the way they design, distribute and market their products. Among the key provisions are new design standards to make guns safer and prevent accidental shootings and gun deaths, such as locking devices on handguns and the incorporation of smart gun technology, and sales and distribution controls to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to crack down on illegal gun traffickers, such as cutting off dealers that sell a disproportionate share of crime guns and not selling to dealers who sell at gun shows unless background checks are conducted. April 7 Senior Citizen's Freedom to Work Act Passed In his January 1999 State of the Union Address the President stated that "we should eliminate the limits on what seniors on Social Security can earn." In 2000, the House and Senate unanimously voted to eliminate the retirement earnings test for people above the normal retirement age. (PL 106-182, signed 4/7/00) April 15 Created New National Monument To Preserve Ancient Sequoias President Clinton signed a proclamation creating the Giant Sequoia National Monument. This 328,000-acre monument will ensure lasting protection for 34 groves of ancient sequoias, the largest trees on Earth. (4/15/00) May 18 Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act Signed Expands two-way trade and create incentives for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Caribbean Basin to continue reforming their economies and participate more fully in the benefits of the global economy. This area forms the sixth largest export market for the United States. (PL 106-200, signed 5/18/00) June 7 Providing Medicare Reimbursement For Costs Associated with Participation in Clinical Trials. The President issued an Executive Memorandum directing the Medicare program to revise its payment policy and immediately begin to explicitly reimburse providers for the cost of routine patient care associated with participation in clinical trials. HHS was directed to take additional action to promote the participation of Medicare beneficiaries in clinical trials for all diseases, including activities to increase beneficiary awareness of the new coverage option and actions to ensure that the information gained from important clinical trials is used to inform coverage decisions by properly structuring the trial. June 9 Preserved Four Unique and Irreplaceable National Monuments President Clinton signed proclamations creating four new national monuments to protect federal lands representing unique, irreplaceable pieces of America's natural and cultural heritage. The four are the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon, the Hanford Reach National Monument in south central Washington, and the Ironwood Forest National Monument in southern Arizona. June 30 Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act Signed This Act eliminated legal barriers to using electronic technology to form and sign contracts, collect and store documents, and send and receive notices and disclosures. It also contained important protections making sure that consumers shopping on-line are protected to the same extent as paper transactions. (PL 106-229, signed 6/30/00) July 1 Campaign Finance Disclosure Enacted President Clinton signed the first new campaign finance reform legislation in 20 years, closing a loophole that allowed tax-exempt groups to use undisclosed donors to pay for political ad campaigns. (PL 106-230, signed 7/1/00) July 13 Plan Colombia Enacted President Clinton proposed a new aid package to bolster democracy and combat drug trafficking in Colombia. The agreement will enhance alternative development, strengthen civil justice and democratic institutions, and provide assistance aimed at reducing the flow of cocaine and other narcotics to the United States. (PL 106-246, signed 7/13/00) October 10 China-PNTR Enacted This Act was a crucial step to complete a major trade goal of the Clinton-Gore Administration, opening China's markets to American manufactured goods, farm products and services by allowing China to become part of the WTO, forcing it to slash import barriers against American goods and services. The United States agreed to maintain market access policies we currently apply to China. (PL 106-286, signed 10/10/00) October 24 Providing Health Insurance to Women With Breast Cancer President Clinton enacted legislation to provide a new Medicaid option to provide needed insurance coverage to the thousands of uninsured women with breast and cervical cancer detected by Federally supported screening programs. This new proposal will help eliminate the current and frequently overwhelming financial barriers to treatment for these women. October 27 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 The President signed this landmark legislation, which expands and strengthens the Violence Against Women Act, passed as part of the Crime Bill in 1994. The legislation also provides new tools and resources to combat the worldwide scourge of trafficking in persons and helps American victims of terrorism abroad to collect court-awarded compensation. From 1993 through 1998, violence against women by intimate partners fell by 21 percent. (PL 106-386, 10/27/00) Reauthorizing the Older Americans Act The Older Americans Act ensures that millions of seniors nationwide have access to meals, nursing home ombudsmen, legal assistance, elder abuse prevention, employment and transportation services that are essential to their dignity and independence. This legislation includes the National Family Caregiver Support Program -- a key Administration priority designed to provide respite care and other supportive services to help hundreds of thousands of families who are struggling to care for their older loved ones who are ill or disabled.
November 13 New Worker Health And Safety Rules To Prevent Repetitive
Stress Injuries Announced The new rule announced by the Administration is aimed at reducing approximately 1.8 million repetitive stress injuries that affect workers. Based on extensive scientific research and public comment, the Administration's proposal would save 300,000 workers the pain and suffering associated with these injuries, and save American businesses $9 billion a year in workers compensation and lost productivity. The final rules will take effect January 16, 2001.
December 15 Passed $1.2 Billion for Emergency School Repairs
In the FY 2001 budget, President Clinton won passage of an historic $1.2 billion initiative for emergency school renovation. The initiative will help schools make much-needed repairs, such as roofs, heating and cooling systems, and electrical wiring. The assistance would be targeted to high-need districts and includes $75 million for public schools with high concentrations of Native American students. Passed the New Markets Initiative The FY 2001 budget also includes historic bipartisan New Markets and community renewal initiative -- the most significant effort ever to help hard-pressed communities lift themselves up through private investment and entrepreneurship. With the help of the New Markets tax credit, 40 strengthened empowerment zones and 40 renewal communities, this initiative will spur billions of dollars in private investment, and ensure that every American will share in nation's economic prosperity. Budget Includes Important Investments in Health Care The President's longstanding commitment to expand access to quality health care for all Americans is reflected in the FY 2001 budget, which includes a multi-billion dollar effort to provide low-income children, seniors and people with disabilities, and those leaving welfare for work, with health care coverage. It also expands preventive benefits like cancer and glaucoma screenings for Medicare beneficiaries.
The Clinton Presidency: Historic Economic Growth
In 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore launched their economic strategy: (1) establishing fiscal discipline, eliminating the budget deficit, keeping interest rates low, and spurring private-sector investment; (2) investing in people through education, training, science, and research; and (3) opening foreign markets so American workers can compete abroad. After eight years, the results of President Clinton's economic leadership are clear. Record budget deficits have become record surpluses, 22 million new jobs have been created, unemployment and core inflation are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, and America is in the midst of the longest economic expansion in our history.
President Clinton's Record on the Economy: In 1992, 10 million Americans
were unemployed, the country faced record deficits, and poverty and
welfare rolls were growing. Family incomes were losing ground to
inflation and jobs were being created at the slowest rate since the
Great Depression. Today, America enjoys what may be the strongest
-- Strong Economic Growth: Since President Clinton and Vice President
Gore took office, economic growth has averaged 4.0 percent per year, compared to average growth of 2.8 percent during the Reagan-Bush years. The economy has grown for 116 consecutive months, the most in history. -- Most New Jobs Ever Created Under a Single Administration: The economy has created more than 22.5 million jobs in less than eight years -- the most jobs ever created under a single administration, and more than were created in the previous 12 years. Of the total new jobs, 20.7 million, or 92 percent, are in the private sector. -- Median Family Income Up $6,000 since 1993: Economic gains have been made across the spectrum as family incomes increased for all Americans. Since 1993, real median family income has increased by $6,338, from $42,612 in 1993 to $48,950 in 1999 (in 1999 dollars). -- Unemployment at Its Lowest Level in More than 30 Years: Overall unemployment has dropped to the lowest level in more than 30 years, down from 6.9 percent in 1993 to just 4.0 percent in November 2000. The unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for 40 consecutive months. Unemployment for African Americans has fallen from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 7.3 percent in October 2000, the lowest rate on record. Unemployment for Hispanics has fallen from 11.8 percent in October 1992 to 5.0 percent in October 2000, also the lowest rate on record. -- Lowest Inflation since the 1960s: Inflation is at the lowest rate since the Kennedy Administration, averaging 2.5 percent, and it is down from 4.7 percent during the previous administration. -- Highest Homeownership Rate on Record: The homeownership rate reached 67.7 percent for the third quarter of 2000, the highest rate on record. In contrast, the homeownership rate fell from 65.6 percent in the first quarter of 1981 to 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 1993. -- 7 Million Fewer Americans Living in Poverty: The poverty rate has declined from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 11.8 percent last year, the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than there were in 1993.
Establishing Fiscal Discipline and Paying off the National Debt
President Clinton's Record on Fiscal Discipline: Between 1981 and 1992, the national debt held by the public quadrupled. The annual budget deficit grew to $290 billion in 1992, the largest ever, and was projected to grow to more than $455 billion by Fiscal Year (FY) 2000. As a result of the tough and sometimes unpopular choices made by President Clinton, and major deficit reduction legislation passed in 1993 and 1997, we have seen eight consecutive years of fiscal improvement for the first time in America's history. -- Largest Surplus Ever: The surplus in FY 2000 is $237 billion -- the
third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever. -- Largest Three-Year Debt Pay-Down Ever: Between 1998-2000, the
publicly held debt was reduced by $363 billion -- the largest three-year pay-down in American history. Under Presidents Reagan and Bush, the debt held by the public quadrupled. Under the Clinton-Gore budget, we are on track to pay off the entire publicly held debt on a net basis by 2009. -- Lower Federal Government Spending: After increasing under the previous two administrations, federal government spending as a share of the economy has been cut from 22.2 percent in 1992 to 18 percent in 2000 -- the lowest level since 1966. -- Reduced Interest Payments on the Debt: In 1993, the net interest payments on the debt held by the public were projected to grow to $348 billion in FY 2000. In 2000, interest payments on the debt were $125 billion lower than projected. -- Americans Benefit from Reduced Debt: Because of fiscal discipline and deficit and debt reduction, it is estimated that a family with a home mortgage of $100,000 might expect to save roughly $2,000 per year in mortgage payments, like a large tax cut. -- Double Digit Growth in Private Investment in Equipment and Software: Lower debt will help maintain strong economic growth and fuel private investments. With government no longer draining resources out of capital markets, private investment in equipment and software averaged 13.3 percent annual growth since 1993, compared to 4.7 percent during 1981 to 1992.
To Establish Fiscal Discipline, President Clinton: -- Enacted the 1993 Deficit Reduction Plan without a Single Republican
Vote. Prior to 1993, the debate over fiscal policy often revolved around a false choice between public investment and deficit reduction. The 1993 deficit reduction plan showed that deficit and debt reductions could be accomplished in a progressive way by slashing the deficit in half and making important investments in our future, including education, health care, and science and technology research. The plan included more than $500 billion in deficit reduction. It also cut taxes for 15 million of the hardest-pressed Americans by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit; created the Direct Student Loan Program; created the first nine Empowerment Zones and first 95 Enterprise Communities; and passed tax cuts for small businesses and research and development. -- Negotiated the Balanced Budget Agreement of 1997. In his 1997 State of the Union address, President Clinton announced his plan to balance the budget for the first time in 27 years. Later that year, he signed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, a major bipartisan agreement to eliminate the national budget deficit, create the conditions for economic growth, and invest in the education and health of our people. It provided middle-class tax relief with a $500 per child tax credit and the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits for college. It also created the Children's Health Insurance Program to serve up to 5 million children and made landmark investments in education initiatives including educational technology, charter schools, Head Start, and Pell Grants. Finally, it added 20 more Empowerment Zones and 20 more rural Enterprise Communities, included the President's plan to revitalize the District of Columbia, and continued welfare reform though $3 billion in new resources to move welfare recipients to private-sector jobs. -- Dedicated the Surplus to Save Social Security and Reduce the National Debt. In his 1998 and 1999 State of the Union addresses, President Clinton called on the nation to save the surplus until the solvency of Social Security is assured. He also repeatedly vetoed large Republican tax cut bills that would have jeopardized our nation's fiscal discipline. The President's actions led to a bipartisan consensus on saving the surplus and paying down the debt. -- Extended Medicare Solvency from 1999 to 2025. When President Clinton took office, Medicare was expected to become insolvent in 1999, then only six years away. The 1993 deficit reduction act dedicated some of the taxes paid by Social Security beneficiaries to the Medicare Trust Fund and extended the life of Medicare by three years to 2002. Thanks to additional provisions to combat waste, fraud and abuse and bipartisan cooperation in the 1997 balanced budget agreement, Medicare is now expected to remain solvent until 2025.
Clinton-Gore Economic Policy Has Dramatically Improved the Economy
"My colleagues and I have been very appreciative of your [President Clinton's] support of the Fed over the years, and your commitment to fiscal discipline has been instrumental in achieving what in a few weeks will be the longest economic expansion in the nation's history." -- Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Board Chairman, January 4, 2000, with President Clinton at Chairman Greenspan's re-nomination announcement
"The deficit has come down, and I give the Clinton Administration and President Clinton himself a lot of credit for that. [He] did something about it, fast. And I think we are seeing some benefits." -- Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve Board Chairman (1979-1987), in Audacity, Fall 1994
One of the reasons Goldman Sachs cites for the "best economy ever" is
that "on the policy side, trade, fiscal, and monetary policies have been
excellent, working in ways that have facilitated growth without
inflation. The Clinton Administration has worked to liberalize trade
and has used any revenue windfalls to reduce the federal budget
-- Goldman Sachs, March 1998
"Clinton's 1993 budget cuts, which reduced projected red ink by more
than $400 billion over five years, sparked a major drop in interest
rates that helped boost investment in all the equipment and systems that
brought forth the New Age economy of technological innovation and rising
-- Business Week, May 19, 1997
Opening World Markets to American Goods and Providing Leadership on Globalization
President Clinton's Record on Trade and Globalization: In 1992, 10 million Americans were unemployed, new job creation was slow, and wages were stagnant. Other nations' high trade barriers limited the ability of American businesses and farmers to sell their goods abroad and hampered economic recovery. Our trade policies failed to reflect our values by failing to take into account the responsibility to protect our environment, eliminate child labor and sweatshops, and protect the rights of workers around the world. But today: -- 300 Trade Agreements: President Clinton has opened markets for U.S.
exports abroad and created American jobs through nearly 300 free and fair trade agreements. -- The Most U.S. Exports Ever. Between 1992 and 2000, U.S. exports of goods and services grew by 74 percent, or nearly $500 billion, to top $1 trillion for the first time. -- 1.4 Million More Jobs due to Exports: Jobs supported by American exports grew by 1.4 million between 1994 and 1998, with jobs supported by exports paying about 13 percent to 16 percent above the U.S. national average. Jobs related to goods exports pay, on average, 13 to 16 percent higher than other jobs. -- Lowest Inflation since the 1960s: Inflation is at the lowest rate since the Kennedy Administration, in part because global competition has kept prices low. It has averaged 2.5 percent under this Administration, down from 4.6 percent during the previous administration.
To Create Trade Opportunities and Expand the Benefits of Globalization,
-- Won Ratification of the North America Free Trade Association
(NAFTA) in 1993, creating the world's largest free trade zone of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. U.S. exports to Mexico grew 109 percent from 1993 to 1999, while exports to the rest of the world grew by 49 percent. -- Won Approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. In 2000, Congress ratified permanent normal trade relations with China. The agreement will integrate China into the world economy through entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), open Chinese market to U.S. exports, slash Chinese tariffs, and protect American workers and companies against dumping. -- Successfully Completed the Uruguay Round. The 1994 Uruguay Round transformed the world trading system, opening markets in a wide range of industries, enabling the U.S. to enforce agreements more effectively, and applying the rules for the first time to all WTO members (now 138 in total). -- Fought for the First-Ever African and the Caribbean Basin Trade Bills. The African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000 will support increased trade and investment between the United States and Africa, strengthen African economies and democratic governments, and increase partnerships to counter terrorism, crime, environmental degradation and disease. The legislation will also create incentives for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean Basin to continue reforming their economies. -- Promoted Trade Opportunities for High Technology. The Clinton Administration completed series of trade agreements on technology, including the WTO's commitment to duty-free cyberspace, keeping the Internet free of trade barriers, in 1998; the global WTO agreements on Financial Services and Basic Telecommunications in 1997; the global WTO agreement on Information Technology in 1996; and a series of bilateral agreements on intellectual property, high-tech products, services and other sectors. These efforts are the building blocks of the New Economy. -- Secured Historic Debt Relief. In March 1999, President Clinton presented a plan to a U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington that became the basis for the G-7 agreement in Cologne, Germany (known as the Cologne Debt Initiative). The plan would triple the amount of debt relief available for poor countries, reducing their debt by about 70 percent ($90 billion), in return for firm commitments to channel the benefits into improving the lives of all their people. In September 1999, the President announced that the U.S. would unilaterally exceed the terms of the G-7 initiative and entirely cancel the $5.7 billion in U.S. government debt owed by qualifying countries. In November 2000, President Clinton won $435 million from Congress for U.S. participation in the Cologne Initiative. -- Dramatically Expanded U.S. Efforts to Fight Child Labor and Expand Basic Education. In June 1999, the President traveled to the International Labor Organization (ILO) conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to urge adoption of an historic international convention banning the worst forms of child labor. He won $30 million for ILO enforcement of child labor laws and is fighting for a new initiative to promote basic education in areas of the world where child labor is widespread. In 2000, at U.S. urging, the G-8 countries endorsed the goal of universal basic education. President Clinton brought other issues to the forefront of the international economic agenda, including incorporating labor and environmental considerations in the work of major international economic institutions, increasing U.S. support for global efforts to fight HIV-AIDS and infectious diseases, and closing the digital divide. -- Defused International Economic Crises. In 1995, after Congress refused to act, President Clinton made $20 billion in emergency loans to Mexico to stabilize the country's financial markets. Mexico repaid the loans in full, with interest, three years ahead of schedule. Following the Asian and Russian financial crises in 1997 and 1998, the Clinton-Gore Administration led a global effort to re-capitalize the International Monetary Fund to allow it to more effectively deal with these problems. President Clinton also insisted that the G-7 develop a set of measures to restore confidence in the world financial system. -- Promoted U.S. Competitiveness. The Clinton-Gore Administration has made key investments in education and training for American workers and research and development. It has also maintained federal fiscal discipline, helping to reduce interest rates, encourage private-sector investment, and keep productivity high.
Rewarding Work and Empowering Communities
President Clinton's Record on Rewarding Work: In 1992, unemployment
reached 7.5 percent, the highest level in eight years. Unemployment and
poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanics were alarming:
unemployment reached 14.2 percent for African Americans and 11.8 percent
for Hispanics, and poverty rates for both groups were nearly 30 percent.
-- Higher Incomes at All Levels: After years of stagnant income growth
among average and lower-income families, all income brackets have experienced double-digit income growth since 1993. The bottom 20 percent saw the largest income growth at 16.3 percent. -- Lowest Poverty Rate in 20 Years: Since Congress passed President Clinton's Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate declined from 15.1 percent to 11.8 percent last year, the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than there were in 1993. The child poverty rate has declined more than 25 percent, the poverty rate for single mothers is the lowest ever, the African American and elderly poverty rates dropped to their lowest level on record, and the Hispanic poverty rate dropped to its lowest level since 1979. -- Lowest Poverty Rate for Single Mothers on Record: Under President Clinton, the poverty rate for families with single mothers has fallen from 46.1 percent in 1993 to 35.7 percent in 1999, the lowest level on record. Between 1980 and 1992, an additional 2.1 million households headed by single women were pushed into poverty. -- Smallest Welfare Rolls Since 1969: Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the welfare rolls have dropped dramatically and are now the lowest since 1969. Between January 1993 and September of 1999, the number of welfare recipients dropped by 7.5 billion (a 53 percent decline) to 6.6 million. In comparison, between 1981-1992, the number of welfare recipients increased by 2.5 million (a 22 percent increase) to 13.6 million people.
To Help All Americans Benefit from Prosperity, President Clinton: -- Ended Welfare as We Knew It. In 1996, President Clinton signed
legislation requiring welfare recipients to work, limiting the time they can stay on welfare, and providing child care and health care to help them begin work. It also enacted tough new child support enforcement measures proposed by the President. In 1997, President Clinton won the welfare-to-work tax credit to encourage employers to hire long-term welfare recipients and $3 billion in additional resources to help communities move long-term welfare recipients into lasting, unsubsidized jobs. -- Rewarded Work by Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 1993, President Clinton succeeded in winning passage of an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, giving a tax cut to 15 million of the hardest-pressed American workers. In 1999, the EITC lifted 4.1 million people out of poverty, nearly double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. -- Created Empowerment Zones. The 1993 Clinton-Gore economic plan created nine Empowerment Zones and 95 Enterprise Communities to spur local community planning and economic growth in distressed communities through tax incentives and federal investment. The President won expansions of the program in 1994, 1997, and again in 2000. To date, the 31 Empowerment Zones and 95 Enterprise Communities have leveraged over $10 billion in new private sector investment, creating thousands of new jobs for local residents. -- Created Community Development Financial Institutions. In September 1994, the President signed legislation creating the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, a Clinton campaign proposal to support specialized financial institutions serving often-overlooked customers and communities. The Fund has certified over 400 CDFIs. It has provided over $427 million to match investments in CDFIs and to encourage traditional financial institutions to increase their lending, investment and services in under-served markets. -- Strengthened the Community Reinvestment Act. In 1995, the Administration updated the Community Reinvestment Act regulations to focus on banks' actual service delivery, rather than on compliance efforts. From 1993 to 1998, lenders subject to the law increased mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income families by 80 percent -- more than twice the rate they increased mortgage lending to other income groups. -- Encouraged Investment in America's New Markets. In 1999, the President went on two historic "New Markets" trips to highlight the continuing need to bring investment to impoverished inner cities, rural communities and Native American tribal lands. In 2000, the President and Congress worked together to pass this bipartisan initiative to stimulate new private capital investments in economically distressed communities and build network of private investment institutions to funnel credit, equity and technical assistance to businesses in America's new markets. -- Raised the Minimum Wage. In 1996, President Clinton and Vice President Gore fought for and won a 90-cent per hour increase in the minimum wage, helping 10 million workers. -- Helped People with Disabilities Work. In 1999, President Clinton insisted that Congress pass the Work Incentives Improvement Act as a condition of the budget agreement. This bipartisan law allows people with disabilities to maintain their Medicare or Medicaid coverage when they work.
Modernizing for the New Economy through Technology and Consensus Deregulation
To Capitalize on the Information Technology Revolution, President
Clinton and Vice President Gore Have:
-- Modernized Financial Services Laws. In 1993, the laws that
governed America's financial service sector were antiquated and anti-competitive. The Clinton-Gore Administration fought to modernize those laws to increase competition in traditional banking, insurance, and securities industries to give consumers and small businesses more choices and lower costs. In 1994, the Clinton-Gore Administration broke another decades-old logjam by allowing banks to branch across state lines in the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994. President Clinton fought for and won financial modernization legislation, signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in November 1999. -- Reformed Telecommunications. In 1996, President Clinton signed legislation to open up competition between local telephone companies, long distance providers and cable companies. The law also requires the use of new V-chip technology to give families greater control over which television programming comes into their homes. -- Created the E-Rate. With the leadership of Vice President Gore, the Telecommunications Act contained the E-Rate initiative, which provides low-cost Internet connections for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals. More than 80 percent of America's public schools have benefited from the E-rate, which has helped connect 30 million children and up to 47,000 schools and libraries to the Internet. The percentage of public schools connected to the Internet has increased from 35 percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999. The percentage of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased from 3 percent in 1994 to 63 percent in 1999. -- Increased Resources for Educational Technology by Over 3,000 Percent. President Clinton and Vice President Gore increased our investment in educational technology by over 3,000 percent, from $23 million in FY 1994 to $769 million in FY 2000, including training over 600,000 new teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom. -- Paved the Way for Electronic Commerce. President Clinton fought to eliminate legal barriers to using electronic technology to form and sign contracts, collect and store documents, and send and receive notices and disclosures, while ensuring that consumers on-line have the same protections that they have in the paper world. He signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act on June 30, 2000. -- Creating Market Opportunities for Technology Firms. The Clinton-Gore Administration adopted a market-led approach on e-commerce, making spectrum available for digital wireless, and reforming Cold War export controls. -- Worked to Close the Digital Divide. Since 1992, the President and Vice President have tripled funding for Community Technology Centers, which provide access to computers and the Internet to low-income urban and rural neighborhoods. President Clinton also challenged the private sector to develop new business models for low-cost computers and Internet access to make universal access at home affordable for all Americans. The Technology Literacy Challenge Fund has provided $1 billion in federal resources to help schools work with businesses and community organizations to put modern computers, high-quality educational software, and affordable connections to the Internet in every classroom. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created a temporary tax deduction for donations of computers to elementary and secondary schools. -- Forged Trade Agreements on High Technology. The Clinton Administration completed series of trade agreements on technology, including the WTO's commitment to duty-free cyberspace, keeping the Internet free of trade barriers, in 1998; the global WTO agreements on Financial Services and Basic Telecommunications in 1997; the global WTO agreement on Information Technology in 1996; and a series of bilateral agreements on intellectual property, high-tech products, services and other sectors; all soon to be capped by the opening of a major networked economy initiative.
Investing in Educating and Training the American People
President Clinton's Record on Investing in Americans: -- More Americans Are Enrolling in College: 66 percent of 1998 high
school graduates enrolled in college or trade school the next fall, compared to 60 percent in 1990. -- More High School Students Are Preparing for College: The percentage of high school graduates who have taken four years of English and three years each of math, science, and social studies increased from 38 percent to 55 percent between 1990 and 1998. Research shows that high-quality academics in high school is key to college success. -- More Americans Are Earning College Degrees: Over 32 percent of 25- to 29-year-old high school graduates had earned at least a bachelor's degree in 1999, up from 27 percent in 1990. In particular, white and African American women have seen their college opportunities grow. -- Americans Are Becoming Lifelong Learners: 50 percent of adults participated in formal learning in the year prior to a 1999 survey, up from 38 percent in 1991.
To Provide Americans with More, Higher-Quality Education and Training,
-- Created the College Tax Credits, the Largest Single Investment in
Higher Education since the G.I. Bill. A $1,500 tax credit for the first two years of college, the Hope Scholarship will pay for nearly all of a typical community college's tuition and fees. The $1,000 Lifetime Learning Tax Credit reimburses families for 20 percent of their tuition and fees (up to $5,000 per family) for college, graduate study, or job training. Starting in 2003, the credit will reimburse families for 20 percent of their costs up to $10,000, for a maximum value of $2,000. This year, 10 million American families will save over $7 billion through the college tax credits. -- Doubled Student Financial Aid. Students will receive over $50 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study aid this year, up from $25 billion in 1993. President Clinton has consistently supported budget increases for Pell Grants; this year, over 3.8 million needy students receive a Pell Grant scholarship of up to $3,300, a $1,000 larger maximum grant than in 1993. The President won another increase for Pell Grants in the FY 2001 budget, bringing the maximum grant to $3,750. The President also won increases in work-study funding to help one million students pay for college. -- Created Direct Student Loans and Reduced Interest Rates. In the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993, President Clinton won the Direct Student Loan program to improve customer service and compete with guaranteed lenders. It has saved taxpayers over $4 billion so far by eliminating lender subsidies. President Clinton also fought to reduce interest rates and fees in the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993 and the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. As a result, students can expect to pay $1,300 less in interest and fees for the average $10,000 loan than they would have in 1992. The student loan default rate is now 6.9 percent, down from 22.4 percent eight years ago. -- Created New Paths to College through GEAR UP, AmeriCorps, and TRIO. President Clinton won the new GEAR UP initiative in the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 which is already helping 700,000 low-income middle school students prepare for college. Over 150,000 Americans have earned money for college while serving their communities through President Clinton's AmeriCorps program, a campaign promise enacted in 1993. To help disadvantaged youth prepare for and succeed in college, the TRIO programs have grown by $342 million over the past eight years. -- Strengthened Elementary and Secondary Education. In 1994, President Clinton reformed federal education initiatives in the Improving America's Schools Act and the Goals 2000 Act. The President's new approach was grounded in the principles that all of America's students should meet high academic standards and the federal government should make new investments to help them meet those standards. The President has also fought to hire 100,000 teachers, promote educational technology, support charter schools, build K-16 partnerships, and focus on early reading through America Reads. -- Passed the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. In 1992, President Clinton and Vice President Gore proposed to streamline and bring greater accountability to our nation's job training system. In 1998, they won legislation to meet the needs of both America's workers and businesses by encouraging local control of training and employment programs; helping customers locate assistance through one-stop centers; and empower adults to receive the training they need. Reducing Tax Burdens for Average and Hard-Pressed Working Families.
The Clinton Record on Reducing Taxes for Working Families: -- Lowest Federal Income Tax Burden in 35 Years: Federal income taxes
as a percentage of income for the typical American family have dropped to their lowest level in 35 years. -- Higher Incomes even after Taxes and Inflation: Real after-tax incomes have grown for Americans at all income levels, much faster than they did prior to the Clinton-Gore Administration. Real after-tax incomes grew by an average of 2.6 percent per year for the lower-income half of taxpayers between 1993 and 1997, while growing by an average of 1.0 percent between 1981 and 1993.
To Cut Taxes for Working Americans, President Clinton: -- Expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 1993, President Clinton
succeeded in expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, giving a tax cut to 15 million of the hardest-pressed American workers. In 1999, the EITC lifted 4.1 million people out of poverty, nearly double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. -- Created the $500 per Child Tax Credit. In 1997, President Clinton secured a $500 per child tax credit for 27 million families with children under 17, including 13 million children from families with incomes below $30,000. -- Won the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit. President Clinton proposed tax credits for college tuition in 1996 and signed them into law in 1997 as part of the balanced budget agreement. The Hope Scholarship provides a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college, roughly equal to the cost of the average community college. It will save American families $4.9 billion this year. -- Won the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Also enacted in 1997, the Lifetime Learning tax credit provides a 20 percent tax credit on $5,000 of tuition and fees (to be raised to $10,000 in 2003) for college and graduate students and adults taking job training. It will reduce the cost of college and job training for American families by $2.4 billion this year. -- Established Education IRAs. The 1997 balanced budget agreement also created Education IRAs. For each child under age 18, families may now deposit $500 per year into an Education IRA in the child's name. Earnings in the Education IRA accumulate tax-free and no taxes will be due upon withdrawal if the money is used to pay for college. The law also allowed taxpayers to withdraw funds from a traditional IRA without penalty to pay for higher education for themselves or their spouse, child, or even grandchild. -- Created Empowerment Zones. President Clinton created Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities in 1993 and expanded them in 1994, 1997 and again in 2000 to spur economic growth in distressed communities through tax incentives and federal investment. To date, the 31 Empowerment Zones and 95 Enterprise Communities have leveraged over $10 billion in new private sector investment, creating thousands of new jobs for local residents. -- Simplified Pension Rules. In 1996, President Clinton signed the SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plan into law, simplifying and expanding retirement plan coverage for small businesses. -- Simplified Tax Laws and Protected Taxpayer Rights. President Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 to simplify the tax laws and enhance taxpayers' rights. The law has saved families and businesses millions of hours be simplifying and reducing paperwork, such as allowing a tax exclusion for income from the sale of a home. -- Closed Tax Loopholes. To ensure that all taxpayers pay their fair share, the Clinton Administration addressed the use and proliferation of corporate tax shelters by proposing several remedies to curb the growth of such shelters by increasing disclosure of sheltering activities, increasing and strengthening the substantial understatement penalty, codifying the judicially-created economic substance doctrine, and providing consequences to all parties involved in an abusive sheltering transaction.
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S ECONOMIC POLICIES HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE
Trade Expands Opportunity for American Workers
"Harley-Davidson is growing rapidly, and sales to other countries is one reason why. President Clinton's efforts to open foreign markets have made a difference and helped create jobs at Harley-Davidson." -- Bobby Ramsey began working at the Harley-Davidson York plant in 1972 and is now responsible for inspecting all incoming motorcycle parts prior to the assembly process. Since 1995, Mr. Ramsey has also been his union's Chief Shop Steward, which entails handling all second step grievances of workers and helping represent his co-workers to management. U.S. exports of motorcycles and parts have grown by 15 percent a year from 1987 to 1998, reaching one-third of industry sales. Harley-Davidson will export 22 percent of the motorcycles produced in Mr. Ramsey's plant. By 2003, Harley-Davidson expects to double production from 1996 levels largely because of exports, creating new jobs for American workers.
"Kodak and its employees have experienced significant gains because of
NAFTA. The NAFTA has enabled Kodak to realize considerable tariff
savings and to make production decisions based on rational economic
grounds rather than on tariff considerations. For example, the
agreement has enabled Kodak to transfer a high-cost sensitizing
operation for color negative film from Mexico to Rochester, New York.
In all, NAFTA has been a win-win-win for Kodak's operations in Canada,
Mexico and the United States."
-- Dan Carp, President and CEO of the Eastman Kodak company, credits NAFTA with Kodak's rapid growth in export sales. Eastman Kodak manufactures high technology imaging products for sale in 160 countries. Under NAFTA, Mexican duties on film and photo paper have been reduced from 15 to 30 percent to 6 to 9 percent, and they will be eliminated by 2004. Kodak's exports to Mexico have more than doubled since 1993, creating greater stability and more job opportunities for Kodak's 54,000 employees.
Making the Dream of Homeownership a Reality
"I feel true independence in owning my own home. To those who think it's impossible: It is possible. Don't let anyone talk you out of it." -- Lucy Vocu, a teacher and single mother. Lucy Vocu has lived on the Pine Ridge reservation all her life. In 1985, Lucy got her GED, and in 1994, she graduated from Oglala Lakota College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She currently works for the Shannon County school system at Wolf Creek School. Her children, Grace, 15, and Jacob, 7, spend a lot of time using their computer. Jacob recently tracked tornadoes on the Internet. Lucy is a first-time homeowner. She moved from a two-bedroom rental house into this new three-bedroom home, which offers more privacy. Lucy is excited about being a new homeowner and, if her budget allows, she hopes to add to her new home a swing set for Jacob and a basketball net for Grace.
"The social workers at Marion House, which has received funding from
HUD's homeless grants, helped me get back on my feet. They counseled me
on how to find a job and helped me learn the skills I would need to stay
employed. Today I am newly married, and I have been working the last
four years as a secretary for a social service agency. And I am
delighted to say . . . I am a homeowner. Because of your leadership
President Clinton, and because of your commitment to providing funding
for homeless programs across the country, there will be hope and
optimism in place of despair."
-- Christa Spangler, of Baltimore, MD, December 23, 1998. Christa Spangler was a formerly homeless woman who hit rock bottom in 1994 when she was forced to live in her car. Previously, she had lost custody of her children, and spent eleven years in and out of halfway houses, rehab clinics, and hospitals. She found her way to Marion House, a Catholic transitional housing program for homeless women and children. Christa is now married, working as a receptionist and living in her own home. Federal resources pay 25 percent of the Marion House budget.
Empowerment Zones Are a Potent Weapon Against Poverty
"I am living proof that the Empowerment Zone works! If it wasn't for the Empowerment Zone, I would have never have had the chance to buy this building or to expand my business. We are fighting the war against poverty throughout our neighborhoods and cities, but we have a very potent weapon -- the Empowerment Zones. And we will use that weapon to win this war because, after all, our future and our children's future depends on it. We must never give up hope." -- Nancy Santana, 37, is a single mother of three who lives in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She used resources and a loan she obtained through her local Empowerment Zone to move from welfare to start her own business, Nancy Santana's Cleaning and Maintenance Services. Four years later, her business employs over 25 people, many of whom she recruited off of welfare.
Community Development Financial Institutions Expand Economic Opportunity
"President Clinton's efforts have been very helpful to me. I had
trouble getting funding from other sources. The Enterprise Corporation
of the Delta has worked with me and people in my community, helping us
improve our position in life. Now, I can get into this business, where
otherwise I could not have."
-- Ephron Lewis co-founded Lewis & Sons Rice Processing -- the only African-American-owned rice processing company in the country -- with his father. The construction of his plant was made possible by a loan and technical assistance from the Enterprise Corporation of the Delta, a community development financial institution supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He now farms roughly 3,000 acres, producing rice, wheat and soybeans.
Encouraging the Growth of Small Businesses
"I started my small consulting and legal firm with the principle that
everyone should have a shot at the twin American dreams of owning your
own business and owning your own home. I look for the dreamers, the
ones who want to be a part of this country in the best way, but who
don't have the tools and information they need. I hope to be an
instrument of growth and change in Brooklyn's Latino community through
increased business opportunities. This SBA loan will allow me to set up
an office outside my home, close to where I can make the most of the
services I have to offer."
-- Enealia Nau, Small Business Owner from Brooklyn, NY. Enealia Nau is a first-generation American who operates a small business consulting firm from her home in Brooklyn. After putting herself through college and law school, Ms. Nau started her consulting firm that focuses on the legal and financial needs of the minority communities from which she draws her clients. Ms. Nau helps families from minority communities realize the American dream through starting their own businesses -- from beauty shops to corner stores -- and buying their first homes. She has seen many clients start from nothing and build prosperous lives for their families through small businesses, including one client who started with a small "bodega" and now owns one of the largest grocery stores in Brooklyn.
Expanding Economic Opportunity by Closing the Digital Divide
"Bridging the technology gap in Indian Country is a major challenge, and I am grateful for the attention that the Clinton Administration has given to this critical issue. The National Congress of American Indians is building on the initiatives announced during the President's Digital Divide tour stop at the Navajo Nation in April 2000 through its Tribal Leaders Digital Divide Task Force, funded through the AOL Foundation. Through the Task Force, we are actively working with industry, federal officials, and others to forge a new tribal-based partnerships and policy recommendations to close the technology gap." -- Susan Masten, President, National Congress of American Indians, and Chairwoman, Yurok Tribe. Susan Masten has served as a strong advocate for the betterment of Native communities on a local, state and national level for 22 years.
"Community technology centers provide low-income individuals with skills
training and the ability to produce their dreams. They are also an
important entryway to the technology industry. We think of President
Clinton as our first angel investor; his Administration's work has been
fundamental to Plugged In and to the community technology center
-- Magda Escobar, Executive Director, Plugged In, East Palo Alto, California. East Palo Alto, a low-income community, is located in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the technological revolution. Plugged In trains teenagers and employs them in a web design business; provides a creative arts and technology studio and after-school program; and provides community members with access to computers and telecommunications equipment to increase their employment opportunities.
The Clinton Presidency: Strengthening American Families
In 1992, the economy was stagnant. Middle class families were working harder for less money. Unemployment reached 7.5 percent, the highest level in 8 years, with record layoffs doubling or tripling unemployment rates in many communities. Family wages lost ground to inflation between 1988-92, yet the federal government failed to move to create jobs, raise wages, and put America back to work. New jobs were being created at the slowest rate in decades. Because losing a job meant losing the family's health insurance, middle class families could lose their savings, their homes or become trapped in a broken welfare system trying to cover health costs.
Moving Families from Welfare to Work
THEN: Families became trapped in a broken welfare system. In 1992 a broken welfare system made it virtually impossible to move from welfare back to work, trapping families in a cycle of dependency. There were 13.6 million people on welfare when President Clinton came to office -- 5.5 percent of the population. Just seven percent of those on welfare were working. And the federal government was doing little to encourage parental responsibility. For example, only $8 billion in child support was collected through federal and state efforts, and teen birth rates were increasing dramatically. NOW: More families than ever move from welfare to work. The landmark welfare reform signed by President Clinton in 1996 has transformed the welfare system to one that promotes work and responsibility, while protecting children. -- Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the welfare rolls have been cut by nearly 60 percent to the lowest level since 1968, dropping to 5.8 million people or 2.1 percent of the population. Today, most recipients are expected to work, millions of parents have left welfare for jobs, and a record 33 percent of current welfare recipients are now working -- five times as many as in 1992. -- The President launched The Welfare to Work Partnership to lead the private sector effort to hire people from the welfare rolls. Now over 20,000 businesses strong, the Partnership has helped an estimated 1.1 million welfare recipients move to employment. -- Under Vice President Gore's leadership, the Administration has also done its fair share, hiring nearly 50,000 welfare recipients since March 1997 and fostering partnerships with community and faith-based organizations that help families move from welfare to work and succeed on the job. -- The Administration has put in place tough child support enforcement measures to hold absent parents accountable, while helping low income fathers go to work and meet their responsibilities and federal and state child support collections doubled to nearly $16 billion in 1999. -- To help families make the transition from welfare to work and support low-income working families, the Clinton-Gore Administration provided nearly 200,000 new housing vouchers, helped families meet their nutritional needs, improved transportation options through grants to communities and made it easier for families to own a reliable car without losing food stamps, and invested in child care.
Welfare to Work is Helping Americans Build Better Lives
"I have made a better life for my girls and myself. Just because a person was on welfare, doesn't mean that they can't get out and work. They just need a chance and because of the President's leadership on this issue, I'm living proof that it can be done."
The Welfare to Work Partnership is Mobilizing the Private Sector to
Provide Job Opportunities for Welfare Recipients
"As one of the founding members of the Welfare to Work Partnership, I knew welfare reform was not going to work unless there were jobs in the private sector open to people leaving welfare. I also knew that United needed to set an example, so we set a goal of hiring 2,000 people from welfare by 2000. Our company has now exceeded that goal, because the President understood how to encourage, cajole, and continually challenge the private sector to step up to the plate and do their part. Through the Welfare to Work Partnership, I believe the President achieved the single most comprehensive mobilization of the private sector in peacetime -- over 20,000 companies have now hired over 1 million people who are leaving welfare and taking the first step toward the American dream."
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
"With the help of this [fatherhood] program I am proud to say that I am on my way to a rewarding career in electronics technology and computer science, and am again paying my child support regularly. I know that Ricardo is proud of me, and I am glad that I can be a good role model for him... I want to thank the President for supporting fathers and programs for fathers like the one I am involved in."
Helping American Workers with Transportation
"Because of my new, reliable car, I now will be able to get to and
maintain a full-time job...I know that this car will be very helpful in
reaching my goal of leaving public assistance and supporting my family
on my own... I am glad the President understands how important it is for
people like me to have reliable transportation as they are working to
support their families."
-- Michael Alexander, of Westfield, New York. Michael is a 25-year-old single father of two. He lives in an area with very limited public transportation and since he did not own a car, it had been very difficult for him to maintain steady employment. Through the help of a federally-funded, county run program, EARNA CAR, he attended classes about car maintenance, helped repair a donated car, worked out a manageable loan payment with the help of a local bank, and was able to purchase a used vehicle. Since he bought the car, Mr. Alexander has been able to secure full-time employment and moved from welfare to work.
Helping Families Succeed on the Job And At Home
THEN: Working families forced to make choices between succeeding at work and at home. Working families faced special problems in attempting to succeed at home and on the job. The Family and Medical Leave Act had been vetoed twice, denying parents 12 weeks of leave to care for a newborn child or sick family member. Paychecks of working families continued to lose pace to inflation, dropping 4.3 percent in real value. Quality child care for working families was increasingly difficult to find and afford, and federal assistance served a small fraction of those who needed help. NOW: Families receive help making ends meet and caring for their families. President Clinton has kept his promise to make it easier for families that work hard and play by the rules to make ends meet and care for their children. -- President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993 -- the first law he signed as President. Today, more than 20 million Americans have taken unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or sick family member. -- To help hard-pressed working families, President Clinton passed a $500 per child tax credit, a $1 per hour increase in the minimum wage, and provided tax cuts for 15 million working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides the average family receiving the EITC with $1,000 per year. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has significantly expanded child care opportunities for working families. They have more than doubled funding for federal child care, which will provides assistance to 2.2 million families next year. The welfare reform law signed by President Clinton provided an additional $4 billion over six years, more than had ever been spent before, in child care assistance to families moving from welfare to work and other low-income families. The Administration has also provided after-school opportunities to approximately 850,000 children so that more parents know that their children are in safe learning environment during the after-school hours, and this year's budget agreement will expand after-school programs to serve 1.3 million children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have nearly doubled funding for the Head Start program, expanded the program to more than 160,000 additional children, enacted critical quality improvements, and created the Early Start program targeted to development of younger children. In 2001, Head Start will serve approximately 935,000 children. -- The President fought for and signed new legislation giving parents new tools to protect their children from media violence by requiring the installation of anti-violence screening chips (V-chips) in all new televisions. The President also worked with the entertainment industry to create a new ratings system for television programs and the computer industry to establish ratings for video games. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration also took on the tobacco industry by developing the first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco, and calling on Congress to affirm the FDA's authority to implement this plan. -- President Clinton signed the Foster Care Independence Act. This law is designed to help the 20,000 young people who leave foster care each year when they reach age 18 without an adoptive family or other guardian. It ensures that these young people will get the tools they need to make the most of their lives by providing them better educational opportunities, access to health care, training, housing assistance, counseling, and other services.
Family And Medical Leave Act Helps Working Parents Succeed at Home
"There are no precise words to describe what the FMLA meant to our family . . . Without this law, our family could never have made the precious memories that we now hold so dear." -- Kenny Weaver, Father. In 1993, Mr. Weaver learned that a rare, incurable cancer afflicting his 11-year-old daughter, Melissa, was worsening. At Melissa's doctor's urging, he immediately asked his supervisors for 12 weeks of family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. For the next seven weeks, Mr. Weaver and his wife spent every moment they could with Melissa and her two younger sisters. They traveled to Chicago to see relatives. They visited the Museum of Science and Industry. And, through the efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, they toured the White House and met with President Clinton. Melissa died six days later, on October 2, 1993. Kenny Weaver says that without the Family and Medical Leave Act, he would have had to choose between the emotional needs of his oldest daughter and the economic needs of his two younger girls. But the law gave him the job security he needed to share in the last weeks of his daughter's life.
Targeted Tax Cuts Helping Hard-Pressed Working Families
"With the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit we were able
to pay off our debts, so we could afford the mortgage payments to buy a
home and we bought a used van that we fixed up. The EITC was worth a
mortgage payment for a month. That was a boost that my husband and I
really appreciated. It kind of rewarded the hard work he put in, just
when we really needed it."
-- Jessica Cupp, Thurmont, Maryland, is a married mother of 2-year-old triplet girls. The Cupp triplets were born 26 weeks into Jessica's pregnancy at very low birth weights and with several medical problems. Jessica was forced to give up her work at a childcare center in order to care for her own three children. The Cupp family received Earned Income Tax Credit refunds as well as child tax credits in 1998 and 1999 that they would not have received had it not been for the 1993 EITC expansion and the new child tax credit. This money has helped the family to pay off debt accrued when the triplets were born, to move into a home more suited for raising 3 children, to trade in their 2-door vehicle for a van, and has allowed Jessica to stay home and care for their three growing daughters.
Providing Opportunities to Foster Care Children
"I have several younger foster siblings still at home... I have lots of
hope for their future -- and even more now with the passage of this
bill. I have no doubt that this action will have a positive effect on
the thousands of foster youth who leave care each year -- unable to
return to their families... I really hope that this bill will make the
training and experience that I had, possible for all youth in foster
care around the United States... [President Clinton's] work in passing
this bill has made these things more possible. You did the right
-- Kristi Jo Frazier, Cincinnati, Ohio. Kristi Jo is a former foster child who is studying education at Cincinnati State and Technical College. She now lives on her own after successfully transitioning from foster care in July 1998 into independent living.
Expanding Access to Quality Health Care
THEN: Cost and other barriers keep millions uninsured. Millions of children could not access affordable and meaningful health insurance, people with disabilities who wanted to work could not for fear of losing their health insurance, and young people leaving foster care could not retain the critical health insurance they needed to make a healthy start as adults. Unlike many other American workers, self-employed Americans received absolutely no tax assistance in purchasing health care insurance. Every year, an estimated 25 million Americans had breaks in their health care coverage because they changed jobs, or were self employed, or had preexisting conditions that could lead an insurance company to deny coverage. NOW: Reform expands access for millions of Americans. More than 2.5 million children have received health insurance as a result of the enactment of the historic State Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997 -- the largest expansion of health insurance for children since the creation of the Medicaid program. The President has also enacted coverage expansions for people with disabilities who wish to return to work and for the 20,000 foster care children aging out of Medicaid eligibility every year. The President's enactment of the bipartisan Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act gave Americans insurance portability protections when they switch or lose jobs. The President has also enacted legislation that assures that: annual and lifetime coverage limits can be no different for mental health coverage than other benefits; new mothers can stay in the hospital; drive-through mastectomies are eliminated; and genetic discrimination against many Americans purchasing health insurance is prohibited.'
More Children Have Access to Health Care Thanks to the Children's Health Insurance Program
"When we found the Healthy Families program, it was like a miracle. Now my kids have a regular doctor who knows our family. I don't have to worry about taking them in for their school physicals or for their vaccinations. They can run around and climb on things and jump off things and the only thing I really need to worry about is if they get their clothes dirty. Because of the Healthy Families program, my husband and I can make sure that our kids grow up healthy."
Allowing Americans with Disabilities to Return to Work Without Fear of Losing Insurance Coverage
"We have been waiting for so long to see this bill signed -- to watch as this Administration... opens the door to employment for individuals with disabilities all over America."
Progress for Working Families
The Clinton Presidency: Expanding Education Opportunity
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made improving education a cornerstone of their Administration, working to ensure that all Americans have the educational opportunities necessary to succeed in today's global information economy. Through their leadership, the President and Vice President have helped raise expectations for all students, supported states in developing and putting in place rigorous standards and systems of assessment and accountability, and invested in proven strategies to improve the educational performance of all students. President Clinton and Vice President Gore's commitment to invest more in our schools while also demanding more from them more has led to remarkable progress in key areas such as implementing standards and accountability, improving student performance, closing the achievement gap, expanding access to technology, and making higher education more affordable.
Raising Standards and Holding Schools Accountable for Results
THEN: Falling test scores and low expectations. In 1992, test scores were falling and only 14 states had standards in core subjects. In 1990, only 38 percent of graduating high schools seniors had taken a core curriculum of four years of English and three years each of Math, Science and Social Studies. Fewer than 80 percent of the nation's highest-poverty schools received Title I funds, which are intended to aid the most disadvantaged schools. And students in many disadvantaged schools faced watered-down curricula and low expectations instead of high standards that challenged them to succeed. NOW: High standards, accountability and rising test scores. President Clinton and Vice President Gore launched an era of education reform based on setting high standards for all schools and students and providing the support to meet them. Higher standards have begun to pay off for America's students. Since 1992, reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have increased for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders, including those students in the highest poverty schools. Math SAT scores are at a 30-year high. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted Goals 2000 which has helped States establish standards of excellence for all children, and implement steps to meet those standards and to raise educational achievement. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, 49 states have implemented standards in core subjects and the proportion of graduating high schools seniors completing a core curriculum has risen to 55 percent. -- The President enacted legislation targeting Title I funds to high-poverty schools and requiring States and school districts to turn around low-performing schools. Today, nearly all of the nation's highest-poverty schools receive Title I funds. In 1999, the President enacted a new $134 million Accountability Fund, which is helping school districts improve low-performing schools by investing in proven reforms. Next year's budget increases this fund to $225 million. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to expand public school choice and to support the growth of public charter schools. In 1993, there was one charter school in the nation; today, there are more than 2,000. -- President Clinton fought for a won a new initiative to repair America's schools, providing $1.2 billion for urgent school renovation. The 2001 budget also provides much-needed repair funds to Native American schools. Clinton-Gore Reforms Are Improving America's Schools
"Over the last eight years, President Clinton has proven a friend to
education. Increased funding for critical investments, such as teacher
development, greater resources and reduced class sizes, are just several
contributions. Because of new investments in teacher quality, the staff
at my school received intensive professional development in reading
instruction that led to more effective teaching and improved test scores
in all subjects. Additionally, our children now have access to the
Internet in all of our classrooms, and our class sizes are decreasing
from 25 to 18, allowing teachers to spend more time on individualized
instruction and encouragement."
-- Ruth Summerlin, Principal, Bascomb Elementary School, Woodstock, Georgia. Ruth Summerlin was the Principal at Beaufort Elementary School in Beaufort, South Carolina for seven years before moving to Georgia. Beaufort Elementary serves a predominantly low-income population of 573 students in grades Pre-K through 5, and six years ago was classified as one of the worst 200 schools in South Carolina. After implementing a five-year school improvement plan, Beaufort Elementary has now been named a Blue Ribbon School. Test scores for the 1998-99 academic year indicated that their students were above the district and state averages in both reading and math. Beaufort has both after-school and summer school programs for remediation in both reading and math.
Administration's Efforts Produce Dramatic Charter School Expansion "The charter school movement is one of the Administration's most important legacies. Its support for charter schools as a desirable and effective form of public school choice has helped convince millions of people, from State legislators to civil rights legend Rosa Parks to Arizona's teacher of the year Karen Butterfield, that the charter movement has great value. . . . The dramatic expansion of charter schools from one State and one school to 36 States and 1,700 schools is a direct result of the Administration's vigorous efforts." -- Joe Nathan, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Social Change, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Improving the Quality of Education with High Quality Teachers
THEN: High class size and low investment in teacher quality. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the federal government cut and continuously underfunded assistance for teacher recruitment and training, setting the stage for anemic investments in this priority for years to come. Large class sizes made it difficult for teachers to maintain order or give students the personal attention they need to ensure they learn the basics. In 1992, fewer than 80 percent of English and Math teachers had a college major or minor in their teaching field, and only 282 teachers were certified as National Board Teachers as recently as 1995. NOW: Helping communities hire 100,000 quality teachers to reduce class size. The Clinton-Gore Administration has made the recruitment, preparation, and training of high-quality teachers a priority, and investments in these programs have increased more than ten-fold since the 1980s. President Clinton and Vice President Gore proposed and enacted the Class Size Reduction Initiative, which is helping communities hire 100,000 qualified teachers to reduce class size in the early grades. They created Troops to Teachers in 1994 to help improve public school education by introducing the skills and experience of military service members into high-poverty schools. They won $567 million for teacher quality initiatives in the FY 2001 budget, investing in teacher development, recruitment, and retention, expanding Troops to Teachers to other mid-career professionals; and training early childhood educators. Thanks in part to the Clinton-Gore Administration's support of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the number of National Board Teachers has climbed to 4,804 in 1999. And in 1999, 86 percent of English teachers and 82 percent of Math teachers had a major or minor in their teaching field.
Clinton-Gore Reforms Are Improving America's Schools
"I have seen many education initiatives come and go over my 20 years of
teaching but I have only a strong opinion on one. Anyone who teaches or
mentors a child wishes they had more time to impact their life. We
however cannot alter the laws of the universe and create more hours in
the day. The simple and doable solution for making this extra time is
President Clinton's class-size reduction initiative. Because we have
more teachers teaching reading we have more time with the students each
years. I have taught grades 1-5 but because of President Clinton's
vision, I am now a reading initiative teacher. I can now work with
staff and students at a variety of ages and ability levels to meet the
goals of our reading program. The President's initiative has made it
possible to create classrooms of 15 students or less at our school to
ensure success for every student. My students will learn better this
year because I have more time to spend with them and I will have more
time thanks to President Clinton."
-- Robin Davis, Elementary School Teacher. Robin Davis is a reading teacher at Brooke Grove Elementary Olney, Maryland. She was hired with funds from the President's class size reduction initiative.
Expanding Access to Technology in Schools
THEN: Educational technology a low priority. A decade ago, computers were largely luxuries found only in the most affluent school districts. In 1993, only three percent of classrooms had computers that were connected to the Internet, and in 1994 only 35 percent of public schools had Internet access. Students had little opportunity to learn to use computers and to explore the Internet, and the government had not mobilized its resources to expand the use of technology in our schools. NOW: Historic investments in educational technology lead to 95 percent of public schools connected to the Internet. Understanding the critical importance of incorporating technology into the classroom and ensuring equal opportunity for students to benefit from technology, the Clinton-Gore Administration made increasing access to technology in our schools a top priority. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created the E-rate and the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help connect every school to the Internet, increase the number of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for teachers. In addition, with the Vice President's leadership the E-rate has secured low-cost connections to the Internet for libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals, providing discounts worth over $2 billion annually. The number of classrooms connected to the Internet increased to 65 percent in 1999, while the number of public schools connected rose to more than 95 percent. President Clinton and Vice President Gore increased our investment in educational technology by over 3,600 percent -- from $23 million in FY 1993 to $872 million in FY 2001.
Education Technology Connects Students to New Opportunities
"The Internet allowed my students to go to a place and learn about
something they could never have done before. The Internet erases
boundaries of age and class. Everyone can access it in an equal way. In
Paradise, this is especially important because of the limitations some
of these children face."
-- Beth Paterson, fourth-grade teacher at Paradise Elementary, California. Paradise Elementary is a part of the Paradise Unified School District, which serves Paradise and Magalia, an isolated and rural community in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains with a significant low-income population. The E-Rate has allowed Paradise to build $300,000 of network infrastructure, network computers and install T-1 lines.
Keeping Young People on the Path to Success
THEN: Too few students aim high, graduate from high school and attend college. In 1992, achievement for low-income high school students was lower than that of the national norm. Just 62 percent of high school graduates -- and only 44 percent of low-income high school graduates -- went on to college. NOW: College preparation efforts and college-going rates increase President Clinton and Vice President Gore have invested in our young people to keep them in school and on the path to a successful future. President Clinton created GEAR UP, a nationwide college preparation and mentoring initiative, to provide early, sustained intervention and extra financial help to disadvantaged students. Now GEAR UP is helping 700,000 low-income middle school children finish school and prepare for college academically and financially; with increases included in the FY 2001 budget, the program will help 2.1 million students. Funding for the TRIO programs to help disadvantaged youth prepare for college has increased by $342 million. President Clinton has also increased investments in after school programs, which have provided enriching after school and summer school opportunities for 850,000 school-age children in rural and urban communities and will serve 1.3 million children nationwide with increases in this year's budget. In addition, the $15 million Advanced Placement Incentive initiative encourages low-income students to take AP classes and tests by paying test fees and strengthening instruction. The AP Initiative has already helped over 100,000 students. In 1998, the number of high school graduates going on to college had increased to 66 percent; by 1997, the number of low-income high school graduates going to college was up to 51 percent. GEAR UP Helps Students Aim High
"Now I know what it takes to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. I am more focused than ever and there's no stopping me now!"
After School Programs Provide Safe Learning Opportunities for Students
"Juvenile crime is down 70 percent in Carbon County, Utah, and we can thank the coordinated efforts of everyone. The after-school program plays a major part in keeping our kids off the streets and out of trouble."
21st Century Community Learning Centers Improve Student Achievement
"I truly believe that these extra curricular activities, made possible through the 21st CCLC grant, result in increased student achievement, greater self-esteem in students, and improved self-discipline. Thank you for making these opportunities possible for our students."
Opening the Doors of Higher Education to All Americans
THEN: Costs put college out of reach for too many students With tuition costs skyrocketing, middle class families were struggling to put their children through college. In 1992, only 43 percent of students benefited from federal student grants and loans, and more than 22 percent of student loan borrowers defaulted within two years of entering repayment. The maximum Pell Grant award was $2,300, and its value had not kept up with inflation. NOW: Largest expansion of college opportunity since the GI Bill To open the doors of college to all Americans, the Clinton-Gore Administration enacted the largest investment in higher education since the GI Bill. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits, which were claimed in 1999 by an estimated 10 million American families struggling to pay for college. Lower student loan interest rates and fees have saved students over $9 billion; the average $10,000 loan costs a student $1,300 less now than it did in 1993. The student loan default rate has fallen for seven straight years and is now a record-low 6.9 percent. President Clinton expanded the Work-Study program and increased the Pell Grant maximum award to $3,750 -- the highest amount ever. In 1999, 59 percent of students benefited from federal student grants and loans.
HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits Expand Family College Opportunity
"My son is studying for a master's degree in chemistry, my daughter is a freshman at the University of Virginia, and I hope to return to school to finish my college degree in art history. It's hard to afford that much tuition, but the Hope Scholarship has made a real difference for my family. In combination with Virginia's public colleges and other financial aid, it's really a good picture."
Direct Student Loans Make College Affordable for Students
"I never regret taking out student loans. I am a teacher. I affect young minds every single day. But the reality is that I still have almost $40,000 in student loans. As a teacher, I don't make a lot of money. And I also need to help take care of my mother, who has had numerous surgeries and will undergo another this week, and support my brother. I appreciate the help I've gotten meeting my responsibility to repay loans, such as flexible payment plans and the economic hardship forbearance for temporary tough situations in repaying your student loans. President Clinton has also reduced student loan interest rates and made interest payments tax-deductible." -- Raquel Talley, 28-year-old substitute teacher in Prince George's County, Maryland credits student loans with allowing her to earn a college degree and enter a profession she loves. To earn her B.A. and M.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, she borrowed a total of $45,000 in direct student loans and still owes about $38,000. Because she helps support her mother and 30-year-old brother (who has diabetes) on her modest teacher's salary, she has twice enrolled in forbearance and is now enrolled in the extended flexible repayment plan.
"I need to graduate from college to pursue my dream of a career in
information technology. That simply wouldn't be possible without
-- Heather Ely, Junior at DePaul University. Heather is majoring in computer information systems and hopes to pursue a career in the field of information technology. Heather is financing her college education largely on her own through both federal and private loans and a part time job at a local restaurant.
Improving Education for All of America's Children
The Clinton Presidency: Lowest Crime Rates in a Generation
America's families and communities faced serious crime problems in 1992. More violent crimes were reported in 1992 than ever before, with nearly two million murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults occurring in the United States. Gun crime had skyrocketed to the highest point in 20 years with more than half a million total gun crimes reported. Parents fought a daily battle to keep their children away from drugs and gangs, as more young people than ever were involved in violent crimes. In 1992 alone, more than 850,000 children were victims of violent crime, and guns killed 5,379 children -- an average of nearly fifteen every day. Communities struggled to fight crime, but the federal response remained bogged down in partisan differences.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted policies that imposed tougher penalties and enforcement along with smart crime prevention measures, funded more than 100,000 new police officers on America's streets, provided the leadership to pass common sense gun safety legislation including the Brady Bill and assault weapons ban, and implemented a comprehensive anti-drug strategy.
Support for Proven Local Solutions: 100,000 Community Police Officers
THEN: Communities struggled to fight rising crime rates. Between 1989 and 1992, violent crime rates increased by 13 percent. In 1992, there were nearly two million murders, rapes and aggravated assaults reported. Cities including Houston, Boston and New York brought down crime rates with community policing, but most communities lacked the resources to hire and redeploy enough police officers to fight and prevent crime. NOW: 100,000 new community police funded along with record investments in local law enforcement. President Clinton fought for and signed a plan to help communities across the country move to community policing by funding the hiring and redeployment of 100,000 new police officers over five years. The Clinton-Gore Administration's COPS initiative, passed as part of the 1994 Crime Bill, has provided more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies funding to hire or redeploy more than 100,000 police officers. In 2000, President Clinton won over $1 billion to help communities take the next step and hire up to 50,000 more police officers by FY 2005. The federal government has also made record investments helping local authorities fight crime -- increasing funding for state and local law enforcement by more than 300 percent since 1993. Overall crime rates has dropped every year under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the longest continuous drop on record and crime is now at a 26-year low.
Community Policing Initiative is Improving America's Neighborhoods
"By working in the same neighborhoods day-in, day-out, we developed real ties to the community. We took real steps to fix problems in neighborhoods. We formed partnerships. We problem solved. We prevented crime... COPS money makes this possible... Thank you, Mr. President, for making it possible to fulfill my dream. Thank you for making it possible to return our police to their communities. Thank you for being the first president to take the police truly seriously, to listen to us, and to give us the tools we need to keep our people safe." -- Corporal Irma Rivera, Arlington County Police Department, Arlington, Virginia. Corporal Rivera has been with the Arlington County Police Department since April 1992. Due to a COPS grant, she was able to join the Community Based/Problem-Oriented Policing Section, which worked to rid Arlington neighborhoods of gang and drug-related crime.
Common-Sense Gun Safety Laws: the Brady Act and the Assault Weapons Ban
THEN: Gun violence reaches record levels. Gun violence reached its highest point in 20 years; a record 565,000 Americans were victims of gun crime in 1992. Murders by juveniles increased by 65 percent between 1987 and 1993, reaching the highest level ever in 1993. In 1992, an average of nearly 15 children every day were killed by firearms through violence, accidents or suicides. NOW: Common sense gun safety laws bring down gun crime by 40 percent. President Clinton fought the gun lobby and won common sense gun safety laws including the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, overall gun crime has declined 40 percent, and firearms related homicides committed by juveniles have dropped by nearly 50 percent. There were 227,000 fewer gun crimes in 1999 than 1992, and 1,246 fewer children were killed by guns than in 1992. -- Background checks performed under the Brady Law have prevented more than 611,000 felons, fugitives and domestic abusers from buying a gun. -- The Assault Weapons Ban, passed as part of the 1994 Crime Bill, banned the manufacture, sale and importation of 19 of the deadliest assault weapons. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked with state and local governments to increase prosecution of gun crime. Since 1992, the number of federal firearms cases has increased 16 percent, and as a result of this Administration's unprecedented partnership with states and localities, overall gun prosecutions - federal, state, and local combined -- are up 22 percent. In addition, federal gun offenders are serving sentences that are about two years longer than in 1992 and the number of serious gun offenders sent to federal prison for more than five years is up more than 41 percent. -- Clinton-Gore Administration U.S. Attorneys in Richmond (Project Exile) and Boston (Operation Ceasefire) were instrumental in innovative efforts to crack down on armed drug traffickers, violent criminals, gang members and violent youth which has helped to reduce crime in these cities. The Clinton-Gore Administration has also implemented a comprehensive crime gun tracing initiative -- the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative -- in 38 cities to trace crime guns and identify and arrest illegal gun traffickers. -- Finally, to combat violence in schools, the Clinton-Gore Administration enacted the Gun Free Schools Act, which requires schools to adopt zero-tolerance policies toward guns in schools and expel students bringing firearms to school. Over the 1996-98 school years, nearly 10,000 students were expelled from public schools for bringing a firearm to school.
Common-Sense Gun Safety Laws Are Making America Safer
"President Clinton, you and your administration have helped make this
country safer through your support for the Brady law and the 1994 crime
bill and your persistence in pursuing common-sense laws and strategies
to reduce gun violence."
-- James Brady, February 11, 2000. James S. Brady was shot along with President Reagan and two law enforcement officers in an assassination attempt in 1981. Although seriously wounded by the gunshot wound to the head, Mr. Brady has actively lobbied for stronger gun laws.
"If my son Scott had not been shot by a classmate with a grudge and an
assault weapon over ten years ago, I might likely be a grandmom today...
With the leadership and perseverance of President Clinton, we won the
fight to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, and have taken an important step
toward preventing countless other families from suffering the way my
-- Bryl Phillips-Taylor. Bryl Phillips-Taylor lost her son, Scott, the summer before he was scheduled to enroll in college at Virginia Tech in 1989. Scott was killed by a fellow student who held a grudge against him after luring him into the woods and shooting him six times with an AK-47 assault rifle that he had taken from an unlocked gun storage shed. Since then, Bryl has worked tirelessly to promote the passage of common sense gun laws, including the successful passage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
Strong Gun Enforcement Reduces Violent Crime
"Five short years ago, Richmond was known nationwide for our high crime and murder rates. Today, we've received national attention not for the problem, but for the solution. We've attacked crime from all fronts, and one of the most successful avenues has been through strong gun enforcement. President Clinton shares my philosophy that America needs to send a strong message to gun criminals that breaking gun laws will not be tolerated. That's why we worked with the Clinton Administration to create the nation's first "Project Exile" program, a partnership at the federal and local levels that has guaranteed that anyone caught with an illegal gun serves five years in federal prison. Project Exile is now being replicated across America by other communities, and gun prosecutions are up. Project Exile's success in getting tough on gun criminals is due in no small measure to our partnership and President Clinton's leadership in the fight to reduce crime and gun violence"
Tough and Smart Crime Fighting Policies: The 1994 Crime Bill
THEN: Political division blocks progress in fighting crime While crime increased during the 1980s and early 1990s, Washington bickered over false choices between punishment and prevention. This political division blocked passage of a federal crime bill for six years. When President Clinton took office, the violent crime rate had skyrocketed to the highest point in 20 years, juvenile violence reached record levels, and gang and drug violence were epidemic in many communities. NOW: Tough and smart crime-fighting policies enacted President Clinton launched a new approach to crime fighting that emphasized both tough anti-crime measures like increased prosecution, more prisons and stiffer penalties, as well as smart prevention measures including expanding community policing, common sense gun safety laws, increased drug treatment, and after-school programs. The 1994 Crime Bill was a historic turning point in federal anti-crime efforts, enacting the COPS program and banning the importation of 19 of the most dangerous assault weapons. The Crime Bill also contained: -- Stiffer criminal penalties including a federal "three-strikes-and-you're out" law and expansion of the death penalty for killing a law enforcement officers and incentives for states to adopt truth-in-sentencing for violent offenders. -- Drug courts to provide increased judicial supervision and drug treatment for non-violent offenders and boot camps for first-time young offenders. -- Increased funding for prison construction, and anti-drug and gang programs. -- A new law making it illegal for juveniles to own handguns. -- Registration of sexually violent offenders with state officials upon release from prison. -- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which quadrupled funding for battered women's shelters, increased resources to prosecute domestic violence offenders, and established a nationwide 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline.
Local Partnerships are Reducing Crime in Boston
"The Clinton Administration has been a key partner in all of our
efforts, whether it's been through major grants, consistent public
support for our collaborative efforts or deploying personnel from
federal agencies, such as BATF, DEA, FBI, INS and the US Attorney, to
work on task forces with us. We are very grateful for this
-- Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans, November 16, 2000. In the early 1990's, Boston faced a surge in homicides, gang-related crime, and youth violence. To address their crime problems, the Boston Police Department forged working relationships with Mayor Thomas Menino; local probation officers, parole officers and prosecutors; local, state and federal agencies; and each of Boston's neighborhoods. As a result, Boston has reached its lowest violent crime rate since 1971, the number of homicides is at its lowest point since 1961 and every year since 1993, the number of juveniles killed by guns has decreased.
Violence Against Women Act Funding Supports Domestic Violence Shelters and Services
"VAWA money that Esperanza has received in the past has assisted our program with victims in the court system. In fact, with VAWA funding, we were able to hire a court advocate who helps women obtain protection orders, helps them with security, and provides translation services. I am proud to say that our court advocate has helped about 1,500 women to date... President Clinton is a very strong advocate who cares and supports women everywhere. He is a person to be there to care when caring makes the difference between despair and hope." -- Connie R. Trujillo, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Connie Trujillo is a domestic violence survivor and the Executive Director of Esperanza, Shelter for Battered Families, one of the oldest battered women's shelters in the country. With Violence Against Women Act funding, Esperanza has been able to hire a court-based advocate to assist victims in obtaining orders of protection and in safety planning, and in one year, this advocate has assisted about 1,500 victims in court.
Successful Drug Control Strategy: Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement
THEN: Ineffective drug control strategy leaves drugs flowing and addicts untreated The nation suffered from an unbalanced and ineffective drug control strategy that left more than a million addicted individuals untreated, and failed to cut the supply of drugs to America's communities. In 1992, there were 1,302 drug-related murders, approximately 555 tons of cocaine flooded the streets, and 62 percent of those who needed drug treatment went untreated. NOW: Balanced, effective anti-drug strategy President Clinton placed a new emphasis on a balanced anti-drug strategy. He elevated the Drug Czar to a cabinet-level post, replaced political appointees with professionals and appointed four-star General Barry McCaffrey as director of the office -- the first person with a drug interdiction background to hold the post. Funding for anti-drug efforts has increased by more than 50 percent -- from $12.2 billion in 1993 to $18.5 billion in 2000. -- Prevention funding has increased by one-third, including a successful Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the largest targeted media effort ever to educate youth about the dangers of drug use. -- Treatment funding is up 33 percent, and the treatment gap has closed by five percent. To break the cycle of drugs and crime, President Clinton funded Drug Courts to provide treatment for non-violent offenders and helped to expand the number of Drug Courts from a dozen in 1994 to more than 400 in October 1999. The number of federal inmates receiving substance abuse treatment rose from 1,135 in 1992 to 10,816 in 1999, and the Administration has encouraged states to adopt comprehensive drug testing and intervention for prisoners and parolees. -- President Clinton has also stepped up interdiction and enforcement efforts. The Administration has increased the number of FBI, DEA, and Border Patrol Agents and is working with allies to stop international cultivation and trafficking. Seizures of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine reached record levels in 1999. Drug-related arrests and convictions also increased, with arrests up 46 percent and federal convictions rising by more than 20 percent.
Drug Courts Are Reducing Crime and Drug Abuse
"President Clinton's historic expansion of drug courts across our nation has played a vital role in our success in reducing crime and drug abuse in our communities. Drug Courts across the United States are resulting in increased sobriety and reduced criminality among drug using offenders. By demanding accountability, but also providing rehabilitative services to this drug using population, Drug Courts are creating safer and healthier communities, while reducing the numbers of offenders in custody and the financial costs to our communities." --Judge Jeffrey S. Tauber, President of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and Director of the National Drug Court Institute. Judge Tauber initiated and presided over the design and implementation of the Oakland Drug Court Program, one of the first in the nation, and was also the first chair of the California Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Progress For America's Families and Communities in the Fight Against
The Clinton Presidency: Improving the Nation's Health Care
From the first days of his Administration, President Clinton has worked to expand access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans. The President has strengthened the Medicare program, increased access and improved the quality of our nation's health care system. President Clinton's balanced approach to increasing access to quality health care has paid off for America, with the number of uninsured Americans declining for the first time in 12 years in 1999.
Strengthening and Modernizing Medicare
THEN: Medicare expected to run out of money in 1999. Eight years ago, the Medicare Trust Fund was expected to run out of money in 1999. Health care fraud was contributing to rising costs and a shaky financial future for the Medicare program. The President and Vice President succeeded in passing measures to strengthen and modernize Medicare, crack down on fraud, and protect the benefits of today's beneficiaries. NOW: Medicare trust fund extended until 2025 with more options for patient choice and preventive care. President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted the most comprehensive Medicare reforms in history. They insisted on provisions in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to protect, modernize and extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, while offering new options for patient choice and preventive care. The Balanced Budget Act also provided an array of new weapons in our fight to keep scam artists and fly-by-night health care out of Medicare and Medicaid. President Clinton has assigned more federal prosecutors and FBI agents to fight health care fraud than ever before. The Clinton-Gore Administration's work has extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund until 2025.
Reforming the Insurance Market
THEN: Families lose coverage because of preexisting conditions and lack of portability In 1992, there were no Federal protections to ensure the portability of health benefits for workers in between jobs or to prevent discrimination based on health status. Every year, an estimated 25 million Americans had breaks in their health care coverage because they changed jobs, or were self employed, or had preexisting conditions that could lead an insurance company to deny coverage. A technological revolution presented new challenges in safeguarding the privacy of Americans' medical records. NOW: Insurance market reforms help working families keep their insurance coverage President Clinton and Vice President Gore took on these new challenges and enacted critical reforms to the insurance market that have helped millions of Americans keep their health insurance. -- In 1996 President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which helps people keep health insurance when they change jobs, guarantees renewability of coverage, and ensures access to health insurance for small businesses. -- The President enacted mental health parity provisions to help eliminate discrimination against Americans with mental illnesses, and instituted new protections for mothers and their newborns and women recovering from mastectomies. -- President Clinton also issued landmark Federal regulations protecting the privacy of electronic medical records and issued an executive memorandum preventing genetic discrimination in Federal hiring and promotion actions. -- President Clinton directed the federal government to ensure that the important new benefits and rights that health care consumers receive under the Administration's proposed Patients Bill of Rights are guaranteed to federal employees, veterans, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and individuals covered by the Indian Health Service and the Military Health System, including choice of providers and plans, access to emergency services, participation in treatment decisions, confidentiality of health information and a fair complaint and appeals process.
Executive Action Guarantees Medical Privacy
"The Administration has made significant headway where Congress could
not [on medical privacy] to restore public trust and confidence in our
nation's health care system."
-- Janlori Goldman, October 29, 1999. Janlori Goldman, considered to be one of the leading medical privacy experts nationwide, directs the Health Privacy Project at Georgetown University's Institute for Health Care Research and Policy. The Project is dedicated to ensuring that people's privacy is safeguarded in the health care environment.
Improving and Expanding Health Insurance Coverage
THEN: Barriers to coverage result in uninsured children, people with disabilities and self-employed workers. The number of uninsured -- especially uninsured children -- was growing. People with disabilities who wanted to work could not for fear of losing their health insurance, and young people leaving foster care could not retain the critical health insurance they needed to make a healthy start as adults. Unlike many other American workers, self-employed Americans received absolutely no tax assistance in purchasing health care insurance. NOW: Barriers to health coverage removed for millions of Americans. President Clinton came into office determined to expand access to health care for all Americans. His work has led to the first decrease in the number of uninsured Americans in at least twelve years. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted the largest investment in health care for children since 1965, providing health care for up to five million children in working families with the State Children's Health Insurance Program. They also led aggressive outreach efforts to enroll eligible children. -- President Clinton enacted landmark legislation providing new health insurance opportunities for working people with disabilities and enacted new legislation to help young people leaving foster care keep their health insurance, as well as legislation to assure that self-employed Americans receive the same tax benefits as workers who have job-based health coverage. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has improved quality and access of long term care. The Clinton Administration has made ensuring the health and safety of nursing home residents a top priority and has issued the toughest nursing home regulations in the history of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, requiring states to crack down on nursing homes that repeatedly violate health and safety requirements and changing the inspection process to increase the focus on preventing bedsores, malnutrition and resident abuse. They also enacted legislation simplifying state options to expand eligibility and design community based long term care programs, allowing seniors and people with disabilities to receive care in their homes rather than in institutional settings. And the Administration enacted legislation allowing the Federal government to serve as a model employer by offering quality private long-term care insurance to Federal employees. -- In October 2000, President Clinton enacted the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, which provides new treatment options to low-income, uninsured women with breast and cervical cancer who are diagnosed through federally sponsored screening programs.
Children's Health Insurance Program Provides Security for Families
"When we found the Healthy Families program, it was like a miracle. Now my kids have a regular doctor who knows our family. I don't have to worry about taking them in for their school physicals or for their vaccinations. They can run around and climb on things and jump off things and the only thing I really need to worry about is if they get their clothes dirty. Because of the Healthy Families program, my husband and I can make sure that our kids grow up healthy." -- Evelyn Alvarado, California, September 7, 1999. Evelyn Alvarado, enrolled her children in California's S-CHIP program (Healthy Families) in June 1999. Before they enrolled in Healthy Families, Evelyn's children -- Daniel (aged 13), Mary (aged 11), and Samuel (aged 8) -- were uninsured for eight years and only saw the doctor in the case of emergencies.
Ensuring that All Americans Have Access to Cancer Prevention and Treatment
The National Breast Cancer Coalition applauds this Administration for its dedication and commitment to furthering substantive breast cancer policies that move us closer to eradicating this disease. From enhancing access to quality clinical trials, to enacting an optional Medicaid bill that would ensure treatment for low-income women diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer through federal programs -- the Clinton Administration leaves a legacy of unprecedented progress for women with breast cancer, their families and friends. -- Fran Visco, President, National Breast Cancer Coalition
Improving Public Health
THEN: Low child immunization rates, neglected public health and research In 1992, America's public health delivery system was badly in need of repair: half of two year olds did not receive their immunizations, infant mortality rates were too high, and funding for biomedical research was inadequate. NOW: Record child immunization rates, increased research funding, improved public health President Clinton and Vice President Gore have improved our public health system and made investments that have given us a healthier America. They have increased child immunizations, implemented new food safety protections, increased research funding and became the first Administration to take on the tobacco industry to reduce teen smoking. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore raised childhood immunization rates to record levels by investing in the Childhood Immunization Initiative in 1993. More than 90 percent of America's toddlers received the most critical doses of each of the routinely recommended vaccines in 1996, 1997, and again in 1998. The infant mortality is at an all-time low, and has declined by 15.2 percent since 1992. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration improved the safety of food for all Americans by seeking substantial funding for such initiatives as a nationwide early-warning system for foodborne illness, increased inspections, and the expansion of food-safety research, risk assessment and education. The Administration has also put into place improved science-based standards for meat, poultry, and seafood products and enacted strict new standards for pesticide residues in food, including the first pesticide standards aimed specifically at protecting children. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore have nearly doubled funding for the National Institutes of Health, increasing our investment in NIH by $10 billion since 1993, and they have strongly supported the efforts of the National Human Genome Research Institute to map the entire human genome, which will revolutionize health care in the future. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration took on the tobacco industry by developing the first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco, and calling on Congress to affirm the FDA's authority to implement this plan. The Clinton-Gore Administration has also made our nation's health a priority by establishing smoke-free federal workplaces, raising the federal tobacco tax, and by giving the American people their day in court against the tobacco manufacturers who engaged in decades of deception about the dangers of tobacco. Raising Immunization Rates to an All-Time High Ensures a Healthy Future for All Children
"President Clinton and those in his administration have made
immunizations a priority since day one. -- By launching the Children's
Vaccine Initiative seven years ago, the Clinton Administration has
increased vaccination rates to an all-time high. As a result, many
infants and children will not suffer from such preventable diseases as
polio and measles."
-- Joe M. Sanders, Jr., M.D., Executive Director, American Academy of Pediatrics.
Improving the Nation's Health Care
The Clinton Presidency: Protecting Our Environment and Public Health
President Clinton and Vice President Gore came into office committed to demonstrating that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand-in-hand. Over the past eight years, the Clinton-Gore Administration has proven it: we now have the strongest economy and the cleanest environment in a generation. This Administration has invested in a common sense and cost-effective approach of new technologies, tougher enforcement of environmental laws, strengthening public health standards, and protecting our irreplaceable national treasures. President Clinton's environmental strategy has given our nation the cleanest air and water in a generation and the strongest economy in our nation's history -- proving that you can both protect the environment and grow the economy.
Producing Cleaner, Healthier Communities
THEN: Communities faced toxic waste dumps, dirty air and poor water quality In 1992, America's communities faced serious environmental problems. Lethargic federal clean-up efforts left 88 percent of the worst 1,200 toxic waste sites and their communities polluted after 12 years of federal efforts. Nearly 40,000 urban industrial sites sat abandoned with no federal strategy to redevelop them. Sixty-two million people lived in areas with drinking water below federal standards; nearly 157 million people -- 62 percent of the country -- breathed air that failed to meet federal standards. NOW: More families live in cleaner, healthier communities President Clinton and Vice President Gore brought a renewed commitment to protecting and preserving the environment and today, more families live in cleaner, healthier communities. -- They strengthened the Safe Drinking Water Act, requiring America's 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration adopted the toughest standards ever on soot and smog, which could prevent up to 15,000 premature deaths each year. They have announced significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and SUVs as well as reducing the level of sulfur in gasoline by 90 percent. Over the coming decade, these measures will cut smog-causing pollution from new vehicles by 77 to 95 percent, preventing 4,300 premature deaths, 260,000 asthma attacks among children, and 173,000 cases of childhood respiratory illness each year. -- The Administration also launched a long-term effort to restore pristine skies and unspoiled views at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Acadia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks and other natural treasures that draw 290 million visitors a year. And they announced a strategy to reduce harmful emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from heavy-duty trucks and diesel fuels by over 90 percent, -- The Clinton Administration accelerated the cleanup of the nation's worst toxic waste sites, freeing scores of communities from environmental threats and economic blight, completing clean-up of more than three times as many Superfund sites in the past eight years as were cleaned in the past eight. The President also launched initiatives to accelerate the cleanup of brownfields and remove barriers to their redevelopment. -- The Administration also expanded Americans' Right to Know about environmental hazards in their communities by doubling the number of chemicals that companies must report. Critical Leadership for Clean Air
"Cleaning up big, dirty diesel trucks is critical to meet our nation's
air quality goals and to protect the public health... We commend EPA
Administrator Browner and President Clinton for proposing this
-- John M. Coruthers, Jr., President, American Lung Association on the Administration proposal to clean up all heavy-duty trucks and buses and dramatically reduce sulfur in diesel fuel starting in the 2007 model year.
"A lot can be done by nurses like myself to educate children and parents on how to live with asthma. It also takes strong leadership in government to reduce the pollution that has often been linked to asthma. [President Clinton is] a man who has used his high office to make cleaning the air and protecting children's health a priority."
Brownfields and Superfund Initiatives Revitalize America's Communities
"This is what urban revitalization is all about. This very site, which
used to be the scourge of Fairfield County, is now the region's most
exciting new entertainment venue -- I'd be genuinely surprised if
there's a more dramatic example of success with brownfields reclamation
than right here at our ball park."
-- Mickey Herbert, majority owner, the Bridgeport Bluefish Baseball team, Bridgeport, Connecticut, on the state of the art Harbor Yard sports complex -- a former Brownfield.
"This allows us to participate in a program that is national in scope and touches just about every state? There are going to be many, many more fields where kids can play on that wouldn't be there except for EPA working with the United States Soccer Foundation." -- Herb Giobbi, Executive Director, U.S. Soccer Foundation on the EPA/USSF partnership to help communities build soccer fields on former Superfund sites.
Clinton-Gore Administration Empowers Communities by Expanding the Right-to-Know
"I have seen firsthand how important it is for communities to know what
chemicals are being dumped into the environment. I applaud the Clinton
Administration for working to make sure that all communities can know --
after all, this affects our health, our children's health and our
-- Lorraine Ross, Clean Water Community Activist, San Francisco, California. Lorraine Ross, fearing for the health of her family, started a campaign 18 years ago that led to the discovery that toxic chemicals had leaked from underground tanks at a local corporation into a nearby drinking-water well.
"The President has been such an extraordinary leader in fighting for the environment and protecting public health. Before "right to know," people didn't know what chemicals were being released into the environment. Now, times are changing, people and companies are more aware and our communities are better for it." -- Doris McGuigan, Environmental Activist, Baltimore, Maryland.
Preserving America's Treasures for Future Generations
THEN: America's natural areas at risk In 1992, many of America's natural treasures were at risk of development. A massive gold mine proposed not far from Yellowstone National Park threatened the world's first national park with toxic runoff and other environmental harm. Many were calling for more oil drilling in sensitive coastal areas and in areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. More than half of the historic wetlands in the continental United States had been lost. NOW: Preserved and protected millions of acres of parks, monuments and wilderness. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have rededicated America to wise stewardship of our natural resources with the goal of ensuring that our generation will leave a better land for generations to come. -- From the Red Rock Canyons of Utah to the Florida Everglades, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have preserved millions of acres in national parks, national monuments and wilderness areas. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has also launched major reforms to reverse the loss of precious wetlands, setting a goal of a net increase of 100,000 acres of wetlands a year by 2005. -- The President defended Yellowstone National Park from potential toxic runoff from a proposed gold mine near the Park's boundary, and acquired land near the Park to expanded critical habitat for bison. -- The Administration has also strongly opposed efforts to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the President vetoed legislation that would have opened the Refuge to new exploration. -- President Clinton worked with Congress to provide dedicated and protected funding for conservation and preservation programs, including his Lands Legacy initiative. The agreement will nearly double our investment in these programs, making it the largest annual investment in protecting our green and open spaces since President Roosevelt set our nation on the path of conservation nearly a century ago. -- The Administration is now working to provide long-term protection for more than 40 million acres of roadless areas within national forests. -- In addition, President Clinton and Vice President Gore protected America's oceans and coasts by extending the moratorium on new oil leasing off most of the U.S. coast through 2012, and permanently barred new leasing in national marine sanctuaries. The U.S. was also the first nuclear power to advocate a global ban on ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste.
Leadership to Preserve National Treasures for Future Generations
"If my grandfather were here today, he would be overjoyed with what the
Forest Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the President are
about to do. Perhaps the greatest challenge in conservation in our
generation is to develop the political will to set aside enough of
nature to sustain the diversity of plants and animals we ultimately
-- Peter Pinchot, Conservationist. Peter Pinchot is the grandson of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service under President Teddy Roosevelt and one of American history's most constructive land conservation leaders.
"To save these last, vast pieces of wild country from haphazard development means that my sons' children will have room as we do, to get lost or find their bearings, to meet in themselves some long forgotten ancestor's resourcefulness and grit, to take heart?Mr. President thank you for protecting this magnificent place for our future generations." -- Ann Walka, Conservationist, Flagstaff, Arizona, on the proclamation of the Grand Canyon -- Parashant National Monument.
Managing and Using the Oceans Wisely
"If we are to protect, manage and use the oceans wisely, we must
understand how they work. We are pleased to see that research is an
important component of the Administration's agenda and applaud their
-- Robert B. Gagosian, Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Protecting the Environment and Growing the Economy
THEN: Environmental opponents force choices between clean environment and strong economy. In 1992, special interests and polluters defeated progress by saying that America could not protect the environment and grow the economy. The false choice between the economy and the environment resulted in weak standards and lax enforcement that failed to hold polluters responsible. Meanwhile, the country had just begun to take steps to reward conservation and tap the economic potential of environmental technology and business. Little was being done in this country to address climate change. Opponents were seriously challenging the science, and businesses opposed any climate action. Many questioned whether economies could grow and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NOW: Strongest economy in a generation and a cleaner environment. President Clinton and Vice President Gore were determined to prove that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand-in-hand. They worked to grow green businesses by encouraging and rewarding new environmental technologies and significantly increased efforts to hold polluters accountable. Sound, common-sense approaches to climate change are putting the United States and other nations on the path to a clean energy future, ensuring a healthier environment while creating new opportunities for strong, sustainable growth. These efforts are expanding markets for renewable technologies, reducing air pollution, and serving as a powerful example to American businesses and consumers who can reap substantial benefits from clean energy. -- The Clinton Administration launched the Climate Change Technology Initiative to spur the development of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming while saving money and creating jobs. -- The Administration also launched the National Environmental Technology Strategy to strengthen partnerships with the environmental business community and expand the federal government's role in spurring innovation and growth in the industry. The Administration has also worked to promote the export of U.S. technology and expertise overseas. Since 1993, exports based on environmental technology and industry have more than doubled. -- The Administration has secured more than $13 billion over the past eight years for scientific research to ensure that our strategy for climate change is founded on the best possible science. -- The Administration has launched more than 50 major initiatives to improve energy efficiency and develop clean, renewable energy sources -- steps that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other emissions while saving money and creating jobs. Over the past three years, the President has secured more than $3 billion -- a 50% increase in annual funding -- to research and develop clean energy technologies. -- The Administration has forged thousands of new partnerships with major industries to promote voluntary, cost-effective efforts that can achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These include the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), Energy Star, Climate Wise, and Industries of the Future. -- President Clinton has made the Federal government a cleaner, more efficient energy consumer -- contributing to a 21 percent energy reduction since 1985 and a 24 percent reduction in carbon emissions relative to 1990 levels. In 1999 alone, the Federal government reduced its annual energy bill by $800 million. By 2010, the resulting energy savings will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to taking 1.7 million cars off the road - and save taxpayers over $750 million a year. -- New energy-efficiency standards, implemented by this Administration, for heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, lighting, refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, and cooking equipment will cut the average appliance's energy use by 30 percent. By 2010, these energy conservation measures will have saved consumers almost $50 billion and avoided cumulative greenhouse gas emissions of more than 225 million metric tons. -- In 1997, with critical leadership from Vice President Gore, representatives of more than 160 nations agreed on the basic architecture of an international strategy to combat global warming. This historic agreement -- the Kyoto Protocol -- sets strong, realistic targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized countries, establishes flexible, market-based mechanisms to achieve them as cost-effectively as possible, with binding legal consequences if countries fail to meet them. The Kyoto Protocol remains a work in progress. Through ongoing negotiations, the Administration has worked with other nations to turn the treaty's broad concepts into working realities so this important treaty can be ratified. The Administration has promoted broader engagement in 55 developing countries in this global effort, with impressive results in key countries such as China, India, Argentina, Bolivia and Kazakhstan. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore have significantly increased enforcement of environmental laws. Last year, EPA assessed a total of $228.3 million in civil and criminal penalties, the most ever assessed and $87 million more than in 1992. In addition, the EPA referred 241 criminal cases to the Justice Department, 322 defendants were charged and 2,500 total months of sentences were handed down, more than doubling enforcement activity in each category over 1992 levels.
Climate Change Technology Task Force is Moving America Toward Reducing
Green House Gases While Growing the Economy
"The Clinton Administration deserves credit for seeing energy efficiency
for what it is - an energy source that is essential for the economic
health of our nation. The Climate Change Technology Initiative in
particular is spurring new clean energy technologies that are paying off
like a gusher for the American people. The important choices on energy
and climate must be made with a clear eye on the contribution to the
environment, the economy, national security, and international
competitiveness delivered in the past and promised for the future by
-- David M. Nemtzow, President, Alliance to Save Energy
Protecting the Environment and Improving Public Health
The Clinton Presidency: Unleashing the New Economy -- Expanding Access to Technology
President Clinton and Vice President Gore came into office with an agenda to use the revolution in information technology to improve Americans' quality of life and reinvigorate the economy. Since 1993, they have made smart investments in science and technology that have helped build the New Economy. The Clinton-Gore Administration's work has created a strong economy spurred by new technologies, increased access to computers and the Internet to share the benefits of the new economy, and put in place a strong research and development strategy that will continue to pay off in the years to come.
Investing in Science, Technology and Biomedical Research
THEN: American technological edge begins to erode. America was on the cusp of a new Information Age. The U.S. edge in technology was beginning to erode in some of our prominent industries, in part due to the lack of a coherent plan on how to effectively tap information technology's potential. The Cold War had ended, but the government continued to invest most of the federal research dollars into defense, rather than into civilian research that directly contributes to long-term economic growth, creates jobs, improves education and protects the environment. In 1993, only 42 percent of the federal government's research and development investments went to civilian research. NOW: Technology powering strong economic strength. President Clinton and Vice President Gore wanted to use information technology to improve Americans' quality of life and reinvigorate the economy. They increased funding in civilian research and development by 43 percent, without significantly reducing the investment in defense research, and increased R&D support to universities by 53 percent. President Clinton also made investments to spur private sector innovation, help improve our environment, and improve the nation's health. -- Between 1993 and 2000, President Clinton invested an additional $10 billion in a range of science and technology programs included in the 21st Century Research Fund. This includes the largest increase ever for the National Science Foundation, which supports much of the research that trains the next generation of America's scientists and engineers. President Clinton also fought for the Next Generation Internet, which is connecting universities and national labs at speeds that are 1,000 times faster than today's Internet, and major increases in long-term information technology research. In 2001, investments in the 21st Century Research Fund will total $44.9 billion. -- The President worked with Congress to extend the Research and Experimentation tax credit for another five years, through 2004, the longest expansion of this policy ever. Extending the tax credit will encourage companies to undertake new multi-year research activities, secure in the knowledge that the 20 percent tax credit will continue to be available. -- The Clinton Administration has invested in programs such as the Climate Change Technology Initiative to develop clean energy to reduce the pollution that can lead to global warming. This Initiative is a comprehensive program of research investments and targeted tax incentives to spur the development of clean energy technologies. The President has also increased the investment in nanotechnology research, which is the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level. Nanotechnology research could lead to breakthroughs such as the ability to store the equivalent of the Library of Congress in a device the size of a sugar cube, materials nearly 10 times stronger than steel and a fraction of the weight, and the ability to detect tumors when they are only a few cells in size. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made unprecedented investments in biomedical research, nearly doubling funding for the National Institutes of Health since 1993 -- a $10 billion increase. As a result, NIH supports the highest levels of research ever on nearly all types of disease and health conditions, making new breakthroughs possible in vaccine development and use, the treatment of chronic disease, and prevention and treatment of disease. The President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission issued recommendations on ethical standards for the conduct of stem cell research. Stem cells may one day be used to replace cardiac muscle cells for people with heart disease, nerve cells for hundreds of thousands of Parkinson's patients, or insulin-producing cells for children who suffer from diabetes. -- As a part of overall NIH funding, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have strongly supported the efforts of the National Human Genome Research Institute to map the entire human genome. The completed map will dramatically change medical care, opening new doors in the effort to learn more about detection, treatment, and prevention of serious diseases. On March 14, 2000, President Clinton announced that he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed on a statement of principle to ensure that discoveries from the human genome are used to advance human health. Their joint statement applauds researchers who have made their raw human genome sequence data freely available to the global scientific community and calls upon others to follow their lead.
Building the New Economy
THEN: Economic promise of technology. In 1992, the technology revolution was just about to hit. Only 10 million people worldwide were connected to the Internet, and as recently as 1994, just 24 percent of American households had a computer. The United States exported $24.9 billion in computer equipment in 1992, and the nation had not yet experienced the benefits of the coming technology revolution. NOW: Leadership has helped foster technology and fueled the economy. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have fostered the tremendous growth in technology in the past eight years and helped to ensure that the New Economy has flourished, turning around the stagnant economic growth of the 1980s. By August 2000, the number of American households with a computers had grown to 51 percent, and over 200 million people worldwide are connected to the Internet -- opening a world of possibilities to Americans. Exports of computer equipment had grown to $41.4 billion in 1997, and the number of patent applications increased by 40 percent since 1992. The increasing prevalence of the Internet led to a growth in electronic commerce, which has expanded the reach of small businesses by allowing them to reach hundreds of millions of customers around the world. -- President Clinton signed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a 3-year moratorium on Internet access taxes and taxes that discriminate against e-commerce. -- The Clinton Administration won an agreement in the World Trade Organization to place a temporary moratorium on duties on electronic transmissions, making cyberspace a "duty-free zone." -- In October 1998, the President signed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, helping to protect America's intellectual property in cyberspace. -- On June 30, 2000, the President signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, which gives online contracts the same force of law as paper contracts. Customers can finalize mortgages, sign insurance contracts, or open brokerage accounts online. -- The President and Vice President have encouraged the private sector to protect individual privacy through self-regulation, third-party audits and enforcement mechanisms. In just over a year, the number of commercial Internet sites with privacy policies has increased from 15 percent to 66 percent. -- President Clinton signed the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires commercial Web sites to get a parent's permission before collecting personal information from minors. In May 1999, Vice President Gore announced the Parents' Protection Page, an important new commitment by Internet companies to give parents the resources to protect their children from inappropriate material on the Internet and the knowledge to supervise and guide their children's online activities. -- President Clinton signed the first comprehensive telecommunications reform legislation in over sixty years, which lowered prices, increased customer choice, and sped the deployment of new technology. Encouraging the Growth of the Internet and Electronic Commerce
"I want to acknowledge the contributions of President Clinton and Vice President Gore in shaping the administration policy, and in legislation supporting research and development that's needed to make Internet a global reality, and to continue its astonishing evolution." -- Dr. Vint Cerf,
Bridging the Digital Divide
THEN: Limited access to technology for most Americans. In 1992, home computers were rare, and as recently as 1994 only three percent of classrooms were connected to the Internet. Today, more homes and schools are connected but a divide still exists -- 77.7 percent of households earning $75,000 or more have Internet access, compared to 12.7 percent earning $15,000 or less. NOW: Expanding opportunity created by technology. As the first Administration of the Internet Age, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked to make technology available for all Americans. Since 1992, the President and Vice President have tripled funding for Community Technology Centers, which provide computer and Internet access in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods. The President and Vice President are supporting innovative applications of information technology for low-income families through the Department of Commerce, such as telemedicine for prenatal care and distance learning for people who have lost their jobs. The Administration has challenged the private sector to develop new business models for low-cost computers and Internet access -- to make universal access at home affordable for all Americans. President Clinton mobilized major public and private efforts to bridge the digital divide during his third New Markets Tour, when over 400 companies and non-profit organizations signed a "National Call to Action" to bring digital opportunity to youth, families, and opportunities. The Call to Action sets goals such as ensuring that every child is technologically literate, and making home access to the Internet as common as the telephone.
Expanding Access to Computers and Technology Training
"Community technology centers provide low-income individuals with skills
training and the ability to produce their dreams. They are also an
important entryway to the technology industry. We think of President
Clinton as our first angel investor: his Administration's work has been
fundamental to Plugged In and to the community technology center
-- Magda Escobar, Executive Director, Plugged In, East Palo Alto, California. Magda Escobar's community technology center shares the opportunities created by the information revolution with residents of East Palo Alto, a low-income community located in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the technological revolution. Plugged In trains teenagers in web development to ensure that the opportunities of the technology revolution are shared with the entire community.
"As we enter the Internet Century, nothing is more important than
providing our young people - all our young people - with the skills and
resources to thrive in this new age. We're grateful for the support that
we've received from across the industry, the non-profit world and
government. Something exciting is happening here and the momentum is
-- Steve Case, Chairman of PowerUP and Chairman of AOL Time Warner. PowerUP is a national initiative to provide underserved youth access to technology and guidance on how to use it. In conjunction with President Clinton's "digital divide" trip in April 2000, PowerUP committed to establishing 250 sites in 43 states at after-school locations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and K-12 schools.
Increasing Technology Access in Schools
THEN: Educational technology a low priority. A decade ago, computers were largely luxuries in the most affluent school districts. In 1994, only three percent of classrooms had computers that were connected to the Internet, and in 1994 only 35 percent of public schools had any Internet access at all. Students had little opportunity to learn to use computers and to explore the Internet, and the government had not mobilized its resources to expand the use of technology in our schools. NOW: Historic investments in educational technology lead to 95 percent of public schools connected to the Internet. Understanding the critical importance of incorporating technology into the classroom, the Clinton-Gore Administration made increasing access to technology in our schools a top priority. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created the E-rate and the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help connect every school to the Internet, increase the number of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for teachers. President Clinton increased investments in educational technology and training from $23 million in 1993 to $769 million in FY 2000. In addition, with the Vice President's leadership the E-rate has secured low-cost connections to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals, providing discounts worth over $2 billion annually. The number of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased to 65 percent in 1999, and the number of public schools connected rose to more than 95 percent.
The E-Rate is Opening New Doors for American Students
Victor Shen, Whittier, Alaska. Victor Shen, a 16-year-old high school junior, is one of more than 30 million American children who are online because of the Clinton-Gore Administration's E-rate. Victor lives in Whittier Alaska, which is isolated from the rest of the world for six months out of the year because of its remote location and severe weather. Victor was cut off from commerce, cut off from transportation, cut off from society, and cut off from pursuing his dream for the future. Victor wanted to grow up to be a mathematician, but his teachers didn't have the best resources to teach him; nor could they afford an Internet connection to connect Victor to his dream. Thanks to Vice President Gore's leadership in securing the E-rate, Victor's school is now connected to the Internet and Victor is now connected to learning and connected to his dream. The Whittier Community School is online because of the 90 percent discount they received from the E-rate.
"The Internet allowed my students to go to a place and learn about something they could never have done before. The Internet erases boundaries of age and class. Everyone can access it in an equal way. In Paradise, this is especially important because of the limitations some of these children face."
Expanding Electronic Government
THEN: Limited electronic access to government. In the early 1990s, the Internet was not widely available, but by the end of the decade millions of Americans were online. In 1992, neither the White House nor any Cabinet agency had a web page, and citizens were unable to access government information online. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked to ensure that the U.S. government used information technology to bring government closer to the American people. NOW: Internet expands citizen access to government. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have used the power of the Internet to make government work better for people. They moved the government online, and in October 1994 they unveiled the first White House Internet page, which provides a road map to the federal government. Today, every Cabinet department has a web site to make information and services available to the American people at the touch of a button. In September 2000, the Clinton Administration launched FirstGov.gov, making all of the government's online resources available and searchable at a single web site.
Expanding Access to Technology
The Clinton Presidency: A Foreign Policy for the Global Age
President Clinton understood from the beginning of his presidency that the most pervasive force in our world is globalization. He also understood that while globalization is inexorable, its benefits must be harnessed to advance our objectives of democracy, shared prosperity and peace. The way for America to exercise its influence today is to build with our democratic partners an international system of strong alliances and institutions attuned to the challenges of a globalized world, to ensure this system is genuinely open to all who adhere to clearly defined standards, and to be ready to stand up for those standards when they are threatened. The broad outlines of a foreign policy for the global age can't be summed up on a bumper sticker, but they are reflected in the principles that have guided the Clinton foreign policy over the past eight years.
Our Alliances with Europe and Asia are the Cornerstone of Our National Security, but They Must be Constantly Adapted to Meet Emerging Challenges.
These core alliances are today stronger and arguably more durable because they are organized to advance an enduring set of shared interests, rather than to defeat a single threat. President Clinton broke new ground in 1993 by welcoming our European and Asian allies' desire to play a more responsible role while maintaining our troops and adapting our alliances in both regions.
Working for a Peaceful, Democratic, Undivided Europe -- Revitalized, adapted and expanded NATO from a static Cold War
alliance to a magnet for new democracies, with new partners, members and missions; adapted its command structure; admitted Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic; created Partnership for Peace. -- Led NATO in its first military engagement and stopped the killing in Bosnia. The peace we brokered in Dayton has been sustained, a civil society complete with active opposition parties and non-governmental organizations is taking root, and national and local elections have taken place throughout the country. -- Took military action in Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing and regional instability. Forced withdrawal of Serb forces and deployed an international presence in Kosovo -- with a 47,000 strong NATO-led force providing security for the province. Achieved the safe and unconditional return of over 900,000 refugees, disbanded the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Adapting and Upholding our Alliance with Asia -- Updated our strategic alliance with Japan through adoption of the
Defense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration to define how to respond together to post-Cold War threats. -- Reduced the North Korean threat through deterrence, diplomacy. Negotiated the October 1994 Framework Agreement to freeze and dismantle North Korea's dangerous nuclear weapons fuel production and a moratorium on long-range missile testing in 1999. -- Strengthened cooperation with South Korea to move forward to engage North Korea. Jointly engaged in Four Party Talks and established Trilateral Group (the United States, Japan and South Korea) to coordinate North Korea policy which helped create the conditions for an eventual North-South dialogue.
Peace and Security for the United States Depends on Building Principled, Constructive, Clear-Eyed Relations with Our Former Adversaries.
We must continue to be mindful of threats to the peace -- whether it is a Russian move against Georgia or a Chinese move against Taiwan -- while maximizing the chances that both nations evolve internally toward greater democracy, stability and prosperity. To achieve both goals, we must continue to seize on the desire of both Russia and China to participate in the global economy and global institutions, insisting they accept the obligations as well as the benefits of integration.
Building on Our Relationship with Russia -- Negotiated the exit of Russian troops from the Baltics, brought
Russian troops into NATO missions in the Balkans and won Russia's active support for a just end to the Kosovo war. -- Brought Russia into the G-8, APEC, and into relationships with NATO and international financial institutions. -- Reduced the nuclear danger. Deactivated/dismantled over 1,700 nuclear warheads, 300 missile launchers, 425 ICBM and SLBMs; strengthened security and accounting of nuclear materials; purchased 500 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium; reached agreement for the safe, transparent and irreversible destruction of 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. -- Supported economic reform and the creation of a market economy. More than 250,000 Russian entrepreneurs have received U.S. training, consulting services or loans. Today 70 percent of the Russian economy is in private hands.
Building on Our Relationship with China
Local Conflicts can have Global Consequences. The Purpose of Peacemaking, Whether by Diplomacy or Force, Must be to Resolve Conflicts Before They Escalate and Harm Our Vital Interests.
In a global age, arguments for peacemaking are even stronger: to defuse conflicts before they escalate and harm our interests. America's dominant power is more likely to be accepted if it is harnessed to the cause of peace.
Not All Old Threats have Disappeared, but New Dangers, Accentuated by Technological Advances and the Permeability of Borders, Require New National Security Priorities.
One of the biggest changes we have brought about in the way America relates to the world has been the change in what we consider important. The Clinton Administration has defined a new security agenda that addresses contemporary threats -- nonproliferation, terrorism, international crime, infectious disease, environmental damage.
Economic Integration Advances Both Our Interests and Our Values, but Also Accentuates the Need to Alleviate Economic Disparity.
As the first president who has understood the connections of the global economy and its connection to our prosperity, President Clinton has led the United States toward its greatest expansion in world trade in history -- from $4 to $6.6 trillion a year. President Clinton has opened markets for U.S. exports abroad and created American jobs through nearly 300 other free and fair trade agreements, contributing to the longest economic expansion in our history.
The Clinton Presidency Building One America
In 1992, Americans were struggling to maintain the sense of community and respect for diversity that makes our nation strong. The economic gap between haves and have-nots was increasing. Between 1980 through 1992, the bottom 60 percent of Americans saw little if any increase in income, unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics reached record highs, and the poverty rate for African Americans remained at or above 30 percent. Over the last eight years, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked to bridge racial divisions and economic disparities.. They have appointed the most diverse and inclusive administration in history, launched initiatives to close economic and social gaps, and established the One America office in the White House to build a strategy of closing opportunity gaps and to promote understanding and reconciliation.
Appointed the Most Diverse Administration in History
THEN: Few women and minorities in the top levels of government. The impressive strides made by women and minorities had not been fully reflected in the top levels of government. When President Clinton came to office, there were just two women and two minorities in the cabinet. Between 1976 and 1992, there were just 57 African Americans appointed to federal judgeships, and in 1992, just 10 percent of the federal bench were minorities and only 11 percent were women. Comparatively, in 1990, women made up 51.3 percent of the population while minorities made up 25.1 percent of the U.S. population. NOW: Appointed the most diverse cabinet in history. President Clinton appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history. Over the past eight years, he has appointed seven African American Cabinet Secretaries, and women make up 44 percent of Clinton Administration appointees, including the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, and the first to serve as Attorney General, Janet Reno. The President also appointed the first Asian American to serve in a Cabinet, Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta. The President has appointed more African Americans to federal judgeships than were appointed during the last sixteen years combined and 14 percent of all Clinton Administration appointees are African American, twice as many as in any previous Administration. President Clinton appointed three times as many female judges as the two previous administrations and the most Hispanic judicial nominees of any President. Record numbers of people with disabilities are also serving in the White House and throughout the Clinton Administration.
Closing Economic and Social Gaps
THEN: Economic gaps in American society expanding The economic gap between haves and have-nots was increasing. Between 1980 through 1992, the bottom 60 percent of Americans saw little if any increase in income, unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics reached record highs, and the poverty rate for African Americans remained at or above 30 percent. NOW: Expanded opportunity and a strong economy improves conditions for all Americans Under President Clinton, unemployment and poverty rates have declined for all groups, while family incomes have increased. The Clinton Administration has worked to increase opportunity by expanding access to higher education and job training, expanding loans to minority small businesses, and launching efforts to close the digital divide and expand new markets in underserved communities. Examples of progress under the Clinton-Gore Administration include: -- Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the unemployment rate for African Americans fell from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 7.3 percent today and the African-American poverty rate has dropped from 33.1 percent to 26.1 percent in 1998 -- the lowest level recorded, and the largest five-year drop in African-American poverty since 1967-1972. At the same time, the typical African-American household's income is up $3,317. -- Unemployment for Hispanics fell from 11.8 percent in October of 1992 to 5.0 percent today. The Hispanic poverty rate has dropped from 29.6 percent to 25.6 percent -- the lowest since 1979. And over the past three years, the income of the typical Hispanic household has risen $3,880 -- or 15.9 percent -- the largest three-year increase in Hispanic income on record. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration launched an initiative to end racial and ethnic health disparities, setting a national goal of eliminating the longstanding disparities by the year 2010 in six key health areas: infant mortality, diabetes, cancer screening and management, heart disease, AIDS and immunizations. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has fought hate crimes and racial profiling by fighting for the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act, which increased penalties for hate crimes as part of the 1994 Crime Bill. As a result of Presidential leadership, the number of law enforcement agencies across the country reporting hate crimes to the Justice Department has risen from 2,771 in 1991 to 12,122 in 1999 -- giving authorities a more accurate picture of the problem. President Clinton is also working to end racial profiling, by directing Cabinet agencies to collect data on the race, ethnicity, and gender of individuals subject to certain stops by federal law enforcement to help determine where and when racial profiling occurs. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has fought to protect the rights of all Americans, increasing funding for civil rights enforcement from $47.6 million in 1992 to $92 million in 2001. The President also ordered a comprehensive review of federal affirmative action programs, which concluded that affirmative action is still an effective and important tool to expand educational and economic opportunity to all Americans. And President Clinton focused the nation's attention and resources to help stop the rash of church burnings across the country, creating the National Church Arson Task Force in 1995 to investigate these crimes, prosecute those responsible, and speed the rebuilding process. -- President Clinton has taken action to ensure fairness and equal participation in our society for legal immigrants. In 1997 and 1998 the President succeeded in restoring disability, health and nutritional benefits for certain legal immigrants. The Administration's English as a Second Language/Civics Education Initiative provides limited English speaking adults with instruction in both English literacy and critical life skills necessary for effective citizenship and civic participation and the Administration has significantly reduced the backlog of citizenship applications. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore have improved relations between the federal government and Native American tribes. In July 1999, the President visited the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to encourage investment in Indian Country, making him the first sitting President to visit a reservation since Franklin D. Roosevelt. The President also issued executive orders promoting tribal sovereignty, protecting sacred Indian sites, improving the academic performance of American Indian and Alaska Native students and supporting the nation's tribal colleges. -- The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to ensure equal pay for women and close the wage gap. They addressed the wage gap by winning $20 million in his FY 2001 budget initiative for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide grants to post-secondary institutions and partner organizations to promote the full participation of women in science and technology fields. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission initiated an Equal Pay Task Force to provide assistance to field enforcement staff in their development of cases involving equal pay and employment discrimination in compensation. -- President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to assure equality of opportunity and full participation by persons with disabilities. The Clinton-Gore Administration has vigorously defended the Americans with Disabilities Act, worked with States to implement the Olmstead decision to prohibit unjustified isolation of institutionalized persons with disabilities, and fought for accessibility in public transportation, housing, and technology. As part of the Administration's work to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities, the President created the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities and signed the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. Addressing the Wage Gap by Supporting Enforcement
"I am grateful that the EEOC is there to assist people like me who have gone through so much in the workplace. It is never easy to confront difficult or painful situations, but I hope that I can serve as an example to women across the country who work hard to build their professional career but still do not receive salaries equal to their male counterparts. I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership on this issue."
Launched the One America Initiative
THEN: America's leaders lacked a coordinated effort to resolve problems. America was struggling to maintain the sense of community that makes our nation strong. Even though the country was becoming more diverse, serious economic and social gaps were prevalent, particularly among minority groups. And too often political rhetoric expanded these divisions rather than working to close them. Despite these problems, there was no coordinated strategy to promote reconciliation and address the economic and social divide in this country. NOW: Working to build One America President Clinton launched the One America initiative, and created a new office in the White House to ensure that we have a coordinated strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the underserved in this country. Examples of Clinton-Gore Administration efforts to build one America include the following: -- The One America initiative office helped resolve discrimination claims against the Department of Agriculture. Due to procedural hurdles created by previous administrations, several thousand African American farmers were left without a filing remedy for alleged discrimination, which had occurred years ago. Under the President's leadership, legislation was passed which overcame the statute of limitation problems blocking settlement of discrimination claims. Currently pending claims are being expedited for review to assure that justice is served. As of November 2000, farmers have received over 323 million dollars in settlement fees from the federal government. -- Through the One America initiative, President Clinton has provided leadership to corporate America, and the legal and faith communities to action. The President's call to action to the legal community to enlist their support in the fight for equal justice resulted in the formation of "Lawyers for One America," a unique collaboration with a mission to change the landscape for racial justice through increased pro bono service and diversity within the legal community. Corporate leaders convened at the White House to pledge to promote diversity, close the opportunity gap that exists in America and lead our nation towards the goal of building One America. And President Clinton met with a broad group of American religious leaders to highlight new commitments and programs they have pledged to undertake within the faith community to ensure that the nation's religious organizations are doing their part to expand diversity, end racism and promote racial reconciliation in America. -- In 1995, President Clinton created NCATF to coordinate the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement in the battle against arsons, bombings and attempted bombings of places of religious worship. NCATF has opened 945 investigations that have led to 431 arrests and 305 convictions so far. The NCATF arrest rate is twice that of the general arrest rate for arsons nationwide. Thanks to the successful coordination efforts of the Clinton Administration, the number of arsons and attacks on places of worship continues to decrease.
Increased Opportunity for All Americans
The Clinton Presidency: National Service and Philanthropy
Through the 1980s, America's sense of community and shared purpose began to disintegrate. Between 1989 and 1993, charitable giving as a portion of our economy declined and the number of people volunteering fell by more than 9 million. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked to create new opportunities for community service, and provided leadership to develop innovative partnerships between federal agencies and private nonprofits. They have also worked to involve the private sector, challenging business leaders to work with community groups, religious leaders and faith-based partnerships to tackle problems like putting welfare recipients to work, teaching children to read and closing the digital divide.
Restoring Community Service: AmeriCorps
THEN: No significant new investment in community service in a decade. Previous generations of Americans had answered the call to service of their country through programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Peace Corps and VISTA. However, it had been more than a decade since the federal government challenged the energy of Americans by putting significant resources behind a meaningful effort to expand community service opportunities. The Peace Corps and VISTA combined provided just 10,000 service opportunities in 1993. NOW: 200,000 Americans have served communities in AmeriCorps. President Clinton created the AmeriCorps National Service Program in 1993, his first year in office. Since then, AmeriCorps has brought together nearly 200,000 people of all ages, racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds to solve community problems and improve the lives of Americans. And after a year of full-time public service, AmeriCorps members receive education awards to help finance college or pay back student loans. The President defended AmeriCorps from numerous Congressional efforts to eliminate the initiative, and built it into a successful program supported by Democratic, Republican and Independent Governors across the country.
AmeriCorps Members Investing in their Community
"When I started tutoring first graders, I was scared -- scared of the responsibility, because it is so important for a child to get a good foundation in education. One of the first students I tutored didn't know the alphabet. He was so nervous about trying but he wanted desperately to learn. I worked with him for about 20 minutes every day in the classroom and twice a week after school. Within a month, he wrote beautiful sentences. Now he's reading above grade level. I am proud to say that my experience as an AmeriCorps member has given me the skills and confidence to enter the classroom as a first grade teacher. Mr. President -- thank you for giving young adults the opportunity to improve American communities through national service. I just want to let you know that thousands of AmeriCorps members are getting things done throughout the country but especially right here in Philadelphia." --Ardelia Norwood-Ross, AmeriCorps Volunteer, Phialdelphia.. In her first year as a corps member, Ardelia served at an elementary in South Philadelphia running three literacy programs for students in first through third grades, two of which she developed herself. Ardelia is currently enrolled in a Master's program in elementary education and uses her AmeriCorps awards from her two years of service to pay back her college loans and pay for her graduate school study.
Teaching Children to Read: America Reads
THEN: Children's reading scores drop during 1980s Reading scores among young students dropped significantly during the 1980s. Despite research demonstrating that reading to young children was the best way to increase reading skills, in 1991, just 35 percent of young children were read to at home every day. NOW: Thousands of volunteers tutor children in America Reads In 1997, President Clinton challenged Americans to unite to be sure that every child can read well and independently by the end of the third grade. So far, more than 1,400 colleges have committed more than 26,000 Work Study students to tutor children in reading, and nearly one million children have been taught, tutored or mentored through national service programs like AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Foster Grandparents. President Clinton's America Reads challenge also sought to involve businesses, communities, pediatricians and child care providers in helping recruit volunteers, organize book drives and tutor young children in reading. President Clinton launched America Reads as a volunteer partnership, then worked with Congress to pass the Reading Excellence Act in 1998 to provide $260 million and serve 1.1 million children annually. This national effort to improve reading has made a great difference for children learning to read. Today, more families are spending time each day reading to their children. In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3-5 were read to daily by a family member. Reading scores are also going up, especially in our highest poverty communities. From 1992 to 1996, reading scores of nine-year-olds in highest poverty schools improved by nearly one grade level, reversing a downward trend.
College Students Contributing to Their Communities through America
"At California State University, Los Angeles, tutors participating in the America Reads Challenge are part of a long-standing institutional commitment to community service. Documented outcomes of the America Reads project illustrate significant improvement in the literacy skills of the children with whom we are tutoring. Our students and our neighbors are benefiting from this relationship. Cal State, LA is proud to be a part of the America Reads Challenge." -- Dr. James Rosser, California State University, Los Angeles
Increasing Charitable Giving
THEN: Charitable giving and volunteering declines. Charitable giving as a portion of Gross Domestic Product declined from 1989 to 1993. The number of people volunteering fell from 98.4 million in 1989 to 89.2 in 1993, and the total number of volunteer hours dropped by one billion over the same period. NOW: Administration encourages philanthropy and charitable giving soars. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to promote charitable giving and philanthropy, hosting the White House Conference on Philanthropy in October 1999, creating an Interagency Task Force on Nonprofits and Government and working to build partnerships between government, business and non-profit organizations. The strong economy has driven a large share of the increase in philanthropy -- as individual wealth has increased, the value of the stock in foundations has soared. Charitable giving reached a record high in 1999, surging to more than $190 billion, an increase of 43 percent since 1993; as a percentage of GDP, charitable giving soared to 2.1 percent, the highest level in almost three decades.
Drawing on the Private Sector:
THEN: America has more problems than federal resources. In 1992, America faced high poverty rates; record numbers of people unemployed or on welfare; serious environmental problems; and record-high deficits. Government alone could not solve all of these problems. NOW: Clinton-Gore Administration draws on private sector partnerships. President Clinton challenged corporate, religious and community leaders to join together to solve major problems facing the country. The Clinton-Gore Administration has provided important leadership to develop vital partnerships with the private sector, including: -- Through the President's New Markets and Digital Divide initiatives, corporations have pledged millions of dollars in assistance and development commitments to bring economic development and high-tech training to underserved urban, rural, and tribal communities. -- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a private nonprofit organization, was launched in response to the President's 1995 State of the Union in which he challenged parents and leaders across the country to come together in a national effort to reduce teen pregnancy. The Campaign has raised the visibility of this issue nationwide by enlisting the help of the media and private advertising experts. The Campaign has also created a more effective grassroots movement that brings together public, private, nonprofit partners in states and local communities. Both teen pregnancy and teen birth rates are now at record low levels. -- The Administration's efforts also resulted in the creation of the Fair Labor Association, which includes apparel makers who have adopted a code of conduct to eliminate child labor and sweatshop working conditions in manufacturing plants throughout the world. -- The President's work with the entertainment industry led to the voluntary adoption of a ratings system for television shows so parents can be informed about the content of the programs their children are watching.
Service and Volunteerism Producing Progress for Communities