Record of Accomplishment
President William Jefferson Clinton led America into the 21st century as the world’s leading force for peace and prosperity, freedom and security, and a more integrated global community rooted in shared values, shared benefits, and shared responsibilities. At home, he presided over unprecedented economic growth and dramatic social progress, which grew out of his core values of opportunity, responsibility, and community.
He advanced new ideas consistent with those values and governed beyond the old politics of left and right to build a new vital center in American life. In so doing he redefined the role of government for 21st century America: to create the conditions and give people the tools to make the most of their own lives. From beginning to end he pursued this vision, sometimes in conflict with the traditional positions of his own party, and often in the face of attacks from an increasingly partisan opposition party. President Clinton’s political philosophy, known as the Third Way, attracted followers around the world and continues to inspire innovative leaders in many nations.
Here are the results of eight years of sustained effort by President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and one of the most accomplished - and most diverse - administrations ever to serve the American people.
- Changing the Way Government Does Business
- Enacted the Workforce Investment Act
The Workforce Investment Act reformed the nation’s employment and training system so that it works better for today’s workers, giving them choice over their training and providing universal access to core labor market services; and consolidating a tangle of individual programs into a simple system, creating a nationwide network of One-Stop Career Centers. All 50 states are up and running, and the number of One-Stops has reached 1,200 nationwide.
- The Lowest Tax Burden on Middle Income Families
During the Clinton Administration the tax burden on a middle-income family with two children was lower than at any time since 1966. Families of four with an income of $110,000 in 1999 had the lowest income tax burden since 1972.
- Signed the Motor Voter Law
President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act during his first year in office -- making voting easier for millions more Americans, and leading to the registration of more than 28 million new voters.
- Slowest Per Capita Growth of Government Spending Since the 1950s
During the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal spending - on a per capita basis - grew at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower Administration, not including inflation.
- Streamlined Regulations
Agencies eliminated more than 16,000 pages of unnecessary federal regulations affecting businesses. Agencies also rewrote 31,000 pages of regulations into understandable, plain language and cut 640,000 pages of internal agency rules.
- Lowest Federal Spending
The spending restraint under President Clinton brought government spending down from 22.2 percent of GDP in 1992 to 18.4 percent of GDP in 2001 - the lowest since 1966. At the same time, President Clinton increased investments in education, technology, and other areas that are vital to growth.
- Smallest Federal Civilian Workforce in 40 Years
Between 1993 and 1999, the federal workforce was cut by 377,000 - nearly a fifth - and was lower than it has been at any time since 1960.
- Results from the Reinventing Government Initiative
Overall, Vice President Gore’s National Performance Review recommended, and Congress adopted, savings of about $136 billion from 1993 to January 2001. The Brookings Institution labeled reinvention "one of the most remarkable reform efforts in American history."
- Enacted the Workforce Investment Act
- Crime and Drugs
- Preventing and Fighting Against Domestic Violence
In 1994, the President and Vice President championed the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which established new federal criminal provisions and key grant programs that have provided over $1.6 billion to improve the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to direct critical services to victims.
- Protecting Children from Sex Offenders
President Clinton signed Megan’s Law and the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, requiring states to set up sex offender registration systems and require community notification when sex offenders are released from prison.
- Fighting Hate Crimes
The President enacted the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act in 1994. He held the historic White House Conference on Hate Crimes, where he called for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- bipartisan legislation which would strengthen hate crimes laws and make it clear that America will not tolerate acts of violence based on race, color, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Safe Schools and Healthy Student Initiative
An unprecedented joint effort involving the Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services to help communities design and implement a comprehensive approach, including educational, mental health, social service, and law enforcement services to help combat youth violence.
- Developed Anti-Drug Strategy and Media Campaign
The President appointed General Barry McCaffrey, former commander in the Gulf War, to lead the Administration's anti-drug strategy as the nation’s Drug Czar. In 1997, President Clinton and Director McCaffrey launched the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the largest targeted effort ever to teach youth about the dangers of drugs, to encourage young people to reject drug use, and to help parents, teachers and other responsible adults talk to kids about drugs and get more involved in the lives of young people. Overall drug use is down since its peak in the 1970's, drug-related murders fell by 48 percent between 1992 and January 2001, and youth drug use is leveling off or declining.
- Cracking Down on Gun Criminals
Overall gun prosecutions increased 22 percent from 1992 to 1996, the most recent year for which data is available. Between 1992 and 1998, the number of federal gun defendants sentenced to prison for three years or more went up 20 percent. In FY1999, federal prosecutors brought 5,500 firearms cases against 7,057 defendants compared with 4,391 cases against 5,876 defendants in 1998. The 1999 data indicates a 25.3% increase in the number of federal firearms cases and a 20.1% increase in the number of defendants compared to 1998.
- Passed the Assault Weapons Ban
Ban stopped the production of semi-automatic weapons and ammunition clips holding more that 10 rounds, and banned 19 different weapons with the support of every major law enforcement organization in the country.
- Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns
Since taking effect in 1994 through January 2001, the Brady Law helped to prevent a total of more than 1 million felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns. In November 1999, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) took effect under the Brady Law, allowing access to a fuller set of records that law enforcement officials can use to conduct checks of all prospective gun purchases – from licensed firearms dealers - not just for handguns. Since then NICS conducted over 17.2 million background checks on gun purchasersand stopped nearly 300,000 illegal gun sales.
- Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets
In 2000, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an additional 100,000 police officers for our communities. In 2001, at the end of the Administration there were funds for an additional 110,000 police on the streets. To help keep crime at record lows, President Clinton won over $1 billion in 2001 to help communities take the next step toward hiring up to 50,000 more police officers by FY 2005 and hire new community prosecutors, give police the technology they need to fight crime and fund community-wide crime fighting efforts.
- Lowest Crime Rates in a Generation
When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office in 1993, the violent crime rate in America had more than quadrupled during the previous three decades. Since then, America experienced the longest continuous drop in crime on record. At the end of the Administration crime was at a 27- year low. The murder rate dropped over 27% percent form 1993 to 2001 to its lowest point since 1966, and gun violence declined by 46 percent.
- Preventing and Fighting Against Domestic Violence
- Expanding Access to Technology
With Vice President Gore’s leadership, the Administration made increasing access to technology a top priority, increasing investment in educational technology from $23 million in FY 1993 to $872 million in FY 2001, including $65 million for Community Technology Centers to reach at least 180 low-income communities. The Technology Literacy Challenge Fund was created to help connect every school to the Internet, increase the number of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for teachers. Through the Erate program, they secured low-cost connections to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals, benefiting more than 80 percent of America's public schools and saving over 2 billion dollars in costs. In 2000, 98 percent of public schools were connected to the Internet -- up from just 35 percent in 1994, with the number of classrooms connected increasing from 3% to 77%.
- Teaching Every Child to Read
The President challenged Americans to commit to the effort to ensure that every child can read well and independently by the third grade. Nearly 1,400 colleges and universities took up his challenge, and 26,700 college work-study students now serve as reading tutors to help children learn to read. In the 1999-2000 school year alone, over 100,000 students participated in the program.
- Expanding Choice and Accountability in Public Schools
The Administration worked to expand public school choice and support the growth of public charter schools, which have increased from one public charter school in the nation when the President was first elected to more than 2,000 when he left office. By the end of the Administration, charter schools operated in 34 states and the District of Columbia. President Clinton won a $45 million increase in funds in FY 2001 to support the start up of 450 new or redesigned schools that offer enhanced public school choice.
- Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for 1.3 Million Students Each Year
In 2001 the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program provided enriching after-school and summer school opportunities to 1.3 million children after only 4 years in operation. Extended learning time has not only been shown to increase achievement in reading and math, but also to decrease youth violence and drug use.
- Investing in School Construction
President Clinton fought for and won a new initiative to repair America’s schools, providing $1.2 billion in the FY 2001 budget for urgent school renovation, along with much-needed repair funds for Native American schools.
- Ensuring a Safe School Environment and Protecting Children
President Clinton encouraged schools to adopt school uniform policies to deter school violence and promote discipline. The Administration also implemented zero tolerance for guns in schools.
- Turned Around Failing Schools
The Administration worked with 49 states to adopt higher educational standards. Test scores and graduation rates were up. By the end of the Administration, about 13 million disadvantaged students in 14,000 school districts benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards through Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students. In the FY2001 budget, the President proposed to nearly double funding from $134 million in FY2000 to $250 million to turn around or shut down failing schools.
- Enacted the GEAR UP College Opportunity Program for Middle School Children
GEAR UP, a nationwide early college preparation initiative, asks colleges and universities to work with high poverty middle schools to raise students’ aspirations and achievements. It provides academic enrichment, a stable adult presence, and college scholarships to help more than 1.2 million low-income children succeed in school and prepare for college.
- More High-Quality Teachers with Smaller Class Sizes
Congress passed President Clinton's plan to hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades. Before dedicated resources for smaller class sizes were eliminated under the Bush Administration, 37,000 of the 100,000 new teachers had beenhired.
- Made College More Affordable
President Clinton established the direct student loan program which helped students save more than $9 billion over eight years through reductions in loan fees and interest rates. The average $10,000 loan costs a student $1,300 less in interest and fees in 2001 than it did in 1993. Qualifying Direct Loan students also have the option of “income-contingent” loans that allow graduates to repay loans as a percentage of income, enabling them to avoid default and to take public-service jobs. Student loan default rates fell for eight consecutive years to an all-time low of 5.6 percent. Direct student loans have also saved taxpayers over $4 billion over eight years by eliminating lender subsidies.
- Expanded Work Study and Pell Grants
The maximum Pell Grant award increased by more than 50% under the Clinton-Gore Administration. The FY 2001 budget raised the maximum award by $450 – the largest one-year increase since 1974, when the program was phased in, and helped reverse a two-decade trend of allowing the value of Pell Grants to erode. Under that budget, more than four million students received Pell Grants of up to $3,750, the largest maximum award. The number of students who can work their way through college rose by a third to approximately one million because of President Clinton’s expansion of the Work Study Program.
- Opened the Doors of College to All Americans with the Hope Scholarships and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits
The Hope Scholarship makes the first two years of college universally available by providing a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college, while the Lifetime Learning credit pays for 20 percent of other postsecondary education and training. In 1999, $7 billion in tax credits were claimed by an estimated 10 million American families paying for college.
- President Clinton Provided for the Largest Increase in Aid to Higher Education Since the GI Bill 50 Years Ago
The Direct Student Loan Program, Hope Scholarships, and an increase in Work Study and Pell Grants, paved the way for the highestenrollment rates in history.
- Expanding Access to Technology
- Unprecedented Investment in Biomedical Research
NIH resources doubled under the Clinton Administration, from $10.3 billion in FY 1993 to $20.3 billion in FY 2001. As a result, NIH now 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 diseases.
- Provided Leadership in Financing the World's Largest Environmental Fund
Contributed more money than any other country to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which initiated nearly 1,000 projects in over 140 countries to reduce global ozone emission levels, protect biodiversity, promote clean water, address climate change, and combat desertification.
- Worked to Heal the Ozone Layer
Successfully phased out CFCs (chloroflourocarbons) in the U.S. and strengthened international efforts to protect the ozone layer.
- Worked to Ensure that Trade Policy Protects the Environment
Passed the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which emphasizes public participation to ensure that trade policy would protect the environment and wild fauna and flora.
- Defended Landmark Environmental Legislation
Blocked attempts to roll back our most fundamental environmental laws, like the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act; thwarted actions to weaken the regulatory system on pollution and food safety; and defeated efforts to attach dozens of anti-environmental riders to budget bills which would have given special deals to special interests.
- Reduced Environmental Health Risks to Children
Signed an executive order that required federal agencies to coordinate their research priorities on children’s health and to ensure that their standards take into account special risks to children.
- Signed the Food Quality Safety Act
This act streamlined the regulation of pesticides and put important new public health protections in place, especially for children.
- Expanded Recycling of Waste Materials
Issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to buy and use only recycled printing paper and harnessed the federal government’s purchasing power to create a market for environmentally preferable products.
- Notification About Air and Water Pollution
Expanded communities’ right to know about 2,800 chemicals and 27 toxins to provide complete data on their potential health risks when they are released into our air and water.
- Promoted Environmental Justice
Signed an executive order to ensure that low-income citizens and minorities do not suffer a disproportionate burden of industrial pollution.
- Protected Marine Mammals and National Marine S
Reached a multilateral agreement to protect dolphins, issued new standards to protect whales, and doubled the funding to support our marine sanctuaries that are home to coral reefs, kelp forests, whales, sea turtles, and a vast array of biodiversity.
- Established Coral Reef Preserve
Created the 84 million-acre Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, which constitutes the largest U.S. protected area, and is second in size worldwide only to the Great Barrier National Park in Australia.
- Strengthened Refuge Protection for Wildlife
Signed legislation which mandated that the most important use of our National Wildlife Refuge System is to provide sanctuary to migratory birds and other animals.
- Created Habitat Conservation Plans on 20 Million Acres of Private Land
Protected 170 threatened and endangered species on private land by negotiating a record number of voluntary agreements with landowners.
- Saved Pacific Salmon
Launched three major new efforts to help Pacific Salmon: the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, the historic Pacific Salmon Treaty, and expansion of the Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge.
- Opposed Drilling in Arctic National Refuge
Safeguarded the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, strongly opposing efforts to drill for oil and gas in this pristine region.
- Preserved America's Rivers
Designated 14 American Heritage Rivers to restore and protect the environmental,economic, cultural, and historic values of our rivers through community-based efforts.
- Developed Conservation Partnerships with Farmers
Forged new conservation partnerships with farmers by ensuring that the Farm Bill included programs such as the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve as well as provisions for farmers and ranchers to voluntarily remove lands from production to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
- Established the 43-Million-Acre National Landscape
This organized all of the Bureau of Land Management’s protected lands, including wilderness areas, into an overall system designed to connect larger landscapes and their ecosystems. Eventually envisioned to become as highly revered as our National Park System.
- Protected Yellowstone and California Redwoods
Reached Agreements to Defend Yellowstone and Save California Redwoods, protecting Yellowstone National Park, with its famed bison and geysers, from a nearby gold mine and preserving 2000-year-old redwoods in California’s Headwaters Forest.
- Passed Everglades Restoration
Launched the greatest wetlands restoration endeavor in American history, while adding 70,000 acres to the Everglades National Park, as part of the Water and Resources Development Act.
- Improved National Park System
Created Death Valley National Park, the largest park in the lower 48 states, and the Mojave Desert National Preserve; also restored natural quiet to the Grand Canyon by re-routing air traffic; and signed the Omnibus Parks legislation that created or improved over 100 national parks, trails, rivers, and historical sites.
- Created or Expanded 22 National Monuments
Efforts to create or expand national monuments resulted in the protection of more land as national monuments in the lower 48 states than any administration in history, including the spectacular red rock canyonlands, the ancient sequoias, and a wide variety of archeological, geological, and historical treasures.
- Preserved Our Land's Legacy
Funding dedicated for preservation was tripled under Clinton. This landmark conservation program constituted the largest annual investment for green and open space protection since President Teddy Roosevelt set our nation on the path of conservation nearly a century ago.
- Redeveloped Brownfields
Brownfield projects launched in low-income communities across the country converted contaminated sites into usable space, creating jobs and enhancing community development.
- Launched Over 50 Major Initiatives on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Clinton issued new energy efficiency standards for appliances; extending the tax credits to encourage renewable energy production; issuing an executive order to spur the development and use of bio-based technologies into fuels and materials; issuing an executive order directing federal agencies to reduce energy use in their public buildings and their vehicle fleets; and by forming thousands of new partnerships with major industries to reduce greenhouse gases.
- Provided an Example with Government Responsibility
President Clinton signed executive orders to direct federal agencies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, saving taxpayers over $750 million a year when fully implemented. A second executive order calls for improved fuel efficiency by requiring the federal government to reduce fuel use in its vehicle fleets by 20 percent in five years. A third order offered federal workers incentives to use public transportation, cutting fuel use and the pollution that contributes to climate change.
- Worked Against Global Warming
Clinton provided strong leadership in the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, wherein 160 nations agreed on the basic architecture of an international strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Clinton secured $1.1 billion in FY 2000 for research and development of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, and set a goal of tripling U.S. use of bio-energy and bio-products by 2010. He also won $1.2 billion in the FY 2001 budget for the Climate Change Technology Initiative, the backbone of the national effort to reduce greenhouse gases while creating jobs and saving consumers money.
- Accelerated Cleanups at the Worst Toxic Waste Sites
In total, cleanup was completed at 608 Superfund sites, more than three times as many as completed in the previous 12 years. Overall, cleanup of more than 91 percent of all sites is either completed or in progress, freeing communities from environmental threats and economic blight.
- Launched the Clean Water Action Plan
This plan was introduced to help clean up the 40 percent of America’s surveyed waterways, including 20,000 rivers and lakes deemed too polluted for fishing and swimming.
- Created Rules to Reduce Pollution from Vehicles
The Clinton-Gore Administration proposed significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks, and SUVs, and heavy-duty trucks and buses. These represent the toughest standards ever for reducing harmful air pollution from auto tailpipes - an action to make new cars 77 to 95 percent cleaner than previous standards. The effect of the rule removes 50 million tons of smog-causing air pollution over the coming decades. In addition, the Administration's rule on clean diesel fuel requires that diesel contain less sulfur and run in cleaner engines when it goes into effect in 2006-2007.
- Adopted the Most Stringent Air Pollution Standards in the Nation's History
These standards will prevent 15,000 premature deaths and 250,000 aggravated asthma cases each year. These soot and smog standards will improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer from respiratory illnesses and 50 million Americans who suffer from the adverse affects of smog. Since 1993, the number of Americans living in communities that meet federal air quality standards grew by 43 million.
- Protecting 585 Million Acres of Heritage Forest
These forests stretch across 39 states. This conservation measure saved the last remaining large, undisturbed landscapes in America’s National Forests, providing habitats for one-fourth of America’s endangered species and safeguarding 2000 major watersheds. The Audubon Society called this action the most important conservation initiative in 40 years. The 58.5 million acres protected by this act represents the most land protected in the lower 48 states in nearly a century.
- Unprecedented Investment in Biomedical Research
- Families and Communities
- Teen Births at the Lowest Rate on Record
The teen birth rate fell nine years in a row, dropping 22 percent from 1991 to 2000 to the lowest rate in the 60 years that data on teen births have been recorded. The teen pregnancy rate was also at the lowest rate on record. In 1997 with rates already declining, the Administration launched a national strategy to prevent teen pregnancy and encourage adolescents to remain abstinent. The Administration exceeded its goal and the requirement of the welfare law to assure that at least 25 percent of communities in this country have teen pregnancy prevention programs in place. The law also required unmarried minor parents to stay in school and live either at home or in an adult-supervised setting; supported the creation of Second Chance Homes, which will provide teen parents with the skills and support they need; and provides $50 million a year in new funding for state abstinence education activities.
- Doubled Child Support Collection
President Clinton signed into law the toughest child support crackdown in history. Federal and state child support programs broke new records in 2000, collecting nearly $18 billion - more than double the amount collected in 1992. The number of paternities established rose to nearly 1.6 million in 2000 – more than tripling the 516,000 therewere in 1992.
- Increase Enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act
Increased enforcement in order to pursue fair lending procedures through the elimination of racial discrimination in mortgage and other lending by banks.
- Providing Fairness for Legal Immigrants
President Clinton believed that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity and bear the same responsibilities as other members of society. In 1997 and 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in restoring disability, health, and nutritional benefits for legal immigrants which had been taken away by the GOP congress.
- Helping Our Nation's First Americans
The President honored tribal sovereignty by signing executive orders to require consultation with Indian tribal governments and to require federal agencies to accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites. In April 1994 President Clinton became the first President to invite the leaders of all federally recognized tribes to the White House. In July 1999, he became the first sitting President to visit a reservation since Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Clinton twice visited Indian Reservations as part of his New Markets Tours to encourage private investment Native American communities. The President fought for a final FY 2001 budget that included an increase if $1.1 billion for key new and existing programs that assist Native Americans and Indian reservations – the largest increase ever.
- Promoting Opportunity and Fighting Discrimination for All Americans
President Clinton signed a historic executive order prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians in the federal workplace; promoted equal pay for women; cut the backlog at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by more than half; and supported Hate Crimes legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which Congress failed to pass.
- President Clinton's One America Initiative
President Clinton led the nation in an effort to become One America: a place where we respect others’ differences and embrace the common values that unite us. The President was actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in this historic effort and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the newly created White House Office on the President’s Initiative for One America, to ensure a coordinated strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the underserved in this country. President Clinton also appointed the most diverse Cabinet and White House staff and the most diverse judiciary, with the highest ratings from the American Bar Association, in history.
- Supporting Community Service
In 1993, President Clinton passed legislation creating AmeriCorps, a community service program allowing young people to serve 1 or 2 years and earn money for college education. In just five years, AmeriCorps enrolled nearly 200,000 young people, more than in the 40-year history of the Peace Corps, and in 2001 the program reached a record one year enrollment of 59,200 volunteers serving in their communities while earning money for college or skills training.
- Protecting Children
The President made the nation’s health a priority by establishing smoke-free federal workplaces, raising the federal tobacco tax, holding tobacco companies accountable, developing the first-ever plan to end tobacco marketing to young people, and calling on Congress to affirm the FDA’s authority to implement this plan. The Administration also required the installation of V-chips in all new televisions.
- Signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act
The Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Administration’s Adoption 2002 report, made sweeping changes in adoption law so that thousands of children in foster care move more quickly into safe and permanent homes. President Clinton enacted a $5,000 tax credit to families adopting children, and a $6,000 tax credit for families adopting children with special needs. In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the President provided more support for families who adopt children with a $500 per-child tax credit. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, parents can taketime with a newly adopted child without losing their jobs or health insurance. Al Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called President Clinton the most pro-adoption President in history. In 2000, 51,000 foster care children were adopted – more than an 80 percent increase since 1996 and well on the way to meet the President’s goal of doubling the number of adoptions by 2002.
- Ensured Health Care is Available for Veterans
The Clinton Administration made veterans' health care a priority bringing health care closer to the veterans who need it, by opening more than 400 out-patient clinics all across America, and allowing for a one-year increase in the treatment of more than 400,000 veterans. The Veterans Administration made available to every veteran in America, honorably discharged, the ability to be treated in a VA hospital and receive quality care. There are now over 1,200 locations where veterans can be treated.
- Addressed the Concerns of Veterans
The Administration reached out to more than 400,000 veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and pressed for answers to the Gulf War Syndrome and for proper care for those who suffer from it. The Veterans Administration began the process of building five new national cemeteries, the most since the Civil War; and made a special effort to bring homeless veterans back into the society they did so much to defend.
- Helped Older Workers
The President signed a repeal of the Social Security Earnings tax for Americans 65 and over, supporting work and earnings for over 800,000 older Americans.
- Increased the Minimum Wage
Increased from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, raising wages for 10 million workers. The President called for an additional increase to $6.15 over two years, but the Republican Congress refused to pass it.
- Helping Parents Balance Work and Family
The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for seriously ill family members, newborn or adoptive children, or their own serious health problems without fear of losing their jobs. Nearly 91 million workers (71 percent of the labor force) are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, and at least 35 million working Americans have taken leave for family and medical reasons since 1993.
- Tax Cuts for Working Families
Fifteen million additional working families received additional tax relief because of the President’s major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 2000, the EITC lifted 4.1 million people out of poverty – more than twice the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. In 2000, 26 million families benefited from the $500 per child tax credit in the Balance Budget Amendment of 1997.
- Teen Births at the Lowest Rate on Record
- Foreign Policy
- China: Global Cooperation and Community
President Clinton helped negotiate the terms for China’s entry into the WTO, which will anchor China more deeply in a rules-based international system and bring great change to China internally. He also helped maintain peace in the Taiwan Straits, worked with China to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula, brought China into global non-proliferation regimes including the CTBT and the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions and obtained Chinese agreement to provide no new assistance to Iran’s nuclear program and halt assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities in Pakistan.
Solidifying peace and democracy after the end of the Cold War, President Clinton spearheaded efforts to maximize Russia’s chance of evolving into a more stable and prosperous democracy, including negotiating the exit of Russian troops from the Baltics, bringing Russian troops into NATO peacekeeping missions in the Balkans, and securing Russia’s active support for a just end to the Kosovo war. The President sharply increased funding for threat reduction programs that deactivated or eliminated more than 1,700 nuclear warheads, 300 missile launchers, 425 ICBM and SLBMs and reached agreement for the safe, transparent, and irreversible destruction of 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. President Clinton supported economic reform and the creation of a market economy in Russia.
- Asian Allies
The Clinton Administration launched the annual summit of APEC leaders, the most inclusive forum for Asian-Pacific leaders to meet on economic and other issues of mutual concern. It strengthened our alliances with Japan, updating its defense guidelines, and solidified our close alliance with South Korea. The Administration, over a deliberate eight-year period, secured Vietnamese cooperation in accounting for MIA's, normalized relations with Vietnam, and appointed the first post-war Ambassador.
- NATO Enlargement
President Clinton launched the process of expanding NATO from a static Cold War alliance to a magnet for new democracies with new partners, members, and missions including the admitance of Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic and the creation of a corollary program for potential new entrants called Partnership for Peace.
- Cooperation on Global Problems
President Clinton supported the G-8 proposal on global debt relief, which became the Millennium Debt Relief initiative providing, with bipartisan support, debt relief to the 32 poorest countries if they preserve democracy and human rights and direct these savings to health, education, and development; more than doubled overseas aid to fight HIV/AIDS; funded two million microenterprise loans a year to poor communities in Asia, Latin America, and Africa; funded efforts to develop vaccines for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other major disease threats through the President's Millennium Vaccine Initiative; and provided $300 million to guarantee one good meal a day to children in poor countries if they attend school, leading to significant enrollment increases and furthering the G-8 commitment to achieve full school enrollment of the world’s children by 2015.
- Institutions of Cooperation
Beyond strengthening NATO and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Clinton-Gore Administration supported the creation of the World Trade Organization; strengthened and expanded the European Union(EU), including the integration of Turkey and the Balkans; concluded the new Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty; supported the Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming, the International Criminal Court, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; and secured the agreement of Congress to pay more than half a billion dollars in back dues to the U.N.
- Support for Market Economies
President Clinton helped rescue Mexico's economy with $20 billion in emergency support loans to avert financial disaster there and throughout Latin America, a loan that was repaid with interest and ahead of schedule; helped overcome the Asian financial crisis by keeping U.S. markets open and reduced the likelihood of future crisis through structural reforms to induce better financial policies, banking reforms, and less corruption; supported the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in 1999 to provide deeper multilateral debt reduction for poor countries with unsustainable debt burdens; pushed the G-8 nations to tackle the AIDS crisis and to invest more in basic education; secured agreements to develop oil and gas pipelines in the Caspian region; provided nearly $1 billion in disaster relief to Central American countries for health education and development after Hurricane Mitch; and provided billions in aid to help Brazil, Russia, and other countries.
President Clinton led the way toward the greatest expansion in world trade in history – from $4 trillion to $6.6 trillion a year, opening markets for U.S. exports through NAFTA, GATT, and nearly 300 other trade agreements, including the Free Trade Area with Jordan, the first ever with labor and environmental standards, and with Vietnam after normalizing relations. He secured approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations legislation to integrate China into the world economy through entry into the World Trade Organization; opened the Chinese market to U.S. exports; slashed Chinese tariffs and protected American workers and companies against dumping; won approval of the Caribbean Basin Initiative enhancement legislation to promote economic prosperity in Central America and the Caribbean; and signed into law the African Growth and Opportunity Act to support increased trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa.
- Human Rights
The Administration worked for human rights and religious freedom across the world with special emphasis on Sudan, Burma, and China where the President sent a special delegation of religious leaders and provided assistance in establishing modern legal procedures; combated trafficking in people, especially women and children; strengthened international cooperation in law enforcement and in combating money laundering; and proposed stronger money laundering initiatives, which were blocked by Congressional Republicans.
- Democratic Transitions
Supported new democracies in Russia, Central Europe, the Baltics, South Africa, and Nigeria.
- Haiti: Democracy and Human Rights
President Clinton restored democratically-elected President Aristide, supported economic assistance to Haiti through peacekeeping activities, and reduced the flow of Haitian Refugees.
- Strengthening Others' Capabilities
Supported the Africa Crisis Response Initiative with training and cooperation from the US military; crafted new security agreements with Japan and the Philippines; and supported the UN and other regional peacekeeping efforts.
President Clinton actively backed Plan Colombia, providing over $1 billion to Colombia and its neighbors to fight narco-trafficking and break up several Colombian drug cartels.
- Modernizing Armed Forces and Increasing Readiness
President Clinton supported significant increases in defense spending to improve pay and living conditions, drastically reducing the number of service personnel on incomes so low they qualify for food stamps; to modernize military technology, including research on national missile defense and development of the unmanned drone used to such good effect in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001; to increase training for commando-like operations essential to success in likely combat arenas of 21th century.
- Iraq: Security
The Administration contained Iraq with support for a vigorous inspection regime, which destroyed more chemical and biological weapons stocks, missiles, warheads, and laboratory facilities than were destroyed in the Gulf War; bombed Iraq for the foiled attack on former President Bush and for ending inspection programs, significantly degrading Saddam’s ability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction program; supported the Oil for Food program, which provided funding to Iraq to address the needs of the Iraqi people; successfully resisted efforts in the U.N. to weaken or eliminate sanctions; and adopted a new policy of regime change.
The Clinton Administration developed the nation’s first comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy led by a national coordinator; tripled the federal budget for fighting terror; brought terrorists to justice, including those involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Pan Am 103 case, the CIA killings, and the African Embassy bombings; and thwarted several serious terrorist plots, including threats to blow up airliners over the Pacific, to attack historic landmarks in New York City, and to attack multiple sites here and abroad during the millennium celebrations. The Administration worked to break-up terrorist cells in many countries; pursued Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, including military attacks aimed directly at him in August of 1998; enforced strict sanctions against the Taliban; and developed comprehensive initiatives against bio-terrorism and cyber-terrorism.
- Arms Control / Nonproliferation
The Clinton-Gore Administration implemented the START treaties, which reduced and destroyed Russian and American nuclear weapons; secured Russia’s agreement to de-target both nations’ missiles; agreed with Russia to destroy 50 tons of plutonium; funded legitimate employment for thousands of Russian nuclear, biological, and chemical scientists; strengthened the conversation on conventional weapons; permanently eliminated nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan; signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; achieved the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention; strengthened international support for and adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention; deployed forces on four occasions to prevent Saddam Hussein from threatening regional security, and upheld sanctions that diverted 90 percent of his oil revenues from the production of nuclear weapons and anthrax to the purchase of food and medicine.
- Peace in Kosovo
President Clinton led the NATO effort to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Ending the killing of thousands and flight of over 1 million refugees with a successful NATO air campaign against Serbia, followed by the presence of peacekeeping forces, and the creation of a Stability Pact. These developments helped bring about the eventual removal of Milosevic in Serbia, who was brought to trial as a war criminal; disbanded the Kosovo Liberation Army; and achieved the safe and unconditional return of more than 900,000 refugees.
- Peace in Bosnia
President Clinton led NATO diplomatic and military efforts to end the war, install peacekeepers and establish rules for governing a democratic Bosnia after the loss of 250,000 lives and the exodus of 2.5 million refugees. The peace brokered in Dayton has been sustained, a civil society complete with active opposition parties and non-governmental organizations has taken root, and national and local elections have taken place throughout the country.
- Peace in Northern Ireland
President Clinton opened the way to an IRA ceasefire by granting Gerry Adams a visa and worked tirelessly for peace in Northern Ireland, helping to broker the Good Friday Peace Accord, ending decades of bloodshed and empowering the people of Northern Ireland to determine their future.
- Peace in the Middle East
President Clinton presided over the historic 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in 1994; the Interim Agreement on Palestinian self-rule in 1995, the Wye River Accords in 1998; and in 2000, from Camp David to Taba, brought the parties together for the first high-level discussions of all permanent status issues, and offered a proposal for a comprehensive peace, accepted by the Government of Israel but rejected by Yassar Arafat. After two years of renewed conflict, Arafat said he would accept the Clinton Plan.
- China: Global Cooperation and Community
- Health Care
- Issued Regulation That Reduces Health Care Red Tape and Accompanying Wasteful Costs
The President released a regulation to significantly reduce burdensome, duplicative, and wasteful billing requirements and move towards a more unified and rational electronic claims system for health care providers and insurers, saving an estimated $30 billion over ten years.
- Promoted Public Health Improvements for Minorities
During the 1990s, there was significant improvement for all racial and ethnic minorities on key health indicators. Specifically, from 1990 to 1998, all racial groups experienced improvements on 10 of 17 key indicators: prenatal care, infant mortality, teen births, death rates for heart disease, homicide, motor vehicle crashes, work-related injuries, the tuberculosiscase rate, syphilis case rate, and poor air quality.
- Presided Over Dramatic Public Health Improvements
These improvements increased life expectancy and decreased teenage pregnancy, smoking, and illicit drug use as well as cancer and HIV mortality rates. Through strong investments in public health, improvements in the economy, a major emphasis on research as well as other factors, the average life expectancy increased by over a year between 1993 and 2000, from 75.5 to 76.9; the teenage pregnancy rate fell nearly 20 percent from an all-time high in 1991 to a record low of 94.3 pregnancies per 1,000 teenage women; smoking rates among eighth graders dropped by 30 percent between 1996 and 2000; illicit drug use among 12-17-year-olds declined by 21 percent between 1997 and 1999; cancer death rates declined from 1993 to 1999 at a rate of slightly more than 1 percent per year; and HIV/AIDS mortality rates declined by about 70 percent between 1995 and 2000, from 16.3 to 5.2 deaths per 100,000.
- Promoted Reproductive Health
The Clinton Administration took strong steps to protect a woman’s right to choose and to promote safe reproductive health services for women. Steps included increasing domestic family planning funding by over 30 percent, to $254 million since 1993, and restoring cuts in international family planning funding made by the Republican Congress; reversing the gag rule; providing contraceptive coverage to more than a million women covered by federal health plans; standing up against attempts to prohibit the FDA from approving RU-486; and fighting restrictions on international family planning.
- Raised Child Immunization Rates and Reduced Infant Mortality to All-Time Low
Under the leadership of the Administration, childhood immunization rates reached all-time highs, with 90 percent or more of America's toddlers receiving the most critical vaccines by age two. 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. Immunization rates during the decade rose even more dramatically for poor children (by 16 percent) and for Hispanic children (by 18 percent). Infant mortality dropped by about 20 percent from about 1990 to 2000, from 8.9 to 6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.
- Ensured Safe Food for America's Families
Through the implementation of the President’s Council on Food Safety, the new science-based inspection system -- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points -- and the enactment of the Food Quality Protection Act, illnesses from bacterial food-borne pathogens decreased by 20 percent from 1997 to 1999. In addition, the prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry decreased by as much as 50 percent from 1996 to 1998.
- Enacted Historic Comprehensive FDA Reform That Expedited the Review and Approval of New Drug Products
Efficient management of the FDA, combined with the enactment of the 1997 FDA Modernization Act (FDAMA), reduced the average drug approval times from almost three years (at the beginning of the Administration), to less than twelve months, at the same time that the average number of approved drugs increased. FDAMA included important measures to modernize and streamline the regulation of biological products; increased patient access to experimental drugs and medical devices; and accelerated review of important new medications. This reform built on the administrative initiatives implemented under Vice President Gore’s reinventing government effort that have led U.S. drug approvals to be as fast or faster than any other industrialized nation.
- Implemented Comprehensive Nursing Home Quality Initiative
The Administration issued the toughest nursing home regulations in the history of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, including increased monitoring of nursing homes to ensure that they are in compliance; 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. The FY 2001 budget included a $32 million (68 percent) increase for the Nursing Home Initiative.
- Doubled Biomedical Research Funding
Increased research funding for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS. Research funding for the human genome project rose from $10.3 billion in 1993 to $20.3 billion in 2001.
- Contributed Half a Trillion Dollars to the Budget through Successfully Managing Federal Health Programs
Reduced federal health spending accounted for nearly one third of the major improvements in the projected federal budget outlook between 1993 and 2000. In addition to the success in managing Medicare’s growth (outlined above), Medicaid spending growth dropped by over one-third (from 11.8 percent to 7.5 percent). Spending growth per capita for both programs fell below that of the private sector with expenditures for these programs half a trillion dollars less than was projected when the Clinton Administration took office.
- Reduced Medicare Fraud and Waste
Since 1993, convictions went up over 40 percent. In 2000 alone, the HHS Inspector General recorded an estimated $1.2 billion in civil judgments, penalties, and fines. Excessive and improper Medicare payments were reduced by $60 billion since 1993.
- Enacted Reforms That Constrained Medicare Program Growth and Modernized Its Benefits
Signed into law and implemented management tools that contributed to Medicare spending growth dropping over 40 percent, from 10.3 percent in 1993 to 5.8 percent in 2000. As a consequence, Medicare premiums were 20 percent lower in 2000 than they were projected to be in 1993. As cost growth declined, new options for patient choice and preventive care were provided.
- Signed Legislation to End Drive-Through Deliveries
President Clinton 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.
- Signed Mental Health Parity Provisions into Law and Held First White House Conference on Mental Health
The legislation prohibited health plans from establishing separate lifetime and annual limits for mental health coverage. In 1999, the White House held the first-ever Conference on Mental Health and released the Surgeon General’s first Report on Mental Health. The FY2001 budget increased resources for the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse by 12 percent, providing nearly $3 billion.
- Extended Strong, Enforceable Patient Protections for Tens of Millions of Americans
The President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the then-proposed Patients’ Bill of Rights. As a result, 85 million Americans covered by federal health plans, Medicare, and Medicaid now have 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 to assure patient care if a patient’s health care provider is dropped; assurance that doctors and patients can openly discuss treatment options; access to a timely internal and independent external appeals process with a medical necessity standard.
- Enacted Landmark Health Insurance Reforms
The President signed into law the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which helps individuals keep health insurance when they change jobs, guarantees renewability of coverage, and ensures access to health insurance for small businesses. The bill also eliminated the discriminatory tax treatment of the approximately 10 million Americans who are self-employed; provided consumer protections and tax incentives for private long-term care insurance; and created authority to implement privacy protection and paperwork simplification regulations.
- Reversed the Uninsurance Trend Line by Increasing the Number of Americans with Health Insurance
The number of uninsured Americans declined by two million between 1998 and 2000, after increasing every year for 12 years.
- Expanded Health Care for Women with Cancer
In 2000, President Clinton enacted the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, which provided new treatment options to low-income, uninsured women with breast and cervical cancer who are diagnosed through federally sponsored screening programs. Women without health insurance are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than insured women, since they are less likely to get needed care.
- Led Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS
In 1999, the Administration established the Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic (LIFE) Initiative, an interagency effort to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS overseas. Under President Clinton, the U.S. tripled funding for international AIDS programs in just two years -- to $466 million in FY 2001 -- for prevention, care and treatment, and health infrastructure. In addition, President Clinton signed an Executive Order on May 10, 2000, to help make HIV/AIDS-related drugs and medical technologies more affordable and accessible in beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries. The Peace Corps began training of all 2,400 volunteers in Africa as AIDS educators.
- Significantly Increased Spending on HIV/AIDS
Domestic discretionary spending on HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and treatment increased by over 400 percent between FY 1993 and FY 2000 (from $2.1 billion to $8.5 billion).
- Enacted Worker Improvement Act to Permit People with Disabilities to Work Without Losing Health Insurance
The President enacted and implemented the Jeffords-Kennedy Work Incentives Improvement Act that created important new health insurance options for people with disabilities. It allowed states to offer a Medicaid buy-in for workers with disabilities and provided $150 million in grants to encourage states to take this option; established a new Medicaid buy-in demonstration to help people whose disability is not yet so severe that they cannot work; extended Medicare coverage for an additional four and a half years for people on disability insurance who return to work; and enhanced employment-related services for individuals with disabilities.
- Ensured Medical Privacy
President Clinton created new standards to apply to all electronic medical records and to all health plans to protected medical privacy. The standards greatly limit the release of private health information without consent. They require health plans to inform patients about how medical information is used and to whom it is disclosed, and they give patients the right to see their own health files and to request corrections. In addition, the standards require health plans and providers to strengthen internal safeguards and created new criminal and civil penalties for improper use or disclosure of the information.
- Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children Since 1965
The $48 billion State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) enacted in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 covered 4.6 million children by 2001. From 1999 to 2000 alone, the number of children covered increased by 70 percent.
- Extended the Life of the Medicare Trust Fund
When President Clinton took office, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999. When he left office, the life of the Trust Fund was extended until 2030. Medicare was in the soundest shape it had been in since 1975. And assets held by the Social Security Trust Fund went from $332 billion at the end of 1992 to $1,049 billion at the end of 2000.
- Enacted Most Comprehensive Medicare Reforms in History
In the 1997 Balanced Budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration protected, modernized, and extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund while offering new options for patient choice and preventive care, including coverage of annual mammograms, screening tests for both colorectal and cervical cancer, and a diabetes self-management benefit, which the American Diabetes Association labeled as the most important advance in diabetes care since the discovery of insulin. The President also proposed an optional prescription drug benefit affordable and available to all beneficiaries and a reserve fund to help Medicare beneficiaries with extremely high prescription drug costs, but Congress did not pass it.
- Issued Regulation That Reduces Health Care Red Tape and Accompanying Wasteful Costs
- Protection of Religious Freedom
- Signed the Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act of 1998
This act protected churches from bankruptcy trustees who sought to recover contributions made by organizations or individuals who filed for bankruptcy after the church had collected the contribution.
- Fought for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
This act was meant to scrutinize all cases involving general laws, whether federal or state, that placed an unnecessary burden on religion and religious individuals.
- Amendments to Hate Crimes in Military Code
Signed an executive order in 1999 amending the military criminal code by adding stronger penalties for crimes motivated by hatred based on religion.
- Signed Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996
The act amended an existing law prohibiting violence against churches by lowering the ten thousand dollar minimum damage requirement. Thus, more attacks could be prosecuted under federal jurisdiction.
- Signed Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act of 2000
This act protects religious freedom against state and local governments who imposea burden on religious exercise through zoning, landmark laws or the hindering of persons confined to certain institutions from exercising their religious freedoms.
- Issued Religious Guidelines for Public Schools in 1995
These guidelines contained information for parents, teachers, and faith communities on religious expression and on partnerships between schools and faith-based organizations.
- Historic Protection of Religious Freedom
Professor Rodney K. Smith, a First Amendment scholar, said President Clinton had done more for religious toleration and liberty than any President, with the exception of James Madison, the First Amendment’s author.
- Signed the Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act of 1998
- Science and Technology
- Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Programs
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child care more than doubled, helping parents pay for the care of about 1.75 million children in 2000, and the 1996 welfare reform law increased child care funding by $4 billion over six years to provide child care assistance to families moving from welfare to work. Funding for the Head Start program was doubled and Early Head Start was established for 3 year olds.
- Investing in Energy Research
As part of the Administration’s plan to reduce our nation’s reliance on oil and lower the nation’s fuel bills, the FY 2001 budget included increases for the Department of Energy’s domestic energy research and development programs: a $65 million increase for solar and renewable energy; $49 million (8 percent) for energy efficiency (including $13 million for hybrid vehicle or "supercar" research); and $111 million (27 percent) increase for fossil energy. It also included a $20 million increase at the Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency research and development. In 1993 the Administration established the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) with U.S. automakers and the U.S. Government to encourage and promote the development of more fuel-efficient cars. These initiatives help our nation achieve greater energy security, reduce pollution, and create new high-tech industries and jobs.
- Strengthening the Economy and National Security with Information Technology
President Clinton won a $424 million increase to $2 billion to help ensure that America leads the world in information technologies that predict tornadoes, design life-saving drugs, make air travel safer and more efficient, and maintain our nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing.
- Advanced America's Civil Space Program
Funded a new Space Launch Initiative to develop a new Reusable Launch Vehicle; invested in exploration of the solar system, including Mars; funded improvements in the Space Shuttle program; and secured agreements to build and maintain the International Space Station.
- Sustaining U.S. Leadership across the Scientific Frontiers
President Clinton won a $529 million increase in FY 2001 for the National Science Foundation - the largest increase ever - for a total investment of $4.4 billion. The budget boosted university based research and insured balanced support for all science and engineering disciplines. Increased investments will spur new discoveries in the fields of information technology, nanotechnology, biocomplexity, and other areas of fundamental science and engineering.
- Encouraged the Growth and Application of Nanotechnology
The President unveiled the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) as a key R&D effort in the Administration’s FY 2001 budget, proposing $497 million dollars for the initiative. Nanotechnology provides the potential for greater understanding and control over the fundamental building blocks of all physical things and holds great promise for new scientific discovery with relevance to manufacturing, healthcare, the environment, and national security.
- Promoted Individual Rights and Promoted Scientific Discovery
The Clinton-Gore Administration supported a strong structure to review the medical, ethical, and other issues presented by the expected new power of genetic medicine. The Administration proposed guidelines to protect intellectual property to promote rapid conversion of basic knowledge into useful applications, while at the same time allowing a maximum free flow of basic scientific information. The President called for legislation insurance themselves will not lose or be denied that health insurance because of their genetic makeup. Through his executive order, the President prohibited every civilian federal department and agency from using genetic information in any hiring or promotion action. President Clinton also endorsed the Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act of 1999, introduced by Senator Tom Daschle and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, to extend these employment protections to the private sector.
- Completion of the Sequencing of the Human Genome
Perhaps the most significant scientific advance in a century, President Clinton strongly supported genetic research in both the private and public sectors leading to the mapping of the human genome. Following this achievement President Clinton reiterated the commitment of the United States to robust federal support for basic scientific research, to translate the human genome sequence into useful products to improve human health, and for incentives to spur private research and development in these vital sectors.
- Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Programs
- The Strongest Economy in a Generation
- Lowest Child Poverty Since 1978
Under President Clinton child poverty dropped by 28.6 percent to 16.2 percent in 2000, the lowest child poverty rate since 1978. While still far too high, the African American child poverty rate fell by a third from 46.1percent in 1993 to a new low of 31.2 percent in 2000, (data collected since 1959). The Hispanic child poverty rate also fell by close to a third between 1993 and 2000 – from 40.9 percent to 28.4 percent, lower than it had been since 1979.
- Lowest Poverty Rates Since the 1970s
The poverty rate declined from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 11.3 percent in 2000, the largest seven-year drop in over 25 years (1965-1972). The poverty rate in 2000 was the lowest since 1974. The African American poverty rate was the lowest on record, and the rate for Hispanics matched it’s record low. The number of people living in poverty fell by 7.7 million between 1993 and 2000, 100 times more than in the Reagan Administration, when poverty declined by only 77,000.
- Saving Social Security
President Clinton coupled fiscal discipline with a commitment to preserve and protect Social Security. Thanks in part to an economic strategy of fiscal discipline, which created the conditions for the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, the life of the Social Security trust fund was extended until 2037.
- Record High Homeownership Rates
For the first time on record, more than 2/3 of households were homeowners. The homeownership rate reached 67.7 percent in 2000. Minority homeownership rates also reached new highs. By the end of 2000, there were almost 10 million more homeowners than there were in the beginning of 1993. 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.
- Lowest Unemployment in Over Three Decades
Unemployment dropped from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4 percent in 2000, the lowest in more than three decades. The unemployment rate fell in all eight years in which President Clinton was in office. Unemployment rates for both African Americans and Hispanics fell to their lowest levels on record in 1998, then continued to decline over the next two years.
- Family Income Reached Record Highs
Family income rose by $7,562, or 17 percent, between 1993 and 2000, after adjusting for inflation. There were seven straight years of income growth during the Clinton years, leading to an all time high in 2000. The median income of African American families increased by a third – $8,629 – to a record $34,616 in 2000. Median family income among Hispanics grew by $6,868, or 24 percent, to $35,403, also an all-time high.
- Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Over Three Decades
The United States had five consecutive years of real wage growth, after declining 4.3 percent during the two prior administrations. This represented the longest consecutive increase since a period in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
- Nearly 23 Million Jobs
22.9 million new jobs were created during President Clinton’s term in office, the most jobs ever created under a single administration, and 4.4 million more jobs than were created in the preceding 12 years. 91 percent (21 million) of new jobs were created in the private sector, a percentage as high as under any other President in 50 years. The economy added an average of 238,000 jobs per month, the highest under any President. By comparison, 52,000 jobs per month were created under President George H.W. Bush and 167,000 per month under President Reagan.
- Paying Down the National Debt
During fiscal year 2000, the government reduced its publicly held debt by $223 billion - the largest one-year debt pay down in American history. FY 2001 was the fourth consecutive year of debt reduction, bringing the four-year total to $453 billion. The public debt was $2.9 trillion lower in 2001 than was projected in 1993. Debt reduction brings real benefits for the American people because less borrowing by the federal government means lower interest rates for other borrowers. Thanks to lower interest rates, in 1999, for example, a family with a home mortgage of $100,000 paid roughly $2,000 per year less in mortgage payments, as well as reduced payments on car loans and student loans. Under President Clinton’s plan, the U.S. was on track to eliminate the nation’s publicly held debt by 2012 for the first time since Andrew Jackson was President.
- Moving from Record Deficits to Record Surplus
In 1992, the federal budget deficit was $290 billion. Thanks to the Economic Plan of 1993 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, by the year 2000, America had the largest ever federal surplus of $236 billion. President Clinton’s last four budgets marked the first four consecutive surpluses in a row in more than 70 years.
- Lowest Child Poverty Since 1978
- Welfare Reform and Community Empowerment
- A Strong Community Reinvestment Act
In 1993, at the request of President Clinton, the banking regulators reformed the regulation implementing the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to focus on performance, not paperwork. From 1993 to 1999, banks and thrifts subject to CRA made a staggering $800 billion in home mortgage, small business, and community development loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers and communities. CRA-covered lenders dramatically increased the proportion of their lending to these communities. From 1993-2000, the number of home mortgage loans to African Americans increased by 58%, to Hispanics by 62%, and to low and moderate-income borrowers by 38%. Though this law has been on the books since the 1970s, over 90% of all loans under the Community Reinvestment Act came during the 8 years of the Clinton-Gore Administration.
- Providing Incentives to Save
President Clinton signed legislation creating Individual Development Accounts. The accounts, a key part of his 1992 community empowerment agenda, provide incentives through federal matching funds for low-income families to save for a first home, higher education, or to start a new business. In FY1999, $10 million was awarded to establish savings accounts for over 10,000 lowincome workers in 40 communities, with an additional $10 million awarded in FY 2000. The President won $25 million in the FY 2001 budget to expand the IDA program. In the FY 2001 budget, the President also won bipartisan support for over $10 million to launch a new program, First Accounts, designed to bring more Americans into the financial services mainstream with access to low-cost banking accounts.
- Building Community Development Banks
In his 1992 campaign, President Clinton called for the creation of a nationwide network of community development banks. He created the Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to turn that dream into a reality. By 2000, the CDFI Fund issued nearly $300 million in grants, loans, equity investments, and technical assistance grants to locally-based community development financial institutions, and another $136 million in incentive awards to banks and thrifts, increasing their community development activities by some $2.4 billion.
- Expanding Investment in Urban and Rural Areas
The Clinton-Gore Administration created 40 Empowerment Zones (EZs) and more than 100 rural and urban Enterprise Communities, to help bring $10 billion in new private sector investment and thousands of new jobs for local residents. The President secured $70 million in funding for Rural and Urban Empowerment Zones in FY 2000 - after Congress initially provided no funding. The FY 2001 budget agreement extended and expanded the incentives in the existing EZs, as well as created nine new Round III Empowerment Zones for a total of 40.
- Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities with the New Markets Initiative
President Clinton's New Markets Initiative stimulated new private capital investments in economically distressed communities and built a network of private investment institutions to expand access to credit, equity, and technical assistance to businesses in America's new markets. President Clinton and House Speaker Dennis Hastert worked together to enact this bipartisan initiative as a part of the FY 2001 budget. The agreement included the extension and expansion of Empowerment Zones, a 40 percent increase in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to build an additional 700,000 units of affordable housing, the creation of the New Markets Tax Credit, the creation of New Markets Venture Capital Firms, the creation of 40 Renewal Communities, and a permanent brownfields cleanup tax incentive—totaling over $25 billion in new incentives for growth in low-income communities. The President traveled on three New Markets Tours of underserved communities, which helped generate more than $1 billion in private sector investment commitments. Through 2007, the NMTC will provide tax credits on up to $15 billion in new investments in businesses in underserved communities.
- Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work
The Clinton- Gore Administration provided $3 billion to move people who had been on welfare for long periods of time and low-income, non-custodial fathers into jobs; to help communities design innovative transportation solutions to assist low-income workers in getting to work; to give nearly 200,000 housing vouchers to help people on welfare and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities; and for a Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients.
- Lowest Percentage of Americans on Welfare in 37 Years as More Recipients Go to Work
President Clinton kept his promise to reform the welfare system and move more Americans from welfare to work. In 2000 the percentage of Americans on welfare reached its lowest level since 1961. Between January 1993 and June 2000, the number of people on welfare fell by 60 percent, from 14.1 million to 5.6 million. Over 900,000 went to work in 2000 alone, with 1.2 million and 1.3 million finding jobs in each of the previous years. The percentage of adults on welfare who were working reached 33 percent in 2000, five times as many as in 1992. June 1997, through the Welfare to Work Partnership launched by the President, more than 20,000 businesses hired 1.1 million welfare recipients.
- A Strong Community Reinvestment Act