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EIGHT YEARS OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY
Clinton-Gore Administration Accomplishments: 1993 - 2001
Eight years ago, President Clinton and Vice President Gore put in place an agenda to get America back on its economic feet while restoring the values of opportunity, responsibility and community that made this country great. As a result of the hard work of the American people and the tough choices of the last eight years, America has made remarkable progress. A sea of red ink has been turned into the largest surplus in history, with the nation on track to pay off the debt by 2010 while strengthening Social Security and Medicare, expanding retirement savings and increasing college opportunity. Eight years ago, unemployment, crime and poverty were all highs; now they are at all-time lows. Today, more Americans are working, children are receiving a better education with high academic standards, our communities are cleaner and safer, and government now reinforces values of work, family, service and community. Eight years of progress under the Clinton-Gore Administration have made a real difference in improving the lives of American families.
Economy: The Strongest Economy in a Generation
Longest Economic Expansion in U.S. History. In February 2000, the United States entered the 107th consecutive month of economic expansion – the longest economic expansion in history. [National Bureau of Economic Research and Council of Economic Advisors]
Moving From Record Deficits to Record Surplus. In 1992, the Federal budget deficit was $290 billion – the largest dollar deficit in American history. In January 1993, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would grow to $513 billion by 2001. The Office of Management and Budget is now projecting a surplus of at least $256 billion for FY 2001 – the fourth consecutive surplus and the ninth consecutive year of fiscal improvement, the longest such period in history. [Office of Management and Budget]
Paying Off the National Debt. Over the last three years, we have paid down $363 billion of the national debt. In December 2000, President Clinton announced that we are projected to pay down $237 billion in debt in 2001, bringing the four-year total to debt pay-down to $600 billion – the largest four-year debt pay-down ever. Debt reduction brings real benefits for the American people – a family with a home mortgage of $100,000 can expect to save roughly $2,000 per year in mortgage payments. Reduced debt also means lower interest rates and reduced payments on car loans and student loans. With the President’s plan, we are now on track to eliminate the nation’s publicly held debt by at least 2010.
More Than 22 Million New Jobs. 22.5 million new jobs have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single Administration – and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms. 92 percent (20.7 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the economy has added an average of 236,000 jobs per month, the highest of any President on record. This compares to 52,000 per month under President Bush and 167,000 per month under President Reagan. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Unemployment Is the Lowest in Over Three Decades. Unemployment is down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.0 percent in November 2000, nearly the lowest in more than three decades. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row, and has remained below 5 percent for 42 months in a row – over three full years. Unemployment for African-Americans fell to the lowest level ever recorded, and for Hispanics it remains at historic lows. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Over Three Decades. In the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased 4.0 percent. The United States has had five consecutive years of real wage growth -- the longest consecutive increase since the 1960s. Since 1993, real wages are up 6.8 percent, after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan and Bush years. [National Economic Council, 11/00]
Most Rapid Growth in Construction Jobs in 50 Years. After losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, 2.2 million new construction jobs have been added during the Clinton-Gore years – that’s a faster annual rate (5.4 percent) than any other Administration since Harry S. Truman was President.
Highest Homeownership Rate in History. The homeownership rate reached 67.7 percent in the third quarter of 2000, the highest ever recorded. Minority homeownership rates were also the highest ever recorded. There are almost 10 million more homeowners than in 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. [Bureau of the Census, 10/26/00]
Household Income Breaks $40,000 for First Time in History. Income for median households rose $1,072, or 2.7 percent, from $39,744 in 1998 to $40,816, marking an unprecedented fifth year of significant growth in income. In 1999, the median income of African American households increased from $25,911 in 1998 to $27,910 -- an increase of $1,999, or 7.7 percent, which is the largest one-year increase ever recorded. The median income of Hispanic households, adjusted for inflation, increased from $28,956 in 1998 to $30,735 in 1999 -- an increase of $1,779, or 6.1 percent, which is the largest one-year increase ever recorded. [Census Bureau, Money Income in the United States: 1999, 9/26/00]
Lowest Poverty Rate Since 1979. In 1999, the poverty rate dropped from 12.7 percent to 11.8 percent, the lowest rate in two decades. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore passed their Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate has declined from 15.1 percent to 11.8 percent in 1999 – the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years (1964-1970). There are now 7 million fewer people living in poverty than in 1993, and over 2.2 million, or over 30 percent, of this decline occurred during the past year. [Census Bureau, Poverty in the United States: 1999, 9/26/00]
Largest One-Year Drop in Child Poverty in More than Three Decades. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore child poverty has dropped by 25.6 percent -- from 22.7 percent in 1993 to 16.9 percent in 1999. While this is still too high, it is the lowest child poverty rate since 1979 and includes the largest one-year decline since 1966, which occurred from 1998 to 1999. The African American child poverty rate has fallen 28.2 percent since 1993, and dropped from 36.7 percent in 1998 to 33.1 percent in 1999 -- the largest one-year drop in history and the lowest level on record (data collected since 1959). The Hispanic child poverty rate has fallen by 26 percent since 1993, and dropped from 25.6 percent in 1998 to 22.8 percent in 1999 -- the lowest level since 1979. [Census Bureau, Poverty in the United States: 1999, 9/26/00]
Families and Communities: Strengthening America’s Working Families
Tax Cuts for Working Families. 15 million additional working families received additional tax relief because of the President’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. 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. In FY 2001, the President proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to an additional 6.8 million hard-pressed working families. [Good News for Low Income Families: Expansions in the EITC and Minimum Wage, CEA, 12/98; Census Bureau]
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, new born 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 35 million working Americans have taken leave for family and medical reasons since 1993. President Clinton has proposed expanding FMLA to allow workers to take up to 24 unpaid hours off each year for school and early childhood education activities, routine family medical care, and caring for an elderly relative. [Department of Labor]
Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Programs. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child care has more than doubled, helping parents pay for the care of about 1.5 million children in 1998, and the1996 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. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration have nearly doubled funding for the Head Start program, and in FY 2001, the program will serve approximately 936,000 children – more than 160,000 more children than in 1993.
Increased the Minimum Wage. The minimum wage has risen from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, increasing wages for 10 million workers. Full-time minimum wage workers would see a raise of $800 a year. [Good News for Low Income Families: Expansions in the EITC and Minimum Wage, CEA, 12/98]
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. The WIA empowered individuals by giving adults more control and choice over their training or retraining and providing universal access to core labor market services; streamlined job training services by consolidating a tangle of individual programs into a simple system and creating a nationwide network of One-Stop Career Centers; enhanced accountability through tough performance standards for states, localities, and training providers; and increased flexibility so that states can innovate and experiment with new ways to train America's workers better. All 50 states are now up and running and the number of One-Stops has reached 1,200 nationwide. [PL 105-220, 8/7/98]
Signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Clinton-Gore 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. In 1999, 46,000 foster care children were adopted – more than a 64 percent increase since 1996 and well on the way to meeting the President’s goal of doubling the number of adoptions from 28,000 in 1996 to 56,000 by 2002. [PL 105-89, 11/19/97; HHS Press Release, 9/20/00]
Putting Families First. The President and Vice President have made 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 protect our children from tobacco, and calling on Congress to affirm the FDA’s authority to implement this plan. They also required the installation of V-chips in all new televisions, and encouraged schools to adopt school uniform policies to deter school violence and promote discipline.
Supporting Community Service. In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed nearly 200,000 young people to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training. [Corporation for National Service Press Release, 10/16/99]
President Clinton’s One America Initiative. President Clinton has 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 has been 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 new White House Office on the President’s Initiative for One America. The office is working to ensure that we have a coordinated strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the underserved in this country, and build the One America we want for all of our nation’s children. The President’s FY 2001 budget includes $5 million for One America dialogues to promote and facilitate discussions on racial diversity and understanding. President Clinton has also appointed the most diverse Cabinet and White House staff in history, presiding over an Administration that looks like America. [FY 2001 Budget, p. 136]
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 by fighting for budget increases and publishing Council of Economic Advisors reports on the issue; and cutting the backlog at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by more than half.
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 July 1999, President Clinton became the first sitting President to visit a reservation since Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Clinton twice visited Indian Country as part of his New Markets Tours to encourage private investment Native American communities. The President and Vice President fought for a final FY 2001 budget that includes a total of $9.4 billion for key new and existing programs that assist Native Americans and Indian reservations. This total is an increase of $1.1 billion over Fiscal Year 2000 – the largest increase ever. This initiative brings together over a dozen agencies in order to address the needs of Native American communities comprehensively.
Welcoming New Americans. Since 1993, the United States has welcomed 4.4 million new American citizens. Faced with this unprecedented number of applications, the Clinton Administration undertook an initiative that has significantly reduced the backlog of citizenship applications and is restoring timely processing. Furthermore, the Administration’s English as a Second Language/Civics Education Initiative has provided limited English speaking adults with instruction in both English literacy and critical life skills necessary for effective citizenship and civic participation.
Providing Fairness for Legal Immigrants. President Clinton believes that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity and bear the same responsibility as other members of society. In 1997 and 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in restoring disability, health and nutritional benefits for certain legal immigrants, and he will continue to press for additional restorations. The President and Vice President have also taken executive actions to ensure that immigrants who are eligible for benefits are not deterred by language or other access barriers.
Education: More than Doubling Our Investment in Education
Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. President Clinton proposed and enacted the Hope Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits. In 1999, $7 billion in tax credits were claimed by an estimated 10 million American families paying for college. The Hope Scholarship helps make 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. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit provides a 20 percent tax credit on the first $5,000 of tuition and fees for students beyond the first two years of college, or taking classes part-time (in 2003, this increases to $10,000 of tuition and fees). [Education Department, 4/2/99; Treasury Department]
Expanding Work Study and Pell Grants. One million students can now work their way through college because of the President’s expansion of the Work Study Program, and nearly four million students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,750, the largest maximum award ever. The maximum award has increased by $1,450 under the Clinton-Gore Administration. The FY 2001 budget raised the maximum Pell Grant award from by $450 – the largest one-year increase since 1974, when the program was phased in. [Education Department, Office of Student Financial Assistance, Interim Performance Objectives, Final Report FY99; FY 2001 Budget, p. 50]
Making College More Affordable. The Clinton-Gore Administration has cut student fees and interest rates on all loans, expanded repayment options including income contingent repayment, and improved service through the Direct Loan Program. Students have saved more than $9 billion since 1993 through the reduction in loan fees and interest rates; the average $10,000 loan costs a student $1,300 less now than it did in 1993.
Established the GEAR UP College Opportunity Program for Middle School Children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created and expanded GEAR UP, a nationwide early college preparation initiative that is helping more than 1.2 million low-income middle school children succeed in school and prepare for college. They have also increased funding for the TRIO programs by 88 percent over the past eight years to $730 million.
More High-Quality Teachers with Smaller Class Sizes. The Clinton-Gore Administration won a third installment of $1.6 billion for the President’s plan to hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades, when children learn to read and master the basic skills. This is a $323 million increase over last year’s funding level, despite the fact that the Republican budget failed to dedicate funds for class-size reduction. Already, 29,000 teachers have been hired through this initiative, lowering class sizes for 1.7 million children. [Education Department, Local Success Stories - Reducing Class Size, 11/99]
Turning Around Failing Schools. About 13 million disadvantaged students in 14,000 school districts now benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards through Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students. In FY 2001 President Clinton won $225 million for the accountability fund he created to help turn around the lowest performing schools through such measures as overhauling curriculum, improving staffing, or even closing schools and reopening them as charter schools.
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. This initiative was a top priority of the President’s, but wasn’t in the earlier Republican budget passed by the House of Representatives. The budget also provides much-needed repair funds to Native American schools. cont
-- thruthteller (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 26, 2004
Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for 1.3 Million Students Each Year. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will provide enriching after-school and summer school opportunities for 1.3 million school-age children in rural and urban communities in FY 2001. Extended learning time has not only been shown to increase achievement in reading and math, but to decrease youth violence and drug use. Funding for this program more than doubled from FY 1999 to FY 2000, and nearly doubled again in FY 2001, with the President winning an 87 percent increase to ensure that more children in failing schools have access to the extended learning time they need to succeed.
Expanding Choice and Accountability in Public Schools. The Clinton-Gore Administration has 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 today. Charter schools now operate 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 and have the flexibility to offer innovative educational programs in exchange for greater accountability for student achievement.
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 -- 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. [Education Department, Challenging the Status Quo: The Education Record, 1993-2000, 4/00]
Expanding Access to Technology. With the Vice President’s leadership, the Clinton-Gore Administration has made increasing access to technology a top priority, increasing our investment in educational technology by over 3,600 percent – 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 President and Vice President created 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. Through the E-rate 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. In 1999, 95 percent of public schools were connected to the Internet -- up from just 35 percent in 1994. [National Center for Education Statistics, Stats in Brief NCES 2000-086, 2/00]
Supporting Local Education Reform Efforts. The President signed the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (Ed-Flex) into law in April 1999, giving states greater flexibility in the use of federal education funds in exchange for greater accountability for helping all students reach high academic standards. [PL 106-25, 4/29/99]
Providing Early Education to Nearly One Million Children with Head Start. The President and Vice President have more than doubled Head Start funding since 1993, from $2.8 billion to $6.2 billion. Head Start will reach approximately 936,000 low-income children in FY 2001, on track to reaching the President’s goal of serving one million children and their families by the year 2002. The Clinton Administration also created Early Head Start, bringing Head Start’s successful comprehensive services to families with children ages zero to three, and set high quality standards for both programs. [HHS, Administration of Children and Families]
Crime and Drugs: Lowest Crime Rates in 26 Years
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 has experienced the longest continuous drop in crime on record. 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. The violent crime rate fell 30 percent since 1993 and is at the lowest level in two decades. Since 1993, the murder rate is down more than 38 percent to its lowest point since 1966, and gun violence has declined by 40 percent. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998 National Crime Victimization Survey; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1998, 1999]
Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets. In 1999, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an additional 100,000 police officers for our communities. 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. [Justice Department, COPS Program, 5/12/99; National Economic Council, 11/18/99]
More Than 600,000 Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns. Since taking effect in 1994, the Brady Law has helped to prevent a total of more than 611,000 felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns. In November 1998, 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 -- not just for handguns. In the last two years, NICS has conducted over 17.5 million background checks on gun purchasers, and stopped nearly 300,000 illegal gun sales. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 1999, 6/00]
Cracking Down on the Most Serious Gun Criminals. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have established a tough records of enforcement of our nation’s gun laws by helping law enforcement take serious gun criminals out of our communities and put them where they belong: behind bars. The number of federal firearms cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys increased 16 percent, from 4,754 in 1992 to 5,500 in 1999. And, by providing federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools they need to crack down on gun criminals, overall gun prosecutions have increased 22 percent. In addition, the average sentence for federal gun offenders has increased by nearly two years, and federal law enforcement is successfully targeting the most serious gun offenders. Between 1992 and 1998, the number of federal gun defendants sentenced to prison for three years or more went up 20 percent, and the number sentenced to five years or more went up 12 percent. [Justice Department Press Release, 1/18/00]
Largest Gun Enforcement Initiative in History. President Clinton won nearly $200 million for his Gun Enforcement Initiative, the largest in history, to hire 500 ATF firearms agents and inspectors, fund over 600 federal state and local gun prosecutors and expand crime gun tracing and ballistics testing. The new ballistics testing system will help law enforcement use the unique "fingerprints" of bullets or shell casings left at the scene of a crime to identify gun criminals – even in the absence of a firearm.
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. It also established the National Domestic Violence hotline, which has already received over 558,000 calls. In 2000, the President and Vice President fought for the reauthorization and strengthening of VAWA. The President won $504 million in FY 2001 to combat domestic violence -- $289 million at the Department of Justice and $220 million at the Department of Health and Human Services. These funds will help communities to expand prevention efforts and enhance the safety of more victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Developed Comprehensive Anti-Drug Strategy Including a $195 Million National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The President appointed Barry McCaffrey, a four-star general, to lead the Clinton-Gore 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. The Campaign uses the full power of the modern media to encourage young people to reject drug use, and helps parents, teachers and other responsible adults talk to kids about drugs and get more involved in the lives of young people. Illicit drug use among young people age 12-17 declined or remained stable for four years in a row, and the average age of first-time use has gone up. Overall youth drug use is down by more than 20 percent, and youth marijuana use has declined by over 25 percent. Overall drug use is down since its peak in the 1970's, drug-related murders have fallen by 48 percent since 1992, and youth drug use is leveling off or declining. [Department of Health and Human Services Press Release 12/17/99, 8/31/00; HHS 2000 Monitoring the Future Survey, 12/14/00; SAMHSA, 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse]
Preventing Violence with the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative. Evidence shows that a comprehensive, integrated community-wide approach is an effective way to address the problems of school violence and alcohol and other drug abuse and promote healthy childhood. In 1998, President Clinton unveiled the Administration's Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative (SS/HS), 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 for to help combat youth violence. SS/HS has provided $146 million to 77 local education authorities who have established formal partnerships with local mental health and law enforcement agencies. This year, the President has called for a $100 million expansion of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative.
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. The President and Vice President also won two strong bipartisan, bicameral votes in favor of hate crimes legislation. [White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 11/10/97]
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. [White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 5/17/96]
Supervising Released Offenders. Two-thirds of all prisoners are re-arrested for new offenses within three years of release. To combat this problem, President Clinton secured funding in the FY 2001 budget for greater supervision of the 500,000 inmates who will leave prison this year and reenter communities in order to address community safety concerns, lower recidivism rates and promote responsible parenting. This initiative includes $95 million to create "reentry partnerships" and "reentry courts," as well as Responsible Reintegration for Young Offenders grants from the Department of Labor and substance abuse and mental health services through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Welfare Reform and Community Empowerment: Moving Millions of Americans from Welfare to Work
Lowest Percentage of Americans on Welfare in 37 Years as More Recipients Go to Work. President Clinton has kept his promise to reform the welfare system and move more Americans from welfare to work. The percentage of Americans on welfare is at its lowest level since 1963 as record numbers of people move from welfare to work. Since January 1993, the number of people on welfare has fallen by nearly 60 percent, from 14.1 million to 5.8 million. Approximately 1.2 million welfare recipients went to work in 1999 alone, and the percentage of adults still on welfare who were working reached 33 percent in 1999, five times as many as in 1992. Through the Welfare to Work Partnership launched by the President, more than 20,000 businesses have hired 1.1 million former welfare recipients since 1997. [HHS Administration for Children and Families, 8/00 and 12/00; White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 8/22/00]
Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act signed by President Clinton included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs. The President’s Access to Jobs initiative helps communities design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work. President Clinton has secured nearly 200,000 new housing vouchers in the last three years to help welfare recipients and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities. And the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients. [Domestic Policy Council]
Doubled Child Support Collections. 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 a record 1.5 million in 1999 – more than triple the number from 516,000 in 1992. The number of child support cases with collections more than doubled during the Clinton Administration, from 2.8 million in 1992 to 4.5 million in 1999. [Child Support Enforcement FY 1999 Preliminary Data Report, 10/00; HHS press release, 1/01]
Teen Births Down to the Lowest Rate on Record. The teen birth rate has fallen eight years in a row, dropping 20 percent from 1991 to 1999 to the lowest rate in the 60 years data on teen births have been recorded. The teen pregnancy rate is also at the lowest rate on record. To build on this progress, the President’s FY 2001 budget included funding for "second chance homes" for teen parents to reduce repeat pregnancies. [Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 1999; FY 2001 Budget, p. 66]
Child Abuse Declines for Five Years in a Row. The number of children abused and neglected has decreased approximately 11 percent from a record 1,018,692 in 1993. While this represents progress, President Clinton and Vice President Gore continue to work to protect the health and well-being of America’s children, and to end child abuse. [HHS Press Release, 4/10/00]
Expanding Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. Spurring economic development in distressed communities, the Clinton-Gore Administration has created 31 Empowerment Zones (EZs) and more than 100 Enterprise Communities (ECs), including 50 rural ECs, which are creating new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities. This would have a dramatic effect in the areas with high unemployment, weak economies, shortages of affordable housing and other problems. 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 extends and expands the incentives in the existing EZs, as well as creates nine new Round III Empowerment Zones for a total of 40.
-- thruthteller (email@example.com), January 26, 2004.
Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities with the New Markets Initiative. President Clinton’s New Markets Initiative will stimulate new private capital investments in economically distressed communities and build a network of private investment institutions to funnel credit, equity and technical assistance to businesses in America’s new markets. President Clinton and Speaker Hastert worked together to enact this bipartisan initiative as a part of the FY 2001 budget. The agreement includes extension and expansion of Empowerment Zones, an increase in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the creation of the New Markets Tax Credit, the creation of New Markets Venture Capital Firms, and the creation of 40 Renewal Communities. The President has taken three New Markets Tours of underserved communities, which have helped generate more than $1 billion in private sector investment commitments.
Providing Incentives to Save. President Clinton signed legislation creating Individual Development Accounts, providing incentives through federal matching funds for low-income families to save for a first home, higher education, or to start a new business, a key part of his 1992 community empowerment agenda. In FY 1999, $10 million was awarded to establish savings accounts for over 10,000 low-income 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. [FY 2001 Budget, p. 66; FY 2000 Budget, p. 82]
Health Care: Increasing Access and Improving the Nation’s Health
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. New preventive benefits passed include coverage of annual mammograms, coverage of screening tests for both colorectal and cervical cancer, and a diabetes self-management benefit. The President proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicare’s benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. The President has also proposed a reserve fund to help Medicare beneficiaries with extremely high prescription drug costs. [National Economic Council/Domestic Policy Committee, 7/2/99]
Extending the Life of the Medicare Trust Fund. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999. Now, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended until 2025. Medicare is now in the soundest shape it has been since 1975. [HHS Press Release, 3/30/00]
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965. The five year, $24 billion State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) will provide health care coverage for up to five million children. Two million children have already been enrolled, and in October 1999 President Clinton announced new outreach initiatives to enroll millions more uninsured, eligible children. Last year, the President launched a nationwide "Insure Kids Now" campaign that will bring together major TV and radio networks, healthcare organizations, religious groups and other community-based organizations to help enroll more children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, with the goal of enrolling 5 million of the estimated 10 million children eligible for health insurance under S-CHIP within 5 years. As of January 2001, approximately 3.3 million children nationwide were enrolled in S-CHIP.
Passed Meaningful Health Insurance Reform. The President signed into law the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which helps individuals keep health insurance when they change jobs, guarantees renewability of coverage, and ensures access to health insurance for small businesses. As many as 25 million people will benefit from this law. The bill also eliminated the discriminatory tax treatment the of the approximately 10 million Americans who are self-employed; strengthened efforts to combat health care fraud, waste and abuse by creating a stable source of funding; and provided consumer protections and tax incentives for private long-term care insurance. [FY 2000 Budget, p. 83; Domestic Policy Council]
More Americans Have Health Insurance. From 1998 to 1999, the number of Americans with health insurance rose by 1.7 million – two-thirds of them children. This is the first decline in the number of uninsured in 12 years. Factors contributing to the decline in the uninsured include the establishment of the historic S-CHIP program; the unprecedented outreach and enrollment efforts by the Administration and key states; and the improving economy in which increasing numbers of employers are offering health insurance. Despite historic gains, millions of Americans remain without insurance. The President and Vice President remain committed to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans. [Census Bureau, Health Insurance Coverage: 1999, 9/28/00]
Enacted Historic Comprehensive FDA Reform that Expedited the Review and Approval of New Drug Products. The President signed into law the 1997 FDA Modernization Act that includes important measures to modernize and streamline the regulation of biological products; increase patient access to experimental drugs and medical devices; and accelerate review of important new medications. This reform builds on the administrative initiatives implemented under the Vice President’s reinventing government effort which have led U.S. drug approvals to be as fast or faster than any other industrialized nation. Average drug approval times have dropped since the beginning of the Administration from almost three years to just over one year. [Domestic Policy Council]
Signed Mental Health Parity Provisions into Law. To help eliminate discrimination against individuals with mental illnesses, the President signed into law mental health parity provisions that prohibit 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 FY 2001 budget increases resources for the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse by 12 percent, providing nearly $3 billion. [FY 2001 Budget, p. 246]
Expanded Health Care for Women with Cancer. 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. 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.
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. [Presidential Statement, 9/26/96]
Extended Strong, Enforceable Patient Protections for Millions of Americans. Leading by example, the President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the proposed Patients’ Bill of Rights. 85 million Americans covered by federal health plans, and Medicare and Medicaid, have the security of knowing they will have fair access to health care thanks to the President’s work. The President and Vice President have called for passage of the bipartisan Patients’ Bill of Rights Act, to ensure that all Americans have essential protections, such as 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; access to a timely internal and independent external appeals process with a medical necessity standard; assurance that doctors and patients can openly discuss treatment options; and an enforcement mechanism that ensures recourse for patients who have been harmed as a result of health plan actions. [FY 2000 Budget, p. 85]
Fighting Medicare Fraud and Waste. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore 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. The Balanced Budget Act gave an array of new weapons in our fight to keep scam artists and fly-by-night health care out of Medicare and Medicaid. [Domestic Policy Council, Health Care Achievements]
Released Strong New Protections for the Privacy of Electronic Medical Records. The Clinton-Gore Administration released a new regulation to protect the privacy of electronic medical records held by health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. This rule would limit the use and release of private health information without consent; restrict the disclosure of protected health information to the minimum amount of information necessary; establish new requirements for disclosure of information to researchers and others seeking access to health records; and establish new administrative and criminal sanctions for the improper use or disclosure of private information. [Domestic Policy Council]
Implementing Comprehensive Nursing Home Quality Initiative. The Clinton-Gore Administration has 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 includes a $32 million (68 percent) increase for the Nursing Home Initiative, which ensures more rigorous inspections of nursing facilities and improves federal oversight of nursing home quality. [HHS Fact Sheet, 12/14/99]
Ensuring Safe Food for America’s Families. President Clinton created the President’s Council on Food Safety to develop a comprehensive food safety strategic plan for federal agencies. The Clinton-Gore Administration has implemented a new science-based inspection system -- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points -- and reduced the prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry by as much as 50 percent. The President signed the Food Quality Protection Act, which included special safeguards for kids and strengthened laws governing pesticides and food safety. The Administration also issued new rules to prevent foodborne illness caused by pathogens such as E. coli. [Executive Order 13100, 8/25/98; USDA Press Release, 10/7/99; USDA Press Release, 10/7/99]
Raised Child Immunization Rates to All Time High. Childhood immunization coverage rates in 1998 were the highest ever recorded. 90 percent of toddlers in 1996, 1997 and 1998 received the most critical doses of each of the routinely recommended vaccines, surpassing the President’s 1993 goal. Because childhood vaccination levels in the United States are at an all-time high, disease and death from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and Hib are at or near record lows. There was only one reported case of diphtheria, 100 reported cases of measles, and no reported cases of wild poliovirus in 1998. [HHS Fact Sheet, 9/23/99; HHS Fact Sheet, 12/31/99]
Promoting Reproductive Health. The Clinton-Gore Administration has taken strong steps to protect a woman’s right to choose and to promote safe reproductive health services for women. The President has secured historic increases in domestic and international family planning funding; reversed the gag rule; provided contraceptive coverage to more than a million women covered by federal health plans; stood up against attempts to prohibit the FDA from approving RU-486; and fought restrictions on international family planning. [Domestic Policy Council]
Environment: Growing the Economy And Improving the Environment
Preserving Our National Treasures. The Clinton-Gore Administration has protected tens of millions of acres, from the red rock canyons of Utah to the Florida Everglades. The Administration reached agreements to protect Yellowstone from mining and save the ancient redwoods of California’s Headwaters Forest. In the FY 2001 budget, the President and Vice President secured dedicated conservation funding totaling $12 billion over six years which will more than triple the current funding for programs that will strengthen federal efforts to preserve national treasures and provides communities with new resources to protect local green spaces. [Protecting Our National Treasures, Department of Interior; National Economic Council, 11/18/99]
Created Eleven New National Monuments. The Clinton-Gore Administration has created eleven new national monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante, protecting spectacular red rock canyonlands in Utah; Grand Canyon-Parashant, protecting deep canyons, mountains and buttes on the north rim of the Grand Canyon; Agua Fria, protecting extensive prehistoric ruins in Arizona; the California Coastal monument, protecting thousands of islands, rocks and reefs along the California coast; Giant Sequoia National Monument in California’s Sierra Nevada, protecting 34 groves of ancient sequoias, the largest trees on earth; Canyons of the Ancients National Monument protecting America’s highest density of archeological sites in southwest Colorado; Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument protecting unmatched biological diversity in the Cascade Range in southern Oregon; Hanford Reach National Monument protecting critical habitat for salmon spawning along one of the last free-flowing stretches of the Columbia River in south central Washington; Ironwood Forest National Monument protecting rich stands of ironwood trees – known to live more than 800 years -- in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona; Vermillion Cliffs National Monument on the Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona is a geologic and historical treasure; The Administration also expanded Pinnacles National Monument in California to better protect the area’s unusual rock formations, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho to increase protection of the diverse lava terrain that covers the southern Snake River Plain, and designated Anderson Cottage, which served as Abraham Lincoln’s summer home while he was president, a national monument. [Presidential Proclamations, 9/18/96, 1/11/00, 6/9/00, 7/7/00]
-- thruthteller (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 26, 2004.
Preserving Our National Forests. The President directed the National Forest Service to develop and propose regulations to provide long-term protection for 40 million acres of roadless areas within national forests and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the pristine wilderness. On January 5, 2001, President Clinton announced a comprehensive strategy to protect 58.5 million acres of pristine forestland – nearly one-third of America’s national forests. The new rule will ban road building in these areas and could also prohibit logging or other activities that harm their unique ecological value. [Executive Memorandum, 10/13/99]
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. The Clinton-Gore Administration has completed clean up at 608 Superfund sites, more than three times as many as completed in the previous twelve years. Clean up of more than 91 percent of all sites is either completed or in progress. The Administration’s brownfields redevelopment initiative has leveraged more than $2.8 billion in private sector investment and generated 7,300 jobs. For every dollar the federal, state and local governments put into revitalizing brownfields, almost $2.50 in private investment is attracted. [Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund NPL Construction Completions Since 1/20/93 to 6/22/99; EPA Headlines, www.epa.gov, 8/24/00]
Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. The President proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that our families have healthy, clean tap water. The Clinton-Gore Administration has required America’s 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water. The Administration has adopted or proposed new standards to provide the first-ever protection against waterborne illness like Cryptosporidium, potentially preventing more than half a million illnesses each year. The Administration also proposed new rule to reduce dirty runoff and strengthen protections for 20,000 rivers, lakes and other waterways too polluted for swimming and fishing. Eighty-nine percent of America’s tap water from community drinking water systems now meets all federal standards. [PL 104-182, 8/6/96; White House, Council on Environmental Quality, 4/22/99; Environmental Protection Agency, Summary of the 2000 Budget, p. 30; Environmental Protection Agency, Press Release, 5/24/00]
Clearing the Air of Unhealthy Pollution. The President and Vice President have adopted the toughest standards ever on soot and smog. They proposed significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and SUVs, and heavy duty trucks and buses, and launched long-term effort to restore pristine skies over our national parks and wilderness areas. Since 1993, the number of Americans living in communities that meet federal air quality standards has grown by 43 million. [White House, Council on Environmental Quality, 5/1/99]
Reducing the Threat of Global Warming. The Clinton-Gore Administration negotiated an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound way. The President and Vice President 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. The President issued several Executive Orders. The first Order directs agencies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, saving taxpayers over $750 million a year when fully implemented. The second Order improves fuel efficiency by requiring the Federal government to reduce fuel use in its vehicle fleets by 20 percent in five years. The third Order offers federal workers incentives to use public transportation, cutting fuel use and the pollution that contributes to climate change. President Clinton 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. [EPA; National Economic Council, 11/18/99; Executive Memorandum, 8/12/99; Executive Order, 6/3/99; Executive Order, 4/22/00]
Protecting Oceans and Coasts. The Clinton-Gore Administration extended the moratorium on new oil leasing off most of the U.S. coast through 2012, and permanently barred new leasing in national marine sanctuaries. They directed the development of key recommendations for strengthening federal oceans policy for the 21st century and appointed a high-level task force to oversee the implementation of those recommendations and launched a new era of ocean exploration where federal researchers will collaborate with marine research institutions and universities for ocean exploration. The President and Vice President secured a funding increase of over 100 percent to better support national marine sanctuaries, and have led the world in calling for a global ban on ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste. [White House Executive Order 5/26/00, Office of the Press Secretary, 6/12/98; Executive Order 6/11/98; Office of the Press Secretary 11/3/93]
Created the Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. In December, 2000, President Clinton signed an Executive Order creating the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve covering 84 million acres, the largest U.S. protected area, and second in size worldwide only to the Great Barrier Reef National Park in Australia.
Science and Technology: A Strong Research and Development Agenda
Unprecedented Investment in Biomedical Research. In 2001, the National Institutes of Health will receive a $2.5 billion increase over last year to broaden research on diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and brain disorders, and disease prevention strategies and vaccines. NIH resources have 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.
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 boosts university-based research and insure balanced support for all science and engineering disciplines. Increased investments will spur new discoveries in the fields of information technology, nanotechnology, biocompexity, and other areas of fundamental science and engineering.
Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space Science and Exploration. The Clinton-Gore Administration won a $684 million increase, bringing the total to $14.3 billion, for NASA in FY 2001. These resources will help NASA meet its human space flight needs more safely and at lower cost through a new generation of space launch vehicles and enable it to establish a sustained human presence in earth orbit and a robotic presence on Mars.
Strengthening the Economy and National Security with Information Technology. The Clinton Administration 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, and make air travel safer and more efficient, and maintain our nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing.
Investing in Energy Research. As part of the Clinton-Gore plan to reduce our nation’s reliance on oil and lower the nation’s fuel bills, the FY 2001 budget includes 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 includes a $20 million increase at the Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency research and development. These initiatives will help our nation achieve greater energy security, reduce pollution, and create new high-tech industries and jobs.
Changing the Way Government Does Business: Doing More for Less
Results from the Reinventing Government Initiative. Overall, the Vice President’s National Performance Review recommended and Congress adopted savings of about $136 billion since 1993. [National Performance Review, Accomplishments Fact Sheet]
Smallest Federal Civilian Workforce in 40 Years. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the Federal workforce has been cut by 377,000 – nearly a fifth – and is now lower than any time since 1960. [National Partnership for Reinventing Government, Accomplishments Fact Sheet; National Economic Council, 6/26/00]
Lowest Federal Spending as a Share of the Economy Since 1966. The spending restraint under President Clinton has brought government spending down from 22.2 percent of GDP in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent of GDP in 2000 – the lowest since 1966. At the same time, President Clinton has increased investments in education, technology and other areas that are vital to growth. [National Economic Council, 6/26/00]
Slowest Per Capita Growth of Government Spending Since the 1950’s. During the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal spending – on a per capita basis – grew at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower Administration, not including inflation. [National Performance Review, Accomplishments Fact Sheet]
Increasing Participation in Our Democracy with 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. [Presidential Statement, 5/20/93; FEC, 6/99; FEC, 6/97]
Foreign Policy: World’s Strongest Force for Peace, Freedom and Prosperity
Promoting Peace and Strengthening Democracy
Advancing peace in the Middle East by hosting the Camp David Summit between Israelis and Palestinians, which constituted the first high-level discussions of all permanent status issues; brokering peace agreements between Israel and its other neighbors, including the Palestinians and Jordan; negotiating the Wye River Accords; and revitalizing peace talks between the Syrians and Israelis. Stabilizing Southeast Europe by ending a decade of repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo through leading NATO alliance to victory in air campaign and ushering in international peacekeepers, and by launching the Stability Pact to strengthen democracy, economic development and security throughout the region and accelerating its integration with the rest of Europe Helped broker the Good Friday Peace Accord in Northern Ireland, ending decades of bloodshed and empowering the people of Northern Ireland to determine their future. Led diplomatic efforts to end the war and foster democracy in Bosnia. Restored democratic government in Haiti, ending military dictatorship and stopping refugee flows. Supporting transitions to democracy in South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Central Europe and the Baltics and supporting the mediation of peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and Ethiopia-Eritrea. Helped end violence and protected democracy in East Timor by leading diplomatic efforts and supporting international peacekeeping mission. Helped settle the Peru-Ecuador border dispute and end civil war in Guatemala. Pressing for human rights and religious freedom worldwide, including in China, Burma and Sudan. Helped re-start UN-sponsored talks toward a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus.
Protecting Americans from weapons of mass destruction by working to reduce Russian nuclear arsenals through implementation of strategic arms control agreements (START) and cooperative threat reduction programs, permanently eliminating nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, easing nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, signing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and achieving the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Enhancing military stability in Europe by successfully concluding the adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. Combating terrorism by developing a national counter-terrorism strategy, appointing a national coordinator and implementing an international program against terrorist groups, including Usama bin Laden’s al-Qida organization. Waging war on drugs by intensifying interdiction efforts, strengthening cooperation with allies, cracking down on drug lords and providing $1.3 billion in assistance for Colombia. Reducing North Korean threat through deterrence, including the forward deployment of 37,000 U.S. troops; diplomacy, including bilateral talks leading to a moratorium on long-range missile testing; and non-proliferation, including the eventual dismantling of North Korea’s dangerous nuclear facilities. Containing Iraq while working toward regime change through deterrence, economic sanctions, humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people from the oil-for-food program, and support for opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime. Addressing new threats by protecting America’s critical infrastructure from cyber-terrorism and biological and chemical weapons. Discussed development of a limited national missile defense to protect against attacks from states that threaten international peace and security while preserving strategic stability with Russia. Strengthening military readiness and modernizing our armed forces. Combating trafficking in persons, especially women and children, through the development of an integrated strategy that focuses on prevention, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of and assistance to victims. Fighting proliferation by improving controls over Russian fissile materials, and by funding legitimate employment opportunities for former Russian nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons researchers and institutes as an alternative to selling their skills abroad. Negotiating a protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, banning antipersonnel landmines that do not self-destruct and self-deactivate, signed by all the major mine-producing nations. Waging war on international crime by strengthening U.S. law enforcement programs and bilateral, regional and global cooperation related to drug trafficking, money laundering and other international organized crime and by providing $1.3 billion in additional funding for critical counter-drug and related initiatives throughout the Andean Region. Mobilizing leadership and resources – including the development of new vaccines – to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which threaten development, economic growth, stability and security.
Strengthening Alliances and Building Partnerships
Fulfilling vision of an undivided, democratic and peaceful Europe by enlarging NATO, integrating Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic and Southeast Europe, and strengthening NATO’s partnerships with Russia, Ukraine and the other New Independent States. Building a more constructive relationship with China through engagement and frank dialogue, leading to cooperation on non-proliferation and regional security, economics and trade and environmental protection. Deepening security alliance with Japan through adoption of Defense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration. Strengthening cooperation with South Korea through jointly offered Four Party Peace Talks with North Korea and the establishment of Trilateral Consultation and Oversight Group to coordinate North Korea policy. Supporting democracy, human rights, and market economies in Russia, Ukraine, and the countries of the former Soviet Union and promoting their international integration Secured landmark agreements to develop oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian region, strengthening ties in the region and ensuring Americans have continued access to vital natural resources. Expanding trade and strengthening democracy in Asia and Latin America through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the Summit of the Americas, and the Organization of American States. Strengthening ties with Africa by launching the new Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity, achieving passage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and supporting the Africa Crisis Response Initiative and other regional peacekeeping efforts. Preserved U.S. leadership role at the United Nations by reaching agreement with Congress that would enable us to pay more than half a billion dollars in back dues. Deepened security ties with the Philippines through adoption of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Opening markets for U.S. exports abroad and creating American jobs through NAFTA, GATT and nearly 300 other free and fair trade agreements. Integrating China into the world economy through landmark agreement for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization that opens markets to U.S. exports, slashes Chinese tariffs, and protects American workers from dumping. Established World Trade Organization to reduce tariffs, settle trade disputes, and enforce rules. Reduced the possibility that a future Asian financial crisis would undermine America’s prosperity by promoting structural reform -- including sound monetary policies, urging banking reforms and fighting corruption abroad. Stimulating worldwide growth through support for the IMF and G-8 global economic strategy. Assisted Mexico’s economic recovery with $20 billion in emergency support loans. Forgave $500 million in African debt, announced initiative to link debt relief to health and education investments, and forged agreement among G-8 industrialized countries to provide additional debt relief. Helped to overcome the Asian financial crisis through support for multilateral and bilateral efforts and through keeping America’s markets open at a critical juncture. Helped facilitate disaster relief and reconstruction in Central American countries affected by Hurricane Mitch, committing $940 million to economic reactivation, education, public health, and future mitigation. Helped Brazil avert financial crisis by backing $41.5 billion international support package.
[National Security Council]
-- thruthteller (email@example.com), January 26, 2004.