Working on Behalf of Asian Pacific Americans
Expanding Economic Opportunity
Moving From Record Deficits to Record Surplus. In 1992, the deficit was $290 billion, a record dollar high. In 2000, we have a projected budget surplus of $167 billion -- the largest dollar surplus on record (even after adjusting for inflation) and the largest as a share of our economy since 1951. This is the first time we have had three surpluses in a row in more than a half century.
Saving Social Security. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have coupled fiscal discipline with a commitment to preserve and protect Social Security. President Clinton has pushed to eliminate the confusing and out-dated Retirement Earnings Test in order to encourage work and earnings for older Americans. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the life of the Social Security trust fund has been extended to 2034. President Clinton has proposed extending the program's solvency to at least 2054 by paying down the national debt and dedicating the interest savings to Social Security. The President has also pushed for measures to strengthen Social Security's benefits to reduce poverty among elderly women. These steps would be a down payment on truly saving Social Security.
Over 21 Million New Jobs. 21.2 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 (19.4 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years.
Unemployment Is the Lowest in Three Decades. Unemployment is down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.1 percent in March. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row, and has remained below 5 percent for 33 months in a row.
Lowest Inflation Since 1965. Inflation remains virtually non-existent, with the underlying core rate of inflation at 1.9 percent in 1999 -- the lowest rate since 1965. In the last four years the GDP price index has risen under two percent each year -- the lowest rate of increase since the early 1960s.
Strong Private Sector Growth. The private sector of the economy has grown 4.4 percent annually since 1993, compared to 3.4 percent under President Reagan and 1.8 percent under President Bush.
High Median Household Income for Asian Pacific Americans. In 1998, the median household income for Asian Pacific Americans was $46,600 - higher than the national median income.
Tax Cuts For Working Families. President Clinton's 1993 Economic Plan provided tax cuts to 15 million hard-pressed working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The average family with two children who received the EITC received a tax cut of $1,026. In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million Americans out of poverty. This year the President has proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to 6.8 million additional working families.
Minimum Wage Increased. The President raised the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour. This year, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have called on Congress to pass an additional $1.00 per hour increase in the minimum wage.
Asian Pacific American Poverty Declines. The poverty rate of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has declined from 15.3 percent in 1993 to 12.5 percent in 1998. While this marks significant progress, President Clinton will continue to fight for policies that help to raise incomes and reduce poverty.
Highest Homeownership Rate in History. There are more than 7 million new homeowners since the President and Vice President took office.
Over Three and a Half Times the Number of Small Business Loans. Between 1993 and 2000 the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved more than 30,200 loans to Asian Pacific American entrepreneurs under the 7(a), 504, and Microloan programs [as of 3/17/00]. In 1999 alone, the SBA granted 5,655 loans worth over $2.1 billion to Asian Pacific American businesses, more than three and a half times the number of loans granted in 1992.
Ensuring Minority Business Owners Have a Fair Opportunity to Compete. The President signed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century into law on June 9, 1998. The Act protects the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, a program that ensures that minority and women-owned businesses have an opportunity to compete for transportation projects. The Administration helped defeat an amendment to the House version of this bill that would have eliminated the DBE Program. In a different measure, the President also approved the creation of a new program to target assistance to minority-owned businesses in industries that continue to reflect the effects of discrimination. As a result, thousands of minority-owned businesses will be able to compete more effectively for government contracts.
Expanding Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. Spurring economic development in distressed communities, the Clinton-Gore Administration has created 31 Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities, including 20 rural Enterprise Communities that are creating new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities. The President won $70 million in funding for Rural and Urban Empowerment Zones in FY 2000 -- after Congress initially provided no funding.
Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities with the New Markets Initiative. President Clinton's New Markets Initiative is helping to bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy by prompting approximately $15 billion in new investment in urban and rural areas. In the FY 2000 budget, President Clinton won $20 million in funding for America's Private Investment Companies, and $16.5 million in funding for the New Markets Venture Capitol Program -- two key elements of the New Markets Initiative. The President's FY 2001 budget provides tax credits and loans guarantee incentives to stimulate $22 billion in new investment in urban and rural areas.
Expanding Access to Capital with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Proposed and signed into law by the President in 1994, the CDFI Fund, through grants, loans and equity investments, is helping to create a network of community development financial institutions in distressed areas across the United States. In FY 1999, funding was increased 19 percent to $95 million from $80 million. President Clinton successfully worked to maintain that investment in FY 2000. In FY 2001, the President is proposing $125 million.
Closing the Digital Divide. Access to computers and the Internet is becoming increasingly important in American life, but there is a growing "digital divide" between those who have access to information technology and those who do not. Increasing access to technology and bridging that digital divide has been a top priority for President Clinton and Vice President Gore. To help make access to computers and the Internet as universal as the telephone, the Clinton-Gore Administration is proposing a comprehensive initiative to bridge the digital divide and create new opportunity for all Americans. Their FY 2001 budget includes proposals to: broaden access to technologies such as computers, the Internet, and high-speed networks; provide people the skilled teachers and the training they need to master the information economy; and promote online content and applications that will help empower all Americans to use new technologies to their fullest potential.
Taking Executive Action to Bridge the Digital Divide. In December 1999, President Clinton directed the Cabinet to take specific actions to close the digital divide, such as expanding Community Technology Centers in low-income neighborhoods, continuing to measure the extent of the digital divide, and helping low-income workers gain the skills needed to compete for high-paying information technology jobs. The President also announced the launch of the Digital Divide Network, an Internet-based information clearinghouse on public and private efforts to bring technology to underserved communities; and the formation of the Digital Opportunity Partnership, an alliance between the private sector and civil and human rights organizations to bring high technology to the doorstep of nonprofit organizations. He also announced a commitment by the Congress of National Black Churches to make the digital divide a top civil rights priority.
Working on Behalf of Minority Farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to strengthen programs and increase outreach targeted to underserved communities, including increasing its lending to minority and women producers. Lending to socially disadvantaged farmers increased by 44 percent last year, from $186 million in 1998 to $269 million in 1999.
International Business Affairs
Facing the Challenges of the Global Economy. The President's strategy of fiscal discipline, investment in our people, and open trade is working for America. For the U.S. economy to continue to prosper, the economies of the world need to rebound from their recent difficulties. The United States is working with other leading nations to intensify efforts to speed economic recovery in Asia.
Expanding Exports and Creating Jobs. Since President Clinton took office, the Administration has concluded over 270 new trade agreements. This export expansion has accounted for more than one-quarter of the record U.S. economic growth between 1992 and 1998 and has helped created jobs that, on average, pay 15 percent more than non-export related jobs. Thirty percent of U.S. exports go to Asia; this country exports more goods to Asia than Europe.
Created Three Major Global Trade Agreements In the World Trade Organization. In the last year, this Administration completed a "trifecta" of three major global trade agreements in the World Trade Organization: the Information Technology Agreement covering $500 billion in global trade and more than $100 billion in U.S. exports, the global telecommunications services agreement (which will create more than a million jobs in the next ten years) and the financial services accord (which covers 95 percent of the global financial services market). Together, these initiatives cover trade totaling more than $1 trillion annually.
Historic U.S.-China Trade Agreement. After 13 years of negotiation, the Clinton Administration reached an historic trade agreement that will open China's markets to American goods and hold the Chinese government to international standards. The agreement will significantly lower Chinese tariffs, and ensure fair treatment for both American businesses in China and American workers here at home. The agreement is a crucial step toward China's accession into the World Trade Organization.
Eliminated Barriers To Open Trade In Asia Pacific Nations From Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. Secured commitments from Asian Pacific nations to eliminate barriers to open trade in the region by 2020 for developing countries and 2010 for industrialized countries. Over the next two years, 15 sectors will be identified for tariff reductions, including energy products and services, environmental technologies and services, natural resources, medical equipment, telecommunications, gems and jewelry.
Fighting For Equal Opportunity
Building One America. The President has led the nation in an effort to become One America in the 21st Century: a place where we respect others' differences and, at the same time, embrace the common values that unite us. Angela Oh served on the Advisory Board to the President's Initiative on Race, which the President charged with overseeing this effort. The President, the Administration and the Advisory Board were actively involved in public outreach efforts -- including holding numerous public meetings and town halls -- to engage Americans across the nation in this historic effort. One of the critical elements of the President's Initiative on Race was identifying, highlighting and sharing with the nation promising local and national efforts to promote racial reconciliation. The Advisory Board presented their final report to the President on September 18, 1998, and recommended that conversations on race continue. President Clinton appointed Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office on the President's Initiative for One America, a new office the President created to follow up on the work of his Initiative on Race. The President's FY 2001 budget includes $5 million for One America dialogues to promote and facilitate discussions on racial diversity and understanding.
An Administration that Looks like One America. President Clinton has appointed the most diverse Administration in history, with more Asian Pacific American appointees than any other President. Appointees include: Bill Lann Lee, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Department of Justice; Nancy Ann-Min DeParle, Administrator of the Health Care Finance Administration, Department of Health and Human Services; Robert Wayne Gee, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Department of Energy; Paul Igasaki, Vice Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Rose Ochi, Director, Office of Community Relations, Department of Justice; Donna Tanoue, Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Jeanette Takamura, Assistant Secretary for Aging, Department of Health & Human Services; Phyllis Fong, Inspector General, Small Business Administration; and Raj Reddy, Co-Chair, President's Information Technology Advisory Committee. Asian Pacific Americans serving on the President's staff at the White House include Maria Haley, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Presidential Personnel; Eric Liu, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council; Laura Efurd, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Public Liaison; and Shamina Singh, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Increasing the Number of Judicial Appointments. President Clinton has nominated more Asian Pacific Americans to the federal bench than any other Administration. His judicial appointments include the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima, Judge, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court and District Court judges Denny Chin, Anthony Ishii, George King, and Susan Oki Mollway.
Improving the Quality of Life of Asian Pacific Americans. In June 1999, the Clinton-Gore Administration issued an Executive Order dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Pacific Americans, the first of its kind ever issued. The Executive Order established the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and an interagency working group called the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to advise the President on ways to better serve Asian Pacific Americans by increasing their participation in Federal programs. The Initiative is also working to increase public sector, private sector, and community involvement in improving the health of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Ordered an Assessment of Affirmative Action Programs. The President ordered a comprehensive review of the government's affirmative action programs which concluded that affirmative action is still an effective and important tool to expand educational and economic opportunity to all Americans. This review of federal affirmative action programs has helped to ensure that these programs are fair and effective and that they can survive legal challenges. As a result, programs that benefit women and minorities, including students, working men and women, and business owners, remain in effect and are more likely to be upheld by the courts.
Working to Expand Civil Rights Enforcement. In FY 2000, the President won a six percent increase in funding for federal civil rights enforcement agencies including $82 million for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, a 19 percent increase. And this year, President Clinton has proposed $698 million for civil rights enforcement -- a 13 percent increase -- to prosecute criminal civil rights cases (including hate crimes and police misconduct), enforce the American with Disabilities Act, pursue Equal Employment Opportunity Commission employment actions and prevent housing discrimination, and other civil rights enforcement efforts.
Opposed California Proposition 209 and Similar Measures. The Clinton-Gore Administration strongly opposes state and local initiatives to eliminate affirmative action programs that expand opportunities for Asian Pacific Americans and others. The Administration opposed Proposition 209 in California and filed amicus briefs opposing Proposition 209, which currently prohibits state affirmative action programs. The Clinton Administration opposed a similar initiative in Houston, which was defeated and is currently opposing an initiative in Washington that is similar to Proposition 209. In all these cases, representatives of the administration have spoken out strongly against these initiatives as unfair and a barrier to equality.
Opposed California Proposition 187. The Administration opposed California's Proposition 187, which would have made illegal immigrants ineligible for public school education at all levels and ineligible for public health care services.
Ensuring Election Fairness. The Clinton Administration defended racially fair redistricting plans against claims that they were unconstitutional and prevented election day discrimination against minority voters and voter intimidation and harassment by monitoring polling place activities in a record number of states and counties. The Administration has continued enforcement efforts to ensure that citizens who rely on languages other than English have the same opportunities to participate in voting-related activities as English-speaking voters.
Increasing Voter Registration. Since 1995, the National Voter Registration Act or "Motor Voter" law has registered nearly 28 million new voters and made voting easier for millions more. [FEC, 6/99; FEC, 6/97]
Working for Fair Housing. To respond to the increase in reported cases of serious fair housing violations, HUD has committed $37 million to 67 fair housing centers around the country to assist in fighting housing discrimination. In addition, the President proposed and won a major expansion (a 33 percent increase) of HUD's Fair Housing programs in FY 1999. In FY 2000, the President won $44 million for HUD's efforts to fight housing discrimination, which includes $6 million to continue the audit-based fair housing enforcement initiative started last year.
Defended Fairness. The Clinton-Gore Administration has filed more cases between 1993 and 1997 to enforce fair housing laws than any other Administration (more than 500 cases). For instance, this Administration desegregated a Vidor, Texas, public housing complex and ordered a Mississippi bank to implement remedial lending plans for minority customers who were unfairly denied loans by the bank.
Eliminated Discriminatory "Redlining" Practices. The Clinton Administration negotiated agreements with health care agencies to eliminate discriminatory "redlining" practices denying home health care services based on residential location.
Working to Ensure a Fair, Accurate and Complete Census. The Clinton-Gore Administration is working to ensure that Census 2000 is as accurate as possible using the best, most up-to-date scientific methods as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. The 1990 Census had an undercount of 8.4 million and 2.3 percent of Asian Pacific Americans were not counted. A fair and accurate Census is a fundamental part of a representative democracy and is the basis for providing equality under the law. The President and Vice President are determined to have a fair and full count in 2000, and in February 2000 the President announced new steps to encourage all Americans to participate in Census 2000. The President launched a Census in Schools Challenge, to ensure that children are counted and educate both students and parents; reiterated that Census information is strictly confidential; and directed federal agencies to step up activities in support of the Census.
Welcoming New Americans. Since 1993, the United States has welcomed 4.4 million new American citizens. Faced with this unprecedented number of applications, the Administration undertook an initiative that has significantly reduced the backlog of citizenship applications and is restoring timely processing while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the process. Furthermore, the Administration's English as a Second Language/Civics Education Initiative will provide limited English speaking adults with instruction in both English literacy and critical life skills necessary for effective citizenship and civic participation.
Fairness for Immigrants. The President worked with Congress to correct the most egregious impacts of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. As a result, almost a million people will be able to proceed with legalizing their immigration status under the former standards of immigration law and not the new, stricter and more burdensome standards enacted in 1996.
Restoring Benefits to Legal Immigrants. The President believes that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity, and bear the same responsibility, as other members of society. In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Agricultural Research Act of 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in reversing unfair cuts in benefits to legal immigrants. They restored benefits to Hmong immigrants from Laos who aided our country during the Vietnam War and extends the period during which refugees and asylees may qualify for Food Stamps while they await citizenship. The FY 2001 budget builds on the Administration's progress of restoring these important benefits by providing $2.5 billion over five years to allow states to provide health care to certain legal immigrant children and their families and pregnant women, to restore SSI eligibility to legal immigrants with disabilities, and to restore Food Stamp eligibility to certain aged immigrants and to legal immigrants who live in a household with Food Stamp eligible children.
Assuring Families Access to Health Care and Other Benefits. In May 1999, the Vice President announced new actions to assure families that enrolling in Medicaid or the new Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and receiving other critical benefits, such as school lunch and child care services, will not affect their immigration status. The new Department of Justice regulation clarifies a widespread misconception that has deterred eligible populations from enrolling in these programs and undermined the nation's public health. In addition, the Vice President directed Federal agencies to send guidance to their field offices, program grantees and to work with community organizations to educate Americans about this new policy.
Defended Immigrant Rights. The Administration defeated legislative efforts which would have significantly eroded health care for immigrants. The bipartisan agreement strengthened the sponsorship requirement while preserving the basic ability of families to reunify.
Improving Our Nation's Health
Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. In 1998, President Clinton announced an initiative to end racial and ethnic health disparities. The effort sets a national goal of eliminating the longstanding disparities by the year 2010 in six key health areas: infant mortality, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and immunizations. In the FY 1999 budget, Congress took a critical first step in investing in the President's multi-year proposal and in FY 2000 provided an additional $20 million in funding, a 200 percent increase. Working with minority public health providers, advocates, and other consumer representatives, the FY 2001 budget includes $35 million for the Centers for Disease Control to continue demonstration programs to enable select communities to develop innovative and effective approaches to address these disparities.
Focused Health Efforts. The Clinton-Gore Administration established the Office of Research on Minority Health and the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The Administration also helped communities develop culturally-competent systems for the care of children with serious emotional disturbances through the Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Children and Families program.
Working to Enact a Strong, Enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights for All Americans. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have called on the Congress to pass a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights that assures Americans the quality health care they need. The bill should include important patient protections such as: assuring direct access to specialists; real emergency room protections; continuity of care provisions that protect patients from abrupt changes in treatment; a fair, timely, and independent appeals process for patient grievances; and enforcement provisions to make these rights real. Leading by example, the President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the President's proposed Patients' Bill of Rights.
Enacted Most Comprehensive Medicare Reforms in History. In the 1997 Balanced Budget, President Clinton and Vice President Gore 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. They have proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicare's benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. In 1993, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999. Now, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended until 2023.
Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). President Clinton won over $4 billion for nutrition assistance to millions of women, infants, and children through the WIC program, an increase of $108 million over FY 1999. The additional funds will allow the program to provide a monthly package of nourishing supplemental foods, nutrition education, and health care referrals to 7.3 million low-income women, infants and children who are at nutritional risk -- 1.4 million more people than in 1993. Research shows that every $1 increase in the prenatal care portion of the WIC program cuts between $1.77 and $3.90 in medical expenses in the first 60 days following childbirth. In 1996, 2.8 percent of the infants and 2.9 percent of the children who benefited from WIC were Asian American.
Extended Health Care to Millions of Children with the Children's Health Insurance Program. In the Balanced Budget of 1997, President Clinton won $24 billion to provide health care coverage to up to five million uninsured children. The Administration is actively reaching out to communities to target and enroll eligible, uninsured children in CHIP and in October 1999 the President announced new outreach efforts. Asian Pacific American children make up 15.8 percent of all uninsured children. This year, the budget includes several of Vice President Gore's proposals to accelerate enrollment of children in CHIP. The President and Vice President are also proposing a new FamilyCare program, which would give States the option to cover parents in the same plan as their children.
Providing Access to Health Care Services for Uninsured Workers. Last year, the President proposed and won $25 million in funding for a program to coordinate systems of care, increase the number of services delivered and establish an accountability system to assure adequate patient care for the uninsured and low-income. This year, the President has proposed funding this initiative at $125 million, representing a substantial down payment on the his plan to invest $1 billion over 5 years.
Raised Immunization Rates to All Time High. Since 1993, childhood immunization rates have reached all-time highs, with 90 percent or more of America's toddlers receiving the most critical doses of vaccines for children by age 2. For the most critical childhood vaccines, vaccination levels are nearly the same for preschool children of all racial and ethnic groups, narrowing a gap that was estimated to be as wide as 26 percentage points a generation ago.
Expanding Coverage to Uninsured Americans. The President and Vice President have proposed a 10-year, $110 billion initiative that would dramatically improve the affordability of and access to health insurance. The proposal would expand coverage to at least 5 million uninsured Americans and expand access to millions more. If enacted, these policies would be the largest expansion of coverage since Medicare was created in 1965.
Providing Health Care to Children and Pregnant Women. Under current law, states have the option to provide health coverage to immigrant children and pregnant women who entered the country before August 22, 1996. The President's FY 2001 Budget gives states the option to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to low-income legal immigrant children and Medicaid to pregnant women who entered the country after August 22, 1996. The proposal would cost $695 million and provide critical health insurance to approximately 144,000 children and 33,000 women by FY 2005. This proposal would reduce the number of high-risk pregnancies, ensure healthier children, and lower the cost of emergency Medicaid deliveries. The budget's Medicaid/SCHIP FamilyCare initiative also covers legal immigrant parents of children who are covered by Medicaid or SCHIP.
Investing in Education
Made the Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years. Maintaining his longtime commitment to education, the President enacted the largest investment in education in 30 years -- and the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill.
Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. In 1997, President Clinton proposed and passed the HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits to provide tax relief to nearly 13 million Americans each year who are struggling to pay for college. The Hope Scholarship helps make the first two years of college universally available to about 5.6 million students annually by providing a tax credit of up to $1,500 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). In his FY 2001 budget, the President has proposed to expand the Lifetime Learning tax credit with the College Opportunity tax cut, which will give families the option of taking a tax deduction or claiming a 28 percent credit for the first $5,000 of college tuition and fees until 2002, and $10,000 thereafter.
Expanding Work Study and Pell Grants. One million students will be able to 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 $3,300, the largest maximum award ever. The maximum award has increased 43 percent under the Clinton-Gore Administration. This year President Clinton proposed a $77 million increase in Work Study to continue to support one million awards, and a $200 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award, to raise it to $3,500.
Fostering Diversity. The White House awarded Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring Grants to both individual mentors and institutions that foster mentoring, helping to ensure that America's future scientists and engineers come from all of the nation's racial and cultural segments of the population.
Modernizing Our Schools. This year, the President and Vice President have proposed federal tax credits to pay the interest on nearly $25 billion in state and local bonds to modernize and rebuild up to 6,000 public schools that are overcrowded, out-of-date, and unsafe. In addition, the budget includes a new $13 billion school urgent/emergency renovation loan and grant proposal.
More High-Quality Teachers with Smaller Class Sizes. The Clinton-Gore Administration won a second installment of $1.3 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. Already, 29,000 teachers have been hired through this initiative. This year's budget provides $1.75 billion, a $450 million increase -- enough to fund nearly 49,000 teachers. Research shows that minorities, and low-income students in particular, benefit academically from smaller classes.
Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for 850,000 Students Each Year. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will provide enriching after-school and summer school opportunities for 850,000 school-age children in rural and urban communities in FY 2000. 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. For FY 2001, the President's budget calls on Congress to invest $1 billion in the 21st Century Program and to ensure that all children in failing schools have access to quality after-school and summer school opportunities. This proposal will double funding and nearly triple the number of students served to 2.5 million.
Teaching Every Child to Read by the 3rd Grade. The President challenged Americans to unite to be sure that every child can read well and independently by the third grade. In response to his America Reads challenge, more than 1,100 colleges have committed Work Study students to tutor children in reading, and more than 2 million children have been taught, tutored or mentored by national service programs like AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Foster Grandparents. In addition, colleges and universities that participate in the Federal work-study program must include at least one tutoring or family literacy project as part of its community service activities, giving priority to the employment of work-study students as reading tutors in schools participating in reading reform efforts. Grants are awarded through the Reading Excellence Act to high-poverty schools to improve the teaching and learning of reading.
Expanding Access to Education Technology. With the Vice President's leadership, the Clinton-Gore Administration has made increasing access to technology a top priority. 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. They increased overall investments in educational technology from $23 million in 1993 to $769 million in FY 2000, and tripled funding for Community Technology Centers to reach at least 120 low-income communities. 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. They also increased investment in education research to ensure all children benefit from educational technology. In 1999, 95 percent of public schools were connected to the Internet -- up from just 35 percent in 1994.
Turning Around Failing Schools. 1 million low-income students in 13,000 school districts now benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards through Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students. The FY 2000 budget provides a $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results through such measures as overhauling curriculum, improving staffing, or even closing schools and reopening them as charter schools. This year, the President is proposing to double funding for this fund to turn around the nation's failing schools to ensure all children receive a quality education. In the 1996-97 school year, 3.3 percent of the children served by Title I were Asian American.
Providing Early Education to Nearly 900,000 Children with Head Start. The President and Vice President have expanded Head Start funding by 90 percent since 1993. Head Start will reach approximately 880,000 low-income children in FY 2000 and, with the President's proposed increase for the program, will be on the way to reaching the President's goal of serving 1 million children and their families by the year 2002. The 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.
Establishing the GEAR-UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created and expanded GEAR-UP, a nationwide mentoring initiative, to help over 750,000 low-income middle school children finish school and prepare for college. GEAR-UP will expand mentoring efforts by states and provide new grants to partnerships of middle schools, institutions of higher education, and community organizations, to provide intensive early intervention services to help prepare over 750,000 students at high-poverty middle schools for college. The President's FY 2001 budget would expand services to 1.4 million students with a 63 percent increase.
Expanding Investments in Youth Education and Training. While House Republicans attempted to eliminate the successful Summer Jobs program in FY 1999, President Clinton prevailed with his request for $871 million in funding, which provided about 483,000 summer jobs for disadvantaged youth. That same year the President signed into law the Workforce Investment Act, consolidating the funding streams of the summer jobs and year-round training programs and increasing local flexibility to design youth job training programs. The Youth Opportunity Grants program provides high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24 with academic and job-skills training, as well as apprenticeships building and rehabilitating affordable housing. The President proposed and won $250 million for the second year of funding for this innovative program in FY 2000, allowing the program to serve up to 58,000 of the most disadvantaged young people in high poverty areas.
Addressing Minority Needs. Hosted Asian Pacific American Education Forums to address the needs of Asian Pacific American students and their teachers.
AmeriCorps College Support. Since 1993, more than 150,000 people have had the opportunity to serve through AmeriCorps, with Asian Pacific Americans comprising 3 percent of all participants. In 1999, nearly 50,000 young people had the opportunity to serve and earn an award of up to $4,725 to pay for college or repay student loans.
Helping to Assist Schools with More Foreign Language Programs; Opposing English Only. The Administration has restructured Foreign Language Assistance Programs to assist local schools in establishing programs in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The Clinton Administration strongly opposes legislation to make English the official language of the United States which would have jeopardized services and programs for non-English speakers and jeopardized assistance to the tens of thousands of new immigrants and others seeking to learn English as adults.
Strengthening Bilingual and Immigrant Education. The President is committed to ensuring that students with limited English skills get the extra help they need in order to learn English and meet the same high standards expected for all students. The Clinton-Gore Administration fought for and won a 35% increase in bilingual and immigrant education in the 1997 budget deal, and won another $26 million increase in the FY 2000 budget. Bilingual education funding helps school districts teach English to more than a million limited English proficient (LEP) children and helps LEP students to achieve to the same high standards as all other students. It also provides teachers with the training they need to teach limited English proficient students. The Immigrant Education program helps more than a thousand school districts provide supplemental instructional services to more than 800,000 recent immigrant students. In his proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the President has proposed additional help to ensure that all teachers are well-trained to meet the needs of students with Limited English Proficiency. His proposal would also make schools and districts more accountable for helping children with Limited English Proficiency master their academic subjects and learn English. The President's FY 2001 budget increases funding for these programs by an additional $832 million.
English Literacy/Civics Initiative. The Clinton-Gore Administration's budget requests $75 million for the English Language/Civics Initiative -- a nearly $50 million increase to help an additional estimated 250,000 limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. This program helps states and communities provide LEP individuals with expanded access to quality English-language instruction linked to civics and life skills instruction, including understanding the U.S. government system, the public education system, the workplace, and other key institutions of American life.
Opposed Gallegly Amendment. The Administration opposed the Gallegly Amendment, which would have ended the guarantee of public education for all children. It would have shifted immigration enforcement from the borders and work sites to classrooms and made children susceptible to gangs and violence.
Strengthening Families and Communities
Helping Parents Balance Work and Family. The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) -- the first piece of legislation the President signed into law -- enables workers to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a new baby or ailing family member without jeopardizing their job. Since its enactment, millions of Americans have benefited from FMLA, and the President has expanded leave options for Federal employees. President Clinton has called for extending this benefit to 12 million more working families and expanding the law to allow workers to take leave for family obligations such as doctors appointments and parent-teacher conferences. Additionally, in his FY 2001 budget, the President is proposing new grants to enable states and regions to develop innovative paid leave options for working parents.
Providing Incentives to Save. President Clinton signed legislation creating Individual Development Accounts, providing incentives 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, and an additional $10 million will be awarded in FY 2000. The President's budget provides $25 million for IDAs in FY2001 and proposes to allow low-income working families to use IDAs to save for a car that will allow them to get or keep a job.
Nearly 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 1999, collecting $15.5 billion -- nearly double the amount collected in 1992. The number of paternities established rose to nearly 1.5 million in 1998 - more than triple the number from 516,000 in 1992. The number of child support cases with collections rose 59 percent, from 2.8 million 1992 to 4.5 million in 1998.
Protecting Rent Subsidies for Low-Income Families. President Clinton won $10.8 billion in the FY 2000 budget for the renewal of all Section 8 contracts, an increase of $1.2 billion from FY 1999. This will ensure continuation of HUD rental subsidies for low-income tenants in privately owned housing.
Expanding Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 40 Percent. In 1993, President Clinton fulfilled his promise to permanently extend the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, spurring the private development of low-income housing and helping to build 75,000-90,000 housing units each year.
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 has increased funding for the Head Start program by 90 percent, and in FY 2000, the program will serve approximately 880,000 children - over 160,000 more children than in 1993. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed a $817 million increase in FY 2001 for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which helps working families struggling to afford child care. These new funds, combined with the child care funds provided in welfare reform, will enable the program to serve over 2.2 million children in 2001.
Lowest Crime Rate in 25 Years. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, America has experienced the longest continuous drop in crime on record. The violent crime rate fell 7 percent in 1998 and 27 percent since 1993. The murder rate is down more than 25 percent since 1993, its lowest point since 1967. The overall crime rate is the lowest in 25 years. Between 1993-1998, decreasing victimization trends were experienced about equally for all race, sex and income groups.
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. As a part of the COPS Program, the President announced new grants to increase community policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods. To help keep crime at record lows, the President won funding for the first installment toward his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005. This year, the Clinton-Gore Administration's budget includes over $1 billion to continue the successful COPS initiative to hire more officers, hire new community prosecutors, give police the tools they need to fight crime, and to fund community-wide crime fighting efforts.
More than Half a Million Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns. Since the President signed the Brady Bill into law, more than 500,000 felons, fugitives and domestic abusers have been prevented from purchasing guns. And the historic 1994 Crime Bill banned 19 of the deadliest assault weapons and their copies, keeping assault weapons off our streets. The homicide rate dropped 7 percent in 1998 - almost entirely due to a decrease in homicides committed with guns. Since 1993, there has been a more than 35 percent drop in gun-related crime and a 57 percent decrease in juvenile gun homicide offenders.
Preventing Hate Crimes. As part of the historic 1994 Crime Act, the President signed the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act which provides for longer sentences where the offense is determined to be a hate crime. The President and Vice President have repeatedly called for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would strengthen the existing federal hate crimes law. The President's FY 2001 budget includes $20 million to promote police integrity and for hate crimes training for federal, state, and local law enforcement. President Clinton also hosted the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes, which examined laws and remedies that can make a difference in preventing hate crimes, highlighted solutions that are working in communities across the country, and continued the frank and open dialogue needed to build One America.
Giving Police the Tools They Need to Fight Crime. President Clinton won $230 million in FY 2000 to provide law enforcement with the latest crime-fighting and crime-solving technology. This funding will help make crime mapping technology -- which enables police agencies to track crime hot spots and target their resources to where they are most needed -- more widely available, to improve compatibility among law enforcement communications systems, and aid development and expansion of innovative tools to help law enforcement fight crime.
Largest Gun Enforcement Initiative in History. This year, President Clinton has proposed the largest gun enforcement initiative ever. The initiative would provide a record $280 million to add 500 new federal ATF agents and inspectors to target violent gun criminals and illegal gun traffickers, and fund over 1,000 new federal, state, and local prosecutors to take dangerous gun offenders off the streets. This initiative will build on the Administration's success in cracking down on serious gun criminals: the number of federal firearms cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys increased 25 percent, from 4,754 in 1992 to 5,500 in 1999.
National Campaign Against Youth Violence. In August 1999, President Clinton announced the formation of an independent, national campaign to address the problem of youth violence. The Campaign plans to launch anti-violence activities including a major media campaign, concerts, town hall meetings, in- and after-school programs. The Campaign will also highlight effective youth violence initiatives in cities across the country.
Safe and Clean Environment
Investing in a Cleaner Environment. The Clinton-Gore Administration won significant gains for the environment in the FY 2000 budget, including new resources to combat water pollution, protect wildlife, address global warming, and preserve precious lands across the community. They forced Congress to drop or substantially modify dozens of anti-environmental riders that would have rolled back hard-won environmental safeguards and benefited special interests at the expense of our public lands.
Environmental Justice and Redevelopment. The Clinton-Gore Administration issued an Executive Order on Environmental Justice to ensure that low-income citizens and minorities do not suffer a disproportionate burden of industrial pollution. The Administration identified pilot projects to be undertaken across the country to redevelop contaminated sites in low-income communities, turn them into useable space, create jobs and enhance community development.
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. The Clinton-Gore Administration has cleaned up over 500 Superfund sites -- nearly three times as many in six years as the previous administrations did in twelve -- with clean up of more than 90 percent of all sites either completed or in progress. The Administration has leveraged nearly $1 billion in private sector investment for brownfields redevelopment.
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 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.
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 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. Ninety-one percent of America's tap water from community drinking water systems now meets all federal standards.
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 an Executive Order directing agencies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, saving taxpayers over $750 million a year when fully implemented.
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 2000 budget, the President and Vice President won $651 million (a 42 percent increase) for Lands Legacy, a historic initiative to strengthen federal efforts to preserve national treasures and provides communities with new resources to protect local green spaces.
Persuaded North Korea To Freeze its Dangerous Nuclear Program. The Administration persuaded North Korea to freeze its dangerous nuclear program and is one of the leading forces for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Renewed Bipartisan Consensus for Engagement with China. The Administration has renewed the bipartisan consensus for engagement with China to advance U.S. interests and draw the world's most populous nation more fully into the international community.
Supporting Human Rights In China. The Administration has engaged China's leaders in ground-breaking human rights dialogue.
Led International Efforts Against Terrorism. The Administration has led international efforts against terrorism, including signing anti-terrorism legislation that ensures strong penalties for convicted terrorists.
Secured Bipartisan Senate Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Start II Treaty. The convention bans the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. Start II, together with Start I, will reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals two-thirds from their Cold War heights.
Meeting Emerging Threat of Biological Weapons. By strengthening our ability to respond to an attack, vaccinating our troops and seeking tough inspection to enforce international treaty.
Led Efforts to Rid the World of Land Mines. The Administration has led efforts to rid the world of land mines by eliminating non self-destructing mines from our arsenals, seeking alternatives to self-destructing mines by 2006, and devoting more resources to removing existing mines than the rest of the world combined.