PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
Supporting Native 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 four 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. 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 2050 by paying down the national debt and dedicating the interest savings to Social Security. This would be a down payment on truly saving Social Security. President Clinton has also called for a bipartisan effort to save Social Security for 75 years and eliminate the confusing and out-dated earnings test to encourage work and earnings among older Americans.
More than 20 Million New Jobs. 20.8 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 (19.2 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 4.0 percent in January. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row, and has remained below 5 percent for 31 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.
Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in More than Two Decades. Since 1993, real wages have grown 6.6 percent -- compared to declining 4.3 percent during the previous two administrations. Real wages have increased for five years in a row. In 1998, real wages were up 2.6 percent -- the fastest annual real wage growth in over 20 years.
Tax Cuts For Working Families. President Clintons 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. This year the President has proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to 6.8 million additional working families
Largest Five-Year Drop in Child Poverty Rate Since the 60s. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, child poverty has declined from 22.7 percent in 1993 to 18.9 percent in 1998 -- the biggest five-year drop in nearly 30 years. While this decrease marks significant progress, President Clinton will continue to fight for policies that help to raise incomes and reduce poverty.
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.
Made a Historic Visit to Indian Country. In July 1999, President Clinton became the first sitting President to visit a reservation since Franklin Roosevelt. President Clinton visited the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as part of his New Markets Tour to encourage private investment in Indian Country.
Largest Budget Initiative Ever. In order to better serve Native American communities and to honor the federal governments trust responsibility to tribes, the Presidents budget 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 $1.2 billion over Fiscal Year 2000 the largest increase ever. This initiative brings together several agencies in order to address the needs of Native American communities comprehensively. Some of the highlights include: $300 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs school construction and repair; $349 million through the Department of Transportation for roads in Indian Country; and $2.6 billion for the Indian Health Service.
Held the First White House Conference on Economic Development in Indian Country. On August 6, 1998, the Clinton-Gore Administration held the first White House Conference on Economic Development in Indian Country. At the conference, President Clinton directed the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Administration to develop, in consultation with other interested parties, including tribal governments, a strategic plan for coordinating existing federal economic development initiatives for Native American and Alaska Native communities. The agencies presented their plan to the President in December 1998. In July 1999, the Department of Commerce issued a report on the infrastructure technology needs in Indian Country.
Extending Telecommunications Services to Tribal Lands. In August 1999, the FCC began exploring a number of policy initiatives to promote greater access to telecommunications services for individuals living on Tribal lands. The FCC is looking at ways that wireless and satellite technology can be used to provide basic telephone service and other telecommunications services to Tribal lands, particularly in remote areas.
Addressing the Digital Divide. The Clinton-Gore Administration is proposing a new initiative to encourage Native Americans to pursue information technology and other science and technology fields as areas of study as well as to increase the capacity of Tribal colleges to offer courses in these areas. The FY01 budget provides $10 million, to be administered by the National Science Foundation, for grants to Tribal colleges for networking and access; course development; student assistance; and capacity building.
More Than Three Times the Number of Loans to Native American-Owned Small Businesses. Between FY93 and FY99 the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved over 2,600 loans, worth about $470 million, to Native American-owned small businesses. In FY1999 alone, the SBA granted over 530 loans, worth $82.8 million, to Native American-owned small businesses, more than three times the number granted in FY93.
Investing in Native American Communities. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the Department of Commerces Economic Development Administration (EDA) has invested $75 million in 559 Indian projects across the country. EDA has helped Indian communities develop their natural resources, operate small-scale commercial establishments and Indian-owned manufacturing operations, and enhance existing tourism-related activities. In addition, in FY 1999, the BIA guaranteed $60 million in loans from private lenders to Indian tribes and individuals for economic development purposes on federally recognized Indian reservations.
Provided Management and Technical Assistance To Native Americans. The Clinton-Gore Administration established an Office of Native American Programs within the Minority Business Development Agency at the Department of Commerce, with eight Native American Business Development Centers and a business consultant, that provides management and technical assistance to Native American businesses.
Promoted Lending In Indian Country. President Clinton signed the Community Development Banking and Regulatory Improvement Act, which promotes more lending in Indian Country.
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 our Nations prosperity. The Presidents FY2001 budget provides tax credits and loans guarantee incentives to stimulate $22 billion in new investment in urban and rural areas. In the FY00 budget, President Clinton won $20 million in funding for America's Private Investment Companies, and $15 million in funding for the New Markets Venture Capitol Program -- two key elements of the New Markets Initiative.
Expanding Business LINC to Indian Country. For the first time, the FY01 budget proposes $1.25 million to expand the Vice Presidents successful BusinessLINC program to Indian Country. BusinessLINC establishes mentor-protégé relationships between large and small businesses. The goal of BusinessLINC is to encourage large firms to provide technical assistance, business advice, networking, investment, and joint venturing opportunities for locally-owned smaller firms.
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 FY99, funding was increased 19 percent to $95 million from $80 million. President Clinton successfully worked to maintain that investment in FY00. In FY 2001, the President is proposing $125 million. In order to increase access to capital in Indian Country, the FY01 budget proposes, for the first time, a $5 million set-aside within the CDFI Fund to establish a training and technical assistance program focused on eliminating barriers to capital access.
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 FY00 -- after Congress initially provided no funding. Eighteen American Indian and Alaska Native tribes were selected to participate in the Round II rural Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/ECs), with Indian tribes participating in two of the five rural EZs.
Working with Tribal Colleges to Revitalize Communities. The Clinton-Gore Administration's FY01 budget proposes to set aside $5 million within the HUD Community Development Block Grant program for competitive grants awarded to tribal colleges to assist their communities with neighborhood revitalization, housing, and economic development. These colleges will provide technical assistance and capacity building support to their surrounding communities through assistance in the creation of community development corporations; assistance in the development and coordination of supportive services for welfare-to-work initiatives; coordination and support for the rehabilitation of housing for low- to moderate-income families; and assistance in the promotion of economic development through small business incubators and job training programs.
Moving Families from Welfare to Work. The 1996 welfare reform law provides tribes with the option to receive direct federal funding to independently design, administer, and operate the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Tribes now have an unprecedented opportunity and considerable flexibility to provide benefits and services that help Tribal families become self-sufficient. In February 2000, the Administration published the final regulation governing key provisions of the Tribal TANF program The new regulation provides Tribes with flexibility to consider such factors as economic conditions and resources available to the Tribe in determining work requirements, and provides for a process of negotiation with HHS in establishing time limits on assistance. With the Presidents leadership, the Balanced Budget of 1997 included $3 billion in Welfare-to-Work grants to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs, including $30 million for tribal Welfare-to-Work grants, and provided tax credits for employers to hire and retain long-term welfare recipients. To help more long-term welfare recipients and low-income fathers go to work and support their families, the FY01 budget will give state, local, tribal, and community- and faith-based grantees an additional two years to spend Welfare-to-Work funds, ensuring that roughly $2 billion in existing resources continues to help those most in need.
Helping People Get to Work. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century authorizes $750 million over five years, and in FY 1999, over $70 million was awarded for the Presidents Access to Jobs initiative and reverse commute grants to help communities design innovative transportation solutions so that low-income families can get to work. The program is funded at $75 million for FY 2000, and the Presidents budget proposes to double funding to $150 million in FY 2001. To increase mobility and access to employment opportunities for Native American families moving from welfare to work and other low-income workers, DOT will set aside $5 million for Indian tribes under the FY2001 DOT Job Access grant program and will propose allowing tribes to apply directly to the Federal Transit Administration for these grants.
Assisting Families with Housing Vouchers. Over the past two years, the President has won funding for 110,000 new welfare to work housing vouchers for welfare recipients who need housing assistance to get or keep a job. Families will use these vouchers to move closer to a new job, to reduce a long commute, or to secure more stable housing that will eliminate emergencies which keep them from getting to work every day on time. The FY01 budget includes $690 million for 120,000 new vouchers. As part of the FY99 competition, HUD awarded nearly 800 welfare to work housing vouchers to two tribes, and assuming Congress approves new vouchers, the Administration will maintain a similar policy in FY 2001.
Fighting for Equal Opportunity
President Clinton Met With Tribal Leaders. On April 29, 1994, President Clinton became the first President to invite the leaders of all federally recognized tribes to the White House. On this historic occasion, the President pledged that his Administration would work with Tribal leaders to establish a true government-to-government partnership.
Recognizing Native American Contributions to One America. The President appointed the most diverse Cabinet and Administration in history. President Clinton appointed 76 Native Americans to all levels of his Administration, including 13 to top positions requiring Senate confirmation and 43 to Presidential appointment positions. While Native Americans make up two percent of the Clinton Administration, they constitute only 0.7 percent of the civilian workforce. Among the Native Americans serving in the Clinton Administration are: Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior; Dr. Michael Trujillo, Director of the Indian Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services; Christopher Goldthwaite, Ambassador to the Republic of Chad-Designate; Gary Kimble, Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, Department of Health & Human Services; Joy Harjo, Member of the National Council on the Arts; Robert Loescher, Member of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission; Sedelta Verble, Deputy Director of the Office of Communications, Department of Agriculture; Billy M. Burrage, Judge, U.S. District Court; and Montie Deer, Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission, Department of the Interior. The President also appointed Elsie Meeks to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights -- the first Native American to serve on the Commission.
Strengthening the Relationship Between the Federal Government and Tribal Nations. In 1994, President Clinton executed a Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies directing agencies to consult, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, with Tribal governments prior to taking actions that affect federally recognized Tribal governments. On May 14, 1998, he issued an Executive Order that strengthens and makes effective across Administrations the 1994 Government-to-Government Memorandum. This executive order serves to establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indian Tribal governments in the development of regulatory practices on federal matters that significantly or uniquely affect their communities, to reduce the imposition of unfunded mandates upon Indian Tribal governments, and to streamline the application process for and increase the availability of waivers to Indian Tribal governments.
Ensuring Tribal Sovereignty. President Clinton created the Office of Tribal Justice to promote government-to-government relations with Indian tribes and ensure aggressive representation of Tribal sovereignty in the courts. He also created a permanent White House working group composed of all Executive Branch Departments to advance Tribal sovereignty across the administration.
Protected Religious Freedom. President Clinton signed an executive order that requires federal agencies to accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners and to avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sacred sites. He also successfully fought for passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in order to protect the right of free exercise of tribal religions. Finally, he directed federal agencies to ensure efficient collection and distribution of available eagle feathers and eagle parts to American Indians and Alaska Natives for traditional religious purposes.
Promoted Tribal Self-Determination. President Clinton supported passage and implementation of the Indian Self-Determination Act amendments, which gives Tribal governments increased control of Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service resources spent within Indian Country. He also successfully fought attempts to penalize Tribes for exercising their powers of self-governance, allow states to tax Tribal governments on new trust lands, and permit direct taxation of Tribal governments. Tribal contracting and self-governance compact agreements now represent 41 percent of BIAs operations budget, and forty-two percent of IHS budget. The self-governance agreements give Tribes greater flexibility to administer Federal programs on reservations.
Improving Trust Services. The Administration is committed to improving trust services and management through its trust reform efforts at the Interior Department. The FY01 budget proposes $108 million, a 48 percent increase over 2000, for improved trust services in the BIA for activities such as probate, real estate appraisals, and other services.
Resolving Disputed Indian Trust Fund Balances. The Administration is committed to resolving disputed Indian trust fund account balances through informal dispute resolution and supports the unique government-to-government relationship that exists in Indian trust land management issues. After Tribal consultations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs submitted its Recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior for Settlement of Disputed Tribal Accounts to Congress in November 1997. Legislation reflecting these recommendations has been proposed but not enacted. The Department will continue efforts to resolve trust fund account balances.
Trust Land Management. As part of BIAs commitment to resolving trust land management issues, the Interior Department worked with Congress in 1999 to re-propose legislation (S. 1586) to establish an Indian Land Consolidation program to address the ownership fractionation of Indian land. Interior began implementing three pilot projects in Wisconsin, in cooperation with Tribes, to purchase small ownership interests in highly fractionated tracts of land from willing sellers. In the nine months of this effort, more than 8,000 small ownership interests have been consolidated. The budget proposes $13 million in 2001 for this program, and Interior will work with Congress to enact legislation in the 106th Congress, limiting future fractionation.
Trust Management Improvement Project. In addition to the $13 million for the Indian Land Consolidation program, the FY01 budget provides $83 million for DOIs Office of Special Trustee, including the trust management improvement project. Current activities include verifying individual Indians account data and converting these data to a commercial-grade accounting system. Ownership, lease, and royalty information related to the underlying trust assets will also be verified and converted to a recently acquired commercial asset management system.
Working to Expand Civil Rights Enforcement. In FY00, the President won a six percent increase in funding for federal civil rights enforcement, including $82 million for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Departmenta 19 percent increase. And this year, President Clinton has proposed $695 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 EEOC employment actions and prevent housing discrimination, and other civil rights enforcement efforts.
Conducting a Fair and Accurate Census. The Clinton-Gore Administration is working to ensure that Census 2000 is accurate, using the best, most up-to-date scientific methods. According to the Census Bureau, the 1990 Census missed 8.4 million people and double-counted 4.4 million others. Nationally, 12.2 percent of Native Americans living on a reservation were not counted in the 1990 census. While missing or miscounting so many people is a problem, the fact that certain groups -- such as children, the poor, people of color, city dwellers and people who live in rural rental homes -- were missed more often than others made the undercount even more inaccurate. A fair and accurate Census is a fundamental part of a representative democracy and is the basis for providing equality under the law. The Census Bureau is working to increase Native American participation in Census 2000 in several ways, including through paid advertising and partnerships with Tribal governments. In February 2000 the President announced new steps to encourage all Americans to participate in Census 2000. The President launched a Census in the 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.
Promoting Housing Options and Rural Projects
Providing Housing Assistance to Native Americans. The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 gives Indian Housing Block Grants to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages or their Tribally Designated Housing Entities, providing communities with more flexibility than ever before to plan and develop programs that best meet locally determined needs for housing assistance. In FY2000, $620 million the Administrations full request -- is available to tribes for IHBG assistance; in FY01, the President is requesting $650 million.
Streamlining Mortgage Lending Process in Indian Country. The Administration and Tribal partners are working together to streamline the mortgage lending process in Indian Country, cutting down the barriers to private sector home mortgage lending.
Creating Technology-Based Jobs in Economically Disadvantaged Rural Areas. Under the Bringing Rural America Venture Opportunities (BRAVO) Program, the Clinton-Gore Administrations U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is developing partnerships with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and other rural communities, land-grant educational institutions, small disadvantaged companies, private corporations, and government organizations to create technology-based jobs in Tribal communities and in surrounding economically disadvantaged rural areas.
Increasing Funding for Rural Development Programs. The Clinton-Gore Administrations FY2001 budget proposes $26 million, a $14 million increase, to provide loans and grants through the Department of Agricultures (USDA) rural development programs. The loans will help construct and improve Native Americans water and wastewater systems; community facilities such as health clinics and child care centers; and diversify and expand economic opportunities.
Financing Child Care Facilities, Emergency Services, and Schools. From fiscal year 1993 through fiscal year 1998, the Clinton-Gore Administrations Rural Housing Service Community Facilities (RHS CF) programs have made over 77 loans and grants totaling approximately $61.5 million to American Indians and Alaska Natives to finance child care facilities, fire and emergency services, high schools, and colleges, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and museums. By comparison, from fiscal year 1988 through fiscal year 1992, the RHS CF programs made seven loans to American Indians and Alaska Natives for community facilities projects totaling nearly $2 million.
Financing Rural Housing. The Rural Housing Service (RHS) at USDA has financed over 1,810 homes to Native Americans since 1995 under the Section 502 Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed Loans programs. RHS has also provided Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation loans and grants to over 1,000 Native Americans since 1995.
Tribal Infrastructure Projects. The President and the Vice President's FY01 budget includes $49 million, an increase of $46 million over FY 2000, for the Department of Commerces Economic Development Administration (EDA) to fund infrastructure, planning, and public works projects. These projects will focus on technology, business development, and tribal economic development activities. EDA will give priority to projects that emphasize the attraction of outside capital to, and the location of basic commercial business operations in, Native American communities.
Building Roads and Bridges in Indian Country. The Transportation Department (DOT) will expand its program to improve roads and bridges on Indian reservations. The Presidents FY 2001 budget proposes to give the Indian Reservations Roads program the full authorization amount of $275 million with an additional $74 million from a highway receipts account for a total of $349 million, which is an increase of $117 million over the previous year. This will allow Tribes to address the estimated backlog of $4 billion in needs on these roads and bridges.
Highway Safety Grants. Because highway safety is a major problem on Indian reservations, the budget will double funding for highway safety grants in Indian Country, bringing the total to $2 million. These grants are used for problem identification, planning, and implementation to address highway safety problems related to human factors and roadway environment in order to reduce crashes, deaths, and injuries.
Improving Our Nation's Health
Increasing Funding to the Indian Health Service. President Clinton won $2.4 billion for the IHS in FY00, an increase of $150 million over the 1999 level, and is requesting $2.6 billion in FY01 -- a ten percent increase and the largest requested increase in over two decades. This increase would enable IHS to continue expanding accessible and high-quality health care to its approximately 1.5 million Native American service users to: improve preventive services designed to reduce the need for acute medical care; expand patient access to clinical services to help improve health status; improve emergency medical services in remote locations on American Indian and Alaska Native reservations; address the health and environmental conditions in American Indian and Alaska Native homes and communities by constructing safe water and waste disposal facilities; expand programs that provide substance abuse treatment and prevention and mental health services; strengthen existing disease surveillance capabilities; target additional assessment and treatment of diabetes and other chronic diseases; and provide preventive and corrective dental care to prevent disease and reduce tooth loss, such as water fluoridation.
Indian Health Service Contract Support Costs. The President's FY00 budget supported Tribal self-determination by proposing a $35 million increase for contract support costs, to cover the administrative costs of new and existing Tribal contracts and compacts. The FY2000 Conference bill contained an objectionable provision to extend a contract moratorium that would prevent the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service from entering into any new or expanded self-determination contracts or self-governance compacts with Tribes. This contract moratorium provision contravenes Tribal sovereignty and the Federal government's policy of encouraging self-governance. The Clinton-Gore Administration was ultimately successful at removing this objectionable provision and obtaining $229 million for contract support costs. The Administration is proposing a $40 million increase for contract support costs at IHS in FY01.
Preventing Diabetes. The President worked with Congressional leaders to make $30 million available in each of 1998 - 2002 fiscal years (totaling $150 million over five years) to the Indian Health Service to provide grants for diabetes prevention, research and treatment in our Native American communities. Native Americans are about three times more likely to die from diabetes as other Americans and are less likely to access treatment for it. This multiple-year investment has funded exercise and nutrition programs, as well as activities aimed at managing diabetes to prevent complications such as kidney failure, amputations, heart disease, and blindness.
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 FY99 budget, Congress took a critical first step in investing in the Presidents multi-year proposal and in FY00 provided an additional $20 million in funding, a 200 percent increase. Working with minority public health providers, advocates, and other consumer representatives, the FY01 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.
Addressing HIV/AIDS in Minority Communities. Racial and ethnic communities make up the fastest growing portion of HIV/AIDS cases (more than 50 percent of all new HIV cases). In FY00, the President builds on the progress started last year with a $251 million investment in a comprehensive initiative that will improve prevention efforts in high-risk communities and expand access to cutting edge HIV therapies and other treatment needed for HIV/AIDS in minority communities. The Presidents FY 2001 budget includes $274 million to continue this effort.
Treatment for Substance Abuse. President Clinton won $114 million in FY00 for the Targeted Treatment Capacity Expansion Grant program, which provides funds to help communities address emerging substance abuse problems and unmet treatment needs. The Presidents FY01 budget increases funding for the program by $49 million, which would provide treatment for nearly 10,000 additional individuals. Last year, over fifteen percent of these competitive grants focused on substance abuse treatment for Native American youth and adults.
Fighting to Pass a Strong, Enforceable Patients Bill of Rights. 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.
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 has proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicares benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. In March 1999, the Medicare Trustees reported that the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended until 2015. In 1993, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999.
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965. The State Childrens Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) invests $24 billion over 5 years to provide health care coverage for up to 5 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. In order to eliminate all financial barriers that Native American children may face in accessing health insurance coverage, they are exempt from the programs cost sharing requirements. In addition, the Administration launched a targeted outreach effort, including airing public service announcements and distributing educational brochures through the Indian Health Service.
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 Presidents plan to invest $1 billion over 5 years.
Improving the Mental Health of Native American Youth. At the White House Conference on Mental Health, the Administration announced a $5 million inter-agency initiative that will develop innovative strategies to address the mental health, behavioral, and substance abuse needs of Native American young people in Native American communities over a three-year period. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2000, the Tribes will be able to apply for competitive funds through a coordinated grant process.
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, approximately 70,000 children and over 25,000 infants who benefited from WIC were Native American.
Ensuring Safe Food for Americas Families. Created the Presidents Council on Food Safety to develop a comprehensive food safety strategic plan for federal agencies. 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. Formed national computer network of public health laboratories, called PulseNet, to help rapidly identify and stop outbreaks of foodborne illness by performing DNA "fingerprinting" on foodborne pathogens. The President signed the Food Quality Protection Act, which included special safeguards for kids and strengthened laws governing pesticides and food safety. Issued new rules to prevent foodborne illness caused by pathogens such as E. coli.
Protecting Families. 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 already 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.
Investing in Education
Increased Funding for Indian Education. President Clinton won a 16 percent increase (from $66 million to $77 million) for the Indian Education program in the Department of Education in his FY2000 budget. The Administrations FY 2001 request includes $116 million for the Indian Education program, an increase of $39 million, or 50 percent over the FY2000 enacted level. Serving nearly half a million Native American students, the Acts programs include grants to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), Indian tribes and organizations, Indian-controlled schools, and individuals to address the unique educational and cultural academic needs of Native Americans.
Training and Recruiting New Native American Teachers. Only two-thirds of Native American students successfully complete high school -- far fewer than other students. In addition, schools with high populations of American Indian students are typically plagued by high teacher turnover. To address these challenges, the President's FY01 budget provides $10 million for the Education Department to continue the second year of the Administrations initiative to begin training and recruiting 1,000 new teachers for areas with high concentrations of American Indian and Alaska Native students.
New American Indian Administrator Corps. The President and the Vice President propose $5 million for a new Department of Education initiative, the American Indian Administrator Corps, that will support the recruitment, training, and in-service professional development of 500 American Indians and Alaska Natives to become effective school administrators in schools with high populations of Native American students. As in the Native American teacher initiative, higher-education institutions are encouraged to form consortia with the tribal colleges in order to develop this program.
Increased Funding for Indian Head Start. Indian Head Start received $145 million in funding in FY00. Since the President and Vice President took office, funding for Head Start (which includes Indian Head Start) has risen by nearly 90 percent, enabling 160,000 more low-income children to participate in the program. Of the estimated 835,000 children that were enrolled in Head Start in 1998, 3.4 percent of the children were Native American. The Presidents FY01 budget boosts funding for Head Start by $1 billion the largest funding increase ever to provide Head Start and Early Head Start to approximately 950,000 children, nearing the Presidents goal of serving one million children in 2002. The budget includes a $30 million increase for Indian Head Start, which would bring total funding to $175 million.
Strengthening Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)-Funded Schools and Colleges Serving Tribes. The 2000 budget provided $519 million, a $21million increase, for the operation of elementary and secondary schools, tribally controlled community colleges, and assistance to Indian children attending public schools. President Clinton's FY01 budget provides $562 million for BIA-funded schools, another $43 million increase.
Reducing Class Size in BIA-Funded Schools. Last year President Clinton and Vice President Gore secured $1.3 billion for the second installment of their plan to help school districts recruit, hire, and train an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades. $1.2 billion was provided in FY99, helping states put almost 30,000 new teachers in America's classrooms. Research shows that minorities, and low-income students in particular, benefit academically from smaller classes. In the first two years of this program, BIA-funded schools received approximately $6.9 million to put new teachers in the classroom. The President's FY01 budget provides for another $5 million.
Repairing and Modernizing Schools on Reservations. The FY00 budget provided the Bureau of Indian Affairs $133 million (a $46 million increase) to replace older, unsafe, and dilapidated schools on Indian reservations and to provide much-needed health and safety-related repairs, improvements, and maintenance that together comprises a roughly $700 million backlog. The President's FY01 budget includes $300 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to use for school construction and repair -- more than double this year's funding level. The budget also authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to allocate $400 million in bonding authority over the next two years to Tribes or Tribal consortia for the construction and renovation of BIA-funded schools.
Linking BIA-Funded Schools to the Internet. The Clinton-Gore Administrations BIA started the Access Native America initiative in 1997 to connect 185 BIA funded schools to the Internet. As of February 2000, 148 schools have been cabled and 111 schools in some of the most rural, remote areas of our nation's Indian reservations, have been connected to the Department of the Interior network.
Signed Historic Executive Order on Native American Education. In August 1998, President Clinton signed an executive order designed to improve the academic performance of American Indian and Alaska Native students in grades K-12. The order focuses special attention on improving student achievement in reading and mathematics and increasing high school completion rates.
Recognizing and Supporting Tribal Colleges and Universities. President Clinton signed an executive order that aims to ensure that Tribal colleges and universities are more fully recognized as accredited institutions, have access to the opportunities afforded other institutions, and have federal resources committed to them on a continuing basis. Under the Strengthening Institutions Program authorized by Title III of the Higher Education Act, the Clinton-Gore Administration currently awards approximately $6 million worth of grants per year to about half of the existing Tribal Colleges and Universities. The President's FY01 budget provides $9 million at the Department of Education a 50 percent increased over the FY00 level in order to improve and expand the capacity of the Tribal colleges to serve Native American students in several ways, including developing academic programs. With this increase at the Education Department, 24 tribal colleges will receive funding. At the Department of the Interior, the FY01 budget proposes a $3 million increase to $38 million to fund the operations of the Tribal colleges. Including these funds at Interior and Education, the budget includes a total of $77 million for support to Tribal colleges through funding at the National Science Foundation, and the Departments of the Interior, Education, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation.
Tribal College Endowment Fund. This year, the Presidents budget proposes to increase the authorized level from $4.6 million to $7.1 million, a 54 percent increase over 2000, for the Native American Institutions Endowment Fund at the Department of Agriculture. The Endowment Funds helps build educational capacity through student recruitment and retention; curricula development; faculty preparation; instruction delivery systems; and scientific instrumentation for teaching.
Technical Assistance Funding for the Tribal Colleges. The Clinton-Gore Administration's FY01 budget proposes to set aside $1 million out of the Revenue Aligned Budget Authority for the Tribal colleges to do outreach to help Native Americans access federal funds.
Supporting Community Service. In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed 150,000 young people, including hundreds of Native Americans, to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training. Currently, there are 35 AmeriCorps projects in Indian Country with over 420 Native American members.
Expanding Investments in Youth Education and Training. While House Republicans attempted to eliminate the successful Summer Jobs program in FY99, 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 FY00, allowing the program to serve up to 58,000 of the most disadvantaged young people in high poverty areas.
Helping Young People with the School-to-Work Opportunities Act. The School-to-Work Opportunities Act was enacted in 1994 to provide seed money to local initiatives that use learning opportunities to help young people succeed academically and in the workforce. Through its programs for American Indian and Alaska Native youth, the School-To-Work program (STW) funds efforts that link classrooms and job experiences; train teachers, counselors, and workplace and community mentors; and offer career exploration opportunities for youth. Funded partnerships include Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools; Tribal educational, economic development, employment, and job training organizations; local Tribal businesses and school-based enterprises; Tribal Colleges and area vocational schools; students and parents. STW has awarded $3.57 million in funding -- 24 partnership grants -- to American Indians and Alaska Natives since 1995.
Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. In 1997, President Clinton proposed and secured passage of 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 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 those taking classes part-time (in 2003, this increases to $10,000 of tuition and fees). In his FY01 budget, the President has proposed to expand the Lifetime Learning tax credit with a 10-year, $30 billion 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. In the 1995-96 school year, 51 percent of all Native American students enrolled full-time in college received a Pell Grant.
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.
Turning Around Failing Schools. Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies provide supplemental education funding to LEAs and schools, especially in high-poverty areas, to help some 13 million students learn to the same high standards as other students. To aid schools in preparing students to meet these standards. The FY00 budget provides a $134 million accountability fund within Title I to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results. In FY01, the President is proposing to nearly double the investment in the accountability fund to $250 million.
Establishing the GEAR-UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children. The President and Vice President created and expanded GEAR-UP, a nationwide mentoring initiative, to help more disadvantaged young people prepare for college. This year, 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 includes a 63 percent increase for GEAR UP, enough to provide services to 1.4 million students.
Getting High-Quality Teachers to Underserved Areas. President Clinton and Vice President Gore won $98 million in the FY00 budget to enhance teacher quality and attract teachers to high need, high poverty school districts. This year, the President and Vice President have proposed a new $1 billion teacher quality plan to recruit, train and reward good teachers. The Teaching to High Standards Initiative includes a Hometown Teacher Recruitment program to empower high-poverty school districts to develop programs to recruit homegrown teachers to address the shortage of qualified teachers.
Helping Students Finish College. This year the President has proposed a new College Completion Challenge Grants initiative to help reduce the college drop-out rate among low-income students, with pre-freshman summer programs, support services and increased grant aid to students. This $35 million initiative will improve the chances of success for nearly 18,000 students.
Joint DOJ/DOI Law Enforcement Initiative. Although violent crime has been declining nationally for several years, Indian Country continues to have serious crime problems. At the same time, police service on Indian lands has been steadily shrinking. Recognizing these facts, the President made a major commitment to strengthen law enforcement and improve public safety for the over 1.4 million residents on the approximately 56 million acres of Indian lands. The FY00 budget provided DOJ and BIA $336 million (a $52 million increase over 1999) for the second year of President Clinton's Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative. This funding will help address high crime rates in Indian Country by providing more resources for officer hiring and retention, drug control and youth crime prevention programs, law enforcement equipment, construction of detention facilities, and crime reporting surveys. In FY01, the President is requesting a $103 million increase for this program, bringing total funding to $439 million.
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 in the FY 2000 budget for the first installment toward his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005. Since the start of the COPS program, the Department of Justice has provided grants of almost $100 million to Indian Country to help hire over 1000 additional police officers.
Comprehensive Approach to Public Safety. The Department of Justices Consortium of Indian Reservations Cooperating in Law Enforcement (CIRCLE PROJECT) is a demonstration project, taking a comprehensive and coordinated approach to law enforcement and public safety in Indian country. DOJ has provided enhanced technical assistance to three Indian communities, the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota, the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, and the Northern Cheyenne in Montana, in order to help them identify their crime and public safety problems on a community-wide level. Through this process, the communities have developed comprehensive plans to address law enforcement and public safety concerns. Grants were awarded to the above three tribes, and the Attorney General met with each of these tribes in Washington, DC, for a consultation to discuss their comprehensive strategic plans for law enforcement in their communities.
Safe and Clean Environment
Protecting Tribal Natural Resources. President Clinton established the American Indian Environmental Office to work with tribes to protect human health and the environment in Indian Country. Other Tribal environmental achievements include:
- Requested $188 million in his FY 01 budget for EPA support of tribal environmental protection programs on Indian lands. As a part of this program, EPA will continue to build and support Tribal capacity to implement, operate, and enforce federal environmental laws.
- Supported the exercise of Northwest Tribes' treaty fishing rights.
Mitigating Environmental Impacts on Tribal Lands. In FY97, DOD entered into a new era in its relationship with Indian tribes through the development of Cooperative Agreements (CAs) with Tribal governments to mitigate environmental impacts on Indian lands resulting from DOD activities. In addition, DOD demonstrated and validated several promising new technologies that target environmental problems caused by past DOD activities on Indian lands.
Wastewater and Drinking Water Infrastructure Investments. The President's FY01 budget increases the Tribal share of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund appropriation from 0.5 to 1.5 percent. The percentage increase will add more than $5 million for Tribal wastewater infrastructure spending over FY 2000. The Clinton-Gore Administration also continues to request an additional $15 million for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs of Alaska Native villages.
Strengthening Tribal Environmental Programs. The EPA's General Assistance Program (GAP) grants fund tribal institutional capacity building for implementing environmental programs on Indian lands. GAP grants have increased from $8 million in 1993 to $43 million in FY00. The Presidents FY01 budget increases funding for GAP by $10 million to a total of $53 million.
Promoting Environmental Justice and Redevelopment. President Clinton 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.
Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. President Clinton proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that our families have healthy, clean tap water. Required Americas 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water.February, 2000
Clinton-Gore Accomplishments by Issue