CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
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.
Tax Cuts for Working Families. 15 million additional working families received additional tax relief because of the President's expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million people out of poverty - double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. This year, the President proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to an additional 6.8 million hard-pressed working families.
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.
Fighting for Fair Pay. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to ensure fair pay for women and close the wage gap. The average woman who works full-time now earns about 75 cents for each dollar that an average man earns. The President and Vice President have called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen laws prohibiting wage discrimination. This year, the President has proposed a $27 million initiative to help the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and the Labor Department fight wage discrimination.
Increased the Minimum Wage. The minimum wage has risen from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, increasing wages for six million women. The President and Vice President have called for an additional increase to $6.15.
Highest Homeownership Rate in History. There are 7.8 million new homeowners since the President took office. Women's homeownership has increased 14% with 1.9 million new women homeowners since the first quarter of 1994.
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 FY 2001 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.
Increasing Pension Security. President Clinton proposed and signed the Retirement Protection Act of 1994, protecting the benefits of more than 40 million American workers and retirees. The President also signed the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, which provided a tax credit to small business that adopt pension plans; created a simplified and better defined contribution plan for small businesses; and promoted portability.
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 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. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the life of the Social Security trust fund has been extended until 2037.
Social Security Reform Critical to Women. Women live an average of six years longer than men, and because they live longer they become increasingly dependent on Social Security benefits as they age. Women represent 60 percent of all Social Security recipients at age 65, and by age 85, 71 percent of recipients are women. Social Security provides 90 percent of income for 41 percent of all older women; 25 percent have no other source of income. The poverty rate among elderly women is twice the poverty rate among seniors as a whole. President Clinton and Vice President Gore are committed to reforming Social Security in a manner that will ensure fairness and reduce the poverty rate of single elderly women.
Tripled the Number of Small Business Loans to Women Entrepreneurs. Between FY 1992 and FY 1999 the SBA approved nearly 73,000 loans, amounting to more than $11 billion, to women entrepreneurs under the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. In FY 1999 alone, the Small Business Administration granted 10,244 loans, worth $1.85 billion, to women small business owners, triple the number of loans granted in 1992; in FY 2000 to date the SBA has approved 3,612 loans worth $711 million dollars. [as of 2/00]
Women Are Starting Businesses at Twice the Rate of All Businesses. Women own nearly 40 percent of all firms in the United States, and the number of women-owned small businesses have grown by 103 percent since 1987. These nine million women-owned firms employ more than 27.5 million employees and contribute $3.6 trillion to the economy. The Small Business Administration's Office of Women's Business Ownership is working to foster this growth.
Expanded Small Business Opportunities for Women. The Clinton-Gore Administration won $9 million in FY 2000 for Women's Business Centers, which provide resources to foster increased entrepreneurship among women. In his FY 2001 budget, President Clinton has proposed to expand the Women's Business Center network budget to $12 million, an increase of 33 percent. Today this network includes more than 80 women's business centers, including an Online Women's Business Center. Of those, 59 centers are currently funded by SBA grants; 22 have graduated from funding and are operating independently.
Highest Median Family Income in History. Since the President launched his economic plan in 1993, median family income is the highest it has ever been. The typical family's income is up over $5,000. In 1998, median household income is up 3.5 percent to a new high of $38,885.
Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work. Since enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law, millions of families have moved from welfare to work. With the President's leadership, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs. To fully implement this initiative, the President's FY 2001 budget allows grantees an additional two years to spend Welfare-to-Work funds. It also proposes $255 million for Fathers Work/Families Win grants to promote responsible fatherhood and support working families. The Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients. The President's Access to Jobs initiative helps communities design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work, and this year the President is proposing $150 million for this initiative, double last year's level. President Clinton has secured 110,000 new housing vouchers in the last two years to help welfare recipients and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities, and this year he is proposing $690 million for 120,000 new housing vouchers.
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.
Signed the Landmark Work Incentives Improvement Act. Americans with disabilities often become ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare if they work, forcing a choice between health care and employment. The Work Incentives Improvement Act keeps people with disabilities from losing their Medicare or Medicaid health coverage when they go to work. It also includes a $250 million demonstration, which the President insisted on fully funding, that allows people with disabilities who are still working and are not yet sufficiently disabled to qualify for Medicaid to buy into the program.
Caring For Our Children
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.
Fought For and Won $500 Child Tax Credit for 27 Million Families with 45 Million Children under Age 17. Twelve million children from families with income below $30,000 will receive the child tax credit as a result of the President's efforts.
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.
Ensuring Safe Food for America's Families. President Clinton created the President's Council on Food Safety to develop a comprehensive food safety strategic plan for federal agencies. The Clinton-Gore Administration has implemented a new science-based inspection system -- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points -- and reduced the prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry by as much as 50 percent. The Administration 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. The Administration also issued new rules to prevent foodborne illness caused by pathogens such as E. coli.
Held First-Ever White House Conference on Early Child Development and Learning and the White House Conference on Child Care. In April 1997, the President and First Lady held the White House Conference on Early Child Development and Learning to highlight the benefits of early nurturing by parents. And in October 1997, the White House Conference on Child Care began a dialogue on the child care challenges facing parents today -- availability, affordability, and assuring safety and quality.
Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care. 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 the 1996 welfare reform law increased child care funding by $4 billion over six years to provide child care assistance to families moving from welfare to work.
Signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Clinton-Gore Administration's Adoption 2002 report, made sweeping changes in adoption law so that thousands of children in foster care move more quickly into safe and permanent homes. In 1998, 36,000 children in foster care were adopted, up from 28,000 in 1996. This is the first significant increase in adoption since the national foster care program was established nearly 20 years ago.
Using the Internet to Increase Adoptions. In November 1998 the President directed the Department of Health and Human Services to expand the use of the Internet as a tool to link children in foster care more quickly with possible adoptive families. HHS will launch a national web site by September 2001 to break down geographic barriers to adoption.
Enacted the Foster Care Independence Act. Nearly 20,000 young people leave foster care each year when they reach age 18 without an adoptive family or other guardian. The Foster Care Independence Act will ensure that those young people will get the tools they need to make the most of their lives by providing them better educational opportunities, access to health care, training, housing assistance, counseling, and other services.
Raised Child Immunization Rates to All Time High. Childhood immunization coverage rates in 1998 were the highest ever recorded. 90 percent of toddlers in 1996, 1997 and 1998 received the most critical doses of each of the routinely recommended vaccines, surpassing the President's 1993 goal.
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965. The five year, $24 billion State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will provide health care coverage for up to five million children. Two million children have already been enrolled, and in October 1999 President Clinton announced new outreach initiatives to enroll millions more uninsured, eligible children. Last year, the President launched a nationwide "Insure Kids Now" campaign that will bring together major TV and radio networks, healthcare organizations, religious groups and other community-based organizations to help enroll more children in the Children's Health Insurance Program, with the goal of enrolling 5 million of the estimated 10 million children eligible for health insurance under CHIP within 5 years. This year, the budget includes several of Vice President Gore's proposals to accelerate enrollment of children in CHIP. The President is also proposing a new FamilyCare program, which would give States the option to cover parents in the same plan as their children.
Issued Regulation that Drug Companies Provide Adequate Testing for Children. President Clinton directed an important Food and Drug Administration regulation requiring manufacturers to do studies on pediatric populations for new prescription drugs -- and those currently on the market -- to ensure that prescription drugs have been adequately tested for the unique needs of children.
Breaking the Cycle of Dependency. The teen birth rate has fallen seven years in a row, by 18 percent from 1991 to 1998. The teen pregnancy rate is now the lowest rate on record.
Standing Up to the Tobacco Industry. The President and Vice President developed and implemented the first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco, including: proposing to hold the tobacco industry accountable by charging the tobacco industry an assessment for every underage smoker and increasing the price of cigarettes by 25 cents a pack; urging Congress to grant FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products, prohibit advertising aimed at children and curb minors' access to tobacco products; pursuing the suit filed against the tobacco industry by the Justice Department to recover the federal costs of smoking-related illnesses; advocating that states use tobacco settlement money for tobacco prevention and control; and helping people to quit by proposing a smoking cessation program for Medicaid.
Investing in Education
Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years. Maintaining his longtime commitment to education, President Clinton enacted the largest investment in education in 30 years -- and the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill -- by signing the 1997 Balanced Budget Act.
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 one 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.
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.
Turning Around Failing Schools. 13 million low-income students 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.
Protecting Title IX. The Clinton-Gore Administration firmly supports and enforces Title IX, which has enabled young women to participate fully in high school and college athletics. When Title IX was passed more than 25 years ago, only 300,000 girls participated in high school sports. In 1999, well over two million participated.
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 two 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 Choice and Accountability in Public Schools. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to expand public school choice and support the growth of public charter schools, which have increased from one public charter school in the nation when the President was first elected to more than 1,600 as of September 1999. More than 250,000 students nationwide are now enrolled in charter schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The President won $145 million in FY 2000 -- and has proposed $175 million in his FY01 budget -- to continue working toward his goal of establishing 3,000 quality charter schools by 2002.
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.
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.
Expanding Access to 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.
Paying for College Through Community Service. In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed 150,000 young people to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training.
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 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 FY 2001 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.
Improving Our Nation's Health
Protected and Strengthened Medicare, Benefiting 22 Million American Women Enrollees. 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, cervical cancer screening, and tests to help detect osteoporosis. The President proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicare's benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. The President has also proposed a reserve fund to help Medicare beneficiaries with extremely high prescription drug costs. In March 1999, the Medicare Trustees reported that the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended until 2023. In 1993, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999.
Increased Funding for Breast Cancer Research. Since President Clinton and Vice President took office, funding for breast cancer research, prevention and treatment has more than doubled. This year, the Administration's budget will provide $27 million in funding -- a 56 percent increase -- to learn more about environmental causes of diseases like breast cancer. In addition, the President has implemented the Mammography Quality Standards Act to ensure the quality of mammograms. Women can now find a certified mammography facility by calling 1-800-4-CANCER.
Created Office of Cancer Survivorship. President Clinton unveiled the new Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute. The Office will support research covering the range of issues facing survivors of cancer.
Providing Protection with the Patients' Bill of Rights. The President and Vice President have called on Congress to pass Federally enforceable consumer health care protections that include: guaranteed access to needed health care specialists including direct access to an OB-GYN; access to emergency room services when and where the need arises; continuity of care protections to ensure that patients' care will not abruptly change if their provider is dropped; access to a timely internal and independent external appeals process for consumers to resolve their differences with their health plans; a limit on financial incentives to doctors to limit care and assurances that doctors and patients can openly discuss treatment options. Women are particularly vulnerable without these health care protections because they are greater users of health care services, they make three-quarters of the health care decisions for their families, and they have specific health care needs that are directly addressed by a patients' bill of rights. Leading by example, the President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the proposed Patients' Bill of Rights.
Preventing Discrimination Based on Genetic Information Both by Health Plans and Employers. The Clinton-Gore Administration has urged Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to prohibit health plans from inappropriately using genetic screening information to deny coverage, set premiums, or to distribute confidential information. The President also has supported legislation that ensures that employers do not use genetic information to discriminate against employees. President Clinton signed an executive order banning the use of genetic information in federal hiring and promotion actions and strengthening privacy protections of federal employees' genetic information.
Passed Meaningful Health Insurance Reform. The President signed into law the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which helps individuals keep health insurance when they change jobs, guarantees renewability of coverage, and ensures access to health insurance for small businesses. As many as 25 million people will benefit from this law. The bill also eliminated the discriminatory tax treatment the of the approximately 10 million Americans who are self-employed; strengthened efforts to combat health care fraud, waste and abuse by creating a stable source of funding; and provided consumer protections and tax incentives for private long-term care insurance.
Released Strong New Protections for the Privacy of Electronic Medical Records. The Clinton-Gore Administration released a new regulation to protect the privacy of electronic medical records held by health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. This rule would limit the use and release of private health information without consent; restrict the disclosure of protected health information to the minimum amount of information necessary; establish new requirements for disclosure of information to researchers and others seeking access to health records; and establish new administrative and criminal sanctions for the improper use or disclosure of private information.
Endorsed Legislation That Would Ban Drive-Through Mastectomies. President Clinton endorsed the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, which would allow women to stay in the hospital at least 48 hours following a mastectomy.
Ended Drive-Through Deliveries. President Clinton proposed and signed into law legislation requiring insurers to cover at least 48 hours of a post-natal hospital stay (72 hours for a Cesarean).
Promoting Reproductive Health Services for Women
Expanding Family Planning Services. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have taken strong steps to promote safe reproductive health services for women. They won a nearly $25 million increase for Title X family planning, the largest increase since 1993, bringing the program to almost $240 million in FY 2000. This year, the President's budget includes a $274 million investment -- a 15 percent increase -- to prevent unintended pregnancy and ensure access to safe, high quality family planning services. This investment will help fund clinics and community-based health services that reach more than 5 million women and families. In 1998 and 1999, the Clinton-Gore Administration successfully defeated parental consent restrictions on contraceptive services for minors.
Provided Contraceptive Coverage to More than a Million Women. The FY 1999 and FY 2000 budgets require the 300 Federal Employees Health Benefits Plans (FEHBP) to cover contraceptive drugs and devices, providing coverage to approximately 1.2 million women of childbearing age.
Protected FDA's Role in Testing RU-486. In 1993, President Clinton reversed the ban on the importation of Mifepristone or RU-486. In 1998 and 1999, the President and Vice President successfully fought for removal of a provision that would prohibit the FDA from testing, developing or approving RU-486, thereby usurping the Agency's role in making scientific determinations about the effect of drugs on the safety and health of the American people.
Signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. President Clinton signed into law the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, establishing a safety-zone around women's health clinics. Throughout the Administration, the President and Vice President have worked hard to protect a woman's right to choose.
Reversed the "Gag Rule." President Clinton reversed the "Gag Rule," which limited the information federally funded family planning clinics could give to women.
Making Our Communities Safer
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. The rate of forcible rape is down 12 percent since 1994.
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 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 500,000 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.
Held the First-Ever White House Conference on School Safety. On October 15, 1998, the President hosted the White House Conference on School Safety. The participants explored solutions to this national challenge: how do schools, families and communities work together to make sure that every child is safe in every school in America.
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.
New Tools in the Fight Against Domestic Violence. President Clinton championed and signed into law the Violence Against Women Act, bolstering local law enforcement, prosecution, and victims' services to better address these crimes. The Clinton-Gore Administration more than quadrupled funding to domestic violence shelters and signed the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act, making it a Federal crime to cross state lines intending to injure or harass another person. And the Administration established a nationwide 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline, which provides immediate crisis intervention, counseling and referrals for those in need.
Protecting Children from Sex Offenders. President Clinton signed Megan's Law and the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, requiring states to set up sex offender registration systems and require community notification when sex offenders are released from prison.
Fighting for Equal Opportunity
Appointed More Women Than Any Other President. Women make up 44 percent of Clinton Administration appointees, and 29 percent of the positions requiring Senate confirmation are held by women. Additionally, 30 percent of the President's judicial nominees are women, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman in history to serve on the Supreme Court.
Appointed the First Women Ever to Serve as Attorney General, Janet Reno; and Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Other women who serve in the Clinton Cabinet include Alexis Herman, Secretary of Labor; Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Carol Browner, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Aida Alverez, Administrator of the Small Business Association; Charlene Barshefsky, United States Trade Representative and Janice LaChance, Director of the Office of Personnel Management.
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.
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 African Americans, including students, working men and women, and business owners, remain in effect and are more likely to be upheld by the courts.