PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
Working on Behalf of Asian Americans
January, 2000

EXPANDING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES:
Historic Economic Gains. Overall unemployment is down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.1 percent today. In 1998, the median household income for Asian Pacific Americans was $46,600 – higher than the national median income. And the poverty rate of Asian Pacific Americans has declined from 15.3 percent in 1993 to 12.5 percent in 1998.

Tax Cuts For Working Families. President Clinton’s 1993 Economic Plan provided tax cuts to 15 million hard-pressed working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The average family with two children who received the EITC received a tax cut of $1,026. This year the President proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to 6.4 million additional working families.

More Than Three Times the Number of Small Business Loans. Between 1993 and 1999, the Small Business Administration has approved more than 27,000 loans to Asian American entrepreneurs. In 1999 alone, the SBA granted 5,577 loans, worth $2.1 billion, to Asian American small business owners, more than three times the number of loans granted in 1993.

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. President Clinton's New Markets Initiative is helping to bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy.

Expanding Exports and Creating Jobs. Since President Clinton took office, the Administration has concluded over 270 new trade agreements. This export expansion has accounted for more than one-quarter of the record U.S. economic growth between 1992 and 1998 and has helped created jobs that, on average, pay 15 percent more than non-export related jobs. Thirty percent of U.S. exports go to Asia; this country exports more goods to Asia than Europe.

Eliminated Barriers To Open Trade In Asia Pacific Nations From Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. President Clinton secured commitments from Asian Pacific nations to eliminate barriers to open trade in the region by 2020 for developing countries and 2010 for industrialized countries. Over the next two years, 15 sectors will be identified for tariff reductions, including energy products and services, environmental technologies, natural resources, medical equipment, telecommunications, gems and jewelry.

Restoring Benefits to Legal Immigrants. The President believes that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity, and bear the same responsibility, as other members of society. In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Agricultural Research Act of 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in reversing unfair cuts in benefits to legal immigrants. The FY 2001 budget builds on the Administration’s progress of restoring these important benefits by providing $2.5 billion over five years to allow states to provide health care to certain legal immigrant children and their families and pregnant women, to restore SSI eligibility to legal immigrants with disabilities, and to restore Food Stamp eligibility to certain aged immigrants and to legal immigrant in families with eligible children.

BUILDING ONE AMERICA:
President's One America Initiative. President Clinton has led the nation in an effort to become One America: a place where we respect others’ differences and embrace the common values that unite us. The President was actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in this historic effort, and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the new White House Office on the President’s Initiative for One America.

Creating an Administration That Looks like America. The Clinton Administration has more than triple the number of Asian Pacific American appointees as the previous Administration. President Clinton has also nominated more Asian Pacific Americans to the federal bench than any other president.

Improving the Quality of Life of Asian Pacific Americans. In June 1999, the Clinton-Gore Administration issued an Executive Order dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Pacific Americans, the first of its kind ever issued. The Executive Order established the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and an interagency working group to advise the President on ways to better serve Asian Pacific Americans by increasing their participation in Federal programs.

IMPROVING OUR NATION'S HEALTH:
Extended Health Care to Millions of Children with the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In the Balanced Budget of 1997, President Clinton won $24 billion to provide health care coverage to up to five million more children. In October 1999, the President announced new outreach efforts to enroll millions of eligible children. The President and Vice President have also proposed a new 10 year, $110 billion initiative that would expand coverage to at least 5 million uninsured Americans and expand access to millions more.

Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities by 2010. President Clinton's initiative is designed to help eliminate racial disparities in six key health areas: infant mortality, diabetes, cancer screening and management, heart disease, AIDS and immunizations. President Clinton won a 200% increase for this initiative in the FY00 budget.

Protecting Families. The Family & Medical Leave Act enables 91 million Americans (71 percent of the labor force) to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a new baby or ailing family member without jeopardizing their job. The President has proposed expanding the FMLA to allow workers up to 24 hours per year of unpaid leave for parent-teacher conferences or routine medical care for a child.

INVESTING IN EDUCATION:
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 a total of 880,000 in FY 2000 and will serve 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.

Turning Around Failing Schools. 11 million low-income students now benefit from Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students, and all our children are benefiting from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards. The FY00 budget provides an additional $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results.

Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. The President and Vice President proposed and passed the $1,500 HOPE Scholarship credits, making the first two years of college universally available for six million students, and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, a 20 percent credit will help more than seven million students offset tuition costs for college or lifetime learning. The Administration expanded the Work Study Program to allow 1 million students to work their way through college, and increased the maximum Pell Grant award to $3,300 -- a 43 percent increase since 1993. This year the President proposed a $77 million increase in Work Study, and an increase in the maximum Pell Grant to $3,500.

Helping Students Finish College. The President has proposed new College Completion Challenge Grants to help reduce the college drop-out rate, 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.

MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER:
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.

Preventing Hate Crimes. The President signed the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act, which provides for longer sentences for hate crimes, and hosted the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes. President Clinton is calling for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in order to strengthen hate crimes laws.

Working to Expand Civil Rights Enforcement. This year President Clinton has proposed a significant increase in funding 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.

 

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