Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:54 AM
wyldwolf (37,802 posts)
Democratic Party appreciation thread (Part 1)
An imperfect political party with imperfect people. A political party who hasn't always done the right thing or done the right thing quick enough. A political party that has made mistakes and has compromised on bad things so that good things could happen. But as Senator Mark Warner of Virginia once remarked, "the greatest and most noble political experiments of our time had their birth in our party."
So in appreciation of our Democratic party, here is a list of Democratic accomplishments by the last several Presidents.
Oh, and haters are going to hate.
President Barack Obama
Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office. Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%. http://n.pr/i3d7cY
Within days after taking office, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse. http://1.usa.gov/dUvbu5
Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money. http://n.pr/hcgBn1
On his first full day, he froze White House salaries. http://on.msnbc.com/ewJUIx
He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending. http://www.cio.gov
He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems, and also signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system. http://bit.ly/hOw1t1 http://bit.ly/fz8GAd
Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. http://bit.ly/hwKhKa
Improving the Economy, Preventing Depression
He pushed through and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package,” despite the fact that not one Republican voted for that bill. In addition, he launched recovery.gov, so that taxpayers could track spending from the Act. http://1.usa.gov/ibiFSs http://1.usa.gov/e3BJMk
In his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5%. http://reut.rs/i46CEE
He completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, and recovered virtually all of its costs. http://1.usa.gov/eA5jVS http://bit.ly/eCNrD6
He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan. http://1.usa.gov/goy6zl
He oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years. http://bit.ly/hrrnjY
He oversaw a bailout of General Motors that saved at least 1.4 million jobs, and put pressure on the company to change its practices, resulting in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world. http://lat.ms/zIJuQx
He also doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency. http://bit.ly/eYD4nf
He signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system. It also created a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown. http://abcn.ws/g18Fe7
He signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices. http://1.usa.gov/gIaNcS
He increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect. http://bit.ly/f77aOw
He signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market. http://bit.ly/eEpLFn
Through the Worker, Home Ownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery. http://bit.ly/dZgXXw http://bit.ly/gORYfL
He initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.
He created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.) http://www.business.gov
He played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis. http://nyti.ms/gHlgp5
He took steps to improve minority access to capital. http://bit.ly/f9xVE7
He created a $60 billion bank to fund infrastructure improvements such as roads and bridges. http://bit.ly/e1SSaQ
He implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. http://bit.ly/ibhpxr Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. http://bit.ly/gj7mt5
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost. http://1.usa.gov/ez30Dc
He dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby moving forward to cut ties between energy companies and the government. http://nyti.ms/bw1MLu
Provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession. http://bit.ly/g0IKWR
He used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan. http://on.msnbc.com/i1i8eV
Crafted an Executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans. http://bit.ly/eyqsNE
Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection
Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money. http://huff.to/eAi9Qq
He pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression. http://bit.ly/hWCPg0 http://bit.ly/geHpcD
Dodd-Frank also included the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau http://1.usa.gov/j5onG
He made it so that banks could no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests. http://bit.ly/fnTayj
He supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation. http://bit.ly/fnTayj
He wholly endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes. http://bit.ly/esOdfB http://bit.ly/eG4DPM
He made a deal with Swiss banks that permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and tax evaders. http://bit.ly/htfDgw
He established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses. http://bit.ly/fnTayj
He oversaw and then signed the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression. http://thedc.com/gxkCtP
Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination
He advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. http://bit.ly/gsMSJ7
He pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping. http://bit.ly/fdahuH http://bit.ly/mZV4Pz
He appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. http://1.usa.gov/fi5IY0
Helped Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act. http://bit.ly/th0JC8
He extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. http://1.usa.gov/g2RLCj
He’s appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history. http://bit.ly/g1lA7D
He issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other. http://1.usa.gov/aUueGT
He established a White House Council on Women and Girls http://1.usa.gov/rFfqMM
He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill. http://bit.ly/fT3Cxg
Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families. http://bit.ly/e1puTk
He expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act. http://1.usa.gov/dSbI0x
Under his watch, National Labor Relations Board has issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011. http://1.usa.gov/qu2EhQ
He provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps). http://nyti.ms/gfLqyM
He signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs. http://wapo.st/eWECA8
Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad
He visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office. http://bit.ly/hZycda
As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration. http://nyti.ms/dKvY4g
He did much to restore America’s reputation around the world as a global leader that does the “right thing” in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the planet. http://bit.ly/h743y7 http://bit.ly/ho4TCr
He re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues. http://1.usa.gov/e7QuDj
Closed a number of secret detention facilities. http://nyti.ms/rpUc9l
He improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys. http://1.usa.gov/tiGAGe
He pushed for military to emphasize development of foreign language skills. http://bit.ly/AxUCLV
Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence. http://bit.ly/9axfWh
He refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program. http://bit.ly/xVmSZK
He worked to make donations to Haiti tax-deductible in 2009. http://huff.to/6YkAVY
He established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. http://1.usa.gov/eX28DP
Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia. http://1.usa.gov/hxdf8U
He established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them. http://n.pr/hY3Kwa http://nyti.ms/emQBde
He ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and a smattering of Democrats) who prevented him from following through. http://bit.ly/eW6CVF
Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual. http://bit.ly/g6MTuC
He ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed. http://bbc.in/h6N9ax
He released the Bush torture memos. http://bit.ly/hWJ5z0
On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention. http://1.usa.gov/dL6Zve http://nyti.ms/hzWWys
In response to the emerging “Arab Spring,” he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them. http://bit.ly/zfmGv9
Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program. http://1.usa.gov/wLtNjb
Ended the Iraq War. http://tgr.ph/ru0tyS
He authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates. http://bit.ly/y8c9Fz
Better Approach to “Defense”
Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat. http://1.usa.gov/gDX1nE
He authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010. http://1.usa.gov/gLFZl2
He restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush. http://lat.ms/gkcl3i
He signed and pushed to ratification a new SALT Treaty. http://bit.ly/f3JVtw
Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will last until at least 2021. http://1.usa.gov/cI1bC4
Through the Defense Authorization Act, he reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq. http://bit.ly/hk73OJ
He developed the first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan. http://wapo.st/ee4Xcs
He returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops. http://bit.ly/lNXUna
Fulfilled campaign promise and ended our involvement in Iraq, and will complete full troop withdrawal before Christmas 2011. http://onforb.es/nTUk4Z
He took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world. http://yhoo.it/n5lXs6
He negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India. http://1.usa.gov/aHp0Cn
He took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple a despotic government and determine their own fate. http://aje.me/qAh4Sj
Treating Soldiers and Veterans with Respect
He made sure that families of fallen soldiers could be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB, by providing funding for it. He also ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.http://nyti.ms/glqN66 http://bbc.in/gWSSkA
He funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services. http://1.usa.gov/huhqfo
He provided the troops with better body armor. http://bit.ly/hzSv2h
Created the Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order to improve the quality of their medical care. http://1.usa.gov/f4yaxW
He put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date. (personal note: my son will be in harm’s way for six fewer months with Obama as president, so you know I love this one). http://nyti.ms/e2YQ7Q
He supported and signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans. http://1.usa.gov/fN4ur1
He ushered through the largest spending increase in 30 years for the Department of Veterans Affairs for improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities. http://1.usa.gov/gY8O3x
He created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs. http://bit.ly/epwUQY
He oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals. http://bit.ly/gjzTxX
He has repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process. http://bit.ly/gYWd30 http://bit.ly/e9c7Dr http://bit.ly/eEzTNq
Completely reformed the student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate. http://nyti.ms/dMvHOt
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , he invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. http://1.usa.gov/gGRIAr This includes a major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide http://bit.ly/fNDcj3 , as well as an expansion in school construction. http://bit.ly/fYwNrV
Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start. http://1.usa.gov/tzT2Rr
Signed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0 http://bit.ly/hPhG7J
He oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low-income students to go to college. http://bit.ly/hI6tXz
He passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds. http://1.usa.gov/dQvtUe
Greater Transparency and Better Government
He signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch. http://bit.ly/fsBACN
He signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years. He also put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House. http://nyti.ms/gOrznV
He held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public. http://bit.ly/gVNSgX
The Obama White House became the first to stream every White House event, live. http://1.usa.gov/kAgOP5
He established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities. http://www.serve.gov
He provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history. http://1.usa.gov/hQ7ttV
He crafted an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. This will provide the public with greater access to historic White House documents, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.
He improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent in the processing of FOIA requests. http://1.usa.gov/gjrnp2
National Safety and Security
He’s restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural disasters successfully. http://bit.ly/h8Xj7z
Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast. http://nyti.ms/efBO7B
Has repeatedly beefed up border security http://bit.ly/mMYB4i
Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden. http://bit.ly/jChpgw
Science, Technology and Health Care
He created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.
Opened up the process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects. http://bit.ly/j0KV2U
He eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. He also provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research. http://bit.ly/h36SSO http://ti.me/edezge
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs. http://nyti.ms/fTs9t7
He signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis. http://bit.ly/fOi2rb
He expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers. http://bit.ly/jRRRJc
His EPA reversed research ethics standards which allowed humans to be used as “guinea pigs” in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics. http://bit.ly/bKgqdS
Conducted a cyberspace policy review. http://1.usa.gov/gmbdvC
Provided financial support for private sector space programs. http://bit.ly/fn8ucr
He oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use. http://bit.ly/dNTRyP
He ushered through a bill that authorized the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. http://on.msnbc.com/fiKViB As a result, the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as “light.”
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs. http://bit.ly/ecQSgA
He also increased funding for community-based prevention programs. http://bit.ly/frMPG3
He oversaw a 50% decrease in cost of prescription drugs for seniors. http://bit.ly/e5b1iq http://1.usa.gov/fVNkt9
He eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price. http://bit.ly/fOkG5b
Two weeks after taking office, he signed the Children’s Health Insurance Re-authorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million. http://bit.ly/fDEzGv
He held a quick press conference, and urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put the increase on hold for two months. http://yhoo.it/e8Tj9C
Ushered through and signed the Affordable Health Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to 30 million more people, and ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental to those with coverage. He also established http://www.healthcare.gov/
Through the Affordable Health Care Act, he allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V
Through the Affordable Health Care Act, he provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small business to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V
Through the Affordable Health Care Act, he expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level. http://nyti.ms/ekMWpo
Through the Affordable Health Care Act, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V
Provisions in the Affordable Health Care Act have already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Last year’s increase was 4%. Compare that to the average 12% annual inflation rate during the previous 40 years. http://1.usa.gov/oMxpTh
Strengthening the Middle Class and Families
He worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families. http://bit.ly/fNfidS
He cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor. http://nyti.ms/fOGLcj
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , he cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families. http://bit.ly/eSEI4F
Under Obama, tax rates for average working families are the lowest they’ve been since 1950. http://bit.ly/f74pD8
He extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years. http://bit.ly/eFeSdP
He extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times. http://aol.it/evtVxD http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ http://bit.ly/hOtIpg http://bit.ly/fTT7kz
Environment and Energy
He fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact federal fuel efficiency standards that were above federal standards. http://nyti.ms/e8e94x
He fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade. http://politi.co/hiaPKM
He oversaw the establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, which creates more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies. http://bit.ly/lZp73y
His EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history. http://bit.ly/lP3yEL
He ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances. http://1.usa.gov/g3MTbu
He ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. http://reut.rs/fV155p (As you can see, Republicans are trying hard to kill it.)
He oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers. http://bit.ly/mjnq2R
Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions. http://bit.ly/froaP5
His EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. http://bit.ly/iQTSNN
He doubled federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE
He pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars. http://bit.ly/j8UP5Y
He created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. http://1.usa.gov/fgfRWq
He reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and even proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush-era stance that climate change was a “hoax.” http://bit.ly/dX6Vj3 http://bit.ly/fE2PxK http://nyti.ms/hfeqvv
He fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide. http://bit.ly/eJ6QOO
He required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption. http://bit.ly/lBhk7P
Following Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic. http://bit.ly/fzQUFO
Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars. http://bit.ly/glCukV
Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles. http://bit.ly/h5KZqy http://1.usa.gov/fLWq5c http://1.usa.gov/hmUSbk
He oversaw and pushed through an amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://1.usa.gov/yTRYVo
He also actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills. http://nyti.ms/bxjDi3
He initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://nyti.ms/bVuB7a
Through his EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd
He strengthened the Endangered Species Act. http://bit.ly/hscjsH
His EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year. http://bit.ly/jYH7nt
Through the EPA, he took steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans. http://bit.ly/fBuWd2
He increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10% http://bit.ly/fbJPjY
He announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards. http://1.usa.gov/oQiC1K
He announced the development of a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025 http://1.usa.gov/qtghsW
He has expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA. http://bit.ly/etznpY
He oversaw funding of the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations. http://on.fb.me/fD0EVO http://bit.ly/ff5Luv
Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. http://bit.ly/dFb8qF
He nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices. http://huff.to/eOChg6 http://bit.ly/i02wgP
He appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president. http://bit.ly/dX6vNB
He eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and he rescinded the global gag rule. http://bit.ly/eCFAI1 http://bit.ly/f92drF
He loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference. http://huff.to/eQfa7j
His FDA banned the use of antibiotics in livestock production. http://bit.ly/jUjLzo
Ushered through and signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program. http://bit.ly/idgQH5
William Jefferson Clinton
Economy: the Strongest Economy in a Generation
Longest Economic Expansion in U.S. History. In February 2000, the United States entered the 107th consecutive month of economic expansion -- the longest economic expansion in history.
Moving From Record Deficits to Record Surplus. In 1992, the Federal budget deficit was $290 billion - the largest dollar deficit in American history. In January 1993, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would grow to $455 billion by 2000. The Office of Management and Budget is now projecting a surplus of at least $230 billion for 2000 - the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever, even after adjusting for inflation. Compared with original projections, that is over $685 billion less in government drain on the economy and over $685 billion more potentially available for private investment in this one year alone. The 2000 surplus is projected to be 2.4 percent of GDP -- the largest surplus as a share of GDP since 1948. This is the first time we have had three surpluses in a row in more than a half century, and it is the second consecutive surplus excluding Social Security.
Paying Off the National Debt. In July 2000, the Treasury Department announced that the United States will pay off $221 billion of debt this year -- the largest one-year debt pay down in American history. This will be the third consecutive year of debt reduction, bringing the three-year total to $360 billion. Public debt is on track to be $2.4 trillion lower in 2000 than was projected in 1993. Debt reduction brings real benefits for the American people -- a family with a home mortgage of $100,000 might expect to save roughly $2,000 per year in mortgage payments. Reduced debt also means lower interest rates and reduced payments on car loans and student loans. With the President's plan, we are now on track to eliminate the nation's publicly held debt by at least 2012.
More Than 22 Million New Jobs. 22.2 million new jobs have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single Administration -- and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms. 92 percent (20 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the economy has added an average of 248,000 jobs per month, the highest under any President. This compares to 52,000 per month under President Bush and 167,000 per month under President Reagan.
Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Over Three Decades. In the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased 3.8 percent -- faster than the rate of inflation. The United States has had five consecutive years of real wage growth -- the longest consecutive increase since the 1960s. Since 1993, real wages are up 6.5 percent, after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan and Bush years.
Household Income Breaks $40,000 for First Time in History. Income for median households rose $1,072, or 2.7 percent, from $39,744 in 1998 to $40,816, marking an unprecedented fifth year of significant growth in income. In 1999, the median income of African American households increased from $25,911 in 1998 to $27,910 -- an increase of $1,999, or 7.7 percent, which is the largest one-year increase ever recorded. The income of the median Hispanic household, adjusted for inflation, increased from $28,956 in 1998 to $30,735 in 1999 -- an increase of $1,779, or 6.1 percent, which is the largest one-year increase ever recorded.
Unemployment is the Lowest in Over Three Decades. Unemployment is down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 3.9 percent in September, the lowest in more than three decades. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row, and has remained below 5 percent for 37 months in a row -- over three full years. Unemployment for African-Americans fell to the lowest level ever recorded, and for Hispanics it remains at historic lows.
Highest Homeownership Rate in History. The homeownership rate reached 67.2 percent in the second quarter of 2000 -- the highest ever recorded. Minority homeownership rates were also the highest ever recorded. In contrast, the homeownership rate fell from 65.6 percent in the first quarter of 1981 to 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 1993. There are almost 9 million more homeowners than in 1993.
Lowest Poverty Rate Since 1979. In 1999, the poverty rate dropped from 12.7 percent to 11.8 percent, the lowest rate in two decades. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore passed their Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate has declined from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 11.8 percent in 1999 - the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years (1964-1970). There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than in 1993, and over 2.2 million, or over 30 percent, of this decline occurred during the past year.
Largest One-Year Drop in Child Poverty in More than Three Decades. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore child poverty has dropped by 25.6 percent -- from 22.7 percent in 1993 to 16.9 percent in 1999. While this is still too high, it is the lowest child poverty rate since 1979 and includes the largest one-year decline since 1966, which occurred from 1998 to 1999. The African American child poverty rate has fallen 28.2 percent since 1993, and dropped from 36.7 percent in 1998 to 33.1 percent in 1999 -- the largest one-year drop in history and the lowest level on record (data collected since 1959). The Hispanic child poverty rate has fallen by 26 percent since 1993, and dropped from 25.6 percent in 1998 to 22.8 percent in 1999 -- the lowest level since 1979.
Families and Communities: Strengthening America's Working Families
Tax Cuts for Working Families. 15 million additional working families received additional tax relief because of the President's expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 1999, the EITC lifted 4.1 million people out of poverty - nearly double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. 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 and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for seriously ill family members, new born or adoptive children, or their own serious health problems without fear of losing their jobs. Nearly 91 million workers (71% of the labor force) are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and millions of workers have benefited from FMLA since its enactment. President Clinton has proposed expanding FMLA to allow workers to take up to 24 unpaid hours off each year for school and early childhood education activities, routine family medical care, and caring for an elderly relative.
Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Programs. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child care has more than doubled, helping parents pay for the care of about 1.5 million children in 1998, and the1996 welfare reform law increased child care funding by $4 billion over six years to provide child care assistance to families moving from welfare to work. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has increased funding for the Head Start program by 90 percent, and in FY 2000, the program will serve approximately 880,000 children - over 160,000 more children than in 1993.
Increased the Minimum Wage. The minimum wage has risen from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, increasing wages for 10 million workers. The President and Vice President have called for an additional increase to $6.15 over two years.
Enacted the Workforce Investment Act. The Workforce Investment Act reformed the nation's employment and training system so that it works better for today's workers. The WIA empowered individuals by giving adults more control and choice over their training or retraining and providing universal access to core labor market services; streamlined job training services by consolidating a tangle of individual programs into a simple system and creating a nationwide network of One-Stop Career Centers; enhanced accountability through tough performance standards for states, localities, and training providers; and increased flexibility so that states can innovate and experiment with new ways to train America's workers better. All 50 states are now up and running and the number of One-Stops has reached 1,200 nationwide.
Signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Clinton-Gore Administration's Adoption 2002 report, made sweeping changes in adoption law so that thousands of children in foster care move more quickly into safe and permanent homes. In 1999, 46,000 foster care children were adopted - more than a 64 percent increase since 1996 and well on the way to meeting the President's goal of doubling the number of adoptions from 28,000 in 1996 to 56,000 by 2002.
Putting Families First. The President and Vice President developed and implemented first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco and end tobacco marketing targeted to young people. They also required the installation of V-chips in all new televisions, and encouraged schools to adopt school uniform policies to deter school violence and promote discipline.
Supporting Community Service. In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed 150,000 young people to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training.
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 has been actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in this historic effort, and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the new White House Office on the President's Initiative for One America. The office is working to ensure that we have a coordinated strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the underserved in this country, and build the One America we want for all of our nation's children. The President's FY 2001 budget includes $5 million for One America dialogues to promote and facilitate discussions on racial diversity and understanding. President Clinton has also appointed the most diver! se Cabinet and White House staff in history, presiding over an Administration that looks like America.
Welcoming New Americans. Since 1993, the United States has welcomed 4.4 million new American citizens. Faced with this unprecedented number of applications, the Administration undertook an initiative that has significantly reduced the backlog of citizenship applications and is restoring timely processing. Furthermore, the Administration's English as a Second Language/Civics Education Initiative will provide limited English speaking adults with instruction in both English literacy and critical life skills necessary for effective citizenship and civic participation.
Providing Fairness for 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 1997 and 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in restoring disability, health and nutritional benefits for certain legal immigrants, and he will continue to press for additional restorations. The President and Vice President have also taken executive actions to ensure that immigrants who are eligible for benefits are not deterred by language or other access barriers.
Education: Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years
Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. President Clinton proposed and enacted the HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits, which in 1999 were claimed by an estimated 10 million American families struggling to pay for college. The HOPE Scholarship helps make the first two years of college universally available by providing a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit provides a 20 percent tax credit on the first $5,000 of tuition and fees for students beyond the first two years of college, or taking classes part-time (in 2003, this increases to $10,000 of tuition and fees). In his FY 2001 budget, the President has proposed expanding the Lifetime Learning tax credit with a 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 thereaft! er.
Expanding Work Study and Pell Grants. One million students can now work their way through college because of the President's expansion of the Work Study Program, and nearly four million students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,300, 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.
Making College More Affordable. The Clinton-Gore Administration has cut student fees and interest rates on all loans, expanded repayment options including income contingent repayment, and improved service through the Direct Loan Program. Students have saved $8.7 billion since 1993 through the reduction in loan fees and interest rates.
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. 11 million low-income students in 13,000 school districts now benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards through Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students. The FY 2000 budget provides a $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools 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 nearly double investment in this fund to $250 million to help ensure all children receive a quality education.
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 21st Century Community Learning Centers 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 triple the number of students served to 2.5 million.
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 2,000 today. 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 FY 2001 budget -- to continue working toward his goal of establishing 3,000 quality charter schools by 2002.
Teaching Every Child to Read. The President challenged Americans to commit to the effort to ensure that every child can read well and independently by the third grade -- 1,400 colleges and universities took up his challenge, and 26,700 college work-study students now serve as reading tutors to help every child learn to read.
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 I! nternet -- up from just 35 percent in 1994.
Supporting Local Education Reform Efforts. The President signed the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (Ed-Flex) into law in April 1999, giving all states greater flexibility in the use of federal education funds in exchange for greater accountability for helping all students reach high academic standards.
Established 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. The President's FY 2001 budget would expand services to 1.4 million students.
Providing Early Education to Nearly 900,000 Children with Head Start. The President and Vice President have expanded Head Start funding by 90 percent since 1993. Head Start will reach approximately 880,000 low-income children in FY 2000 and, with the President's proposed increase for the program, will be on the way to reaching the President's goal of serving 1 million children and their families by the year 2002. The Administration also created Early Head Start, bringing Head Start's successful comprehensive services to families with children ages zero to three, and set high quality standards for both programs.
Crime and Drugs: Lowest Crime Rates in 25 Years
Lowest Crime Rates in a Generation. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office in 1993, the violent crime rate in America had more than quadrupled during the previous three decades. Since then, America has experienced the longest continuous drop in crime on record. The overall crime rate is the lowest in 25 years, and in 1999 crime fell for the eighth consecutive year nationwide. Violent crime rate fell 7 percent in 1999 and 27 percent since 1993. Since 1993, the murder rate is down more than 25 percent to its lowest point since 1967, and gun violence has declined by more than 35 percent.
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 a distressed neighborhood grant program to increase community policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods. To help keep crime at record lows, in fall 1999, 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 and technology they need to fight crime, and to fund community-wide crime fighting efforts.
More Than Half a Million Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns. Since taking effect in 1994, the Brady Law has helped to prevent a total of more than 536,000 felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns. In November 1998, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) took effect under the Brady Law, allowing access to a fuller set of records that law enforcement officials can use to conduct checks of all prospective gun purchases -- not just for handguns. As of March 2000, NICS has conducted over 10 million background checks on gun purchasers, and stopped an estimated 179,000 illegal gun sales.
Cracking Down on the Most Serious Gun Criminals. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have established a tough records of enforcement of our nation's gun laws by helping law enforcement take serious gun criminals out of our communities and put them where they belong: behind bars. The number of federal firearms cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys increased 16 percent, from 4,754 in 1992 to 5,500 in 1999. And, by providing federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools they need to crack down on gun criminals, overall gun prosecutions have increased 22 percent. In addition, the average sentence for federal gun offenders has increased by nearly two years, and federal law enforcement is successfully targeting the most serious gun offenders. Between 1992 and 1998, the number of federal gun defendants sentenced to prison for three years or more went up 20 percent, and the number sentenced to five years or more went up 12 percent.
Largest Gun Enforcement Initiative in History. This year, President Clinton has proposed the largest gun enforcement initiative ever. The initiative would provide a record $280 million to add 500 new federal ATF agents and inspectors to target violent gun criminals and illegal gun traffickers that supply guns to criminals and juveniles, and fund over 1,000 new federal, state, and local gun prosecutors to take dangerous gun offenders off the streets. This initiative would also expand the ATF's crime gun tracing program by providing tracing equipment and training to 250 additional law enforcement agencies and by creating the first nationally integrated ballistics testing system. The new ballistics testing system will help law enforcement use the unique "fingerprints" of bullets or shell casings left at the scene of a crime to identify gun criminals -- even in the absence of a firearm.
Developed Comprehensive Anti-Drug Strategy Including a $195 Million National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The President appointed Barry McCaffrey, a four-star general, to lead the Clinton-Gore Administration's anti-drug strategy as the nation's Drug Czar. In 1997, President Clinton and Director McCaffrey launched the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the largest targeted effort ever to teach youth about the dangers of drugs. The Campaign uses the full power of the modern media to encourage young people to reject drug use, and helps parents, teachers and other responsible adults talk to kids about drugs and get more involved in the lives of young people. Illicit drug use among young people age 12-17 declined for the past three years, and the average age of first-time use went up. Since 1997, overall youth drug use is down by more than 20 percent, and youth marijuana use has declined by over 25 percent. Overall drug use is down since its peak in the 1970's! , drug-related murders have fallen by 48 percent since 1992, and youth drug use is leveling off or declining.
Preventing Violence with the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative. Evidence shows that a comprehensive, integrated community-wide approach is an effective way to address the problems of school violence and alcohol and other drug abuse and promote healthy childhood. In 1998, President Clinton unveiled the Administration's Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative (SS/HS), an unprecedented joint effort involving the Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services to help communities design and implement a comprehensive approach, including educational, mental health, social service, and law enforcement services for to help combat youth violence. SS/HS has provided $146 million to 77 local education authorities who have established formal partnerships with local mental health and law enforcement agencies. This year, the President has called for a $100 million expansion of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative.
Fighting Hate Crimes. The President enacted the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act in 1994. He held the historic White House Conference on Hate Crimes, where he called for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- bipartisan legislation which would strengthen hate crimes laws and make it clear that America will not tolerate acts of violence based on race, color, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
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.
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 nearly $16 billion -- double the amount collected in 1992. The number of paternities established rose to a record 1.5 million in 1999 - more than triple the number from 516,000 in 1992. The number of child support cases with collections more than doubled during the Clinton Administration, from 2.8 million in 1992 to 4.5 million in 1999.
Teen Births Down to the Lowest Rate on Record. The teen birth rate has fallen eight years in a row, dropping 20 percent from 1991 to 1999 to the lowest rate in the 60 years data on teen births have been recorded. The teen pregnancy rate is also at the lowest rate on record. To build on this progress, the President's budget includes funding for "second chance homes" for teen parents.
Child Abuse Declines for Five Years in a Row. The number of children abused and neglected has decreased approximately 11 percent from a record 1,018,692 in 1993. While this represents progress, President Clinton and Vice President Gore continue to work to protect the health and well-being of America's children, and ending child abuse.
Expanded Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. The Clinton-Gore Administration created 31 Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities, including 50 rural ECs, which have created new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities.
Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities with the New Markets Initiative. President Clinton's New Markets Initiative will help bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy by spurring more than $22 billion in new investment in urban and rural areas. On July 25, 2000, the House passed the President's New Markets Initiative in a historic bipartisan agreement that included extension and expansion of Empowerment Zones, and an increase in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The President has taken three New Markets Tours of underserved communities, which have helped generate more than $1 billion in private sector investment commitments.
Providing Incentives to Save. President Clinton signed legislation creating Individual Development Accounts, providing incentives 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.
Health Care: Increasing Access and Improving the Nation's Health
Enacted Most Comprehensive Medicare Reforms in History. In the 1997 Balanced Budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration protected, modernized and extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund while offering new options for patient choice and preventive care. New preventive benefits passed include coverage of annual mammograms, coverage of screening tests for both colorectal and cervical cancer, and a diabetes self-management benefit. The President proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicare's benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. The President has also proposed a reserve fund to help Medicare beneficiaries with extremely high prescription drug costs.
Extending the Life of the Medicare Trust Fund. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999. Now, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended until 2025. Medicare is now in the soundest shape it has been since 1975.
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965. The five year, $24 billion State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) will provide health care coverage for up to five million children. Two million children have already been enrolled, and in October 1999 President Clinton announced new outreach initiatives to enroll millions more uninsured, eligible children. Last year, the President launched a nationwide "Insure Kids Now" campaign that will bring together major TV and radio networks, healthcare organizations, religious groups and other community-based organizations to help enroll more children in the Children's Health Insurance Program, with the goal of enrolling 5 million of the estimated 10 million children eligible for health insurance under S-CHIP within 5 years. As of June 2000, approximately 2.5 million children were enrolled in S-CHIP. This year, the budget includes sev! eral of Vice President Gore's proposals to accelerate enrollment of children in S-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.
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.
More Americans Have Health Insurance. From 1998 to 1999, the number of Americans with health insurance rose by 1.7 million -- two-thirds of them children. This is the first decline in the number of uninsured in 12 years. Factors contributing to the decline in the uninsured include the establishment of the historic S-CHIP program; the unprecedented outreach and enrollment efforts by the Administration and key states; and the improving economy in which increasing numbers of employers are offering health insurance. Despite historic gains, millions of Americans remain without insurance. The President and Vice President remain committed to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans.
Enacted Historic Comprehensive FDA Reform that Expedited the Review and Approval of New Drug Products. The President signed into law the 1997 FDA Modernization Act that includes important measures to modernize and streamline the regulation of biological products; increase patient access to experimental drugs and medical devices; and accelerate review of important new medications. This reform builds on the administrative initiatives implemented under the Vice President's reinventing government effort which have led U.S. drug approvals to be as fast or faster than any other industrialized nation. Average drug approval times have dropped since the beginning of the Administration from almost three years to just over one year.
Signed Mental Health Parity Provisions into Law. To help eliminate discrimination against individuals with mental illnesses, the President signed into law mental health parity provisions that prohibit health plans from establishing separate lifetime and annual limits for mental health coverage. In 1999, the White House held the first-ever Conference on Mental Health and released the Surgeon General's first Report on Mental Health. This year, the President's budget includes an investment of $100 million for mental health services, a 90 percent increase since 1993 levels.
Signed Legislation to End Drive-Through Deliveries. President Clinton signed into law common sense legislation that requires health plans to allow new mothers to remain in the hospital for at least 48 hours following most normal deliveries and 96 hours after a Cesarean section.
Extended Strong, Enforceable Patient Protections for Millions of Americans. Leading by example, the President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the proposed Patients' Bill of Rights. 85 million Americans covered by federal health plans, and Medicare and Medicaid, have the security of knowing they will have fair access to health care thanks to the President's work. The President and Vice President have called for passage of the bipartisan Patients Bill of Rights Act, to ensure that all Americans have essential protections, such as guaranteed access to needed health care specialists; access to emergency room services when and where the need arises; continuity of care protections to assure patient care if a patient's health care provider is dropped; access to a timely internal and independent external appeals process with a medical necessity standard; assurance that doctors and! patients can openly discuss treatment options; and an enforcement mechanism that ensures recourse for patients who have been harmed as a result of health plan actions.
Fighting Medicare Fraud and Waste. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has assigned more federal prosecutors and FBI agents to fight health care fraud than ever before. As a result, convictions have gone up a full 410 percent, saving more than $50 billion in health care claims. The Balanced Budget Act gave an array of new weapons in our fight to keep scam artists and fly-by-night health care out of Medicare and Medicaid.
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.
Implementing Comprehensive Nursing Home Quality Initiative. The Clinton-Gore Administration has issued the toughest nursing home regulations in the history of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, including increased monitoring of nursing homes to ensure that they are in compliance; requiring states to crack down on nursing homes that repeatedly violate health and safety requirements; and changing the inspection process to increase the focus on preventing bedsores, malnutrition and resident abuse. They also won a $43.5 million increase in FY 2000 to fund more rigorous inspections of nursing facilities and improved federal oversight and enforcement of nursing home quality.
Ensuring Safe Food for America's Families. President Clinton created the President's Council on Food Safety to develop a comprehensive food safety strategic plan for federal agencies. The Clinton-Gore Administration has implemented a new science-based inspection system -- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points -- and reduced the prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry by as much as 50 percent. The President signed the Food Quality Protection Act, which included special safeguards for kids and strengthened laws governing pesticides and food safety. The Administration also issued new rules to prevent foodborne illness caused by pathogens such as E. coli.
Raised Child Immunization Rates to All Time High. Childhood immunization coverage rates in 1998 were the highest ever recorded. 90 percent of toddlers in 1996, 1997 and 1998 received the most critical doses of each of the routinely recommended vaccines, surpassing the President's 1993 goal. Because childhood vaccination levels in the United States are at an all-time high, disease and death from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and Hib are at or near record lows. There was only one reported case of diphtheria, 100 reported cases of measles, and no reported cases of wild poliovirus in 1998.
Promoting Reproductive Health. The Clinton-Gore Administration has taken strong steps to protect a woman's right to choose and to promote safe reproductive health services for women. The President has provided contraceptive coverage to more than a million women covered by federal health plans; provided family planning services to low income women through the Medicaid program; stood up against attempts to prohibit the FDA from approving RU-486; and continues to fight restrictions on international family planning.
Environment: Growing the Economy And Improving the Environment
Preserving Our National Treasures. The Clinton-Gore Administration has protected tens of millions of acres, from the red rock canyons of Utah to the Florida Everglades. The Administration reached agreements to protect Yellowstone from mining and save the ancient redwoods of California's Headwaters Forest. In the FY 2000 budget, the President and Vice President won $651 million (a 42 percent increase) for Lands Legacy, a historic initiative to strengthen federal efforts to preserve national treasures and provides communities with new resources to protect local green spaces. This year, the President's budget includes a record $1.4 billion for Lands Legacy -- a 93 percent increase and the largest one-year investment ever requested for conserving America's lands.
Created Nine New National Monuments. The Clinton-Gore Administration has created nine new national monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante, protecting spectacular red rock canyonlands in Utah; Grand Canyon-Parashant, protecting deep canyons, mountains and buttes on the north rim of the Grand Canyon; Agua Fria, protecting extensive prehistoric ruins in Arizona; the California Coastal monument, protecting thousands of islands, rocks and reefs along the California coast; Giant Sequoia National Monument in California's Sierra Nevada, protecting 34 groves of ancient sequoias, the largest trees on earth; Canyons of the Ancients National Monument protecting America's highest density of archeological sites in southwest Colorado; Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument protecting unmatched biological diversity in the Cascade Range in southern Oregon; Hanford Reach National Monument protecting critical habitat for salmon spawning along one of the last free-flowing stretches of! the Columbia River in south central Washington; Ironwood Forest National Monument protecting rich stands of ironwood trees - known to live more than 800 years -- in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The Administration also expanded Pinnacles National Monument in California to better protect the area's unusual rock formations, and designated Anderson Cottage, which served as Abraham Lincoln's summer home while he was president, a national monument.
Preserving Our National Forests. The President directed the National Forest Service to develop and propose regulations to provide long-term protection for 40 million acres of roadless areas within national forests and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the pristine wilderness. The proposed regulations would ban road building in these areas and could also prohibit logging or other activities that harm their unique ecological value.
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. The Clinton-Gore Administration has completed clean up at more than 530 Superfund sites, more than three times as many as completed in the previous twelve years. Clean up of more than 91 percent of all sites is either completed or in progress. The Administration's brownfields redevelopment initiative has leveraged over $2.3 billion in private sector investment and generated 6,400 jobs.
Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. The President proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that our families have healthy, clean tap water. The Clinton-Gore Administration has required America's 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water. The Administration significantly tightened the arsenic standard, providing additional protection to at least 22.5 million Americans from cancer and other health problems. The Administration has adopted or proposed new standards to provide the first-ever protection against waterborne illness like Cryptosporidium, potentially preventing more than half a million illnesses each year. The Administration also proposed new rule to reduce dirty runoff and strengthen protections for 20,000 rivers, lakes and other waterways too polluted for swimming and fishing. Ninety-one percent of America's tap water from community drinking water sys! tems now meets all federal standards.
Clearing the Air of Unhealthy Pollution. The President and Vice President have adopted the toughest standards ever on soot and smog. They proposed significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and SUVs, and launched long-term effort to restore pristine skies over our national parks and wilderness areas. Since 1993, the number of Americans living in communities that meet federal air quality standards has grown by 43 million.
Reducing the Threat of Global Warming. The Clinton-Gore Administration negotiated an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound way. The President and Vice President secured $1.1 billion in FY 2000 for research and development of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, and set a goal of tripling U.S. use of bio-energy and bio-products by 2010. The President issued several Executive Orders. The first order directs agencies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, saving taxpayers over $750 million a year when fully implemented. The second order improves fuel efficiency by requiring the Federal government to reduce fuel use in its vehicle fleets by 20 percent in five years. The third order offers federal workers incentives to use public transportation, cutting fuel use and the pollution that contributes to climate change.
Protecting Oceans and Coasts. The Clinton-Gore Administration has extended the moratorium on new oil leasing off most of the U.S. coast through 2012, and permanently barred new leasing in national marine sanctuaries. They directed the development of key recommendations for strengthening federal oceans policy for the 21st century and appointed a high-level task force to oversee the implementation of those recommendations and launched a new era of ocean exploration where federal researchers will collaborate with marine research institutions and universities for ocean exploration. The President and Vice President secured a funding increase of over 100 percent to better support national marine sanctuaries, and have led the world in calling for a global ban on ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste.
Science and Technology: A Strong Research and Development Agenda
Unprecedented Investment in Biomedical Research. Two years ago, the President called for an increase of almost 50 percent over 5 years in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget as part of his Research for America Fund. Since that time, the NIH budget has increased by over $4.3 billion and with the funding proposed by the President this year, the Administration will be one year ahead of schedule in reaching the 50 percent goal. As a result, NIH now supports the highest levels of research ever on nearly all types of disease and health conditions, making new breakthroughs possible in vaccine development and use, the treatment of chronic disease, and prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and neurological diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. The Clinton-Gore Administration's FY 2001 budget includes a $1 billion increase for NIH.
Supporting University Research, Training the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers. The FY 2000 budget contained a 6.6 percent increase in the National Science Foundation research budget to support science and engineering research across all fields and disciplines. This includes $126 million for the Administration's "Information Technology for the 21st Century" initiative.
Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space Science and Exploration. The Clinton-Gore Administration won increased investment of $13.65 billion for NASA in FY 2000. This investment offers the potential of new scientific breakthroughs through an aggressive robotic series of exploration missions into the solar system, as well as enhancing our ability to monitor important changes in the earth's climate systems, and strengthening aviation safety for the traveling public.
Strengthening the Economy and National Security with Information Technology. The Administration continued our investment to help ensure that America leads the world in information technologies that predict tornadoes, design life-saving drugs, and make air travel safer and more efficient, and maintain our nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing.
Changing the Way Government Does Business: Doing More for Less
Results from the Reinventing Government Initiative. Overall, the Vice President's National Performance Review recommended and Congress adopted savings of about $136 billion since 1993.
Smallest Federal Civilian Workforce in 40 Years. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the Federal workforce has been cut by 377,000 - nearly a fifth - and is now lower than any time since 1960.
Lowest Federal Spending as a Share of the Economy Since 1966. The spending restraint under President Clinton has brought government spending down from 22.2 percent of GDP in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent of GDP in 2000 - the lowest since 1966. At the same time, President Clinton has increased investments in education, technology and other areas that are vital to growth.
Slowest Per Capita Growth of Government Spending Since the 1950's. During the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal spending -- on a per capita basis -- grew at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower Administration, not including inflation.
Increasing Participation in Our Democracy with the Motor Voter Law. President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act during his first year in office -- making voting easier for millions more Americans, and leading to the registration of more than 28 million new voters.
Foreign Policy: World's Strongest Force for Peace, Freedom and Prosperity
Promoting Peace and Strengthening Democracy
Advancing peace in the Middle East by hosting the Camp David Summit between Israelis and Palestinians, which constituted the first high-level discussions of all permanent status issues; brokering peace agreements between Israel and its other neighbors, including the Palestinians and Jordan; negotiating the Wye River Accords; supporting the launch of final settlement negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians; and revitalizing peace talks between the Syrians and Israelis.
Stabilizing Southeast Europe by ending a decade of repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo through leading NATO alliance to victory in air campaign and ushering in international peacekeepers, and by launching the Stability Pact to strengthen democracy, economic development and security throughout the region and accelerating its integration with the rest of Europe
Helped broker the Good Friday Peace Accord in Northern Ireland, ending decades of bloodshed and empowering the people of Northern Ireland to determine their future.
Led diplomatic efforts to end the civil war and foster multi-ethnic democracy in Bosnia.
Restored democratic government in Haiti, ending military dictatorship and stopping refugee flows.
Supporting transitions to democracy in South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Central Europe and the Baltics and supporting the mediation of peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and Ethiopia-Eritrea.
Helped end violence and protected democracy in East Timor by leading diplomatic efforts and supporting international peacekeeping mission.
Helped settle the Peru-Ecuador border dispute and end civil war in Guatemala.
Pressing for human rights and religious freedom worldwide, including in China, Burma and Sudan.
Re-started talks toward a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus.
Protecting Americans from weapons of mass destruction by working to reduce Russian nuclear arsenals through implementation of strategic arms control agreements (START) and cooperative threat reduction programs, permanently eliminating nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, easing nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, signing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and achieving the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Enhancing military stability in Europe by successfully concluding the adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.
Combating terrorism by developing a national counter-terrorism strategy, appointing a national coordinator and striking terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan.
Reducing North Korean threat through deterrence, including the forward deployment of 37,000 U.S. troops; diplomacy, including bilateral talks leading to a moratorium on long-range missile testing; and non-proliferation, including the eventual dismantling of North Korea's dangerous nuclear facilities.
Containing Iraq while working toward regime change through deterrence, economic sanctions, humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people from the oil-for-food program, and support for popular opposition to Saddam Hussein's regime.
Addressing new threats by protecting America's critical infrastructure from cyber-terrorism and biological and chemical weapons.
Discussed development of a limited national missile defense to protect against attacks from states that threaten international peace and security while preserving strategic stability with Russia.
Strengthening military readiness and modernizing our armed forces.
Combating trafficking in persons, especially women and children, through the development of an integrated strategy that focuses on prevention, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of and assistance to victims.
Fighting proliferation by improving controls over Russian nuclear weapon materials, and by funding legitimate employment opportunities for former Russian nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons researchers and institutes as an alternative to selling their skills abroad.
Negotiating a protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, banning antipersonnel landmines that do not self-destruct and self-deactivate, signed by all the major mine-producing nations.
Waging war on international crime by strengthening U.S. law enforcement programs and bilateral, regional and global cooperation related to drug trafficking, money laundering and other international organized crime and by providing $1.3 billion in additional funding for critical counter-drug and related initiatives throughout the Andean Region.
Mobilizing leadership and resources - including the development of new vaccines - to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which threaten development, economic growth, stability and security.
Strengthening Alliances and Building Partnerships
Fulfilling vision of an undivided, democratic and peaceful Europe by enlarging NATO, integrating Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic and Southeast Europe, and strengthening NATO's partnerships with Russia, Ukraine and the other New Independent States.
Building a more constructive relationship with China through engagement and frank dialogue, leading to cooperation on non-proliferation and regional security, environmental protection.
Deepening security alliance with Japan through adoption of Defense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration.
Strengthening cooperation with South Korea through jointly offered Four Party Peace Talks with North Korea and the establishment of Trilateral Consultation and Oversight Group to coordinate North Korea policy.
Supporting democracy, human rights, and market economies in Russia, Ukraine, and the countries of the former Soviet Union and promoting their international integration.
Coming soon... Jimmy Carter, LBJ and JFK
23 replies, 1588 views
Democratic Party appreciation thread (Part 1) (Original post)
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:03 AM
MannyGoldstein (30,274 posts)
1. And after 4 years, we're still in a depression.
What Would Keynes Do? ‘End This Depression Now!’ by Paul Krugman
We need First-Term FDR, not Hoover.
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:16 AM
greatauntoftriplets (147,496 posts)
How ironic is it that you feel obligated to post the disclaimer at the top on a discussion board called "Democratic Underground".
Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #2)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:38 AM
wyldwolf (37,802 posts)
3. considering the amount of anti-Democratic party posts here...
... better to acknowledge the fact the party isn't perfect by 'progressive' standards before the whiners show up.
Response to wyldwolf (Reply #7)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:25 PM
freshwest (48,675 posts)
16. Indeed, thanks very much for this list. Bookmarking to use later.
Democrats are the party of 'good governance.' The opposition wants no government so they can sell the country off to their friends. It's that simple.
Response to wyldwolf (Reply #7)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:32 PM
Tarheel_Dem (21,514 posts)
19. Most "ignore". Between the libertarian bullshit, and the b.s. coming from parties to the left of...
Dems, you sometimes find yourself drowning in deliberate misinformation. This is refreshing.
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:10 AM
Dustlawyer (3,897 posts)
9. I guess I am a "Hater!" I appreciate the good that has come about, but you cannot deny
that our system, with it's lobbiest and revolving door with private enterprise taking in politicians when they lose or retire. There is too much influence in our system and Democrats are not immune from it! Do Democrats look out for us more than Repugs, absolutely! We have a class that is above the law. There is not any move to indict anyone for this mortgage crisis/crash. When people and corporation become above the law, it is the responsibility of BOTH parties to put a stop to that! Not one is speaking about it, except Bernie Sanders, an Independant. No calls for Glass/Stegall to be reinstated, why? Take off your blinders. We need to demand COMPLETE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!!!
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:32 AM
corkhead (4,709 posts)
11. bookmarking for when I have a month and a half to read it - and for future "reply to all"s
as a response to the occasional stupid hate-emails I get
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:50 AM
pscot (18,583 posts)
13. I notice you left out repeal of Glass-Steagle
Nafta, welfare "reform", support for the Bush wars and tax cuts, the savaging of Acorn, the confirmation of Roberts and Alito and various and sundry other instances of mal-feasance, mis-feasance and general bad faith. Being the lesser of two weevils doesn't make you good.
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:58 AM
leftstreet (27,092 posts)
14. Impressive resume...for a CEO
All the buzzwords are there
Strengthened, improved, building, supporting, encouraged, discussed, addressing
Uh...where are the references though?
Response to wyldwolf (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:09 PM
calimary (37,174 posts)
21. Dang, wyldwolf! This is TERRIFIC!
Thank you so much for the compilation - must have taken you awhile!
This is well worth bookmarking for everyone. So much good reference material here!
: (where's that "you rock" smilie when you need it?) :