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National Economic Council


Upon taking office in 1993, President Clinton created the National Economic Council (NEC) to coordinate the formulation of his economic policy by serving as an honest broker between the Administration's many agencies, offices and departments. Amidst the pressures of day-to-day events, the NEC works to ensure that economic policy conforms to the President's long term goals, enunciated early in his Administration, of maintaining fiscal discipline, making key investments in the American people, and opening foreign markets for American workers, farmers and businesses. The NEC also monitors policy once it is decided upon to ensure that it is properly implemented.

Through the mechanism of inter-agency meetings, the NEC strives to ensure that proposed ideas are properly vetted and evaluated from all perspectives. The NEC has played a central role in developing the Administration's major economic initiatives, including:

  • the deficit reduction plans of 1993 and 1997
  • the largest expansion ever of the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families
  • the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • consistent efforts to expand free and fair trade
  • the "Middle Class Bill of Rights" package of targeted tax relief announced in 1994
  • establishment of the Direct Student Loan Program
  • the President's Empowerment Zones initiative
  • the Welfare-to-Work initiative
  • increased funding for school construction
  • the creation of HOPE scholarships for college tuition
  • ensuring that budgetary surpluses be used to strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and to pay down federal debt
  • the Digital Divide initiative
  • the New Markets initiative
  • the College Opportunity Tax Cut
  • the China-PNTR Agreement

The Director of the NEC also serves as the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. From 1993 to 1995 Robert Rubin occupied these posts, succeeded by Laura D'Andrea Tyson from 1995 to 1997, and by Gene B. Sperling since 1997.

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