October 25, 2000
"From this point forward, Congress should work every day and every night to put progress over partisanship, to make the investments in education our schools need and our children deserve."
President Bill Clinton
October 25, 2000
Today, at the White House, the President called on Congress to finish its job by addressing America's priorities before it adjourns. Nearly a month after the end of the fiscal year, Congress still has not finished a budget. With the fourth deadline extension expiring at midnight tonight, the President reiterated that he will grant only day-by-day extensions to ensure that Congress completes its business before leaving town. In an effort to find bipartisan common ground on tax cuts for middle-class families, the President is sending Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader Lott a compromise package of tax relief legislation.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO COMPLETE A BUDGET THAT INVESTS IN EDUCATION. In February, President Clinton and Vice President Gore sent Congress a balanced and fiscally responsible budget that makes investments in key education initiatives. Nearly one month into the new fiscal year, Congress still has not completed a budget. The budget Congress has passed so far:
- Fails to create new school modernization bonds to help communities build and modernize up to 6,000 schools, including tribal bonds for schools serving Native Americans;
- Fails to guarantee funding for urgent school repairs, potentially denying much-needed renovations to up to 5,000 schools;
- Fails to expand after-school opportunities, denying funding for more than 3,000 centers that would serve more than 1 million children;
- Fails to secure funding for class-size reduction, potentially denying smaller classes to 2.9 million children;
- Fails to provide sufficient resources to improve teacher quality, including professional development, recruitment, and rewards, and does not help ensure a qualified teacher in every classroom; and
- Fails to help turn around failing schools and hold them accountable for results.
URGING CONGRESS TO ADDRESS AMERICA'S PRIORITIES. President Clinton called on members of Congress to do their job by addressing America's priorities before returning to their districts to campaign for re-election. Specifically, the President called on Congress to:
- Provide an affordable prescription drug benefit option for all Medicare beneficiaries;
- Enact a meaningful Patients' Bill of Rights;
- Raise the minimum wage by $1 over 2 years;
- Pass meaningful hate crimes legislation;
- Ensure equal pay for women;
- Insist on fairness for immigrants; and
- Protect our nation's youth and hold tobacco companies accountable.