President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Congressional Democrats Win a Landmark Budget
December 15, 2000
All year, President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and congressional Democrats have fought for a fiscally responsible budget that maintains America's prosperity by paying down the debt while making key investments in education, health care, and other priorities for America. Today, President Clinton and Congress completed their work on the budget, agreeing on a budget for education, health, and labor programs and the New Markets initiative.
The bill is a landmark achievement: it provides a $6.5 billion (or 18 percent) increase for the Department of Education, the largest ever and a 76 percent increase since 1993. The Department of Health and Human Services receives a $9 billion (or 22 percent) increase. It establishes the President's school repair initiative and provides the largest increases ever for the U.S. Department of Education, after-school programs, Head Start, school accountability, Pell Grants for college students (since the program was fully implemented in 1974), and the National Institutes of Health. It expands coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program and restores reimbursements to health care providers that were disproportionately effected by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
Investing in America's Students. The Clinton-Gore education strategy of higher standards for students and teachers, accountability for results, and the greater investment in our schools is working.
- $933 Million Increase for Head Start, Doubling Resources since 1993. President Clinton won a $933 million increase for Head Start to $6.2 billion, serving 935,000 children. This is the largest one-year increase in Head Start ever. Since 1993, Head Start has more than doubled from $2.8 billion to $6.2 billion.
- $1.2 Billion for a New School Repair Initiative. President Clinton fought for and won a new initiative to repair America's schools, providing $1.2 billion for urgent school renovation. This initiative was a top priority of the President's, but it wasn't in the earlier Republican budget passed by the House of Representatives. The budget also provides much-needed repair funds to Native American schools.
– Staying on Track to Hire 100,000 Teachers to Reduce Class Size. President Clinton won $1.6 billion for his class-size reduction initiative—a $323 million (or 25 percent) increase over last year—to stay on track to hire 100,000 new teachers to reduce class sizes in the early grades. The House Republican budget failed to dedicate funds for class-size reduction.
– Nearly Doubling After-School Learning Opportunities. The budget includes $846 million for after-school programs, a $396 million (or 88 percent) increase over last year and $246 million above the House Republican plan, serving 1.3 million children nationwide.
– $567 Million to Improve Teacher Quality. The budget includes $567 million for the President's teacher quality initiatives, a 52 percent increase. It invests in professional development, recruitment, and retention; expands the successful Troops to Teachers program to other mid-career professionals; and trains early childhood educators.
– Holding Schools Accountable for Student Achievement. President Clinton won $225 million—a 70 percent increase since last year—to turn around low-performing schools, while the House Republican budget failed to invest in this key priority.
– Creating College Opportunities. Last January, President Clinton announced his request for a $1 billion increase in efforts to expand student and prepare students for college. Consistent with his plan, the budget:
- Provides the Largest Increase in Pell Grants Ever. The budget increases the maximum Pell grant to $3,750, a $450 increase since last year—the largest one-year increase since the program was phased-in in 1974—and a $1,450 increase since 1993.
- Increases Funding for GEAR UP by $95 Million to $295 Million. The House Republican plan froze GEAR UP at $200 million. The budget will help 1.2 million disadvantaged students prepare for college.
- Provides the Second-Largest TRIO Increase in History. The budget increases TRIO funding by $85 million to $730 million and incorporates key elements of the President's College Completion Challenge Grants proposal into TRIO.
- Funds One Million Work-Study Jobs. It sustains the President's commitment to give one million students the opportunity to work through college.
Strengthening Health Care. The President's budget will strengthen the nation's health care system by:
– Investing in Medicare, Medicaid, and S-CHIP Beneficiaries and Providers. The budget enacts the Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) Benefits Improvement and Protection Act, which invests nearly $35 billion over five years to: (1) improve Medicare's prevention benefits and cost-sharing, (2) provide health care coverage to persons leaving welfare for work and enroll eligible uninsured children in Medicaid and S-CHIP through schools and other sites, and (3) increase reimbursement to hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, managed care plans and other essential health care providers disproportionately affected by cuts from the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
– Supporting Biomedical Research. The budget invests $20.3 billion in cutting-edge biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, a 14 percent increase since last year and nearly double the $10.3 billion spent in 1993.
– Creating the Family Caregivers Program. The budget provides $125 million for states to provide respite and other support services to families who care for elderly relatives with long-term care needs.
– Expanding AIDS Care, Prevention, and Research. The budget includes a $164 million increase in funding for domestic and international HIV prevention activities; an increase of $213 million in the Ryan White CARE Act, which helps provide primary care and support for those living with HIV/AIDS; and an estimated $2.2 billion in additional funds for AIDS-related research at the NIH.
– Funding the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act. The budget provides $580 million for a total of $655 million for one-time payments of $100,000 to people with hemophilia who were infected with HIV by blood solids during the 1980s.
– Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Activities. The budget increases resources for the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse by 12 percent, providing nearly $3 billion.
– Promoting Community-Based Care for Americans with Disabilities. The budget invests $50 million to help states develop comprehensive plans to care for people with disabilities in the most appropriate setting.
– Improving Nursing Home Quality. The budget includes a $32 million (68 percent) increase for the Nursing Home Initiative, which ensures more rigorous inspections of nursing facilities and improves federal oversight of nursing home quality.
Preparing America's Workers for the 21st Century. The budget invests in worker training to raise productivity and help Americans compete in the global economy.
– Creating Opportunities for Youth. The final budget provides a $102 million increase (to $1.1 billion) to provide job training and summer job opportunities to roughly 660,000 disadvantaged young people. It also increases Youth Opportunity Grants to $275 million to provide comprehensive employment and training assistance to 63,000 out-of-school young people in high poverty areas.
– Continuing the Universal Reemployment Initiative. The budget creates $35 million Reemployment initiative to help 156,000 Unemployment Insurance claimants get jobs faster. It also provides $1.6 billion for Dislocated Workers, nearly tripled from $597 million in 1993.
– Protecting Workers. The final budget includes $1.2 billion to enforce federal safety, health, pensions, wages, and nondiscrimination practices. This $102 million increase will support 1,500 inspections to ensure safe and healthy workplaces.
IN ADDITION TO THE PRESIDENT'S PROGRESS ON EDUCATION AND HEALTH, THIS YEAR'S BUDGET INCLUDES HIS OTHER VITAL PRIORITIES FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE:
Protecting Fiscal Discipline and Paying Down the Debt. The budget is a victory for President Clinton's stand for fiscal discipline. Between 1981 and 1992, the debt quadrupled. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the budget deficit was $290 billion and it was projected to be $455 billion by 2000. As a result of the tough and sometimes unpopular choices made by President Clinton, we have seen eight consecutive years of fiscal improvement for the first time in America's history, bringing last year's budget to a unified surplus of $237 billion, the largest ever. With this surplus, we have been able to reverse this trend of exploding debt by paying down the debt for three years in a row.
– Protecting Fiscal Discipline. The Republicans proposed fiscally irresponsible tax cuts that would have jeopardized this record of fiscal discipline. In August, President Clinton vetoed Republican tax cuts that were part of their 10-year tax plan that would drain nearly $2 trillion from the surplus, drive us back into deficits, and make it impossible to eliminate our debt by 2012.
– Paying Down the Debt. Because record deficits have become record surpluses, we were able to cut our debt by $223 billion last year, the largest one-year debt reduction in U.S. history. The debt at the end of FY 2000 was $2.4 trillion lower than it was projected to be in the last forecast before the President's program was put in place. We can pay off our debt by 2012, making America debt-free for the first time since Andrew Jackson was President in 1835.
– Benefiting from Debt Reduction. Already, debt reduction has meant about $2,000 a year in lower interest payments for home mortgages, about $200 a year in lower car payments, and about $200 a year for lower student loan payments. Continuing to pay down the debt will keep interest rates about a point lower over the next decade, saving American families over $300 billion in home mortgages alone.
Protecting the Environment. President Clinton and Vice President Gore won significant gains for the environment in the fiscal year 2001 budget, including new resources to combat water pollution, protect wildlife, address global warming, and preserve precious lands across the country. At the same time, the President and Vice President fought back numerous, anti-environmental riders that would have traded hard-won environmental safeguards for short-term special interest gains.
– Preserving Our Lands Legacy. The budge provides $12 billion over six years in unprecedented, dedicated funding for the conservation of America's land and coastal resources.
– Promoting Clean Water and Restoring the Florida Everglades. The budget includes a $164 million increase for the President's Clean Water Action Plan and $118 million to begin restoring the Florida Everglades.
– Fighting Global Warming. The budget includes $1.2 billion, a 13 percent increase, for President Clinton's Climate Change Technology Initiative, the backbone of the nation's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative supports research, development, and deployment of solar and renewable energy technology and energy efficient products.
Helping Working Families. The final budget helps all Americans participate in our economic prosperity.
– Helping Hard-Pressed Working Families Meet Their Nutritional Needs. Congress approved the Administration's proposed reforms to allow 245,000 people to own a reliable car and still receive Food Stamps and to help over 1.5 million low-income people with high housing costs put food on the table.
– Funding 79,000 New Housing Vouchers. This $453 million increase—the largest in more than 15 years—will enable more families to rent or own affordable housing. These vouchers build on the 110,000 new vouchers secured though the President's leadership in the past two years.
– Helping More Low-Income Families Afford Child Care. The $817 million increase (to $2 billion) for the Child Care and Development Block Grant will provide child care subsidies for nearly 150,000 more children, helping more working families balance their responsibilities at work and home.
Empowering Communities. In addition to the progress made in today's New Markets agreement, this budget moves forward on the President's vision to help revitalize America's communities.
– Expanding Community Development Financial Institutions. The President won $118 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to support loans and equity investments in under-served communities.
– Promoting Community Service. President Clinton won $767 million for national and community service, a $36 million increase. This year, AmeriCorps will enroll its 250,000th member.
– Developing the Mississippi Delta Region. The budget funds a new federal-state partnership to fight for economic growth in the Mississippi Delta region, a seven-State area which includes some of the most distressed communities in the nation. It includes resources for the Delta Regional authority, to improve rural economic activity, and improve the Delta's transportation infrastructure.
Closing the Digital Divide and Investing in Research and Development. In recognition of the centrality of knowledge and new technologies to our prosperity and quality of life, the budget includes an unprecedented commitment to creating digital opportunities and investing in research and development.
– Closing the Digital Divide. The budget includes a $32 million increase for Community Technology Centers, a $50 million increase for Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology, and a $30 million increase for the Technology Opportunities Program.
– National Science Foundation. The budget provides the largest one-year increase for the NSF ever, $526 million, to pursue scientific breakthroughs in core scientific areas as well as new ones like nanotechnology.
– National Institutes of Health. The budget provides a $2.5 billion increase to NIH for research into diabetes, cancer, and brain disorders, and disease prevention strategies and vaccines.
Fighting Crime, Drugs, and Gun Violence. To keep crime coming down across the country, President Clinton fought for important investments in the budget to build on the Administration's successful community policing initiative, including funds to put more police on the street and critical resources to strengthen law enforcement efforts to keep communities safe and combat gun-related crime and violence.
– Putting More Police on Our Streets. Last year, President Clinton and Vice President Gore met their commitment to help communities hire 100,000 new police officers. This year, they won over $1 billion to take the next step and help communities hire up to 50,000 more officers over the next five years.
– Enforcing Gun Laws. President Clinton won nearly $200 million for his Gun Enforcement Initiative, the largest in history, to hire 500 ATF firearms agents and inspectors, fund over 600 federal state and local gun prosecutors and expand crime gun tracing and ballistics testing.
– Keeping Children Safe from Guns. The Administration won $8 million to expand the development of "smart gun" technologies that help prevent accidental gun deaths and injuries of children by limiting the use of a firearm to the adult who owns it or another authorized user.
Maintaining America's Global Leadership. The President fought for and secured victories to strengthen America's leading role in the world by investing in a strong military and providing debt relief to heavily indebted poor countries.
– Providing Debt Relief. The final budget provides $435 million for debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries that commit to reform. Savings from debt relief would be directed to education, health care, AIDS prevention, and other critical needs. Unsustainable debt keeps many countries in poverty; over a billion people survive on less than $1 a day.
– Fighting AIDS. President Clinton won $466 million to combat HIV/AIDS and $125 million for other infectious diseases that plague the developing world. The budget also funds the President's Millennium Vaccine Initiative.
– Maintaining a Strong Military. Consistent with the Clinton-Gore plan for a long-term, sustained increase in defense spending, this year's budget for the Department of Defense provides $296.4 billion, a $15.8 billion increase (excluding emergency spending for FY 2000).
– Keeping the Peace. The budget includes the President's full request of $835 million for contributions for international peacekeeping activities. Our ability to pay our share of international peacekeeping missions is a crucial part of fulfilling our international security responsibilities and ensuring that other nations share the burden with us.