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2000 State of the Union Address Background Materials: Governmental and Political Reform
GOVERNMENTAL AND POLITICAL REFORM
Enact Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform The President and the Vice President remain committed to the enactment of bipartisan campaign finance reform. Last year, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan reform. Tonight the President is challenging the Senate to follow suit and enact real reform early this year. Acceptable campaign finance reform legislation must meet five criteria: 1) it must be bipartisan; 2) it must be comprehensive; 3) it must reduce the amount of money that is raised and spent on federal elections; 4) it must help level the playing field between challengers and incumbents; and 5) it cannot favor one party over the other.
Reinventing Government Three months into our Administration, the Vice President took charge of our reinventing government initiative. Seven years later, the government is the smallest it’s been in nearly 40 years – over 350,000 fewer employees. And it’s focused on giving Americans customer service equal to the best in business by getting results they care about. We’re tossing aside outdated bureaucratic binders and red tape that too often kept us from making a real difference in people’s lives. But this is not just another exercise in “good government” -- our goal is nothing short of restoring the American people’s trust in their government. When we started, only 21% of the American people trusted government to do the right thing all or most of the time -- down from 76% under President Kennedy. Today, that figure is back up to 40% -- a dramatic turnaround. But it’s not nearly good enough. And we won’t rest until “change” and “customer service” become a permanent part of the landscape and a majority of Americans trust their government again.