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The Clinton/Gore Record of Strengthening Families and Communities
THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATIONíS RECORD OF STRENGTHENING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
November 4, 1999
Since 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore
have been committed to empowering and supporting working families and
to tapping the potential of Americaís urban and rural communities. They
have a demonstrated record of creating new initiatives and expanding
existing initiatives to support children and families and to promote
community and economic development. The Clinton-Gore Administration
has worked with the private sector, states, and localities to help revitalize
Americaís communities by bringing capital, jobs, and opportunity to
distressed areas and cleaning up the urban environment. At the same
time, this Administration has worked with our state and local partners,
the business community, and community-based organizations to support
working families moving them toward self-sufficiency and out
of poverty. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have created or
expanded the following initiatives over the last six years.
SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES
Expanded EITC to Put Money Back in Working Familiesí
The EITC helps working families supplement their earnings through
tax credits. In President Clintonís 1993 Economic Plan, EITC was
expanded to make work pay for 15 million working families.
In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million Americans out of poverty
more than twice as many as in 1993. The average family received
an EITC credit of $1,890.
Minimum Wage Hike Increased Pay By $1,800 for Full-time
In 1996, the President and Vice President fought for and won a
minimum wage increase from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour for nearly 10
Now, the President is fighting for another minimum wage increase
$1 over two years to make work pay for 11.4 million
workers and help ensure that parents who work hard and play by the
rules can raise their children out of poverty.
Provided Health Care to Low-Income Working Families
The President has successfully fought to increase low-income familiesí
access to health care by allowing states to expand Medicaid to cover
low-income two-parent families who work and working with states
to ensure that uninsured families receive Medicaid when eligible.
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for
Children since 1965
The President, with bipartisan support from the Congress, created
the Childrenís Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Balanced Budget
Act of 1997 allocated $24 billion over five years to provide affordable
health insurance to children in families with incomes too high to
qualify for Medicaid but too low to purchase private insurance through
On September 8, 1999, President Clinton announced that all 50
states and every territory are participating in this new program,
bringing us closer to our goal of providing insurance for up to
5 million children through a combination of Medicaid and CHIP.
Improved Access to Affordable and Quality Child Care
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child
care has increased by 80 percent, helping parents pay for the care
of about 1.25 million children.
The 1996 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. Last year, the President succeeded
in securing $140 million in new funds for after-school care and
$173 million for child care quality activities.
Initiated $3 Billion Welfare-to-Work Initiative
The Clinton-Gore Administration fought for a $3 billion Welfare-to-Work
initiative as part of the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement. During
FY 1998 and FY 1999, nearly $2.7 billion in grants have been awarded
to states, local communities, and tribes across the nation to help
long-term welfare recipients, and certain low-income fathers, work
and support their families.
Funds are targeted at individuals and communities facing the greatest
challenges. To date, these resources are helping nearly 100,000
individuals to get or keep a job.
Helping People Get to Work
With the Administrationís leadership, the Transportation Equity
Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) authorized $750 million over five
years for the Presidentís Job Access initiative and reverse commute
The Omnibus Budget Act included $75 million for this program in
FY 1999, and in May, Vice President Gore awarded grants to 179 communities
in 42 states around the country to assist states and localities
to develop flexible transportation alternatives for welfare recipients
and other low-income workers. The program is funded at $75 million
for FY 2000.
Welfare-to-Work Housing Vouchers
In 1999, the President proposed and Congress approved $283 million
for 50,000 new welfare to work housing vouchers for current and
former welfare recipients who need housing assistance to get or
keep a job.
Families will use these welfare-to-work housing vouchers to move
closer to a new job, to reduce a long commute, or to secure more
stable housing that will help eliminate emergencies which keep them
from getting to work every day on time. The FY 2000 budget funds
60,000 new housing vouchers.
Helping People Who Want to Work but Canít Find a Job
Acknowledging that finding a job often takes time, the Balanced
Budget Act of 1997 provided funds for work slots and food stamp
benefits to help those who are willing to work, but through no fault
of their own, have not yet found employment.
Passage of Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit and Work Opportunity
The Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit, enacted in the 1997 Balanced Budget
Agreement, provides a credit equal to 35 percent of the first $10,000
in wages in the first year of employment, and 50 percent of the
first $10,000 in wages in the second year, to encourage the hiring
and retention of long-term welfare recipients.
This credit complements the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which
expands eligible businesses to include those who hire young adults
living in Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities. In FY 1999,
the President requested and Congress accepted extending the credit
through June 30, 1999.
Introduced $500 Per-Child Tax Credit, Benefiting 13
Million Children from Low-income Families
27 million families with 45 million children are receiving the
$500 per-child tax credit included in the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.
As a result of the Presidentís efforts, 13 million children from
families receiving the EITC will also benefit from the $500 child
Increased WIC by $1 Billion
Under President Clinton, participation in WIC has expanded by
1.7 million from 5.7 million in 1993 to 7.4 million women,
infants, and children in 1999. Funding has risen from $2.9 billion
to $3.9 billion.
Helping Working Families to Buy Food
In July 1999, the President took executive actions to help ensure
working families who need Food Stamps have access. These steps include:
new policy making it easier for working families to own a car
and still receive food stamps
new regulations simplifying rules so that families do not have
to report income as often and states wonít be penalized for small
errors in projecting familiesí future earnings
a new public education campaign to educate working families
about food stamps
Established of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)
In 1992, the President proposed to establish IDAs to empower low-income
families to save for a first home, post-secondary education, or
to start a new business. The 1996 welfare reform law authorized
the use of welfare block grants to create IDAs.
In 1998, the President signed legislation creating a five-year
$125 million IDA demonstration program. In FY 1999, $10 million
was awarded to establish savings accounts for over 10,000 low-income
workers in 40 communities, and the President proposed to double
the commitment to $20 million in FY 2000.
INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION: FROM HEAD START TO GEAR-UP
TO PELL GRANTS
Expanded Head Start By Nearly 70 Percent
Since 1993, President Clinton and Congressional Democrats have
expanded Head Start by 57 percent, from nearly $2.8 billion in FY
1993 to nearly $4.7 billion in FY 1999.
The program now serves an estimated 835,000 children, reaching
more kids than at any time since its creation in 1965 and more than
200,000 additional children than in 1992.
Launched the Reading Excellence Program
Two years ago, President Clinton launched the America Reads Challenge,
a multi-faceted effort to help states and communities ensure that
all children can read well and independently by the end of the third
The program received $260 million in FY 1999 and another $286
million has been requested in FY 2000 to allow the program to continue.
The funds help to train reading tutors and coordinate after-school,
weekend and summer reading programs linked to in-school instruction.
In addition, over 1,000 colleges have pledged to use federally-financed
work-study positions for tutoring programs.
Helping Students Most in Need
Title I funds provide over $8 billion to help 11 million low-income
students benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum
geared to higher standards.
Strong Investments in Educational Technology
The Clinton-Gore Administration has made strong investments in
educational technology. Funding for education technology at the
Department of Education has increased from $23 million (FY 1993)
to $698 million (FY 1999) to $801 million (FY 2000 request).
States and local communities are given a great deal of flexibility
in how they use the money for computers, teacher training and software
-- but they are required to develop a plan for ensuring equity.
The "E-rate" provides $2.25 billion in discounts to connect schools
and libraries to the Internet. Discounts are 90 percent for the
poorest schools that need it most, and 20 percent for the wealthiest
schools. E-rate was a critical part of the Telecommunications Act
of 1996, which the President signed into law.
Providing Safe After-School Opportunities
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the 21st Century Community
Learning Centers program has been expanded to provide safe and academically
enriching after-school opportunities for nearly 400,000 school-age
children in rural and urban communities each year.
In his FY 2000 budget, the President proposes to triple funding
to $600 million, reaching 1.1 million students.
Creation of Youth Opportunity Grants
President Clinton proposed the $1.25 billion Youth Opportunities
Grants program, a five year grants initiative that was authorized
as part of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act. This program focuses
primarily on out-of-school youths. The program provides them with
job training and has a strong emphasis on mainstreaming youth into
the private sector, both in terms of immediate job placement and
work-based learning opportunities to increase long-term employment
The Youth Opportunities program will receive $250 million this
fall and will make a significant attack on concentrated poverty
and unemployment. This initiative represents a strong investment
in Empowerment Zones and Communities and other urban and rural areas
that are considered high-poverty areas.
The main goal of the program is to increase employment in the
private sector, increase college enrollment and decrease dropout
Creation of the GEAR-UP Initiative
Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the new mentoring initiative
GEAR-UP was created to better prepare up to an estimated 260,000
low-income middle school children for entrance to and success in
GEAR UP grants will fund partnerships involving more than 1,000
organizations, such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H programs,
Salvation Army, libraries, arts organizations, local chambers of
commerce, and individual companies such as Wal-Mart, Unisys, Hewlett-Packard,
Bell Atlantic, and the New York Times Newspaper in Education Program.
In August 1999, $120 million in grants were awarded to 164 partnerships
and 21 grants to states (for statewide program).
Assisting Migrant Children and Families
Migrant families face difficult obstacles to gaining the education
and training they may need to improve their standard of living.
President Clinton improved the Migrant Education Program in the
1994 reauthorization, and won a 16 percent increase in FY 1999.
Expanding Pell Grants
President Clinton and the Congressional Democrats have increased
the Pell Grant maximum grant amount from $2,300 in FY 1993 to $3,215
in 1999. In 1999, nearly 4 million students will receive a Pell
Grant of up to $3,125, the largest maximum award ever.
HELPING TO BRING PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND CAPITAL
TO DISTRESSED AREAS
Expanding Microenterprise Lending and Technical Assistance
Microenterprise development programs provide access to capital,
other financial services, and training to those traditionally bypassed
by the mainstream financial sector, such as the poor women, minorities
and those in economically distressed areas.
President Clintonís and Vice President Goreís proposal also includes
a doubling of support for technical assistance in SBAís Microloan
Program and a doubling of support for SBA lending to leverage over
$75 million in new microlending.
The microenterprise strategy will also involve new funding for
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and for SBAís One-Stop Capital
Cleaning Up the Urban Environment through Brownfields
The Clinton-Gore Administration has launched a landmark effort,
including the Brownfields Tax Incentive, to clean up and redevelop
Brownfields sites. In total, the Brownfields action agenda has marshaled
funds to clean up and redevelop up to 5,000 properties.
Created the Community Development Financial Institutions
In 1994, President Clinton proposed and signed into law the CDFI
Fund. Through grants, loans, and equity investments, the Fund has
created a network of approximately 270 CDFIs in distressed areas
across the nation. CDFI activities leverage investments from banks,
foundations, and other sources.
Since the Fundís creation, it has made more than $190 million
in awards to community development institutions and financial institutions.
This investment is expected to leverage three to four times the
amount of the investments in total capital raised for CDFIs over
the next few years. In FY 1999, funding for the CDFI Fund was increased
19 percent to $95 million.
Strengthened and Simplified the Community Reinvestment
President Clinton made clear that he was prepared to veto long
overdue legislation to modernize the financial landscape, if it
allowed a bank with an unsatisfactory CRA rating to take advantage
of the new powers under the bill. As a result, the conferees on
the financial modernization bill provided that, for the first time,
a bankís CRA rating is relevant to its merger or expansion in non-banking
activities. In addition, President Clinton fought to eliminate provisions
that would have excluded some banks from CRA coverage and limited
the effectiveness of the merger application review process. President
Clinton thus assured that CRA remains vital and relevant in the
new financial landscape.
In April 1995, the Clinton-Gore Administration reformed the CRA
regulations to emphasize performance. According to the National
Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the private sector has
pledged more than $1 trillion going forward in loans to distressed
communities Ė and more than 95 percent of these financial commitments
have been made since 1992.
Banks made $18.6 billion in community development loans in 1997
alone. Lending to minority and low-income borrowers is also on the
The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) and Section
108 Loan Guarantee
EDI grants are used to infuse capital into community development
projects, enhancing the debt financing provided by the Section 108
loan guarantee program. Together, the programs support critical
economic development in distressed communities. Estimated jobs supported
by EDI and the Section 108 loan guarantee have grown by 300,000
from 1994 to 1998. During this time period EDI and the Section 108
loan guarantee program have funded $3.5 billion for more than 650
separate project commitments.
In FY 2000 many projects will be eligible to participate in the
Community Empowerment Fund Trust, a pilot program, which will enable
the pooling of loans and the creation of a private sector secondary
market for economic development loans. The CEF specifically targets
Welfare-to-Work and City-Suburb Business Connections, building upon
the success of HUDís EDI and Section 108 loan guarantee program.
135 Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities
After pushing to have Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Enterprise Communities
(ECs) passed into law, the Clinton-Gore Administration has designated
135 urban and rural EZs and ECs across the country. The First Round
EZ/EC initiative, which included 105 EZs/ECs, was proposed by President
Clinton and passed by Congress in 1993. The Second Round of 30 EZs/ECs
was also proposed by the President, and in FY 1999 the President
and Congress provided first-year funding for the new EZs and ECs.
Designated communities were chosen on the basis of their strategic
revitalization plans, and receive special incentives and resources
to help carry out their plans. The EZ/EC initiative has already
leveraged over $10 billion in additional public and private sector
investment in community revitalization efforts.
Rural/Urban Empowerment Zones will receive $70 billion in FY2000.
All of the urban and rural EZs (20 zones) and rural enterprise communities
(20 ECs) that were designated by the Vice President in January 1999
as Round II zones will receive funding.
Providing Community Resources
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds activities such
as economic and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, public
services, community development and renewal of distressed communities.
In 1999, CDBG funds assisted nearly 200,000 households in up to
900 communities around the country that are eligible for CDBG funding.
President Clintonís FY 2000 Budget included an expansion of CDBG.
The final budget increases funding for CDBG from $4.750 billion
in FY 1999 to 4.775 billion in FY 2000, a $25 million expansion