Fact Sheet: President Clinton and Vice President Gore: Working on Behalf of Hispanic Americans (9/20/00)
                  Working on Behalf of Hispanic Americans
                            September 20, 2000

 "That is America at its best -- a diverse nation, now the most diverse in
our history, and growing increasingly so.  In a global economy, in a global
 society, our diversity can be a God-send if we make the most of it, if we
  enjoy it, if we respect it, if we honor it, and if we believe that the
 common humanity that unites us is more important than all the differences
                                among us."
                                                  -- President Bill Clinton
                         Remarks to the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Conference
                                                            October 9, 1999

Historic Economic Gains.  The unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans is
at the lowest rate on record, with unemployment dropping from 11.6 percent
in 1992 to a 5.8 percent average unemployment rate in 2000.  Since 1993,
the Hispanic poverty rate has dropped to 25.6 percent -- the lowest since
1979 -- while the median household income for Hispanics is up 15.9 percent
(or $3,880) over the past three years.  Homeownership rose from 41.2
percent in 1994 to 45.5 percent in 1998, the highest on record.

Tax Cuts For Working Families.  President Clinton?s 1993 Economic Plan
provided tax cuts to 15 million hard-pressed working families by expanding
the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  The average family with two children
who received the EITC received a tax cut of $1,026.  In 1997, the EITC
lifted more than 1.2 million Hispanics out of poverty.  This year the
President has proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to 6.8
million additional working families

Minimum Wage Increased.  The President raised the minimum wage to $5.15 an
hour -- directly benefiting 1.6 million Hispanic workers -- and called for
passage of an additional $1.00 an hour increase.

Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work.  Since
enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law, millions of families have moved
from welfare to work.  With the President?s leadership, the 1997 Balanced
Budget Act included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and
low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs.  The Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit
provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare
recipients.  The President?s Access to Jobs initiative helps communities
design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help
former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work, and
this year the President is proposing $150 million for this initiative,
double last year's level.  President Clinton has secured 110,000 new
housing vouchers in the last two years to help welfare recipients and
hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities, and this
year he is proposing $690 million for 120,000 new housing vouchers.

Restoring Benefits to Legal Immigrants.  The President believes that legal
immigrants should have the same economic opportunity, and bear the same
responsibility, as other members of society.  In the Balanced Budget Act of
1997 and the Agricultural Research Act of 1998, the President fought for
and succeeded in reversing unfair cuts in benefits to legal immigrants.
The FY 2001 budget builds on the Administration?s progress of restoring
these important benefits by providing $2.5 billion over five years to allow
states to provide health care to certain legal immigrant children and their
families and pregnant women, to restore SSI eligibility to legal immigrants
with disabilities, and to restore Food Stamp eligibility to certain elderly
immigrants and to legal immigrants in families with eligible children.

Expanding Investment in Urban and Rural Areas.  Spurring economic
development in distressed communities, the Clinton-Gore Administration has
created 31 Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities,
including 50 rural ECs, which are creating new jobs, new opportunities and
stronger communities.  This would have a dramatic effect in the areas with
high unemployment, weak economies, and shortages of affordable housing and
other problems.  The President won $70 million in funding for Rural and
Urban Empowerment Zones in FY 2000 -- after Congress initially provided no
funding.  On July 25, 2000, the House passed a bipartisan agreement that
would extend and expand the incentives in the existing EZs, as well as
create nine new Round 3 Empowerment Zones.  The Administration?s agreement
with Speaker Hastert also includes a first-time commitment for additional
funding for Round 2 EZs.

Encouraging Investment in Undeserved Communities with the New Markets
Initiative.  President Clinton?s New Markets Initiative will help bring
economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited
from the soaring economy by spurring more than $22 billion in new
investment in urban and rural areas.  On July 25, 2000, the House passed
the President?s New Markets Initiative in a historic bipartisan agreement
that included extension and expansion of Empowerment Zones, and an increase
in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.  The President has taken three New
Markets Tours of undeserved communities, which have helped generate more
than $1 billion in private sector investment commitments.

Closing the Digital Divide. Increasing access to technology and bridging
the growing "digital divide" has been a top priority for President Clinton
and Vice President Gore.  The Clinton-Gore Administration's FY01 budget
includes a comprehensive initiative to bridge the digital divide, broaden
access to computers and training, and create new opportunity for all

President's One America Initiative. President Clinton has led the nation in
an effort to become One America: a place where we respect others?
differences and embrace the common values that unite us. The President has
been actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in
this historic effort, and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race
by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and
Director of the new White House Office on the President?s Initiative for
One America.  The office is working to ensure that we have a coordinated
strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the
underserved in this country, and build the One America we want for all of
our nation?s children.

An Administration That Looks Like America.  The President appointed the
most diverse Cabinet and Administration, with the most Hispanic
appointments and the most Hispanic judicial nominees in history.  The
President's judicial nominees have also garnered the highest percentage of
top ABA ratings in nearly 40 years.

Working to Ensure a Fair, Accurate and Complete Census. The Clinton-Gore
Administration is working to ensure that Census 2000 is as accurate as
possible using the best, most up-to-date scientific methods as recommended
by the National Academy of Sciences.  The 1990 Census had a net undercount
of 4 million and 5 percent of Hispanics across the nation were not counted.
While missing or miscounting so many people is a problem, the fact that
certain groups -- such as children, the poor, people of color, city
dwellers and people who live in rural rental homes -- were missed more
often than others made the undercount even more inaccurate. A fair and
accurate Census is a fundamental part of a representative democracy and is
the basis for providing equality under the law.  The President is
determined to have a fair and full count in 2000, and he is announcing new
steps to encourage all Americans to participate in Census 2000.  In
February, the President launched a Census in the Schools Challenge, to
ensure that children are counted and educate both students and parents;
reiterating that census information is strictly confidential; and directing
federal agencies to step up activities in support of the Census.

Hispanic Education Action Plan. As part of the Administration?s commitment
to raising the educational outcomes of Latino youth, the President proposed
significant increases to programs within the Hispanic Education Action Plan
to help Latinos excel academically, graduate from high school, go on to
college, and continue on the path to life-long learning.  The FY01 budget
includes increases of $823 million for programs that enhance educational
opportunity for Latinos.

English Literacy/Civics Initiative. The English Language/Civics Initiative
helps states and communities provide limited English proficient (LEP)
individuals with expanded access to quality English-language instruction
linked to civics and life skills instruction, including understanding the
U.S. government system, the public education system, the workplace, and
other key institutions of American life. This year, the Clinton-Gore budget
requests $75 million for the Initiative -- nearly $50 million more to help
an additional estimated 250,000 LEP individuals.

Proposing the Largest Head Start Expansion in History. Since 1993, this
Administration has increased funding for Head Start by 90 percent.  The
President?s FY01 budget increases funding for Head Start by $1 billion ?
the largest increase ever proposed for the program ? to provide Head Start
and Early Head Start to approximately 950,000 children.  This funding will
bring within reach the President?s goal of serving one million children in
2002 and build the foundation for the long-term goal of universal
pre-school.  Over 26 percent of children served by Head Start are Hispanic.

Class Size Reduction Initiative. Last year President Clinton and Vice
President Gore won a second installment of $1.3 billion for the President?s
plan to help school districts hire and train an additional 100,000
well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades.  Already,
29,000 teachers have been hired through this initiative.  This year, the
FY01 budget includes $1.75 billion for this program, an $450 million
increase ? enough to fund about 49,000 teachers.

Turning Around Failing Schools.  Eleven million low-income students now
benefit from Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students, and all our children
are benefiting from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared
to higher standards.  Thirty-two percent of children served by Title I are
Hispanic.  Last year the President won $134 million for an accountability
fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them
accountable for results.  This year, the President is proposing to double
funding to turn around the nation's failing schools to ensure all children
receive a quality education.

New Plan to Place Quality Teachers in Underserved Areas.  This year, the
President and Vice President proposed a new $1 billion teacher quality plan
to recruit, train and reward good teachers.  The Teaching to High Standards
Initiative includes a Hometown Teacher Recruitment program to empower
high-poverty school districts to develop programs to recruit homegrown
teachers to address the shortage of qualified teachers.  It also includes
$50 million for Teacher Quality Rewards, which will reward school districts
that have made exceptional progress in reducing the number of uncertified
teachers and teachers teaching outside their subject area.

New Tax Incentives to Make College More Affordable. President Clinton has
proposed the College Opportunity Tax Cut, which would give families the
option of taking a tax deduction or claiming a 28 percent credit for
tuition and fees to pay for higher education.  When fully phased in, this
proposal would provide up to $2,800 in tax relief annually to help American
families pay for college.

Helping Students Finish College.  This year, the President proposed new
College Completion Challenge Grants to help reduce the college drop-out
rate, with pre-freshman summer programs, support services and increased
grant aid to students.  This $35 million initiative will improve the
chances of success for nearly 18,000 students.  Currently, 31 percent of
Hispanics drop out of college after less than one year, compared to 18
percent of whites.

Dual Degree Programs for Minority-Serving Institutions.  The Clinton-Gore
Administration has proposed a new program to increase opportunities for
students at minority-serving institutions that offer four-year degrees.
Students would receive two degrees within five years: one from a
minority-serving institution, and one from a partner institution in a field
in which minorities are underrepresented.  This new $40 million program
will serve an estimated 3,000 students.

Extended Health Care to Millions of Children with the Children?s Health
Insurance Program.  In the Balanced Budget of 1997, President Clinton won
$24 billion to provide health care coverage to up to five million uninsured
children. In October 1999 the President announced new outreach efforts to
enroll millions of eligible, uninsured children.  Hispanic children make up
nearly 30% of all uninsured children.  To reach this vulnerable population,
the Administration and states have made special efforts to advertise the
availability of the program and provide enrollment materials printed in
Spanish.  This year, the budget includes several of Vice President Gore's
proposals to accelerate enrollment of children in CHIP.  The President is
also proposing a new FamilyCare program, which would give States the option
to cover parents in the same plan as their children

New Initiative to Expand Health Coverage to Uninsured Americans.  This
year, the President and Vice President have proposed a 10-year, $110
billion initiative that would dramatically improve the affordability of and
access to health insurance.  The proposal would expand coverage to at least
5 million uninsured Americans and expand access to millions more.

Assuring Access to Health Benefits.  The Clinton-Gore Administration
unveiled new regulations assuring families that enrollment in Medicaid or
the Children?s Health Insurance Program and the receipt of other critical
benefits, such as school lunch and child care services, will not affect
their immigration status.  The regulation clarifies a widespread
misconception that has deterred eligible populations from enrolling in
these programs and undermined the public health.

Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities by 2010.  President
Clinton's initiative will help eliminate racial disparities in six key
health areas: infant mortality, diabetes, cancer screening and management,
heart disease, AIDS and immunizations. President Clinton won a 200%
increase for this initiative in FY00, and this year he has proposed $35
million in funding to continue the effort.

Addressing HIV/AIDS in Minority Communities.  Racial and ethnic communities
make up the fastest growing portion of HIV/AIDS cases (more than 50 percent
of all new HIV cases).  In FY00, the President builds on the progress
started last year with a $251 million investment in a comprehensive
initiative that will improve prevention efforts in high-risk communities
and expand access to cutting edge HIV therapies and other treatment needed
for HIV/AIDS in minority communities.  The President?s FY 2001 budget
includes $274 million to continue this effort.

Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets.  In 1999, ahead of schedule and
under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an
additional 100,000 police officers for our communities.  As a part of the
COPS Program, the President announced new grants to increase community
policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods.  To help keep crime
at record lows, the President won funding for the first installment toward
his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005.  This year, the
Clinton-Gore budget includes over $1 billion to continue the successful
COPS initiative to hire more officers, hire new community prosecutors, give
police the tools they need to fight crime, and to fund community-wide crime
fighting efforts.

Preventing Hate Crimes. The President signed the Hate Crimes Sentencing
Enhancement Act, which provides for longer sentences for hate crimes, and
hosted the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes.  President Clinton
has repeatedly called for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to
strengthen hate crimes laws.

Expanding Civil Rights Enforcement.  In FY 2000, President Clinton won a
six percent increase in funding for federal civil rights enforcement
agencies including $82 million for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice
Department, a 19 percent increase.  In the FY01 budget, the President and
Vice President have proposed $698 million in funding for civil rights
enforcement agencies, a 13 percent increase, to expand investigations and
prosecutions of criminal civil rights cases (including hate crimes and
police misconduct) and fair housing and lending practices; help the EEOC
reduce the backlog of private-sector cases; and allow HUD to take steps to
reduce housing discrimination.

Working to End Racial Profiling.  To help determine where and when racial
profiling occurs, the President directed Cabinet agencies to collect data
on the race, ethnicity, and gender of individuals subject to certain stops
by federal law enforcement.  The President has also supported increased
resources for police integrity and ethics training and to improve the
diversity of local police forces. The President also supports legislation
sponsored by Congressman John Conyers to require state and local police
forces to collect the same data.

Working to Pass Common-Sense Gun Laws.  President Clinton and Vice
President Gore have repeatedly called on Congress to build on the success
of the Brady Law by quickly passing a set of common sense gun safety
measures designed to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.  The
Administration has proposed legislation, that passed in the Senate last
year with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Gore, that would require
background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows; require child safety
locks for every handgun sold; bar the importation of large-capacity
ammunition clips; and ban the most violent juvenile offenders from owning
guns for life.

More Than Half a Million Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied
Guns.   Since taking effect in 1994, the Brady Law has helped to prevent
more than 536,000 felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and other prohibited
purchasers from buying guns.  In November 1998, the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS) took effect under the Brady Law,
allowing access to a fuller set of records that law enforcement officials
can use to conduct checks of all prospective gun purchases -- not just for
handguns.  As of March 2000, NICS has conducted over 10 million background
checks on gun purchasers, and stopped an estimated 179,000 illegal gun

Largest Gun Enforcement Initiative in History.  This year, President
Clinton has proposed the largest gun enforcement initiative ever.  The
initiative would provide a record $280 million to add 500 new federal ATF
agents and inspectors to target violent gun criminals and illegal gun
traffickers, and fund over 1,000 new federal, state, and local prosecutors
to take dangerous gun offenders off the streets.  This initiative will
build on the Administration's success in cracking down on serious gun
criminals: the number of federal firearms cases prosecuted by the U.S.
Attorneys increased 25%, from 4,754 in 1992 to 5,500 in 1999.

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