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July 31, 1997

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Balanced Budget Agreement


The final Congressional passage of the balanced budget bill is the achievement of a generation and a triumph for every American. This budget marks an end to decades of deficits, and just as important, it honors our values, investing in the education, health and futures of our people.

--President Clinton,
July 29, 1997

This week President Clinton announced an historic agreement to balance the budget by the year 2002. In addition to giving our nation its first balanced budget since 1969, the agreement honors our values and invests in a brighter future for our families. Key investments include: an historic commitment to expanding educational opportunity and health care for children; and tax cuts to help millions of working families.

The First Balanced Budget Since 1969:
The President's 1993 Economic Plan has cut the deficit more than 75% from $290 billion in 1992 to $67 billion or lower in 1997. This agreement finishes the job --balances the budget in 2002 and puts the budget in surplus through 2007. And it keeps the President's commitment to the American people: balance the budget and protect our values.

The Largest Investment in Higher Education Since the G.I. Bill in 1945:
The budget agreement endorses the centerpiece of President Clinton's second term agenda: investing in education. The agreement includes the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill became law in 1945 and the largest overall investment in education and training ($63 billion more than the Republican plan over five years) in 30 years. The agreement specifically calls for:

    The $1,500 HOPE Scholarship to make the first two years of college universally available. This advances the President's goal of making the 13th and 14th grades as universally available as a high school diploma is today.

    A 20% Tuition Tax Credit for college juniors, seniors, graduate students and for working Americans pursuing lifelong learning to upgrade their skills. The 20% credit will be applied to the first $5,000 of qualified education expenses through 2002, and the first $10,000 thereafter.

    The largest expansion of Pell Grants in two decades. The plan boosts the maximum 1998 Pell grant from $2,700 to $3,000 and expands the program to more poor independent students.

The Largest Investment in Health Care for Children Since 1965:
The budget agreement accomplishes another of President Clinton top priorities: protecting our children. The plan invests an unprecedented $24 billion to provide health care to the millions of children who are currently uninsured --and represents the largest expansion of children's health care since the creation of Medicaid in 1965.

Tax Relief For 27 Million Working Families:
The balanced budget agreement meets another of President Clinton's central commitments to American working families: tax relief. The plan calls for a $500 per child tax credit for approximately 27 million families with children under 17. Thirteen million children from families with incomes below $30,000 will receive the child tax credit --up to 7.5 million more than would have under the Congressional plans.

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