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November 18, 1999

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"This budget is a hard-won victory for the American people. Simply put, it's a budget that meets our priorities, supports our values, and invests in our future."

President Bill Clinton
Thursday, November 18, 1999

Today, President Clinton announced that the White House and Congress have reached agreement on the first budget of the 21st century The budget makes significant progress in education, public safety, the environment, health care for people with disabilities, and many other issues important to the American people.

A Hard-Won Victory for the American People. Highlights of the budget agreement passed today include:

Protects Fiscal Discipline

  • Keeps America on course to pay off the publicly held debt by 2015.

Keeps Education our Number-One Priority

  • Helps reduce class size in the early grades by hiring 100,000 quality teachers over the next six years;
  • More than doubles funding for after-school programs;
  • Provides $134 million to help turn around failing schools and hold them accountable for results.

Hires More Police for our Streets

  • Funds the first installment toward hiring up to 50,000 more police officers for our streets over the next 5 years.

Invests in a Cleaner Environment

  • Eliminates or substantially modifies dozens of anti-environmental riders;
  • Awards $651 million for Lands Legacy, which will help protect natural treasures and local green spaces.

Makes Progress on the New Markets Initiative

  • Provides funding, subject to authorization, to leverage investment in underserved areas and stimulate small businesses in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

Maintains America's Global Leadership

  • Helps meet our obligations to the UN in order to protect our national security interests and preserve American influence within the organization and around the world.

Empowers Families and Communities

  • Funds 60,000 new housing vouchers for America's hard-pressed working families;
  • Provides additional funding for Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities.

Addresses Health Care

  • Includes passage of the landmark Work Incentives Improvement Act which expands access to health care for people with disabilities.

Much Work Still Left to Do. The President will continue to push Congress on the following issues:

  • Common-sense gun legislation;
  • A strong, enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights;
  • Meaningful hate crimes legislation;
  • Strengthening Social Security;
  • Increasing the minimum wage;
  • Modernizing Medicare, with a voluntary prescription drug benefit.

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