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Fact Sheet: President Clinton and Vice President Gore: a Budget for Stronger Communities, a Cleaner Environment, Investments in Science, and Meeting Our Commitment to Veterans (10/27/00)

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|                       OUR COMMITMENT TO VETERANS                        |
|                            October 27, 2000                             |
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Today, the President signed two appropriations bills -- the veterans
affairs and housing bill and the energy and water bill -- that prove that
we can move forward by putting progress over partisanship.  The new law
will provide $106 billion in fiscal year 2001 for the Departments of
Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy and independent
agencies, including the Corporation for National and Community Service, the
Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Army Corps of
Engineers.  Specifically, the legislation will:

?    INCREASE COMMUNITY SERVICE.  Today?s legislation includes more than
$460 million for national and community service, a $26 million increase.
It will allow AmeriCorps to surpass 250,000 members who have served their
communities since 1994, helping to close the digital divide, improve
education, build public housing, and meet critical social and environmental
needs.  It will also allow hundreds more National Civilian Community Corps
members to continue to provide desperately needed help for communities
faced with ravaging fires or devastating floods.  The bill includes $7.5
million for America's Promise -- the community service initiative led by
General Colin Powell that stemmed from the Presidents' Summit for America's
Future -- to ensure that children grow into healthy, strong, and productive

?    INVEST IN CLEANER ENVIRONMENT.  This agreement also contains increased
funding for enforcement of the nation?s environmental laws and protection
of our air and water.  Before signing the legislation, President Clinton
insisted that Congress drop or fix objectionable riders that threatened our
environment.  Today?s legislation:
?    Protects the Environment.  The budget provides $3.9 billion for the
EPA, a 9 percent increase, to strengthen the backbone of the nation?s
environmental protection efforts.  In recent years, Congress? failure to
fully fund the President?s budget proposals has jeopardized the EPA?s
ability to protect public health and the environment.  These resources will
enable EPA to continue to provide American communities with cleaner air,
cleaner water, and improved quality of life.
?    Promotes Clean Water.  The budget includes an 8 percent increase --
over $164 million -- for President Clinton?s Clean Water Action Plan.
Forty percent of our nation?s waters don?t meet water quality standards.
The EPA, Forest Service, and Departments of the Interior and Commerce will
implement the plan together, including monitoring activities, watershed
improvements, private forest stewardship, and reclaiming abandoned mine
land.  The budget includes a $38 million increase for controlling non-point
source pollution, the greatest remaining source of poor water quality, and
a $56 million increase to help states and tribes strengthen water quality
control programs.
?    Fights Global Warming.  The budget includes $123 million, a 19 percent
increase, for the EPA's Climate Change Technology Initiative to help
businesses and consumers conserve energy and save money and to reduce local
air pollution and the emissions that contribute to global warming.
?    Restores the Florida Everglades, a National Treasure.  This year?s
budget includes $118 million for Army Corps of Engineers projects to
restore wetlands and natural waterflows in this internationally important
ecosystem.  This project is an important step to implement the President?s
$7.8 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which has
unprecedented support from Congress and agricultural, community, business
and environmental groups.  The restoration of America?s Everglades will
help ensure a safe supply of water for Florida?s cities and farming
communities into the future.

?    EMPOWER COMMUNITIES.  The longest economic expansion in our nation?s
history has brought economic opportunity to millions of people once cut off
from the economic mainstream, but too many Americans have not shared in
this growth.  Today?s legislation:
?    Creates 79,000 New Housing Vouchers.  With the Administration's
leadership, the bill includes $453 million for new vouchers that subsidize
the rents of low-income Americans.  These vouchers will expand the supply
of affordable housing for the 5.4 million very-low-income families who pay
more than half their incomes for housing or live in severely inadequate
units, including a growing number of families working full time. Vouchers
often enable families to move closer to job opportunities.  More than 50
years ago, the nation committed itself to the goal of a ?decent home and a
suitable living environment for every American family.?  This bill brings
us a step closer to that goal by building on the 110,000 new vouchers
secured through the President?s leadership in the past two years.
?    Reforms Voucher Law and Expands Tenant Housing Options.  The new law
helps Public Housing Authorities use some housing vouchers to expand tenant
rental opportunities.  For the first time, tenants moving into housing that
has a designated voucher will not have to give up their rental assistance
if their family needs to move.
?    Offers More Emergency Food and Shelter.  The budget includes President
Clinton?s request to increase funding for the Federal Emergency Management
Agency?s grants by $30 million, to $140 million.  These grants go to the
states and are distributed locally to community based organizations to
assist families and individuals who need emergency housing and food.  As a
result of this law, needy Americans will receive 25 million more meals and
1.1 million additional nights of shelter next year.
?    Increases Homeless Assistance.  The President and Vice President
proposed a major expansion of HUD?s continuum of care program to help
homeless persons obtain temporary and permanent housing and supportive
services.  The final budget includes $1.125 billion in funds for the
homeless assistance including $100 million for Shelter Plus Care renewals,
a 10 percent increase over last year?s budget.
?    Making Capital Available in Underserved Communities. The President won
$118 million for the Community Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.  The
Fund has a record of supporting local specialized lenders and investors?as
well as traditional financial institutions?that make loans and equity
investments in underserved communities.   It is a vital source of capital
to build a national network of community development lenders, following
through on one of the President?s original commitments. The Administration
is especially pleased that Congress provided the requested $5 million for
technical assistance and training to benefit Native American communities.

?    CATALYZE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. The bill increases the nation's
investment in scientific discovery and education, which has helped fuel
economic growth.  Today?s legislation:
?    Invests in Energy Research.  As part of the Clinton-Gore plan to
reduce our nation?s reliance on oil and lower the nation?s fuel bills, the
budget includes a $65 million increase for solar and renewable energy
technologies at the Department of Energy.  These initiatives will help our
nation achieve greater energy security, reduce pollution, and create new
high-tech industries and jobs.  The law boosts basic research in the
Department of Energy?s Office of Science by $399 million, or 14 percent.
?    Sustains U.S. Leadership across the Scientific Frontiers.  The budget
contains a $529 million increase for the National Science Foundation?the
largest increase ever?for a total investment of $4.4 billion.  It boosts
university-based research and ensures balanced support for all science and
engineering disciplines.  Increased investments will spur new discoveries
in the fields of information technology, nanotechnology, and other areas of
fundamental science and engineering.
?    Expands NASA.  The final budget includes a $684 million increase, to
$14.3 billion, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. These
resources will help NASA meet its human space flight needs more safely and
at lower cost through a new generation of space launch vehicles and enable
it to establish a sustained human presence in earth orbit and a robotic
presence on Mars.

provides the additional $1.5 billion the President requested for the
Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest one-year increase ever
requested by any Administration.  These additional resources will help our
nation?s 24 million veterans by serving more patients and ensuring
high-quality and timely care; improving the delivery of benefit payments
for veterans; and meeting our National Shrine commitment to veterans


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