FACT SHEET: President Clinton: Expanding the Circle of Opportunity -- Enacting a Budget That Invests in Education, Health Care, and America(unknown chars)s New Markets

                             December 21, 2000

Today, President Clinton signed the last budget legislation of his
Administration. The budget reflects the President?s eight-year emphasis on
educating our children. It includes the largest increase ever for the
Department of Education and invests more than twice as many federal
resources in education as eight years ago. The budget includes legislation
to strengthen our health care system by improving service to Medicare
beneficiaries, providing health coverage to vulnerable populations, and
restoring reimbursements to Medicare and Medicaid providers
disproportionately impacted by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.  Today?s
legislation includes the New Markets and Renewal Communities Initiatives to
help poor urban and rural communities to participate in our economic
prosperity, based upon the agreement that President Clinton and Speaker
Hastert reached in November 1999.

Investing in America?s Students. The education budget is a landmark
achievement, providing a $6.5 billion (or 18 percent) increase for the
Department of Education, the largest ever and a 76 percent increase since
1993.  It enacts the President?s emergency school repair initiative and
provides the largest increases ever for after-school programs, Head Start,
school accountability, and Pell Grants for low-income college students
(since they were fully implemented in 1974).
?    $1.2 Billion for a New Urgent School Repair Initiative.  President
Clinton fought for and won a new initiative to repair America?s schools,
providing $1.2 billion for urgent school renovation. Nearly one-quarter of
the funds will strengthen special education and invest in education
technology. This initiative was a top priority of the President?s, but the
first Republican budget passed by the House of Representatives did not
include it. The initiative includes $75 million for Native American
?    $933 Million Increase for Head Start, Doubling Resources since 1993.
President Clinton won a $933 million increase for Head Start to $6.2
billion, serving 935,000 children. This is the largest one-year increase in
Head Start ever. Since 1993, Head Start has more than doubled from $2.8
billion to $6.2 billion.
?    Staying on Track to Hire 100,000 Teachers to Reduce Class Size.
President Clinton won $1.6 billion for his class-size reduction
initiative?a $323 million (or 25 percent) increase over last year?to stay
on track to hire 100,000 new high-quality teachers to reduce class sizes in
the early grades. The House Republican budget failed to dedicate funds for
class-size reduction.
?    Nearly Doubling After-School Learning Opportunities. The budget
includes $846 million for after-school programs, a $392 million (or 87
percent) increase over last year and $246 million above the House
Republican plan. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will
serve about 1.3 million children nationwide.
?    $567 Million to Improve Teacher Quality. The budget includes $567
million for the President?s teacher quality initiatives, a 52 percent
increase. It invests in professional development, recruitment, and
retention; expands the successful Troops to Teachers program to other
mid-career professionals; and trains early childhood educators.
?    Holding Schools Accountable for Student Achievement.  President
Clinton won $225 million?a 70 percent increase?to turn around
low-performing schools. The House Republican budget didn?t invest in this
?    Creating College Opportunities. Last January, President Clinton
announced his request for a $1 billion increase in efforts to expand
student aid and prepare students for college. Consistent with his plan, the
?    Provides the Largest Increase in Pell Grants Ever.  The budget
increases the maximum Pell grant to $3,750, a $450 increase since last
year?the largest one-year increase since the program was phased-in in
1974?and a $1,450 increase since 1993.
?    Increases Funding for GEAR UP by $95 Million to $295 Million.  The
House Republican plan froze GEAR UP at $200 million. The budget will help
1.2 million disadvantaged students prepare for college through academic
enrichment, college information, mentoring, and the promise of college
?    Provides the Second-Largest TRIO Increase in History.  The budget
increases TRIO funding by $85 million to $730 million. It also incorporates
key elements of the President?s College Completion Challenge Grants
proposal into TRIO; combining support services with scholarship aid is a
proven strategy for college retention.
?    Funds One Million Work-Study Jobs. It sustains the President?s
commitment to give one million students the opportunity to work their way
through college.

Strengthening Health Care. The President?s budget will strengthen and
improve the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children?s Health Insurance
Program by investing nearly $35 billion to improve coverage and assure
quality, as well as increase investments in public health programs by $5
billion.  Highlights include:
?    Improving Service to Medicare Beneficiaries, Including Preventative
Care.  The legislation expands Medicare?s preventive benefits to include
new nutrition therapy and glaucoma screening and provides greater access to
colon and cervical cancer screening.  It reduces the cost-sharing that
beneficiaries have to pay for hospital outpatient services; provides
permanent coverage of drugs that help prevent the rejection of organ
transplants; and facilitates the use of therapeutic adult day care services
for persons with Alzheimer?s disease.  It waives the 24-month waiting
period for Medicare for people with Lou Gehrig?s Disease (ALS).
?    Providing Health Coverage for Vulnerable Populations.  The
?    Extends for another year Medicaid coverage for people leaving welfare
for work.
?    Enhances outreach and enrollment for children eligible for Medicaid
and S-CHIP.  The law permits states to enroll uninsured but eligible
children in Medicaid and S-CHIP at schools, child support enforcement
agencies, program eligibility centers, and other sites.
?    Simplifies enrollment of low-income Medicare beneficiaries in
cost-assistance programs through a uniform application and outreach through
Social Security.
?    Restore Reimbursements to Medicare and Medicaid Providers. The
legislation addresses the needs of health care providers affected by the
disproportionate cuts of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 by increasing
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals, home health agencies,
skilled nursing facilities, managed care plans, and other health care
?    Supporting Biomedical Research. The budget invests $20.3 billion in
cutting-edge biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the
largest increase ever and nearly double the $10.3 billion spent in 1993.
?    Creating the Family Caregivers Program.  The budget provides $125
million for states to provide respite and other support services to
families who care for elderly relatives with long-term care needs.
?    Expanding AIDS Care, Prevention, and Research. The budget includes a
$165 million increase in funding for domestic and international HIV
prevention activities; a $213 million increase for the Ryan White CARE Act,
which helps provide primary care and support for those living with
HIV/AIDS; and an estimated $2.2 billion in additional funds for
AIDS-related research at the NIH.
?    Funding the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act. The budget provides
$580 million for a total of $655 million for one-time payments of $100,000
to people with hemophilia who were infected with HIV by blood solids during
the 1980s.
?    Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Activities.  The budget
increases resources for the prevention and treatment of mental health and
substance abuse by 12 percent, providing nearly $3 billion.
?    Promoting Community-Based Services and Supports for Americans with
Disabilities. The budget invests $50 million to help states plan to care
for people with disabilities in the most appropriate setting.
?    Improving Nursing Home Quality.  The budget includes a $32 million (68
percent) increase for the Nursing Home Initiative to ensure more rigorous
inspections of nursing facilities and improve federal oversight of nursing
home quality.

Revitalizing America?s Underserved Communities.  Today?s legislation
includes the historic new bipartisan New Markets and Community Renewal
initiative. This initiative resulted from the commitment President Clinton
and Speaker Hastert made in Chicago last November to develop a bipartisan
legislative initiative on New Markets to revitalize impoverished
communities. This initiative will help encourage private sector equity
investment in underserved communities throughout the country to ensure that
all Americans share in our nation?s economic prosperity.  This New Markets
Initiative was originally proposed in President Clinton and Vice-President
Gore?s FY 2000 budget.  President Clinton has highlighted the potential of
the nation?s New Markets in three separate trips across America to
underserved inner city and rural communities like Newark, NJ, Hartford, CT,
the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, and rural Arkansas, and the Pine Ridge
Indian Reservation in S. Dakota. The key elements of the legislation are:
?    The New Markets Tax Credit. The credit will spur $15 billion in equity
investment for business growth in low- and moderate-income rural and urban
communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.  The credit,
worth over 30 percent of the amount invested (in present value terms), will
be available to taxpayers who invest in a wide range of privately managed
community development investment funds?such as community development banks
and other CDFIs, venture funds, and new investment companies?that finance
businesses in low- and moderate-income communities.
?    New Markets Venture Capital Firms.  NMVC firms will provide incentives
to increase the availability of venture capital in low- and moderate-income
communities for small businesses. Expert guidance will also be made
available to small business entrepreneurs in inner city and rural areas.
Ten to 20 NMVC firms are planned. The agreement authorizes the SBA to
guarantee up to $150 million in loans to match $100 million in private
equity?a total of $250 million?and provides $30 million in technical
assistance for small businesses.
?    BusinessLINC (Learning, Investment, Networking and Collaboration). The
budget provides $7 million in funding for BusinessLINC?an innovative
public-private partnership launched by Vice President Gore and designed to
encourage large businesses to partner with small business owners and
entrepreneurs in economically distressed communities.
?    Strengthened and Expanded Empowerment Zones. President Clinton and
Vice President Gore proposed and signed Empowerment Zone legislation in
1993 establishing nine EZs across the country.  Today there are 31 across
America. This agreement includes:
?    A third round of nine new EZs, bringing the total number to 40, and
extends all EZs to 2009.
?    An additional $110 million, for a total of $200 million in
discretionary investment this year for existing Round II EZs.
?    Expansion of the 20 percent EZ wage credit (on the first $15,000 in
annual wages for each worker), increased small business expensing (up to
$35,000 more than in current law for equipment), and enhanced tax-exempt
bonds to all EZs.
?    Tax-free rollovers for EZ investments and 60 percent capital gains
exclusion for investment in EZ small businesses.
?    Renewal Communities. The creation of 40 Renewal Communities designated
by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with targeted,
pro-growth tax benefits. Key incentives aimed at spurring investment in
Renewal Communities include:
?    Zero capital gains rate on the sales of certain assets held for more
than five years.
?    Increased small business expensing (up to $35,000 more than in current
law for equipment).
?    15 percent employment wage credit (first $10,000 in annual income for
each worker).
?    Commercial revitalization deductions for taxpayers who revitalize
buildings in a Renewal Community.
?    Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. To expand and improve the supply of
available low-income housing, This bill increases the Low-Income Housing
Tax Credit by more than 40 percent over two years and then indexes the
credit for inflation thereafter.  The increase will help to create 180,000
additional units of affordable housing for working families over the next
five years.  The credit will increase to $1.50 per capita for each state in
2001 and $1.75 per capita in 2002.
?    Private Activity Bond Cap. The legislation increases the state private
activity bond cap from $50 per resident to $75 per resident, phased in from
2001 to 2002.  Private activity bonds allow states and municipalities to
encourage economic growth in communities through the issuing of lower cost
tax-exempt bonds.

Investing in the Mississippi Delta.  Today's legislation also includes
authorization for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), a newly created
agency that will focus $20 million for area development and technical
assistance on distressed counties in the Mississippi Delta Region. The
authorization will permit the establishment of the DRA, which will work to
improve the economic status of some of our Nation's most impoverished

Preparing America?s Workers for the 21st Century.  The budget invests in
worker training to raise productivity and help Americans compete in the
global economy.
?    Creating Opportunities for Youth.  The final budget provides a $102
million increase (to $1.1 billion) to provide job training and summer job
opportunities to roughly 660,000 disadvantaged young people. It also
increases Youth Opportunity Grants to $275 million to provide comprehensive
employment and training assistance to 63,000 out-of-school young people in
high poverty areas.
?    Continuing the Universal Reemployment Initiative. The budget creates
$35 million Reemployment initiative to help 156,000 Unemployment Insurance
claimants get jobs faster.  It also provides $1.6 billion for Dislocated
Workers, nearly tripled from $597 million in 1993.
?    Protecting Workers.  The final budget includes $1.2 billion to enforce
federal safety, health, pensions, wages, and nondiscrimination practices.
This $102 million increase will support 1,500 inspections to ensure safe
and healthy workplaces.  In addition, it supports efforts to increase labor
law compliance, including child labor, to expand public education and
outreach to get more employers to offer pension and health plans, and to
protect these benefits.

Fighting Crime and Gun Violence and Making Our Communities Safer.  To
continue the nationwide decline in gun violence, President Clinton fought
for the largest national gun enforcement initiative ever. Today?s
legislation includes:
?    Enforcing Gun Laws. President Clinton won nearly $200 million for his
Gun Enforcement Initiative, $94 million of which is included in today?s
legislation. The initiative is the largest in history and will hire 500 ATF
firearms agents and inspectors, fund over 600 federal state and local gun
prosecutors, and expand crime gun tracing and ballistics testing.
?    Increasing Community Supervision of Released Offenders. The budget
provides a total of $115 million, $85 million of which is in today?s
legislation, to help communities reduce recidivism for ex-offenders
returning to their communities through increased supervision, employment,
and substance abuse treatment.

Supporting Working Families.  The final budget helps all families balance
their responsibilities at home and at work by improving access to quality
child care and helping them save for the future.
?    Helping More Low-Income Families Afford Child Care.  The President
fought for and won $2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block
Grant, an $817 million increase.  These new resources, combined with the
child care funds provided in welfare reform, will serve over 2.2 million
children in 2001, an increase of nearly 1 million since 1997.
?    Promoting Early Learning by Improving the Quality of Child Care.  This
year, President Clinton called on Congress to include an Early Learning
Fund in the budget to help improve child care quality and early childhood
education for children under five years old.  The final budget included the
Stevens-Kennedy Early Learning Opportunities Act and provided $20 million
to allow states and communities to help improve child care quality and
promote readiness for school.
?    Helping Low-Income Families Invest for the Future. Congress approved
the President's request of $25 million for Individual Development Accounts
that empower low-income working families to save for a first home,
post-secondary education, or to start a new business.
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