A Summary of the Policy Initiatives Made by President Clinton in the State of the Union Address

January 22, 1999


Here is a list of the initiatives proposed by President Clinton:

1. Invest the Surplus
"Specifically, I propose that we commit 60 percent of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to Social Security, investing a small portion in the private sector, just as any private or state government pension would do."

2. Caps
"And we should eliminate the limits on what seniors on Social Security can earn."

3. Medicare
"Tonight, I propose that we use one out of every $6 in the surplus for the next 15 years to guarantee the soundness of Medicare until the year 2020."

4. Prescription Drugs
"If we work together, we can secure Medicare for the next two decades and cover the greatest growing need of seniors -- affordable prescription drugs."

5. USA Accounts
"I propose that we use a little over 11 percent of the surplus to establish universal savings accounts -- USA accounts -- to give all Americans the means to save."

6. Long-Term Care
"I propose a tax credit of $1,000 for the aged, ailing or disabled, and the families who care for them."

7. Internet Access
"With over $1 billion in discounts available this year, we are well on our way to our goal of connecting every classroom and library to the Internet."

8. Class Size
"Last fall, you passed our proposal to start hiring 100,000 new teachers to reduce class size in the early grades. Now I ask you to finish the job."

9. Education Accountability Act
"My Education Accountability Act will require every school district receiving federal help to take the following five steps. First, all schools must end social promotion."

10. Summer School
"So my balanced budget triples the funding for summer school"

11. After-School Programs
"and after-school programs, to keep a million children learning."

12. Failing Schools
"Our budget includes $200 million to help states turn around their own failing schools."

13. Improving Teacher Quality
"This year's balanced budget contains resources to help them reach higher standards."

14. Scholarships for Teachers of Disadvantaged
"I recommend a sixfold increase in our program for college scholarships for students who commit to teach in the inner cities and isolated rural areas and Indian communities."

15. Report Cards
"Every school district should issue report cards on every school."

16. Controlled Choice
"And parents should be given more choices in selecting their public schools."

17. Charter Schools
"My budget assures that early in the next century, there will be 3,000."

18. Discipline
"... we should say that all states and school districts must both adopt and implement sensible discipline policies."

19. School Construction
"I ask you to help our communities build or modernize 5,000 schools."

20. Minimum Wage
"So let's raise the minimum wage by a dollar an hour over the next two years."

21. Comparable Worth
"And let's make sure that women and men get equal pay for equal work by strengthening enforcement of equal pay laws."

22. Misc. Tax Credits/Subsidies
"I ask Congress to support our plan for tax credits and subsidies for working families,"
23. "for improved safety and quality ... ."
24." And our plan also includes a new tax credit for stay-at-home parents, too."

25. Family Leave
"I think it's time, with all the evidence that it has been so little burdensome to employers, to extend Family Leave to 10 million more Americans working for smaller companies. And I hope you will support it."

26. Child Discrimination
"So I want to ask Congress to prohibit companies from refusing to hire or promote workers simply because they have children."

27. Should, Ought
"You should have the right to know all your medical options -- not just the cheapest."
28. "If you need a specialist, you should have the right to see one."
29. "You have a right to the nearest emergency care if you're in an accident."
30. "And I think we ought to say, you should have a right to keep your doctor during a period of treatment, whether it's a pregnancy or a chemotherapy treatment, or anything else. I believe this."

31. Patients' Bill of Rights
"Now, I've ordered these rights to be extended to the 85 million Americans served by Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. For the sake of our families, I ask us to join together across party lines and pass a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights."

32. Encryption
"... we will protect the privacy of medical records, and we will do it this year."

33. Health Insurance Imposed on Mom 'N Pop
"We should make it easier for small businesses to offer health insurance."

34. Medicare
"We should give people between the ages of 55 and 65 who lose their health insurance the chance to buy into Medicare."

35. Government Family Planning
"And we should continue to ensure access to family planning."

36. Healthy Care for the Disabled
"And, therefore, I especially ask you tonight to join hands to pass the landmark bipartisan legislation -- proposed by Senators Kennedy and Jeffords, Roth and Moynihan -- to allow people with disabilities to keep their health insurance when they go to work."

37. Public Hospital Care for All
"We need to enable our public hospitals, our community, our university health centers to provide basic, affordable care for all the millions of working families who don't have any insurance. They do a lot of that today, but much more can be done. And my balanced budget makes a good down payment toward that goal. I hope you will think about them and support that provision."

38. Mental Illness
"This year, we will host a White House Conference on Mental Health."

39. Increase Cost of Tobacco
"So tonight I announce that the Justice Department is preparing a litigation plan to take the tobacco companies to court--and with the funds we recover, to strengthen Medicare."

40. Job Training
"This year, I recommend a five-year commitment in the new system so that we can provide, over the next five years, appropriate training opportunities for all Americans who lose their jobs,"

41. Rapid Response for Factory Closings
"and expand rapid response teams to help all towns which have been really hurt when businesses close."

42. Adult Literacy
"Also, I ask your support for a dramatic increase in federal support for adult literacy, to mount a national campaign aimed at helping the millions and millions of working people who still read at less than a 5th grade level."

43. Welfare to Work Partnership
"Tonight, our Welfare to Work Partnership includes 10,000 companies who have hired hundreds of thousands of people. And our balanced budget will help another 200,000 people move to the dignity and pride of work."

44. Vouchers for Community Development
"... with more support for community development banks"
45. "for empowerment zones,"
46. "for 100,000 more vouchers for affordable housing."

47. American Private Investment Company
"And I ask Congress to support our bold new plan to help businesses raise up to $15 billion in private sector capital to bring jobs and opportunities to our inner cities and rural areas -- with tax credits, loan guarantees, including the new American Private Investment Company, modeled on the Overseas Private Investment Company."

48. Farm Safety Net
"And I am ready to work with lawmakers of both parties to create a farm safety net that will include crop insurance reform"
49. "and farm income assistance."

50. Long-Term Computing Research
"I propose a 28-percent increase in long-term computing research."

51. Y2K
"We also must be ready for the 21st century from its very first moment, by solving the so-called Y2K computer problem."

52. Subsidies Across Borders
"For our own prosperity, we must support economic growth abroad."

53. Global Financial System
"At the same time, we have to continue to work on the long-term project, building a global financial system for the 21st century ..."

54. Free, Fair, and Fixed Trade
"I also ask you to support creating a freer and fairer trading system for 21st century America."

55. Barriers
"First, we ought to tear down barriers, open markets, and expand trade."

56. Raising Prices of Imports
"We must enforce our trade laws when imports unlawfully flood our nation. I have already informed the government of Japan that if that nation's sudden surge of steel imports into our country is not reversed, America will respond."

57. Loan Guarantees
"We must help all manufacturers hit hard by the present crisis with loan guarantees and other incentives to increase American exports by nearly $2 billion."

58. Trade Authority
"And I ask Congress again to join me in this common approach and to give the President the trade authority long used..."

59. Wye Agreement
"Now I ask Congress to provide resources so that all parties can implement the Wye Agreement -- to protect Israel's security, to stimulate the Palestinian economy, to support our friends in Jordan."

60. Trade Negotiations
"Tonight, I issue a call to the nations of the world to join the United States in a new round of global trade negotiations to expand exports of services, manufacturers and farm products."

61. Global AFL-CIO
"Tonight I say we will work with the International Labor Organization on a new initiative to raise labor standards around the world."

62. Child Abuse
"And this year, we will lead the international community to conclude a treaty to ban abusive child labor everywhere in the world."

63. More Sudan Bombings
"We will defend our security wherever we are threatened, as we did this summer when we struck at Osama bin Laden's network of terror."

64. Promoting Terrorism?
"The bombing of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania reminds us again of the risks faced every day by those who represent America to the world. So let's give them the support they need, the safest possible workplaces, and the resources they must have so America can continue to lead."

65. Computer Terrorist Hacks
"We must work to keep terrorists from disrupting computer networks."

66. Money to Local Communities
"We must work to prepare local communities for biological and chemical emergencies,"

67. Research Money
"to support research into vaccines and treatments."

68. Russian Nuclear Threat
"Our balanced budget will increase funding for these critical efforts by almost two-thirds over the next five years."

69. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
"I ask the Senate to take this vital step: Approve the treaty now, to make it harder for other nations to develop nuclear arms, and to make sure we can end nuclear testing forever."

70. Funding Iraqi Opposition
"America will continue to contain Saddam--and we will work for the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people."

71. Military Readiness
"My balanced budget calls for a sustained increase over the next six years for readiness, for modernization,"

72. Military Pay
"and for pay and benefits for our troops and their families."

73. UN Dues/Debts
"America needs a strong and effective U.N. I want to work with this new Congress to pay our dues and our debts."

74. NATO
"We must continue to support security and stability in Europe and Asia--expanding NATO and defining its new missions;"

75. Radio Democracy for Africa
"We must fortify African democracy and peace by launching Radio Democracy for Africa,"

76. Tax Money for Development
"supporting the transition to democracy now beginning to take place in Nigeria, and passing the African Trade and Development Act."

77. 50,000 Cops
"Our balanced budget will help put up to 50,000 more police on the street, in the areas hardest hit by crime --"

78. Cop Technology
"and then to equip them with new tools, from crime-mapping computers to digital mug shots."

79. Drug Testing/Treatment
"Our budget expands support for drug testing and treatment, saying to prisoners:"

80. Five-Day Waiting Period
"I ask Congress to restore the five-day waiting period for buying a handgun"
81. "and extend the Brady Bill to prevent juveniles who commit violent crimes from buying a gun."

82. Safe and Drug-Free School Act
"I ask you to strengthen the Safe and Drug-Free School Act,"

83. Child Trigger Locks
"to pass legislation to require child trigger locks, to do everything possible to keep our children safe."

84. Clean Air Fund
"Tonight I propose a new clean air fund to help communities reduce greenhouse and other pollution,"

85. Tax Incentives
"and tax incentives and investments to spur clean energy technology."

86. Anti-Global Warming Subsidies
"And I want to work with members of Congress in both parties to reward companies that take early, voluntary action to reduce greenhouse gases."

87. Livability Agenda
"In response, I propose two major initiatives: First, a $1-billion Livability Agenda to help communities save open space, ease traffic congestion, and grow in ways that enhance every citizen's quality of life."

88. Lands Legacy Initiative
"And second, a $1-billion Lands Legacy Initiative to preserve places of natural beauty all across America -- from the most remote wilderness to the nearest city park."

89. Americorps
"I ask Congress to give more young Americans the chance to follow their lead and serve America in AmeriCorps."

90. Campaign Finance Reform
"Last year the House passed the bipartisan campaign finance reform legislation sponsored by Representatives Shays and Meehan and Senators McCain and Feingold. But a partisan minority in the Senate blocked reform. So I'd like to say to the House: Pass it again, quickly."

91. Employment Discrimination Non-Discrimination Act
"Therefore, I ask Congress to make the Employment Non-Discrimination Act"

92. Hate Crimes
"and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act the law of the land."

93. Sampling
"Now, since every person in America counts, every American ought to be counted. We need a census that uses modern scientific methods to do that."

94. Citizenship Training
"There are now long waiting lines of immigrants that are trying to do just that. Therefore, our budget significantly expands our efforts to help them meet their responsibility."

95. Landmarks
"And tonight, before I close, I want to invite every town, every city, every community to become nationally recognized "millennium community," by launching projects that save our history, promote our arts and humanities, prepare our children for the 21st century."

- Compiled by Casey J. Lartigue Jr.