State Of The Union

 Clinton Stays On His Message (01-27-98)

 Lott Charts a Slightly Different Course (01-27-98)

 Analysis: Speech Memorable For What Clinton Didn't Say (01-27-98)

 Lewinsky Allegations Overshadow State Of The Union (01-27-98)

 Full List Of President's Guests (01-27-98)

 Clinton Repeats Denial (01-26-98)

 Analysis: Delay The State Of The Union (01-26-98)

 Toon: Bill Mitchell's "State of the Union" (01-26-98)


 Clinton Gets A Bounce (01-27-98)


 President Bill Clinton's State Of The Union Address (01-27-98)

 Sen. Trent Lott With The GOP Response To The President's State Of The Union Address (01-27-98)

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 President Clinton's State Of The Union Address (01-27-98)

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President Bill Clinton's State Of The Union Address Part 2

Jan. 27, 1998

CLINTON: A society rooted in responsibility must first promote the value of work, not welfare.

We can be proud that after decades of finger pointing and failure, together we ended the old welfare system. And we're now replacing welfare checks with paychecks.


Last year after a record four-year decline in welfare rolls, I challenged our nation to move two million more Americans off welfare by the year 2000. I'm pleased to report we have also met that goal -- two full years ahead of schedule.


This is a grand achievement, the sum of many acts of individual courage, persistence and hope.

For 13 years, Elaine Kinslow of Indianapolis, Indiana was on and off welfare.

Today, she's a dispatcher with a van company. She's saved enough money to move her family into a good neighborhood, and she's helping other welfare recipients go to work. Elaine Kinslow and all those like her are the real heroes of the welfare revolution. There are millions like her all across America and I'm happy she could join the first lady tonight. Elaine, we're very proud of you. Please stand up.


We still have a lot more to do -- all of us -- to make welfare reform a success. Providing child care, helping families move closer to available jobs, challenging more companies to join our welfare-to- work partnership, increasing child support collections from deadbeat parents who have a duty to support their own children.

I also want to thank Congress for restoring some of the benefits to immigrants who are here legally and working hard, and I hope you will finish that job this year.


We have to make it possible for all hard-working families to meet their most important responsibilities. Two years ago, we helped guarantee that Americans can keep their health insurance when they change jobs. Last year, we extended health care to up to five million children.

This year, I challenge Congress to take the next historic steps.


A hundred and sixty million of our fellow citizens are in managed care plans. These plans save money and they can improve care. But medical decisions ought to be made by medical doctors, not insurance company accountants.


I urge this Congress to reach across the aisle and write into law a consumer bill of rights that says this.

You have the right to know all your medical options, not just the cheapest.

You have the right to choose the doctor you want for the care you need.


You have the right to emergency room care wherever and whenever you need it.


CLINTON: You have the right to keep your medical records confidential.


Thank you. Thank you.

Now, traditional care or managed care, every American deserves quality care.


Millions of Americans between the ages of 55 and 65 have lost their health insurance. Some are retired. Some are laid off. Some lose their coverage when their spouses retire.

After a lifetime of work, they are left with nowhere to turn.

So I ask the Congress, let these hard-working Americans buy into the Medicare system. It won't add a dime to the deficit, but the peace of mind it will provide will be priceless.


Next, we must help parents protect their children from the gravest health threat that they face -- an epidemic of teen smoking, spread by multimillion dollar marketing campaigns.

I challenge Congress -- let's pass bipartisan, comprehensive legislation that will improve public health, protect our tobacco farmers and change the way tobacco companies do business forever. Let's do what it takes to bring teen smoking down.

Let's raise the price of cigarettes by up to $1.50 a pack over the next 10 years with penalties on the tobacco industry if it keeps marketing to our children.




Tomorrow, like every day, 3,000 children will start smoking, and 1,000 will die early as a result. Let this Congress be remembered as the Congress that saved their lives.


In the new economy, most parents work harder than ever. They face a constant struggle to balance their obligations to be good workers and their even more important obligations to be good parents. The Family and Medical Leave Act was the very first bill I was privileged to sign into law as president in 1993.

CLINTON: Since then...


... about 15 million people have taken advantage of it -- and I've met a lot of them all across this country. I ask you to extend that law to cover 10 million more workers and to give parents time off when they have to go see their children's teachers or take them to the doctor.


Child care is the next frontier we must face to enable people to succeed at home and at work.

Last year I co-hosted the very first White House conference on child care with one of our foremost experts -- America's first lady.


Thank you. Thank you.

From all corners of America, we heard the same message, without regard to region or income or political affiliation: We've got to raise the quality of child care. We've got to make it safer. We've got to make it more affordable. So here's my plan.

Help families to pay for child care for a million more children.

Scholarships and background checks for child care workers and a new emphasis on early learning. Tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees, and a larger child care tax credit for working families.

Now, if you pass my plan, what this means is a family of four with an income of $35,000 and high child care costs will no longer pay a single penny of federal income tax.


You know, I think this is such a big issue with me because of my own personal experience. I have often wondered how my mother, when she was a young widow, would have been able to go away to school and get an education and come back and support me if my grandparents hadn't been able to take care of me.

She and I were really very lucky. How many other families have never had that same opportunity?

We don't know the answer to that question. But we do know the answer should be. Not a single American family should ever have to choose between the job they need and the child they love.


A society rooted in responsibility must provide safe streets, safe schools, and safe neighborhoods. We pursued a strategy of more police, tougher punishments, smarter prevention, with crime fighting partnerships with local law enforcement and citizen groups where the rubber hits the road.

I can report to you tonight that it's working. Violent crime is down. Robbery is down. Assault is down. Burglary is down. For five years in a row, all across America.


CLINTON: Now, we need to finish the job of putting 100,000 more police on our streets.




... again, I ask Congress to pass a juvenile crime bill that provides more prosecutors and probation officers to crack down on gangs and guns and drugs and bar violent juveniles from buying guns for life.


And I ask you to dramatically expand our support for afterschool programs.


I think...


I think every American should know that most juvenile crime is committed between the hours of 3 in the afternoon and 8 at night.

We can keep so many of our children out of trouble in the first place if we give them someplace to go other than the streets, and we ought to do it.


Drug use is on the decline. I thank General McCaffrey for his leadership and I thank this Congress for passing the largest anti-drug budget in history. Now...


... I ask you to join me in a groundbreaking effort to hire 1,000 new border patrol agents and to deploy the most sophisticated available new technologies to help close the door on drugs at our borders.


Thank you.


Police, prosecutors and prevention programs -- good as they are -- they can't work if our court system doesn't work.

Today there are large numbers of vacancies in our federal courts. Here is what the Chief Justice of the United States wrote: "Judicial vacancies cannot remain at such high levels indefinitely without eroding the quality of justice."

I simply ask the United States Senate to heed this plea and vote on the highly qualified nominees before you, up or down.


We must exercise responsibility not just at home but around the world. On the eve of a new century we have the power and the duty to build a new era of peace and security. But make no mistake about it. Today's possibilities are not tomorrow's guarantees.

America must stand against the poisoned appeals of extreme nationalism. We must combat an unholy axis of new threats from terrorists, international criminals and drug traffickers. These 21st century predators feed on technology and the free flow of information and ideas and people, and they will be all the more lethal if weapons of mass destruction fall into their hands.

To meet these challenges, we are helping to write international rules of the road for the 21st century protecting those who join the family of nations and isolating those who do not.

Within days, I will ask the Senate for its advice and consent to make Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic the newest members of NATO.


CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

For 50 years, NATO contained communism and kept America and Europe secure. Now these three formerly communist countries have said yes to democracy. I ask the Senate to say yes to them, our new allies.


By taking in new members and working closely with new partners, including Russia and Ukraine, NATO can help to assure that Europe is a stronghold for peace in the 21st century.

Next, I will ask Congress to continue its support for our troops and their mission in Bosnia.


Thank you. Thank you.

This Christmas, Hillary and I traveled to Sarajevo with Senator and Mrs. Dole and a bipartisan congressional delegation.

We saw children playing in the streets, where two years ago they were hiding from snipers and shells. The shops were filled with food. The cafes were alive with conversation.

The progress there is unmistakable, but it is not yet irreversible. To take firm root, Bosnia's fragile peace still needs the support of American and allied troops when the current NATO mission ends in June.

I think Senator Dole actually said it best. He said, "This is like being ahead in the fourth quarter of a football game. Now is not the time to walk off the field and forfeit the victory."


I wish all of you could have seen our troops in Tuzla.

They're very proud of what they're doing in Bosnia and we're all very proud of them. One of those...


Thank you.

One of those brave soldiers is sitting with the first lady tonight, Army Sergeant Michael Tolbert. His father was a decorated Vietnam vet. After college in Colorado, he joined the Army. Last year he led an infantry unit that stopped a mob of extremists from taking over a radio station that is a voice of democracy and tolerance in Bosnia.

Thank you very much, Sergeant, for what you represent.

CLINTON: Please stand up.


In Bosnia and around the world, our men and women in uniform always do their mission well. Our mission must be to keep them well trained and ready, to improve their quality of life and to provide the 21st century weapons they need to defeat any enemy.


I ask Congress to join me in pursuing an ambitious agenda to reduce the serious threat of weapons of mass destruction. This year, four decades after it was first proposed by President Eisenhower, a comprehensive nuclear test ban is within reach.

By ending nuclear testing, we can help to prevent the development of new and more dangerous weapons and make it more difficult for non-nuclear states to build them.

I'm pleased to announce that four former chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff -- Generals John Shaliskasvili, Colin Powell, and David Jones and Admiral William Crowe -- have endorsed this treaty. And I ask the Senate to approve it this year.


Thank you.


Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them.

Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade and much of his nation's wealth not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the missiles to deliver them.

The United Nations weapons inspectors have done a truly remarkable job, finding and destroying more of Iraq's arsenal than was destroyed during the entire Gulf War. Now, Saddam Hussein wants to stop them from completing their mission.

I know I speak for everyone in this chamber, Republicans and Democrats, when I say to Saddam Hussein: You cannot defy the will of the world.


And when I say to him, you have used weapons of mass destruction before.

We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.


Last year the Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention to protect our soldiers and citizens from poison gas. Now we must act to prevent the use of disease as a weapon of war and terror. The Biological Weapons Convention has been in effect for 23 years now. The rules are good, but the enforcement is weak.

We must strengthen it with a new international inspection system to detect and deter cheating.

In the months ahead, I will pursue our security strategy with old allies in Asia and Europe and new partners from Africa to India and Pakistan, from South America to China.

And from Belfast to Korea to the Middle East, America will continue to stand with those who stand for peace.

Finally, it's long past time to make good on our debt to the United Nations.


Thank you.


More and more, we are working with other nations to achieve common goals.

If we want America to lead, we've got to set a good example. As we see...


As we see so clearly in Bosnia, allies who share our goals can also share our burdens. In this new era, our freedom and independence are actually enriched, not weakened, by our increasing interdependence with other nations. But we have to do our part.

Our founders set America on a permanent course toward a more perfect union. To all of you, I say it is a journey we can only make together, living as one community.

First, we have to continue to reform our government, the instrument of our national community. Everyone knows elections have become too expensive, fueling a fundraising arms race. This year, by March the 6th, at long last the Senate will actually vote on bipartisan campaign finance reform proposed by Senators McCain and Feingold.

Let's be clear -- a vote against McCain-Feingold is a vote for soft money and for the status quo. I ask you to strengthen our democracy and pass campaign finance reform this year.


But -- at least equally important, we have to address the real reason for the explosion in campaign costs -- the high cost of media advertising. I will...


For the folks watching at home, those were the groans of pain in the audience. I will formally request that the Federal Communications Commission act to provide free or reduced cost television time for candidates to observe spending limits voluntarily.

The airwaves are a public trust, and broadcasters also have to help us in this effort to strengthen our democracy.

Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, we've reduced the federal payroll by 300,000 workers; cut 16,000 pages of regulation; eliminated hundreds of programs; and improved the operations of virtually every government agency. But we can do more.

Like every taxpayer, I'm outraged by the reports of abuses by the IRS. We need some changes there.

New citizen advocacy panels, a stronger taxpayer advocate, phone lines open 24 hours a day, relief for innocent taxpayers.

Last year, by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, the House of Representatives passed sweeping IRS reforms. This bill must not now languish in the Senate.


Tonight, I ask the Senate -- Follow the House. Pass the bipartisan package as your first order of business.


I hope to goodness before I finish I can think of something to say follow the Senate on so I'll be out of trouble.


A nation that lives as a community must value all its communities.

For the past five years, we have worked to bring the spark of private enterprise to inner city and poor rural areas with community development banks, more commercial loans into poor neighborhoods, clean-up of polluted sites for development.

Under the continued leadership of the vice president, we propose to triple the number of empowerment zones to give business incentives to invest in those areas.


We should -- thank you. We should also give poor families more help to move into homes of their own. And we should use tax cuts to spur the construction of more low-income housing.


Last year, this Congress took strong action to help the District of Columbia. Let us renew our resolve to make our capital city a great city for all who live and visit here.


Our cities are the vibrant hubs of great metropolitan areas. They are still the gateways for new immigrants, from every continent, who come here to work for their own American dreams.

Let's keep our cities going strong into the 21st century. They're a very important part of our future.


Our communities are only as healthy as the air our children breathe, the water they drink, the earth they will inherit. Last year, we put in place the toughest ever controls on smog and soot. We moved to protect Yellowstone, the Everglades, Lake Tahoe. We expanded every community's right to know about toxics that threaten their children.

Just yesterday, our food safety plan took effect using new science to protect consumers from dangers like E. coli and salmonella.



... I ask you to join me in launching a new clean water initiative, a far reaching effort to clean our rivers, our lakes, and our coastal waters for our children.


Thank you. Thank you.

Our overriding environmental challenge tonight is the worldwide problem of climate change, global warming, the gathering crisis that requires worldwide action. The vast majority of scientists have concluded unequivocally that if we don't reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses at some point in the next century, we'll disrupt or climate and put our children and grandchildren at risk.

This past December, America led the world to reach a historic agreement committing our nation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through market forces, new technologies, energy efficiency.

We have it in our power to act right here, right now. I propose $6 billion in tax cuts and research and development to encourage innovation, renewable energy, fuel-efficient cars, energy- efficient homes. Every time we have acted to heal our environment, pessimists have told us it would hurt the economy. Well, today our economy is the strongest in a generation. And our environment is the cleanest in a generation. We have always found a way to clean the environment and grow the economy at the same time.

And when it comes to global warming, we'll do it again.


Thank you. Thank you.

Finally, community means living by the defining American value, the ideal heard round the world: That we're all created equal.

Throughout our history, we haven't always honored that ideal, and we've never fully lived up to it. Often, it is easier to believe that our differences matter more than what we have in common. It may be easier, but it's wrong.

What we have to do in our day and generation to make sure that America becomes truly one nation -- what do we have to do? We're becoming more and more diverse. Do you believe we can become one nation?

The answer cannot be to dwell in our differences, but to build on our shared values. We all cherish family and faith, freedom and responsibility. We all want our children to grow up in a world where their talents are matched by their opportunities.

I have launched this national initiative on race to help us recognize our common interests and to bridge the opportunity gaps that are keeping us from becoming one America.

Let us begin by recognizing what we still must overcome. Discrimination against any American is unAmerican.

We must vigorously enforce...


Thank you. Thank you.

We must vigorously enforce the laws that make it illegal. I ask you help to end the backlog at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sixty thousand of our fellow citizens are waiting in line for justice, and we should act now to end their wait.


Thank you.


CLINTON: We should also recognize that the greatest progress we can make toward building one America lies in the progress we make for all Americans -- without regard to race.

When we open the doors of college to all Americans, when we rid all our streets of crime, when there are jobs available to people from all our neighborhoods, when we make sure all parents have the child care they need, we're helping to build one nation.

We in this chamber and in this government must do all we can to address the continuing American challenge to build one America. But we'll only move forward if all our fellow citizens -- including every one of you at home watching tonight -- is also committed to this cause.

We must work together, learn together, live together, serve together. On the forge of common enterprise, Americans of all backgrounds can hammer out a common identity.

We see it today in the United States military, in the Peace Corps, in AmeriCorps.

Wherever people of all races and backgrounds come together in a shared endeavor and get a fair chance, we do just fine. With shared values and meaningful opportunities and honest communications and citizen service, we can unite a diverse people in freedom and mutual respect.

We are many. We must be one.


Thank you.

In that spirit, let us lift our eyes to the new millennium. How will we mark that passage? It just happens once every thousand years.

This year, Hillary and I launched the White House Millennium Program to promote America's creativity and innovation and to preserve our heritage and culture into the 21st century.

Our culture lives in every community, and every community has places of historic value that tell our stories as Americans. We should protect them. I am proposing a public/private partnership to advance our arts and humanities and to celebrate the millennium by saving America's treasures, great and small.

And while we honor the past, let us imagine the future.

Now, think about this -- the entire store of human knowledge now doubles every five years. In the 1980s, scientists identified the gene causing cystic fibrosis. It took nine years.

Last year, scientists located the gene that caused Parkinson's Disease in only nine days. Within a decade, gene chips will offer a road map for prevention of illness throughout a lifetime.

Soon, we will be able to carry all the phone calls on Mother's Day on a single strand of fiber the width of a human hair. A child born in 1998 may well live to see the 22nd century.

Tonight as part of our gift to the millennium, I propose a 21st century research fund for pathbreaking scientific inquiry, the largest funding increase in history for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Cancer Institute.

We have already discovered...


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We have already discovered genes for breast cancer and diabetes. I ask you to support this initiative so ours will be the generation that finally wins the war against cancer and begins a revolution in our fight against all deadly diseases.


As important as all this scientific progress is, we must continue to see that science serves humanity, not the other way around.

We must prevent the misuse of genetic tests to discriminate against any American.


And we must ratify the ethical consensus of the scientific and religious communities and ban the cloning of human beings.


We should enable all the world's people to explore the far reaches of cyberspace. Think of this -- the first time I made a State of the Union speech to you, only a handful of physicists used the World Wide Web -- literally, just a handful of people.

Now, in schools and libraries, homes and businesses, millions and millions of Americans surf the net every day.

We must give parents the tools they need to help protect their children from inappropriate material on the Internet.

But we also must make sure that we protect the exploding global commercial potential of the Internet. We can do the kinds of things that we need to do and still protect our kids.

For one thing, I asked Congress to step up support for building the next generation Internet. It's getting kind of clogged, you know? And the next generation Internet will operate at speeds up to 1,000 times faster than today.

Even as we explore this inner space in the new millennium, we're going to open new frontiers in outer space. Throughout all history, humankindness had only one place to call home -- our planet Earth.

Beginning this year, 1998, men and women from 16 countries will build a foothold in the heavens.

The international space station, with its vast expanses, scientists and engineers will actually set sail on an uncharted sea of limitless mystery and unlimited potential. And...


And this October, a true American hero, a veteran pilot of 149 combat missions and one five-hour space flight that changed the world, will return to the heavens. Godspeed, John Glenn.


John, you will carry with you America's hopes.

And on your uniform once again, you will carry America's flag marking the unbroken connection between the deeds of America's past and the daring of America's future.

Nearly 200 years ago, a tattered flag -- it's broad stripes and bright stars still gleaming through the smoke of a fierce battle -- moved Francis Scott Key to scribble a few words on the back of an envelope -- the words that became our national anthem.

Today, that star spangled banner, along with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are on display just a short walk from here. They are America's treasures and we must also save them for the ages.

I ask all Americans to support our project to restore all our treasures so that the generations of the 21st century can see for themselves the images and the words that are the old and continuing glory of America. An America that has continued to rise through every age against every challenge, a people of great works and greater possibilities, who have always, always found the wisdom and strength to come together as one nation. To widen the circle of opportunity. To deepen the meaning of our freedom. To form that more perfect union. Let that be our gift to the 21st century.

God bless you and God bless the United States.



In Other News

Tuesday Jan. 27, 1998

Clinton: Use Budget Surpluses To Fix Social Security
Lott Charts a Slightly Different Course
Grand Jury Convened Without Lewinsky Testimony
Details Of A Settlement Offer
Lewinsky Allegations Overshadow State Of The Union
White House Scandal At A Glance
Report: Lewinsky Allegedly Forged Document
Hillary Clinton: 'This Is A Battle'
Chelsea Deals With A Scandal

Speech Memorable For What Clinton Didn't Say

Clinton Gets A Bounce
Gender Gap Shows Up In Controversy
Most Americans Still Have Confidence In Clinton

Kenneth Starr

President Bill Clinton's State Of The Union Addresss

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