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Statement of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
On the Occasion of the January 2000 State of the Union Address by
President Bill Clinton

State of the Union 2000,
A Nostalgic Look Back Over the Last Seven Years and An Inspirational Look Forward at the New Millennium:
"A Study in Clinton Statesmanship"

January 28, 2000

The Economy

In 1993, two hundred eighteen brave Democrats without a single Republican vote, passed President Clinton's historic deficit reducing budget that has brought prosperity to all Americans, including the ones who ranted and raved in 1994 that the sky would fall, that America would collapse, because of that vote. Instead, the Republican purveyors of doom have been silenced on every front and now try to slink into position to share the spotlight with a President who got stewardship of the economy right for all Americans. The values that Congresswoman McKinney voted for then and continues to fight for now are what America's working families need.

"The President has demonstrated that it is possible to provide jobs for Americans at a meaningful wage that lifts Americans out of poverty, reach the highest heights on Wall Street, and experience little inflation and at the same time accrue record budget surpluses. President Clinton has set a new standard for stewardship of our economy, while enduring the most partisan snipes from a Republican opposition that has no agenda and no new ideas," observed Congresswoman McKinney.

"I fought hard in 1993 to assure the full funding of the Earned Income Tax Credit," remarked Congresswoman McKinney. At that time I represented the second poorest district in Georgia, with some families not even having running water in their homes. It was the right thing to do for my district and it was the right thing to do for America. I'm glad the expanded EITC has been such a wonderful success. It's a shame, however, that Congressional Republicans wanted to deny hardworking low-income Americans a tax credit so they could reward their fat-cat, special-interest, high-income friends, " McKinney continued. The President has shown that it is prudent and profitable to reward hard work, reduce taxes, encourage savings, promote training and retraining, protect the environment, and downsize government without diminishing our commitment to including all Americans in the resultant prosperity."


"The President has indeed set a standard for economic prosperity and inclusion that will be expected of future Presidents, but I suspect, few will be able to duplicate," intoned Congresswoman McKinney. "Who else but Bill Clinton would have reached fifty years into the past to atone for a grave sin--the infamous Tuskeegee Study--that was not of his making? His appointments of people of color and women to all levels of his Administration is truly historic and should fill us all with pride. I remember the Secretaryships of Hazel O'Leary and Ron Brown and my immense pride at witnessing them at the helm, representing America to the Asian community of energy and commerce interests. The Republicans should be ashamed of their mistreatment of these two Secretaries during their tenure, and in the case of Ron Brown, even after his death. The White House Office of One America must endure as part of the Clinton legacy."

Health Care

"The fact that African American women die in pregnancy at an alarming four times more than white women should shame all of us as Americans. Bill Clinton as President wanted to do something about that. Through his appointment of David Satcher, first as head of the CDC and then as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, he has devoted his administration to eliminating health disparities for minorities. By strengthening Medicare and expanding it to cover prescription

drugs, America's seniors will face greater health security. The President's goal of providing health care for all Americans, from the cradle to the grave, is an important one for this country. However, as good as his plan is, it still represents incrementalism when much more comprehensive action is needed."


'In Georgia, we still have a tremendous problem with high school dropouts. We rank third in the nation for the number of high school students who choose to drop out rather than obtain their diploma. We need strong action to stem this tide of future poverty. The President's education initiatives will not only build better schools for our students to attend, but will also help our students to stay in school and even go on to college. While our President was trying to keep students in school, unfortunately, the Republicans sought to prevent funding for new teachers and new schools and to zero-out funding for historically black colleges and universities."

Personal Security

"The COPS Program has proven to be immensely popular with my mayors and county commissioners. Yet, were it left up to the Republicans, we would have no COPS Program nor would we have the tremendous decrease in crime that can be associated with President Clinton's economic and neighborhood security policies. Additionally, reducing gun violence is an imperative that we all want to face. However, deep in the clutches of the NRA and despite high school tragedy after tragedy, the Republican Congress refused to pass strengthened gun control laws."

Africa Policy

"While the Administration has done well in stewardship of the domestic ship of state, unfortunately, this Administration fails miserably in its Africa policy. Relying on the same old Cold War visions and stereotypes of the past fifty years, this Administration has relegated Africa to its backburner of attention while fueling military buildups. On Monday I watched as seven Heads of State pleaded with the United States and the Security Council of the United Nations to send peacekeepers into the Democratic Republic of Congo: a war that is a direct result of the failure of the U.S. to heed the pleas of United Nations peacekeepers on the ground in Rwanda in 1994 to prevent, then contain, the genocide. Through obfuscation and high rhetoric, the United States got what it wanted--no action, and one million innocent Rwandans died. By its failure to act today to help the Africans find the peace that they want, the Clinton Administration continues to have African blood on its hands. Unfortunately, the United States ranks first in weapons transfers around the world and dead last among industrialized nations in providing nonmilitary assistance to the developing world."


"Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration shows us how far backwards a candidate can travel from his promises. Bill Clinton, candidate promised a linkage between human rights and U.S. trade policy. Bill Clinton, President, has forgotten his promises and his principals, too. The President's protests, that the cause of peace will be advanced in China because of US corporate presence rings hollow and is laughable in the face of the continued repression faced daily by democracy activists."

"As usual, President Clinton presented an ambitious program for his last year in the White House. It will be up to Congressional Democrats and Republicans alike to find the resources to fund his priorities."

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