The 1998 State of the Union (Address to a Joint Session of the Congress)

The 1998 State of the Union (Address to a Joint Session of the Congress)

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thank you very much thank you members of Congress I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States mr. speaker mr. vice president members of the 105th Congress distinguished guests my fellow Americans since the last time we met in this chamber America has lost to patriots and fine public servants though they sat on opposite sides of the aisle representatives
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Walter Capps and Sonny Bono shared a deep love for this house and an unshakeable commitment to improving the lives of all our people in the past few weeks they've both been eulogized tonight I think we should begin by sending a message to their families and their friends that we celebrate their lives and give thanks for their service to our nation for 209 years it has been the president's duty to report to you on the
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State of the Union because of the hard work and high purpose of the American people these are good times for America we have more than 14 million new jobs the lowest unemployment in twenty four years the lowest Co inflation in 30 years incomes are rising and we have the highest home ownership in history crime has dropped for a record five years in a row and the welfare rolls are at their lowest levels in 27 years our leadership in the world is unrivaled
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ladies and gentlemen the state of our union is strong with barely 700 days left in the 20th century this is not a time to rest it is a time to build to build the America within reach an America where everybody has a chance to get ahead with hard work where every citizen can live in a safe community where families are strong schools are good and all our young people can go on to college an America where scientists find cures for diseases
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from diabetes to Alzheimer's to AIDS an America where every child can stretch a hand across a keyboard and reach every book ever written every painting ever painted every symphony ever composed where a government provides opportunity and citizens honor the responsibility to give something back to their communities in America which leads the world a new heights of peace and prosperity this is America we have begun to build this is
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the America we can leave to our children if we join together to finish the work at hand let us strengthen our nation for the 21st century rarely have Americans lived through so much change in so many ways in so short a time quietly but with gathering force the ground has shifted beneath our feet as we have moved into an Information Age a global economy a truly new world for
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five years now we have met the challenge of these changes as Americans have at every turning point in our history by renewing the very idea of America widening the circle of opportunity deepening the meaning of our freedom forging a more perfect union we shaped a new kind of government for the information age I thank the vice president for his leadership and that Congress for its support in building a government that is leaner more flexible
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a catalyst for new ideas and most of all a government that gives the American people the tools they need to make the most of their own lives we have moved past the sterile debate between those who say government is the enemy and those who say government is the answer my fellow Americans we have found a third way we have the smallest government in 35 years but a more progressive one we have a smaller government but a stronger nation
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we are moving steadily toward an even stronger America in the 21st century an economy that offers opportunity a society rooted in responsibility and a nation that lives as a community first Americans in this chamber and across our nation have pursued a new strategy for prosperity fiscal discipline to cut interest rates and spur growth investments in education and skills in science and technology and
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transportation to prepare our people for the new economy new markets for American products and American workers when I took office the deficit for 1998 was projected to be 357 billion dollars and heading higher this year our deficit is projected to be 10 billion dollars and heading lower for three decades six presidents have
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come before you to warn of the damaged deficits posed to our nation tonight I come before you to announce that the federal deficit once so incomprehensibly large that it had 11 zeros will be simply zero I will submit to Congress for 1999 the first balanced budget in 30 years if we hold fast to fiscal discipline we may balance the budget this year four
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years ahead of schedule you can all be proud of that because turning a sea of red ink into black is no miracle it is the product of hard work by the American people and of two visionary actions in Congress the courageous vote in 1993 that led to a cut in the deficit of 90% and the truly historic bipartisan balanced budget agreement passed by this Congress here's the really good news if we
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maintain our resolve we will produce balanced budgets as far as the eye can see we must not go back to unwise spending are untargeted tax cuts that risk reopening the deficit last year together we enacted targeted tax cuts so that the temple the typical middle-class family will now have the lowest tax rates in 20 years my plan to balance the budget next year includes both new investments and new
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tax cuts targeted to the needs of working families for education for childcare for the environment but whether the issue is tax cuts or spending I ask all of you to meet this test approve only those priorities that can actually be accomplished without adding a dime to the deficit now if we balance the budget for next year it is projected that will then have
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a sizable surplus in the years that immediately follow what should we do with this projected surplus I have a simple forward answer save Social Security first tonight I propose that we reserve 100% of the surplus that's every penny of any surplus until we have taken all the necessary measures to strengthen the social security system for the 21st
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century let us say let us say to all Americans watching tonight whether you're 70 or 50 or whether you just started paying into the system Social Security will be there when you need it let us make this commitment Social Security first let's do that together I also want to say that all the American people who are watching us tonight should be invited to join in this discussion in facing these issues
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squarely and forming a true consensus on how we should proceed we'll start by conducting nonpartisan forums in every region of the country and I hope that lawmakers of both parties will participate will hold the White House Conference on Social Security in December and one year from now I will convene the leaders of Congress to craft historic bipartisan legislation to achieve a landmark for our generation a social security system
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that is strong in the 21st century thank you in an economy that honors opportunity all Americans must be able to reap the rewards of prosperity because these times are good we can afford to take one simple sensible step to help millions of workers struggling to provide for their families we should raise the minimum wage the Information Age is first and foremost an education age in which
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education was start at birth and continue throughout a lifetime last year from this podium I said that education has to be our highest priority I laid out a 10-point plan to move us forward and urged all of us to let politics stop at the schoolhouse door since then this Congress across party lines and the American people have responded in the most important year for education in a generation expanding public school
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choice opening the way to 3,000 new charter schools working to connect every classroom in the country to the information superhighway committing to expand Head Start to a million children launching America Reads sending literally thousands of college students into our elementary schools to make sure all our eight-year-olds can read last year I proposed and you passed 220,000 new Pell Grant scholarships for deserving students student loans
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student loans already less expensive and easier to repay now you get to deduct the interest families all over America now can put their savings into new tax free education IRAs and this year for the first two years of college families will get a $1,500 tax credit a hope scholarship that will cover the cost of most community college tuition and for junior and senior-year graduate school and job training there is a Lifetime
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Learning credit you did that and you should be very proud of it and because of these actions I have something to say to every family listening to us tonight your children can go on to college if you know a child from a poor family I tell her not to give up she can go on to college if you know a young couple struggling with bills worried they won't be able to send their children to college tell them not to give up their children can go on to college if you know somebody who's
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caught in a dead-end job and afraid he can't afford the class is necessary to get better jobs for the rest of his life tell him not to give up he can go on to college because of the things that have been done we can make college as universal in the 21st century as high school is today and my friends that will change the face and future of America we have opened wide the doors of the world's best system of higher education
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now we must make our public elementary and secondary schools the world's best as well by raising standards raising expectations and raising accountability thanks to the actions of this Congress last year we will soon have for the very first time a voluntary national test based on national standards in 4th grade reading and eighth grade math parents
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have a right to know whether their children are mastering the basics and every parent already knows the key good teachers in small classes tonight I propose the first-ever national effort to reduce class size in the early grades why my balanced budget will help to hire a hundred thousand new teachers who've passed the state competency test now with these teachers listens with these teachers we will actually be able to
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reduce class size in the first second and third grades to an average of 18 students of class all across America if I've got the math right more teachers teaching smaller classes requires more classrooms so I also proposed a school construction tax cut to help communities modernize or build 5,000 schools we must also demand greater
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accountability when when we promote a child from grade to grade who hasn't mastered the work we don't do that child any favors it is time to end social promotion in America school last year last year in Chicago they made that decision not to hold our children back but to lift them up Chicago stopped social promotion and
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started mandatory summer school to help students who are behind to catch up I proposed I proposed to help other communities follow Chicago's lead let's say to them stop promoting children who don't learn and we will give you the tools to make sure they do I also ask this Congress to support our efforts to enlist colleges and universities to reach out to
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disadvantaged children starting in the 6th grade so that they can get the guidance and hope they need so they can know that they too will be able to go on to college as we enter the 21st century the global economy requires us to seek opportunity not just at home but in all the markets of the world we must shape this global economy not shrink from it in the last five years we have led the way in opening new markets with 240 trade agreements that remove foreign barriers
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to products bearing the proud stamp made in the USA today record high exports account for fully one-third of our economic growth I want to keep them going because that's the way to keep America growing and to advance a safer and more stable world all of you know whatever your views are that I think this is a great opportunity for America I know there is opposition to more comprehensive trade agreements I have listened carefully I believe that
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the opposition is rooted in two fears first that our trading partners will have lower environmental and labor standards which will give them an unfair advantage in our market and do their own people no favors even if there's more business and second that if we have more trade more of our workers will lose their jobs and have to start over I think we should seek to advance worker and environmental standards around the world it should I have made it abundantly clear that it
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should be a part of our trade agenda but we cannot influence other countries decisions if we send them a message that we're backing away from trade with them this year I will send legislation to Congress and ask other nations to join us to fight the most intolerable labor practice of all abusive child labor we should also offer help and hope to those Americans temporarily left behind with the global marketplace or by the march of technology which may have
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nothing to do with trade that's why we have more than doubled funding for training dislocated workers since 1993 and if my new budget is adopted we will triple funding that's why we must do more and more quickly to help workers who lose their jobs for whatever reason you know we help communities in a special way when their military base closes we ought to help them in the same way if their factory closes again I asked the Congress to continue
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its bipartisan work to consolidate the tangle of training programs we have today into one single GI bill for workers a simple skills grant so people can on their own move quickly to new jobs to higher incomes and brighter futures we all know in every way in life change is not always easy but we have to decide whether we're going to try to hold it back and hide from it or reap its benefits and remember the big picture here while we've been entering into
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hundreds of new trade agreements we've been creating millions of new jobs so this year we will forge new partnerships with Latin America Asia and Europe and we should pass the new African trade Act it has bipartisan support I will also renew my request for the fast-track negotiating authority necessary to open more new markets create more new jobs which every president has had for two decades you know whether we like it or not in ways that are mostly positive the
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world's economies are more and more interconnected and interdependent today an economic crisis anywhere can affect economies everywhere recent months have brought serious financial problems to Thailand Indonesia South Korea and beyond now why should Americans be concerned about this first these countries are our customers if they sink into recession they won't be able to buy the goods we'd like to sell them second
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there are also our competitors so if their currencies lose their value and go down then the price of their goods will drop flooding our market and others with much cheaper goods which makes it a lot tougher for our people to compete and finally there are our strategic partners their stability bolsters our security the American economy remains sound and strong and I want to keep it that way but because the turmoil in Asia will have an impact on all the world's
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economies including others making that negative impact as small as possible is the right thing to do for America and the right thing to do for a safer world our policy is clear no nation can recover if it does not reform itself but when nations are willing to undertake serious economic reform we should help them do it so I call on Congress to renew America's commitment to the International Monetary Fund
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and I think we should say to all the people we're trying to represent here that preparing for a far-off storm that may reach our shores is far wiser than ignoring the Thunder till the clouds are just overhead a strong nation rests on the rock of responsibility a society rooted in responsibility must first promote the value of work not
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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 2 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
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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 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 liker are the real heroes for the welfare Revolution there are millions like her all across America and I'm happy she
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could join the first ladies tonight Elaine we're very proud of you please stand we still have a lot more to do all of us to make welfare reform a success providing childcare 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
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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 challenged Congress to take the next historic steps a hundred and sixty
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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 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
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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 you have the right to keep your medical records confidential now traditional care or managed care every American deserves quality care millions
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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're left with nowhere to turn so I asked the Congress let these hardworking 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
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children from the gravest health faith threat that they face an epidemic of teen smoking spread by multi-million 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 a dollar and a half a pack over the next
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ten years with penalties on the tobacco industry if it keeps marketing to our children tomorrow like everyday 3,000 children will start smoking and a thousand 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
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be good workers and there are 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 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
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doctor childcare 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 from all corners of America we heard the same message without regard to region or income or political affiliation we've
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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 childcare for their employees and a larger childcare tax credit for
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working families now if you pass my plan what this means is that a family of four with an income of $35,000 and high childcare 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 and when she was a young widow would have been able to go away to school and get an education and come
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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 the truth is we don't know the answer to that question but we do know what the answer should be not a single American family should ever have to choose between the job they need and the child they love
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a society rooted and responsibility must provide safe streets safe schools and safe neighborhoods we pursued a strategy of more police tougher punishment 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 four five years in a row all
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across America we need to finish the job of putting a hundred thousand 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 I asked you to dramatically expand our support for after-school programs I think every American should know that most juvenile crime is committed between
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the hours of 3:00 in the afternoon and 8:00 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
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effort to hire a thousand new Border Patrol agents and to deploy the most sophisticated available new technologies to help close the door on drugs at our borders 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
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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
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tomorrow's guarantees America must stand against the poison 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 in 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
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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 in the Czech Republic the newest members of NATO for 50 years NATO contained communism and kept America and Europe secure now these three formerly communist countries have said yes to democracy I asked the Senate to say yes to them
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our new allies by taking in new members and working closely with new partners including 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 this Christmas Hillary and I travelled to Sarajevo with senator and mrs. Dole and a bipartisan congressional delegation we saw children playing in
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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 route 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 the football
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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 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
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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 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 asked Congress to join me in pursuing
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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 for former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General is John shalikashvili
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Colin Powell and David Jones and Admiral William Crowl have endorsed this treaty and I asked the Senate to approve it this year 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 undeveloped
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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
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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
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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
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stand with those who stand for peace finally it's long past time to make good on our debt to the United Nations 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
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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
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elections have become too expensive fuelling of 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 the 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 at least equally important we have to
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address the real reason for the explosion in campaign costs the high cost of media advertising I'll help if 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 our candidates who observe spending limits voluntarily the airwaves are a public trust and broadcasters also have to help us in
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this effort to strengthen our democracy under the leadership of Vice President Gore we've reduced the federal payroll about 300,000 workers cut 16,000 pages of regulation eliminate hundred eliminated hundreds of programs and improve 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 tax payer advocate phone lines open 24 hours a day
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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 passed a 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
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five years we have work to bring the spark of private enterprise to inner city and poor rural areas with Community Development Bank's more commercial loans in the poor neighborhoods cleanup of polluted sites for development under the continued leadership of the vice-president we proposed to triple the number of empowerment zones to give business incentives to invest from those areas we should 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
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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 of 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
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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 threatened their children just yesterday our food safety plan took effect using new signs to protect consumers from
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dangers like e.coli and salmonella tonight 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 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
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have concluded unequivocally that if we don't reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses at some point in the next century will disrupt our 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 proposed six billion dollars in tax cuts and research and development to encourage innovation renewable energy
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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 finally community means living by the defining American value the ideal heard
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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's 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 in generation to make sure that America truly becomes one nation what do we have to do we're becoming more and more and more diverse
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do you believe we can become one nation the answer cannot be to dwell on 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've 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
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must overcome discrimination against any American is unamerican we must vigorously we must vigorously enforce the laws that make it illegal I ask your help to end the backlog at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 60,000 of our fellow citizens are waiting in line for justice and we should act now to end their way we should also recognize that the greatest progress we can make toward building one America lies in the progress we make for all Americans
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without regard to race when we open the doors of college to all Americans when we rent all our streets of crime when there are jobs available to people from all our neighborhoods when we make sure all parents have the childcare 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 will only move forward if all our fellow citizens including every one of you at home watching tonight he's also
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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
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can unite a diverse people in freedom and mutual respect we are many we must be one 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 in every community
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has places of historic value that tell our stories is Americanism 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
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nine years last year scientists located the gene that causes Parkinson's disease in only nine days within a decade gene chips will offer a roadmap for prevention of illnesses throughout a lifetime soon we'll 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
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part of our gift to the millennium I propose a 21st century research fund for path-breaking 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 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 and our fight against all deadly
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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 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
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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
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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 ask 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 a thousand times faster than today even as we explore this inner space in the new millennium was going to open new frontiers in outer space throughout all history humankind
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has had only one place to call home our planet Earth beginning this year 1998 men and women from 16 countries will build a foot hole 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
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one five-hour space flight that changed the world will return to the heavens god speed 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
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bright stars still gleaming through the smoke of a fierce battle mood 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
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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 of people of great works and greater possibilities who have always always found the wisdom and strength to
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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 you

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