Us Presidents 3042 Essay Research Paper 30 — страница 8
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package ever approved. As the unemployment rate edged upward in 1991, Bush signed a bill providing additional benefits for unemployed workers. He aggressively sought to create new jobs through increases in exports, and to that end he visited Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan in January 1992. Despite hopes for a major agreement with Japan, he obtained only modest Japanese concessions to purchase American products. Bush’s 1992 State of the Union address offered a plan for economic growth that called for a moratorium on new government regulations on business, a cut in the capital gains tax, and the elimination of numerous domestic programs he deemed undeserving of federal funding. He also endorsed a health-insurance tax credit for poor families and a tax credit for first-time homebuyers. Congress adopted some of his proposals, but Bush vetoed the final bill because it raised taxes on the wealthy. By late 1992 he had cast 35 vetoes, none of which was overridden. The streak ended in October 1992 when Congress, urged on by consumers, overrode his veto of a bill that reversed portions of a law barring local governments from regulating cable-television fees. In 1992 interest rates and the inflation rate were the lowest in years, but by midyear the unemployment rate reached 7.8%, the highest since 1984. In September the Census Bureau reported that 14.2% of all Americans lived in poverty, the highest proportion since 1983. As his administration seemed to drift in the face of declining economic conditions, Bush shook up his White House staff twice. His first chief of staff, John Sununu, a former governor of New Hampshire, stepped aside in 1991 and was succeeded by Samuel Skinner, the secretary of trans portation. Skinner, in turn, bowed out in 1992 and was succeeded by Secretary of State James A. Baker, 3d, who also assumed overall supervision of Bush’s reelection campaign. In 1990, when the president had his first opportunity to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, he nominated an obscure federal judge from New Hampshire, David H. Souter, who was easily confirmed. In 1991, following the retirement of Thurgood Marshall, the only black on the Supreme Court, Bush nominated another black, Clarence Thomas, a federal court of appeals judge with strong conservative views. Some women’s and civil rights organizations opposed the nomination. Bush characteristically remained steadfast in his support, even after a former member of Thomas’s staff, law professor Anita Hill, accused the judge of sexual harassment in nationally televised hearings. Thomas was confirmed, 52-48. 42. President – William Jefferson Clinton Term – January 20, 1993 to Present After 12 years of Republican control of the presidency, Clinton came to office amid high expectations for fundamental policy change. Early in his administration he reversed a number of Republican policies. He ended the federal prohibition on the use of fetal tissue for medical research, repealed rules restricting abortion counseling in federally funded health clinics, and used his appointment power to fulfill a promise to place many women and minorities in prominent government positions. The failure to enact comprehensive health-care reform proved to be a major setback for Clinton. Widespread public concerns over the proposal’s complexity, its reliance on government administration, employer mandates, and levels of services, combined with an effective lobbying campaign by opponents, drained congressional support for this major policy initiative, which had been one of the cornerstones of Clinton’s campaign. During his first term Clinton succeeded in appointing two members to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, both highly respected federal judges, were the first appointments to the high court made by a Democratic president in 25 years. The president was not able to deliver a Democratic majority back to Congress, but he developed a deft touch at leading a divided government. In 1997 Congress enacted a major tax cut, the first since 1981, and Clinton negotiated a deficit-reduction package that projected a balanced federal budget in 2002. He also had success with a number of targeted domestic programs on education, health, and the environment; won an increase in the minimum wage; and sponsored a welfare reform bill that established time limits for benefits. He claimed credit for the general health of the economy, for a 30-year low in unemployment, and for the fastest real-wage growth in 20 years. The 1998 fiscal year ended with a federal budget surplus of $70 billion, the first surplus in a generation.