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Agendas: Clinton vs. GOP Congress

June 25, 1999

A comparison of the legislative agendas of President Clinton and congressional Republicans.

President Clinton:

_Increase spending for schools.

_Overhaul Social Security, though he has unveiled no specific proposal.

_Revamp Medicare and create a new prescription drug benefit, which he is expected to unveil next week.

_Cut taxes focused on specific needs, such as helping people afford child care and long-term health care.

_Enact modest gun control measures.

_Increase the minimum wage.

_Expand rights for patients of managed care organizations, including allowing people to sue insurers who deny certain care.

_Retool campaign finance laws.

_Increase some defense spending.

Congressional Republicans:

_Give local education officials more discretion in how to use federal aid; provide tax breaks on special savings accounts that people can use for education expenses, including private schools.

_Revamp Social Security. They have produced no definitive plan, but many Republicans favor letting Americans invest some of their benefits privately.

_Cut taxes, deeper and broader than Clinton would. Legislation expected next month may put more people in the lowest 15 percent income-tax bracket; reduce taxes for the many married couples who would owe less if they were single; and reduce or eliminate the tax paid on large inheritances.

_Support a minimum wage increase if only to prevent Democrats from using it as a campaign issue.

_Enact a package of patients’ rights expanding access and affordability, but covering fewer people than Democrats, excluding the right to sue and letting insurers retain power to decide what care is necessary.

_Oppose campaign finance law overhaul.

_Increase defense spending more than Clinton would, press for deployment of an anti-missile defense system.

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