IN THE NEWS #463 - The Clinton Years

By George Grow

This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS.

President Clinton has one week remaining in office. Next Saturday, he will return to being a private citizen after two terms in the White House.

Experts are already examining the Clinton presidency. Some say he has been an effective political leader. Others say he will be remembered more for his personal problems than his political successes.

William Jefferson Clinton was first elected President in November Nineteen-Ninety-Two. He appointed more women and minorities to his cabinet than any other president. Mr. Clinton attempted to move the Democratic Party to the political center. He won congressional approval of a measure to reduce the federal budget deficit. But Congress did not approve his plan for major reforms of the nation's health care system.

In the Nineteen-Ninety-Four elections, the Democrats lost control of Congress. The Republican Party re-gained the House of Representatives after forty years in the minority.

Mr. Clinton easily won re-election to a second term in office in Nineteen-Ninety-Six. The President and Congress later agreed on a plan to balance the federal budget. Mr. Clinton also supported measures to change the government welfare program that assists poor Americans.

President Clinton faced many international problems while in office. The United States helped to lead the NATO Alliance in its air campaign against Serb forces. American troops were sent to Bosnia-Herzegovina to help carry out a peace settlement.

Mr. Clinton helped to negotiate a peace agreement for Northern Ireland. He won congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement. More recently, the President has been active in efforts to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

White House officials say Mr. Clinton's policies have led to the longest economic expansion in American history. When he took office, the budget deficit was two-hundred-ninety-thousand-million dollars - the largest in history. Last year, the federal government reported its largest surplus ever.

The Clinton administration has put into effect important new environmental and labor rules. Just last week, President Clinton announced new rules banning roads and cutting of trees on federally owned land.

In Nineteen-Ninety-Eight, the House of Representatives voted to bring charges against Mr. Clinton. The House accused him of lying about his sexual activities with a young female worker in the White House. After a trial, the Senate voted him not guilty of the charges. Some experts say this legal action will be how history remembers the Clinton presidency.

President Clinton, however, hopes his efforts for the economy, the environment, health care, and world peace will be what people remember.

This VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS, was written by George Grow. This is Steve Ember.

Voice of America Special English