• U.S.


6 minute read
Adam Cohen


ABORTION Supports women’s choice, saying the procedure should be “safe, legal, and rare ” Vetoed bill banning late-term, “partial birth” abortions. Favors Medicaid payments for abortions in cases of rape and incest, and to save life of the mother.

BALANCED BUDGET Proposed a balanced budget, but opposes a constitutional amendment mandating one because, he argues, there is now a bipartisan effort underway to balance the budget by 2002.

CIVIL RIGHTS/GAY RIGHTS Supports affirmative action, but his “mend it, don’t end it” policy narrows the scope of some government preference programs. Opposes the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), which would bar state affirmative-action efforts. Favors federal statute barring discrimination against gays, but signed law against gay marriage.

CRIME Championed $30-billion crime law enacted in 1994, with funding for 100,000 new police officers and death penalties for 60 types of heinous crimes. Favors trying violent youth as adults and signed law requiring neighborhood notification when convicted sex offender moves in.

DEFENSE Has downsized the military to cut costs, but now is holding the line. His five-year defense budget of $1.61 trillion is barely less than Dole’s. Clinton favors researching an antimissile system, but has resisted making a commitment to it.

DRUGS Elevated drug czar to Cabinet level, filling the post with a retired four-star general. Has proposed a $15-billion 1997 budget for fighting drug use, an increase of 9.3%. Promises to spend more on antidrug education and treatment programs.

EDUCATION Backs increased public-school choice, including more publicly funded but independent “charter schools” but opposes vouchers for private schools. Has called for a $43-billion plan of tax credits and deductions to make college more affordable.

ENVIRONMENT Vetoed Republican attempts to weaken the Clean Water Act and to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to development. Opposes the “property rights” movement, which would require the government to compensate landowners for loss of value due to environmental regulations.

FOREIGN POLICY Said in his State of the Union address that the U.S. cannot be the world’s policeman but can and should be the world’s peacemaker. Deployed troops in Bosnia to enforce peace and in Haiti to return a President to power, and has worked to broker peace in the Middle East.

GUN CONTROL Worked for passage of the assault-weapons ban and of the Brady bill, which imposes waiting periods and background checks on handgun purchases. Wants to ban gun sales to convicted spouse abusers.

HEALTH CARE His sweeping health-care reform plan drowned in a flood of criticism. Now backs more incremental measures, including the recently enacted Kennedy-Kassebaum law making health care portable between jobs.

IMMIGRATION His efforts to reduce illegal immigration include a 1995 bill increasing border patrol-s 50% and an Executive Order denying federal contracts to businesses hiring illegal aliens, Favors moderate decrease in rate of legal immigration.

JOBS AND THE ECONOMY Contends the economy is the strongest it has been in three decades, Favors more spending on education and job training to reduce unemployment and prepare workers for jobs of the future. Strongly backed the minimum-wage increase.

TAXES Has proposed a $107 billion Package of “targeted tax cuts” over six years, including a family tax credit of $500 a child. Opposes a general capital gains tax cut but favors exempting from tax up to $500,000 in Profit from the sale of a home. Believes Dole’s 15% tax-cut plan would imperil attempts to balance the budget.

WELFARE AND ENTITLEMENTS Signed a Republican-dominated reform bill that requires recipients to find work in two years and limits lifetime welfare to five years. Favors softening parts of the bill, including the cuts in food stamps and aid to legal immigrants. Vetoed Republican efforts to control the cost of Medicare, saying they would hurt seniors and close hospitals.


[ABORTION] Opposes abortion, and backed a constitutional amendment to ban it except in cases of rape and incest, or to protect life of the mother. Favored “partial birth” abortion ban Clinton vetoed, and opposes use of taxpayer money for any abortions.

[BALANCED BUDGET] Backs the amendment, and says he would call for one as his first official act.

[CIVIL RIGHTS/GAY RIGHTS] Opposes affirmative action, which he once favored, now calling it discriminatory. Backs CCRI, and before leaving the Senate introduced a bill to ban most federal race and gender preferences. Opposes discrimination against gays but does not favor a law that would ban it in housing and hiring. He also opposes gay marriage.

[CRIME] Wants to double federal money for state prison construction to end “revolving door” parole, and says federal prisoners should work 40 hours a week to repay victims. promises to appoint tough-on-crime judges, and favors using evidence from some warrantless searches.

[DEFENSE] Contends the military has been cut excessively under Clinton. Favors a new ground-based missile shield to be built by 2003, with possible Star Wars-like space-based components.

[DRUGS] Would develop a National Drug Strategy with the goal of reducing teenage drug use by 50% in his first term, as well as 1,000 community-based antidrug coalitions. Sponsored bill with capital punishment for murders by drug kingpins.

[EDUCATION] Favors vouchers for public, private and religious schools. Sees teachers unions as an obstacle to reform. Has proposed giving a tax credit for student loans and the chance to deposit $500 a year in tax-free accounts to save for tuition.

[ENVIRONMENT] Believes environment and human health can be protected with less intrusive and less expensive regulations. Worked to weaken endangered species and toxic pollution rules, and to slow implementation of drinking-water standards. Supported sell-off of federal lands for deficit reduction.

[FOREIGN POLICY] Favors active role for the U.S. Has been critical of Bosnia policy, initially opposing Clinton’s dispatching of ground troops but later voting in favor. Has blasted Clinton for foreign policy fecklessness, which he claims has emboldened Iraq, North Korea and China to behave more aggressively.

[GUN CONTROL] Opposed gun-control measures in the Senate, including the Brady bill. Favors replacing its five-day waiting period with an instant, computerized background check. Opposed the assault-weapons ban, but doesn’t advocate repeal.

[HEALTH CARE] Opposed the Clinton health-care plan. Favors a free-market approach, including medical savings accounts and tax deductions for families who care for elderly parents or family members. Backed the Kennedy-Kassebaum portability law.

[IMMIGRATION] Calls for further increases in border patrols and wants more money and streamlined procedures to speed up deportations. Backed California’s Proposition 187, cutting off public benefits to illegal immigrants.

[JOBS AND THE ECONOMY] Says the economy is functioning at no better than a “fast crawl.” Says a more ‘pro-growth” economy, including lower taxes and reduced government regulation, is the best way to create more and better jobs. Reluctantly went along with the Democrats on the minimum-wage increase.

[TAXES] Promises a 15% cut in federal income taxes. Favors a “flatter, simpler” tax system, a 50% cut in the capital-gains tax, a child tax credit similar to Clinton’s and a constitutional amendment requiring a three-fifths vote in Congress to raise taxes.

[WELFARE AND ENTITLEMENTS] Strong supporter of new welfare-reform bill. Wants to block planned Democratic attempts to weaken it. Served on much-praised 1983 commission that saved Social Security by raising payroll taxes. Favors a similar commission to rescue Medicare, removing it from partisan politics.

–By Adam Cohen

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com