Every year, the president--Democrat or Republican--delivers a State of the Union address in which he shares his vision of the nation and its place in the world and proposes new programs or changes to existing ones. Those plans then go to a Congress with its own priorities. As President Clinton prepares to stand before Congress Thursday night to give the last State of the Union address of his presidency, here is how some of his proposals from last year's address fared:
SOCIAL SECURITY President Clinton: "The best way to keep Social Security a rock-solid guarantee is not to make drastic cuts in benefits; not to raise payroll tax rates; not to drain resources from Social Security. . . . Instead, I propose that we make the historic decision to invest the surplus to save Social Security."
What happened: Early last year, Democrats and Republicans declared that preserving the long-term stability of the nation's retirement system was one of their top priorities. But in the end, that resolve deteriorated into partisan bickering over competing reform plans--and over which party would do a better job of ensuring that the surpluses the program is generating are not spent for other purposes.
Clinton: "We must invest in long-term care. I propose a tax credit of $1,000 for the aged, ailing or disabled and the families who care for them."
What happened: Neither chamber approved the proposal.
HEALTH CARE Clinton: "I think we ought to say to every American, you should have the right to know all your medical options, not just the cheapest. If you need a specialist, you should have a right to see one. . . . Pass a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights."
What happened: The Senate and House passed very different versions and the legislation is now in conference committee.
Clinton: "Allow people with disabilities to keep their health insurance when they go to work."
What happened: Legislation mirroring the White House plan, sponsored by Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and James M. Jeffords (R-Vt.), was folded into the final budget agreement last fall.
EDUCATION Clinton: Proposed an Education Accountability Act that would require every school district receiving federal aid to end "social promotion," turn around its worst-performing schools or shut them down, and be responsible for the quality of its teachers. He also said parents should be given more choices in which public school their children attend.
What happened: Clinton was more successful in getting support for education funding than for his policy proposals. A House-passed education bill did not include the ban on social promotion; the Senate has yet to act on such education legislation.
The House bill did not include the proposal on shutting down or turning around failing schools, although Congress did approve $134 million to turn around such schools.
House education legislation has generally similar language about requiring districts to have only "fully qualified" teachers by 2004, and it expands parental choice, giving students in failing schools the ability to transfer to another public school. Congress increased Clinton's request for $130 million for charter schools to $145 million; approved his request for an increase in adult literacy funding, up from $365 million to $470 million; and approved a 125 percent increase in funds--not the tripling that Clinton proposed--for after-school programs.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS Clinton: Asked Congress to provide the "resources so that all parties can implement the 1998 Wye agreement, to protect Israel's security, to stimulate the Palestinian economy, to support our friends in Jordan."
What happened: Congress approved $1.8 billion to implement the Wye agreement.
Clinton: "The United Nations plays a crucial role, with allies sharing burdens America might otherwise bear alone. . . . I want to work with this new Congress to pay our . . . debts."
What happened: After much politicking, Congress agreed to pay nearly $1 billion in arrears to the United Nations.
Clinton: "We must fortify African democracy and peace by launching Radio Democracy for Africa . . . and passing" the Africa Trade Act.
What happened: Both houses passed versions of the Africa Trade Act, designed to promote U.S. trade with and investment in Africa. The legislation still must go to House and Senate negotiators.
Clinton failed to gain congressional support to create a Radio Free Africa. The administration has asked Voice of America to increase its coverage of Africa.
Clinton: Urged approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
What happened: The Senate rejected the treaty.
Clinton: Called for "a sustained increase over the next six years for readiness, for modernization and for pay and benefits for our troops and their families."
What happened: Congress appropriated $4.5 billion more in new budget authority than Clinton requested for the Defense Department, providing a 4.8 percent pay raise, up from his proposed 4.4 percent increase. Congress added nearly $1 billion to Clinton's request, for a total of more than $92 billion, for day-to-day operations, maintenance and training, as part of an effort to improve readiness.
LABOR Clinton: Urged raising the minimum wage by $1 an hour over two years.
What happened: House Republicans tried to head off the Democratic issue with a more modest effort, but it stalled. The Senate approved raising the minimum by $1 an hour over three years.
Clinton: Proposed the Workforce Investment Act. "Last year, the Congress passed a law enabling workers to get a skills grant to choose the training they need. . . . This year, I recommend a five-year commitment in the new system so that we can provide . . . appropriate training opportunities for all Americans who lose their jobs and expand rapid response teams to help all towns which have been really hurt when businesses close."
What happened: Clinton requested $5.49 billion in employment and training services funds, and Congress appropriated $5.43 billion.
BUSINESS Clinton: Proposed to help businesses raise funds "to bring jobs and opportunities to inner cities, rural areas, with tax credits, loan guarantees, including the new American Private Investment Companies."
What happened: The administration asked for $37 million for the America's Private Investment Companies and received $20 million. The president's $125 million Community Empowerment Fund, to create and retain about 100,000 jobs, did not pass.
ENVIRONMENT Clinton: Proposed a $1 billion "livability agenda to help communities save open space, ease traffic congestion and grow in ways that enhance every citizen's quality of life."
What happened: The livability agenda would create Better America Bonds to pay for open space, protect water quality and clean up contaminated land. Legislation was introduced in both houses, but no action was taken.
AGRICULTURE Clinton: Proposed a "farm safety net that will include crop insurance reform and farm income assistance."
What happened: Clinton's crop insurance proposal would more than double the annual cost of the program, but he did not include the money in his budget and Congress did not act on reform. The appropriations bill, which the president signed with misgivings, provided about $8.6 billion in emergency farm aid.
Staff writers Kenneth Cooper, Amy Goldstein, Steven Mufson, Judy Sarasohn and Roberto Suro and staff researchers Lynn Davis, Nancy Shiner and Mary Lou White contributed to this report.
CAPTION: The president lays out agenda in 1999's State of the Union address. He has won some and lost some in the year since.