Presidents of the United States of Ameri Lyrics Follow
The presidency of Bill Clinton began at noon EST on January 20, 1993, when Bill Clinton was inaugurated as 42nd President of the United States, and ended on January 20, 2001. Clinton, a Democrat, took office following a decisive victory over Republican incumbent President George H. W. Bush and Independent businessman Ross Perot in the 1992 presidential election. Four years later, in the 1996 election, he defeated Perot and Republican Bob Dole to win re-election. He was succeeded by Republican George W. Bush, who won the 2000 presidential election.
The nation experienced an extended period of economic prosperity during the Clinton presidency. Months into his first term, he signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which raised taxes and set the stage for future budget surpluses. He won ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trade pact negotiated by President George H. W. Bush among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Clinton's most ambitious legislative initiative, a plan to provide universal health care, never received a vote in Congress as he was unable to win sufficient congressional support for the policy. Clinton's party suffered a strong rebuke in the 1994 elections, and Republicans took control of both houses of Congress for the first time since the 1950s. The "Republican Revolution," as the 1994 elections came to be known, empowered Congressional Republicans led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to propose several conservative policies. While Clinton vetoed many of these policies, he also signed some, including the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Disagreements with Congressional Republicans led to two shutdowns of the federal government between 1995 and 1996. In foreign policy, Clinton's first term saw American interventions in Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans. Clinton also appointed two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
Clinton's second term saw the first federal budget surpluses since the 1960s, but was partially overshadowed by his impeachment in 1998. His impeachment arose after he denied having an affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Though the House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton, he was acquitted of all charges by the Senate. In 1997, Clinton signed into law a bill creating the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which was designed to help provide health care coverage for millions of children. In 1999, he signed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which allowed for the consolidation of investment banks and commercial banks. In foreign policy, Clinton launched a major bombing campaign in the Balkans, which led to the creation of a United Nations protectorate in Kosovo. He played a major role of the expansion of NATO into former Eastern Bloc countries but remained on good terms with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Clinton also pursued closer trade relations with several countries, most notably China.
Clinton left office with high approval ratings, though his preferred successor, Vice President Al Gore, was defeated by Bush in the 2000 presidential election. Since the end of Clinton's presidency, historians and political scientists have tended to rank Clinton as an "average" to "above average" president.
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