The opportunity agenda meant economic growth through free and fair trade, as well as more investment in new technologies and in world-class education and skills. The responsibility agenda required something of all citizens: national service for young people in return for college aid; welfare reforms that required able-bodied parents to work but provided more support for their children; tougher child-support enforcement; more efforts by parents to keep their kids in school; a reinvented government, with less bureaucracy and more choices in child care, public schools, job training, elderly care, neighborhood policing, and the management of public housing. The community agenda required us to invest more in our millions of poor children, and to reach across the racial divide, to build a politics based on lifting up all Americans, not dividing them against one another.
As I said, Starr and his allies in Congress and on the federal courts had created a new definition of conflict of interest: anyone who might remotely be favorable or, as in Fiskes case, even fair to Hillary and me was by definition conflicted; Ken Starrs blatant political and economic conflicts of interest and the extreme bias against me they reflected presented no problem at all to his assumption of unlimited and unaccountable authority to go after us and many other innocent people.
The month ended on two high notes. I held a reception for members of Congress who had voted for the 1993 budget, including those who had lost their seats for doing so, to announce that the deficit had been completely eliminated for the first time since 1969. It was a development that would have been unthinkable when I took office, and impossible without the hard vote for the economic plan in 1993. On the last day of the month, the Senate voted, 8019, to approve another of my major prioritiesbringing Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO.
Besides plugging my new initiatives, I spent time working for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, which the Senate Republicans killed at the end of the month; swearing in a new surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, the director of the Centers for Disease Control; touring tornado damage in central Florida; announcing the first grants to help communities strengthen their efforts to prevent violence against women; and raising funds to help Democrats in the coming election.