1990s Challenges and Successes

By: Taylor O'Connell

President Bush


Domestic- Bush during the election states that there would be no further taxing, which makes many believe that is how he won the election. After he became president, tax increases were proposed as a way to reduce the national budget deficit. Bush negotiated with Congress for a budget that met his pledge, but was unable to make a deal with a Senate and House that was controlled by the opposing Democrats. Bush agreed to a compromise, which increased several existing taxes as part of a 1990 budget agreement.

Foreign- President Bush had a foreign challenge when the country was helping Kuwait fight against Iraq and Iran. If Iraq and Iran had gotten control over the neighboring countries then it would be in charge of 1/5 of the worlds oil supply. Even though the United States were friends with Iraq and Iran before they went to war on Kuwait, they had to keep them from gaining access to most of the worlds oil.


Domestic- In June 1989 President Bush proposed sweeping revisions to the Clean Air Act. Building on Congressional proposals advanced during the 1980's, the President proposed legislation designed to curb three major threats to the nation's environment and to the health of millions of Americans: acid rain, urban air pollution, and toxic air emissions. The proposal also called for establishing a national permits program to make the law more workable, and an improved enforcement program to help ensure better compliance with the Act.

Foreign- "Operation Just Cause" was the successful invasion of Panama by the United States. The United States, when handing over the Panama Canal to Panama, made an agreement that it would be open to the United States for free use -the Torrijos–Carter Treaties-. However, during President Bush's time Panama started declaring war against the U.S. and the 35, 000 citizens living in the country. President Bush wanted to make sure that the U.S. citizens were as safe as they could be and that we as a country would get what we deserved as signed in the legislation. Panama was using the canal for drug trafficking, Bush did not agree with the actions so he decided to overturn the thrown of Manuel Noriega.

President Clinton


Domestic- During President Clinton's presidency, he had an affair with a fellow White House worker named Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky and Clinton had the affair all through out the time Lewinsky worked at the House. When she was transferred to the Pentagon, she started confiding her secret stories in one of her co workers who then started voice recording her. President Clinton asked Lewinsky to legally state that she had never and any relations with him other than on a serious work level. The co worker, then came in and showed the tapes to the law which in return President Clinton was impeached due to lying under oath.

Foreign- A year after 18 American troops were killed in a failed 1993 mission to capture a warlord in Somalia, Clinton was hesitant to take action to stop a genocide in Rwanda. While he failed to act, more than half a million Tutsis were murdered. Citizens accused Clinton of appeasement when he gave China Most Favored Nation (MFN) status despite their terrible human rights record and when he granted North Korea concessions in exchange for a promise to discontinue their nuclear weapons program.

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Domestic- The "Brady Bill' named after James Brady, the man who was shot in the head by John Hinckley. Hinckley was aiming for President Clinton. President Clinton then mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States, and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases, until the NICS system was implemented in 1998.

Foreign- President Clinton signed the NAFTA agreement which was a pact between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada eliminated all trade tariffs between the three nations. He tried to encourage other countries across the ocean to join as well, however during his Presidency, they did not. The NAFTA agreement still stands today.