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Ross Perot drops out of the presidential race, and both Bush and Clinton scramble for Perot's supporters. Bill Clinton names Tennessee Senator Albert "Al" Gore, Jr. as his running mate at the Democratic National Convention.
- 3rd: Republican President George Bush defeats his Democratic opponent, Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas with 58,848,371 votes and an extremely narrow electoral margin of 270-268, with a recount required in some counties of New Mexico. Clinton, expected to make deep inroads in the South, carried only his native state of Arkansas. Had Clinton just carried one more state than he did, he would have won the election, leaving the 1992 election as the closest election in US history. Clinton carried west coast, most of the industrial north east and great lakes, states including Ohio. Bush won most of the South & Rocky mountain states, he narrowly won Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and Tennessee.
The U.S. economy recovers from a moderate recession. Congress ratifies NAFTA 72-25. More Republicans voted to ratify the trade agreement than Democrats, but the plan is passed with mostly bipartisan support.
The Democrats manage to hold Congress thanks to President Bush's & Republicans support of NAFTA, although the Republicans - led by Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey - make serious inroads and the House of Representatives has a nearly even split between the two parties, with the Democrats holding a slight edge. Dick Gephardt replaces Tom Foley as Speaker of the House.
Vice President Dan Quayle begins forming a presidential run, opposed primarily by Jack Kemp. On the Democratic side, Tennessee Senator and 1992 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Al Gore is considered the front runner - other candidates are Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ), Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Speaker of the House Dick Gephardt (D-MO)
Vice President Quayle clinches the Republican nomination, he makes a major error by naming house minority whip Newt Gingrich as his running mate. Al Gore secures the Democratic Nomination for President, he names Chris Dodd his running mate. In November, Gore/Dodd defeats Quayle/Gingrich with 53% of the vote. Despite a healthy economy, fatigue with Republican administrations and their policies lead to the Democrats retaking the west wing.
January 20th: Albert Gore Jr. is sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States.
June - Al Gore signs the Clean Energy Act, the bill commits federal dollars for the research and development of Clean Energy, the bill also raises CAFE standards to 100 mpg by 2010 and ends all subsidies to energy companies.
November - Gore signs the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the bill cuts $250 billion in spending and raises taxes on the wealthiest Americans; a balanced budget won't be achieved until 2002. Bill passes after a Republican filibuster over tax hikes is broken.
Gore meets with the leaders of Russia and agree to a Nuclear arms reduction treaty, Gore begins a series of reforms to the U.S. military to save money and streamline operations.
September - With the midterm elections two months away, President Gore initiates the American Infrastructure Project, an initiative to rebuild the nation's aging infrastructure by 2007. Around 90 billion is spent on infrastructure annually a year.
November - Republicans win control of Congress for the first time in 45 years - they control the House 230 - 205 and the senate 53-46. Trent Lott becomes Senate Majority Leader and Dick Armey becomes Speaker of the House. The Republicans run against high energy prices as a result of federal subsidy cuts as well as popular discontent with the Gore administration.
March- Republican Speaker of the House Dick Armey causes the first of two government shutdowns during the year, leading to the increasing popularity of President Gore
May - Gore announces the death of terrorist Osama Bin Laden in the Sudan - criticism emerges internationally over his use of bombing strikes against a sovereign nation to take out the terrorist leader.
June - Gore signs legislation pertaining to the disposal of trash/waste and begins phasing out CFC's
October - Gore announces he will run for re-election, his approval ratings at around 55%, Gore vetoes a series of bills that would deregulate the housing and commodity market.
John McCain (R-AZ) wins the Republican nomination for President of the United States, he names Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), the son of former President Bush, as his running mate. Gore is renominated without opposition. With the strongest economy since the Eisenhower years thank to Gore's Energy and Infrastructure policies, the unpopularity of Dick Armey, and Gore's praised foreign policy allow Gore to roll to a landslide re-election. Gore/Dodd carries all of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, they also make inroads into the South and Great Plains. Gore's coat tails allow the Democrats to win back the U.S. Senate (53-47) and make gains in the House.
With bipartisan support, Gore sign a bill that bans all foreign produced food.
September 11- The Stock Market has its best day on record, raising 500 points.
October- GM releases a truck that gets 55 mpg, Ford and Chrysler are not far behind.
Congress passes a small scale version of "Cap and Trade"
Gore manages to balance the federal budget for the first time in decades, he will do so for the rest of his Presidency.
Although they lose a seat in the Senate, the Democrats maintain control over the chamber in the November midterms. Republicans gain five seats in the House despite Gore having 62% approval ratings.
Gore vetoes a Republican proposal that would give the wealthiest Americans a 1.35 trillion tax cut.
The Democratic ticket of John Edwards and Dick Durbin defeats the Elizabeth Dole/Chuck Hagel ticket in a landslide while the Democrats increase their control of the Senate to the near super majority number of 58-42. However, Republicans keep control of the House, although Speaker Dick Armey resigns in favor of John Boehner.
John Edwards becomes the 43 President of the United States, he vows to bring "an end to the final war on poverty."
August - Hurricane Katrina occurs, and as feared for years, New Orleans is swamped. The disaster is the first blight on President Edwards' approval rating, although his quick response is lauded.
October- Edwards signs a bill that extends the solvency of Social Security into the 2060's.
Edwards is faced with the Taiwanese Crisis, both the People's Republic of China and the United States nearly go to war over a dispute between the PRC & Taiwan. Both Edwards and the PRC make concessions to each other, but China is seen as the winner. Edwards' approval rating falls to 51% and Republicans extend their control in the House and take back the Senate, winning a stunning 12 seats by ousting seven sitting Democrats and picking up five vacated seats.
The American Infrastructure Project is completed, nearly ten million jobs were created all together by the initiative. The Israeli-Iraqi War breaks out, the U.S. condemns Iraq but doesn't get involved because the U.S. no longer imports any oil from the Middle East. Israel manages to defeat Iraq and Saddam Hussein's regime collapses. The U.S. economy begins to show signs of slowing down. It is revealed that President Edwards is engaged in an extramarital affair.
Th U.N. sends a peace keeping force to Iraq, 150,000 U.S. troops are sent and a bloody insurgency begins. Meanwhile at home, the U.S. economy enters a severe recession and the deficit spikes. The Republicans nominate George Allen (R-VA) for President and Mitt Romney (R-MA) for Vice President. Edwards in barely renominated by the Democrats over a liberal insurgency led by Russ Feingold (D-WI).
Vice President Durbin announces his retirement from national politics and Edwards offers to Vice Presidency to 3 Democrats, with Evan Bayh (D-IN) accepting it. Dismayed that Feingold did not receive the nomination, the Democratic Party's liberal wing is unenthusiastic about the ticket and has a low turnout in the general election. In November, with unemployment around 7.9% and the situation on Iraq out of control, Allen/Romney defeats Edwards/Bayh with 53% of the vote to Edwards/Warner's 45% of the vote. The Democratic minority in both houses of Congress increases.
Allen takes office and decides to focus on the U.S. economy and Iraq. Unemployment crests at 8.1%, most of the losses are in the housing markets and manufacturing, however thanks to more fuel efficient vehicles the U.S. auto industry fairs much better .
February - Allen signs the American Taxpayer's Relief Act (ATRA), the bill includes mostly tax breaks and tax credits for most Americans. He also signs a controversial Welfare Reform Act, with most Blue Dogs Democrats and all Republicans voting for it.
March - acting upon the advice of Bush & Gore, Allen announces a troop surge in Iraq and that all U.S. forces will be out of the country by 2014.
October- Most of the 1997 CAFE standards have been meet.
January - President Allen signs into a law a sweeping tax break for the two highest tax brackets of Americans shortly before his State of the Union and announces that creating a more competitive health care market to drive down costs and reforming the tax code to create a more favorable US business environment are his top priorities for the coming year. April - President Allen and former President Gore hold a joint commencement at the North Platte wind farm to announce that the goals set by The Clean Energy Act of 1997 have been meet.
October- President Allen signs into law a bill overriding intrastate barriers for health care options and adds significant tort reform to the National Health Care Reform Act. The lack of a government involvement in the plan increases liberal opposition to the plan.
November - With the economy only making moderate improvement, the budget and health care battles still fresh in the minds of the voters and the situation in Iraq severely unstable, the Democrats manage to take back control of the House of Representatives after 12 years of Republican control and take back the Senate after losing control of it in 2008.
January - The Democrats elect Steve Israel (D-NY) to be the new Speaker of the House and John F. Kennedy Jr. (D-NY) to be the new Senate Majority Leader, with John Kerry (D-MA) the Senate Majority Whip. Republicans elect Eric Cantor as House Minority Leader after Boehner declines to run for a leadership position, meaning the most powerful member of the House in each party is Jewish for the first time in American history.
February - Former First Lady Elizabeth Edwards dies of breast cancer
April 9 - April 13: With no budget for the fiscal year, Allen and the Democrats battle over the budget resulting in a four-day government shutdown. In the end, the Democrats pass a budget that funds Allen's health care plan and weeds out the waste in Government, cutting 1.5 trillion from the debt over the next 10 years while continuing the Allen tax cut from 2010 until December 31, 2012. Allen reluctantly signs it, feeling that he could have cut more government spending than the Democrats allowed.
May- Allen, under pressure from all sides announces a complete withdraw from Iraq by summer of 2013. Allen's approval ratings go back up to 50%. Newly minted Senate Majority Leader John F. Kennedy, Jr. announces his intention to run for President in 2012, as does prohibitive frontrunner Russ Feingold.