Led by Newt Gingrich, the Republican Party released its “Contract with America,” a pledge taken by three hundred Republican candidates for the House promising to reduce spending on welfare, balance the budget, and respect the “values . . . of the American family.”
Congress adopted the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman” and affirmed the right of states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
The Health Care and Security Act of 1993, championed by President Clinton and Hillary Clinton, was abandoned when the 1994 mid-term elections saw Republicans returned to power in the House and the Senate.
The Kyoto Protocol treaty was adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol was an agreement between member countries for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in coming years. The United States was the only industrialized country in the world that refused to ratify the protocol, though it remained a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.