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.
President Barack Obama reported that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight with US forces in Pakistan. The covert mission was named Operation Neptune Spear and conducted by members of Navy SEAL Team 6.
A government shutdown began when President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress deadlocked on the federal budget. The first shutdown ended on November 19 with a temporary spending bill compromise. Another shutdown began on December 16 when Clinton refused to accept budget cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans, facing public disapproval over their handling of the budget issue, agreed to continuing resolutions on January 6, 1996.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act instituted major reforms in federal welfare assistance. The act ended the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, created time-based assistance limits, and instituted “workfare,” which required work in exchange for relief.
President Clinton signed the Balanced Budget Act designed to balance the national budget by 2002. The legislative package instituted taxpayer relief and changes in federal entitlement programs and provided for health insurance coverage for uninsured children.
In the “Battle of Seattle,” some 40,000 anti-globalization protestors gathered in Seattle, Washington, to oppose the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference of 1999. Conflict broke out between police and protestors, leading to thirty injuries and sixty-eight arrests.