What Has Hillary Done? 14 Major Accomplishments

Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a campaign event, May 25, 2016 in Salinas, California. Photo by Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's accomplishments are consistently centered around health care, the military, and families, especially women and children. The first two affect the economy because health care and defense are the two biggest expenses in the federal budget. The combined costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and military spending are $1.757 trillion, or 42% of total government spending. 

First Lady

  1. Hillary chaired the Task Force on Health Care Reform that drafted the 1993 Health Security Act. Although Congress didn't pass it, it laid the groundwork for the Affordable Care Act. It also cleared the way for the Childrens' Health Insurance Program. She worked with Senators Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch who sponsored the bill. It received $24 billion, paid for by a 15 cent tax on cigarettes. She added $1 billion for an outreach program to help states publicize the program and sign up recipients. It provides health care to more than eight million children. (Source: "Giving Hillary Credit for SCHIP," Factcheck.org, March 18, 2008.)
  1. In 1994, she championed the Violence Against Women Act. That provides financial and technical assistance to states to help them develop programs that stop domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In 1995, she also helped create the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. (Source: "Office on Violence Against Women," Department of Justice, December 16, 2014.)
  2. She supported the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act. Representative Nancy Johnson, a Republican, sponsored the bill. It facilitates the adoption of foster children. It also allows states and local agencies greater flexibility on how to spend federal funds. (Source: "Campaigns Soft-Pedal on Children and the Poor," The New York Times, October 29, 2000.)
  3. She lobbied Congress for the 1999 Foster Care Independence Act. Senators John Chafee (R-RI) and Tom DeIay (R-TX) sponsored the bill. The Act almost doubled federal spending for programs that help teenagers leave foster care after they turn 18. The programs help them complete their education, find jobs, and become self-sufficient. (Source: "The Foster Care Independence Act," National Resource Center for Foster Care, Hunter College School of Social Work.)

    U.S. Senator

    1. Urged ratification of the START treaty in 2010. The treaty limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 strategic deployed nuclear warheads. That's down from 2,200. It limits the number of deployed heavy nuclear bombers and missiles to 800. That's down from 1,600. Russia was already within those limits, but the United States was not. The treaty went into effect in 2011, will be fully implemented by 2018, and will remain in force until 2028. (Source: "Clinton and Gates, Why Congress Should Ratify the New Treat," The Washington Post, November 15, 2010. "Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation,"NTI.com, July 13, 2016. "Clinton, Kaine, Go Too Far in Touting Nuclear Deal, The Washington Post, October 4, 2016.)
    1. Introduced the Pediatric Research Equity Act with Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH). This law requires drug companies to research how their products affect children. The Act changed drug labeling to disclose safety and dosage for children. That's lowered the danger of over-dosage for children with chronic diseases like epilepsy and asthma. (Source: "Hillary Clinton's Accomplishments - Pediatric Research Equity Act," Daily Kos, September 19, 2015.)
    2. Worked with fellow NY Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer to get $21 billion in federal aid to help New York rebuild after 9/11. Wrote bill to get health care coverage for 9/11 first responders. That included health research related to the attacks. The rescue operations force many police and firefighters into early retirement with debilitating chronic injuries and illnesses. Her successor, Senator Kirsten Hillibrand, got the bill passed. ("Firefighters Endorse Clinton for Senate," The New York Times, April 20, 2006.)
    3. Worked with Republicans to achieve full military health benefits to National Guard members and reservists. Expanded Family Medical Leave Act to families with wounded veterans. ("Hillary Clinton's Greatest Accomplishments," Politico, September 2015.)

      Secretary of State

      1. Took the lead on drafting and negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Once ratified, it would increase U.S. exports by $123.5 billion annually by 2025. Industries that benefit the most include electrical, autos, plastics and agriculture. (Source: "How Hillary Clinton Created a U.S. Business Promotion Machine," Bloomberg, January 10, 2013.)
      2. Successfully concluded bilateral trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama in 2011. The Korea agreement removed almost 80% of tariffs, and increased exports by $10 billion. The Colombia agreement expanded U.S. exports by $1.1 billion. 
      3. Negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in 2012. (Source: "Clinton Scores Gaza Cease Fire Success," Politico, November 21, 2012.)
      4. Called for the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. Sided with CIA Director Leon Panetta who first told her it was possible. Overcame opposition from Vice-President Biden and Defense Secretary Bill Gates who were worried about political backlash if the raid failed. (Source: "Bin Laden Raid Experience Expected to Be Centerpiece of Hillary Clinton's Memoir,The Washington Post, June 2, 2014.)
      1. Pushed the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iran in 2010. That created a recession in Iran. The economy shrank 6.6% in 2012 and 1.9% in 2013. That's because they cut Iran's oil exports in half. She was personally involved Clinton was personally involved in these diplomatic efforts and pushed them publicly. The sanctions made Iran agree to stop building nuclear weapons in 2015. For more, see Iran's Economy: Impact of Nuclear Deal and Sanctions. (Source: "Hillary Clinton Said She Helped Usher Iran to the Negotiating Table," PolitiFact.com, November 23, 2015.)
      2. Instrumental in negotiating the Copenhagen Climate Change Accord in 2016. The developed and major developing nations agreed to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial level. They also agreed to pay $100 billion a year by 2020 to assist poor countries affected the most by climate change. (Source: "Obama's Copenhagen Deal," Mother Jones, December 18, 2009. "Hillary Clinton and Obama Crashing a Secret Chinese Meeting," Bustle.com, October 14, 2015.)

      Timeline and Additional Accomplishments

      1977: Founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. It did research and educate the public on children's issues. Joined Rose Law Firm. Appointed by President Carter to chair the board of the Legal Services Corporation.

      1979 - 1982: First Lady of Arkansas during Governor Clinton's Administration. Became first woman partner of Rose Law Firm.

      1982 - 1992: First Lady of Arkansas. Chaired Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, which created new state school standards. Founded Arkansas Home Instruction Program for Pre-School Youth. Helped created Arkansas' first neonatal intensive care unit. On the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital and the Legal Services and Children's Defense Fund. Corporate board member of TCBY and Lafarge. First female board member of Wal-Mart (1986-1992.) Chaired American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession (1987 to 1991.) Arkansas Woman of the Year (1983.) Arkansas Mother of the Year (1984.)

      1993 - 2001: First Lady during the Clinton Administration. Chair of the Task Force on National Healthcare Reform. She continued to be a leading advocate for expanding health insurance coverage, ensuring children are properly immunized, and raising public awareness of health issues. She was the first First Lady with a postgraduate degree.

      2000 - 2008: U.S. Senator from New York. Senate Committees: Armed Services; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Environment and Public Works; Budget; Aging. Member of Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. She also led the charge on the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act.

      2009 - 2013: U.S. Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Opened Chinese markets to U.S. companies. (Additional Sources: "11 Accomplishments Hillary Clinton Should Be Touting on the Campaign Trail," FoxNews.com, June 3, 2015. "7 of Hillary's Biggest Accomplishments," HillaryClinton.com. "A List of Hillary Clinton's Accomplishments," AddictingInfo.com, April 13, 2015. "Citing Just One HRC Accomplishment Is Impossible," Huffington Post, May 24, 2016.)

      Compare to Other Presidential Candidates Economic Accomplishments