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H.Doc.104-5 THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO ...
104th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 104-1 STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting A REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE UNION <GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT> January 24, 1995.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed. To the Congress of the United States: Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the 104th Congress, my fellow Americans: Again we are here in the sanctuary of democracy and once again our democracy has spoken. So let me begin by congratulating all of you here in the 104th Congress and congratulating you, Mr. Speaker. If we agree on nothing else tonight, we must agree that the American people certainly voted for change in 1992 and in 1994. As I look out at you, I know how some of you must have felt in 1992. I must say that in both years, we did not hear America singing, we heard America shouting. And now all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, must say we hear you. We will work together to earn the jobs you have given us. We are the keepers of the sacred trust, and we must be faithful to it in this new and very demanding era. Over 200 years ago our founders changed the entire course of human history by joining together to create a new country based on a single powerful idea: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It has fallen to every generation since then to preserve that idea, the American idea, and to deepen and expand its meaning in new and different times, to Lincoln and to his Congress, to preserve the union and to end slavery; to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson to restrain the abuses and excesses of the Industrial Revolution, and to exert our leadership in the world; to Franklin Roosevelt, to fight the failure and pain of the Great Depression and to win our country's great struggle against fascism; and to all our presidents since, to fight the Cold War. Especially I recall two, who struggled to fight that Cold War in partnership with Congresses where the majority was of a different party. To Harry Truman, who summoned us to unparalleled prosperity at home and who built the architecture of the Cold War, and to Ronald Reagan, who we wish well tonight and who exhorted us to carry on until the twilight struggle against communism was won. In another time of change and challenge, I had the honor to be the first President to be elected in the post-Cold War era, an era marked by the global economy, the information revolution, unparalleled change and opportunity and in security for the American people. I came to this hallowed Chamber two years ago on a mission, to restore the American dream for all our people and to make sure that we move into the 21st Century still the strongest force for freedom and democracy in the entire world. I was determined then to tackle the tough problems too long ignored. In this effort I am frank to say that I have made my mistakes, and I have learned again the importance of humility in all human endeavor. But I am also proud to say tonight that our country is stronger than it was two years ago. Record numbers of Americans are succeeding in the new global economy. We are at peace and we are a force for peace and freedom throughout the world. We have almost 6 million new jobs since I became president, and we have the lowest combined rate of unemployment and inflation in 25 years. Our businesses are more productive, and here we have worked to bring the deficit down, to expand trade, to put more police on our streets, to give our citizens more of the tools they need to get an education and to rebuild their own communities. But the rising tide is not lifting all boats. While our Nation is enjoying peace and prosperity, too many of our people are still working harder and harder for less and less. While our businesses are restructuring and growing more productive and competitive, too many of our people still cannot be sure of having a job next year or even next month. And far more than our material riches are threatened, things far more precious to us: Our children, our families, our values. Our civil life is suffering in America today. Citizens are working together less and shouting at each other more. The common bounds of community which have been the great strength of our country from its very beginning are badly frayed. What are we to do about it? More than 60 years ago at the dawn of another new era, President Roosevelt told our Nation new conditions impose new requirements on government and those who conduct government. And from that simple proposition, he shaped a New Deal, which helped to restore our Nation to prosperity and defined the relationship between our people and their government for half a century. That approach worked in its time, but we today, we face a very different time and very different conditions. We are moving from an industrial age built on gears and sweat, to an information age demanding skills and learning and flexibility. Our government, once the champion of national purpose, is now seen by many as simply a captive of narrow interests, putting more burdens on our citizens rather than equipping them to get ahead. The values that used to hold us altogether seem to be coming apart. So tonight we must forge a new social compact to meet the challenges of this time. As we enter a new era, we need a new set of understandings, not just with government, but, even more important, with one another, as Americans. That is what I want to talk with you about tonight. I call it the New Covenant. But it is grounded in a very, very old idea, that all Americans have not just a right, but a solemn responsibility to rise as far as their God-given talents and determination can take them, and to give something back to their communities and their country in return. Opportunity and responsibility, they go hand in hand. We can't have one without the other, and our national community can't hold together without both. Our New Covenant is a new set of understandings for how we can equip our people to meet the challenges of the new economy, how we can change the way our government works to fit a different time, and, above all, how we can repair the damaged bonds in our society and come together behind our common purpose. We must have dramatic change in our economy, our government, and ourselves. My fellow Americans, without regard to party, let us rise to the occasion. Let us put aside partisanship and pettiness and pride. As we embark on this new course, let us put our country first, remembering that regardless of party label, we are all Americans, and let the final test of everything we do be a simple one: Is it good for the American people? Let me begin by saying that we cannot ask Americans to be better citizens if we are not better servants. You made a good start by passing that law which applies to Congress all the laws you put on the private sector, and I was proud to sign that yesterday. But we have a lot more to do before people really trust the way things work around here. Three times as many lobbyists are in the streets and corridors of Washington as were here 20 years ago. The American people look at their Capitol and they see a city where the well-connected and the well-protected can work the system. But the interests of ordinary citizens are often left out. As the new Congress opened its doors, lobbyists were still doing business as usual. The gifts, the trips, all the things that people are concerned about haven't stopped. Twice this month you missed opportunities to stop these practices. I know there were other considerations in those votes, but I want to use something I have heard my Republican friends say from time to time, there doesn't have to be a law for everything. So tonight, I ask you to just stop taking the lobbyists' perks. Just stop. We don't have to wait for legislation to pass to send a strong signal to the American people that things are really changing. But I also hope you will send me the strongest possible lobby reform bill, and I will sign that, too. We should require lobbyists to tell the people for whom they work, what they are spending, what they wanted. We should also curb the role of big money in elections by capping the costs of campaigns and limiting the influence of PAC's. As I have said for three years, we should work to open the airwaves so that they can be an instrument of democracy, not a weapon of destruction, by giving free TV time to candidates for public office. When the last Congress killed political reform last year, it was reported in the press that the lobbyists actually stood in the halls of this sacred building and cheered. This year, let's give the folks at home something to cheer about. More important, I think we all agree that we have to change the way the government works. Let's make it smaller and less costly and smarter, leaner. I just told the Speaker the equal time doctrine is alive and well. The New Covenant approach to governing is as different from the old bureaucratic way as the computer is from the manual typewriter. The old way of governing around here protected organized interests. We should look out for the interests of ordinary people. The old way divided us by interests, constituency or class. The New Covenant way should unite us behind a common vision of what is best for our country. The old way dispensed services through large top-down inflexible bureaucracies. The New Covenant way should shift these resources and decision making from bureaucrats to citizens, injecting choice and competition and individual responsibility into national policy. The old way of governing around here actually seemed to reward failure. The New Covenant way should have built-in incentives to reward success. The old way was centralized here in Washington. The New Covenant way must take hold in the communities all across America, and we should help them to do that. Our job here is to expand opportunity, not bureaucracy, to empower people to make the most of their own lives, and to enhance our security here at home and abroad. We must not ask government to do what we should do for ourselves. We should rely on government as a partner to help us to do more for ourselves and for each other. I hope very much that as we debate these specific and exciting matters, we can go beyond the sterile discussion between the illusion that there is somehow a program for every problem on the one hand, and the other illusion that the government is the source of every problem we have. Our job is to get rid of yesterday's government so that our own people can meet today's and tomorrow's needs, and we ought to do it together. You know, for years before I became President, I heard others say they would cut government and how bad it was. But not much happened. We actually did it. We cut over one-quarter of a trillion dollars in spending, more than 300 domestic programs, more than 100,000 positions from the Federal bureaucracy in the last two years alone. Based on decisions already made, we will have cut a total of more than a quarter of a million positions from the Federal Government, making it the smallest it has been since John Kennedy was President by the time I come here again next year. Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, our initiatives have already saved taxpayers $63 billion. The age of the $500 hammer and the ashtray you can break on David Letterman is gone. Deadwood programs like mohair subsidies are gone. We have streamlined the Agriculture Department by reducing it by more than 1,200 offices. We have slashed the small business loan form from an inch thick to a single page. We have thrown away the government's 10,000-page personnel manual. And the government is working better in important ways. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has gone from being a disaster to helping people in disasters. You can ask the farmers in the Middle West who fought the flood there or the people in California who dealt with floods and earthquakes and fires, and they will tell you that. Government workers working hand in hand with private business rebuilt Southern California's fractured freeways in record time and under budget. And because the Federal Government moved fast, all but one of the 5,600 schools damaged in the earthquake are back in business. Now, there are a lot of other things that I could talk about. I want to just mention one, because it will be discussed here in the next few weeks. The university administrators all across the country have told me that they are saving weeks and weeks of bureaucratic time now because of our Direct College Loan Program, which makes college loans cheaper and more affordable with better repayment terms for students, costs the government less, and cuts out paperwork and bureaucracy for the government and for the universities. We shouldn't cap that program. We should give every college in America the opportunity to be a part of it. Previous government programs gathered dust. The reinventing government report is getting results. And we are not through. There is going to be a second round of reinventing government. We propose to cut $130 billion in spending by shrinking departments, extending our freeze on domestic spending, cutting 60 public housing programs down to 3, and getting rid of over 100 programs we do not need, like the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Helium Reserve Program. And we are working on getting rid of unnecessary regulations and making them more sensible. The programs and regulations that have outlived their usefulness should go. We have to cut yesterday's government to help solve tomorrow's problems, and we need to get government closer to the people it is meant to serve. We need to help move programs down to the point where states and communities and private citizens in the private sector can do a better job. If they can do it, we ought to let them do it. We should get out of the way and let them do what they can do better. Taking power away from Federal bureaucracies and giving it back to communities and individuals is something everyone should be able to be for. It is time for Congress to stop passing on to the states the cost of decisions we make here in Washington. I know there are still serious differences over the details of the unfunded mandates legislation, but I want to work with you to make sure we pass a reasonable bill which will protect the national interests and give justified relief where we need to give it. For years Congress concealed in the budget scores of pet spending projects. Last year was no different. There was $1 million to study stress in plants, and $12 million for a tick removal program that didn't work. It is hard to remove ticks. Those of us who have them know. But I will tell you something, if you will give me the line item veto, I will remove some of that unnecessary spending. But I think we should all remember, and almost all of us would agree, that government still has important responsibilities. Our young people, we should think of this when we cut, our young people hold our future in their hands, we still owe a debt to our veterans, and our senior citizens have made us what we are.
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