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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, June 2, 1997
Volume 33--Number 22
Pages 777-816

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    France, NATO-Russia Founding Act signing ceremony in Paris--780
    The Netherlands
        ``Thank you America'' Celebration in Rotterdam--794
        The Hague
            50th anniversary of the Marshall plan--788
            Luncheon hosted by Queen Beatrix--787
    Radio address--777
    United Kingdom, greeting the British Cabinet in London--796
    Virginia, Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington--778

Communications to Congress

    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and the 
        Bosnian Serbs, messages--793, 811
    Generalized System of Preferences, message--811
    Most-favored-nation trade status for China, message transmitting 

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Assistance to Turkey, memorandum--795
    Most-favored-nation trade status for China, memorandum--807

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in London, United Kingdom--796
    News conferences
        May 28 (No. 146) with European Union leaders in The Hague--782
        May 29 (No. 147) with Prime Minister Blair of the United 

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    European Union leaders---782
    France, President Chirac--780
    NATO, Secretary General Solana--780
    The Netherlands, Prime Minister Kok--782, 787, 794
    Russia, President Yeltsin--780
    United Kingdom, Prime Minister Blair--796


    Continuation of Emergency With Respect to the Federal Republic of 
        Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and the Bosnian Serbs--791


    Small Business Week--810
    To Modify Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of 

Resignations and Retirements

    Federal Communications Commission, Chairman Reed E. Hundt--781

Statements by the President

    See also Resignations and Retirements
    Megan Kanka trial verdict--808
    National economy--782

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--816
    Checklist of White House press releases--816
    Digest of other White House Announcements--815
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--815


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National
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Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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[[Page 777]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 777-778]
Monday, June 2, 1997
Volume 33--Number 22
Pages 777-816
Week Ending Friday, May 30, 1997
The President's Radio Address

May 24, 1997

    Good morning. This past week, the House and the Senate voted by 
overwhelming bipartisan majorities to endorse an historic, bipartisan 
agreement to balance the Federal budget by 2002. This agreement brings 
us closer to putting our fiscal house in order, and it represents a huge 
downpayment toward America's future prosperity.
    Already, our economy is the envy of the world. In the last 4 years, 
it's created 12 million new jobs. We've had the highest economic growth 
in a decade, the lowest unemployment in 24 years, the lowest inflation 
in 30 years, the largest decline in income inequality since the 1960's. 
The deficit has been cut already by 77 percent, thanks to the historic 
1993 budget and economic package passed by the Congress at that time.
    And now, with a balanced budget agreement, our economy can continue 
to thrive. We'll balance our books while we protect Medicare and 
Medicaid, invest in education and environmental protection, and give our 
people a tax cut. It's a balanced budget that's in balance with our 
    Now I urge all Members of Congress of both parties to take the next 
step, to finish the job and write this agreement into law. This is a 
proud moment. Our balanced budget agreement shows what we can accomplish 
when we work together, across party lines, in the interest of the 
American people. This is how our Government should work.
    But today I have to talk about an example of how it should not work 
and how it's not working. Our Government is not working for our citizens 
in the Dakotas and Minnesota, who are still waiting for the Congress to 
act so that they can begin the long road back from the floods that 
destroyed their homes and devastated their lives.
    Tens of thousands of people suffered losses in these floods. Now 
they're trying to reclaim their lives and their communities. But they 
can't do it alone. Some have depended on the kindness of neighbors they 
didn't even know. The town of Thompson, North Dakota, doubled its 
population when residents opened their homes and their churches and took 
in 1,000 people from flooded Grand Forks, 11 miles away. Private 
citizens became angels, volunteering and donating everything from 
essential supplies to evening dresses, so that a flooded high school 
could still have its prom. One woman quietly donated millions of dollars 
for distribution to victims.
    All that is welcome help. But recovering from a large natural 
disaster takes more; it takes the combined resources of our Nation. That 
was the only way back after the earthquakes and fires in California, the 
flooding in the Mississippi Valley and the Pacific Northwest, the 
tornadoes in the South, the hurricanes in Florida. Right now, people in 
33 States need some degree of disaster assistance. Just imagine being in 
their shoes, having your life's work swept away, your home gone, often 
in an instant. Think of your concern for your family and your home. 
That's why we need quick and effective governmental action, from rescue 
efforts by the National Guard to financial and other assistance from our 
Federal agencies. They've all done well by our people, and I am 
especially proud of the work of our Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
FEMA, and its Director, James Lee Witt. Now FEMA is a model for 
responding to disasters. When I took office, it was often criticized; 
now I think it's the most often complimented Federal agency.
    After I visited North Dakota with the congressional delegation, 
including the Senators from North Dakota, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, 
who join me here today, and saw the impact of the floods last month, I 
asked James Lee Witt to chair a task force of our Federal agencies and 
come up with a plan for the region's long-term recovery. Now we

[[Page 778]]

have that plan to deliver help quickly while we get maximum results for 
every Federal dollar spent.
    But to get that long-term relief to our people, we must have action 
from Congress. I asked congressional leaders for just that, in an 
emergency supplemental spending bill, the kind that we have had before 
when we had disasters. Many Members, led by lawmakers from the flooded 
States, worked hard to get a bill to me, but I'm sorry to say, some 
Members of the majority tried to use this important bill for different 
purposes. And without taking action, Congress left town, and our people 
were left in the lurch.
    Hundreds of thousands of our citizens are depending on this aid so 
they can get on with their lives. Even without action from the Congress, 
we're doing all we can to get immediate help to the victims. FEMA is 
using all the resources and authority it has to help with food, shelter, 
and emergency services. But these funds are limited. They will 
eventually run out, and they won't start the job of long-term recovery.
    Unless Congress approves these disaster relief funds, the victims 
cannot begin their long-term recovery; they can't rebuild homes and 
businesses; farmers can't dig out their fields to plant crops. These 
people are in dire need, and Congress has failed to act for them. That 
is unconscionable. It flies in the face of the spirit of bipartisan 
cooperation we saw in our budget negotiations, and it's not how we 
treated other Americans when they were in similar dire straits over the 
last 4 years.
    In North Dakota, I saw not only the devastation of the floods, I saw 
the determination of the people, proud people doing their level best to 
survive and get on with their lives. They don't expect free rides or 
handouts, but they do have a right to expect us to do the right thing by 
them, as we have by their fellow Americans when they were down and out.
    The wrath of nature can be random, swift, and unforgiving. That's 
where human nature must provide a balance. We should act out of 
compassion, as many Americans have, to help the victims. And in 
Government, we must act because that is our duty as Americans. We cannot 
leave the victims without the help they need and deserve. We have to 
    I urge Congress to do its part and to do it quickly. Disaster 
doesn`t take a holiday. Let's work together to bring relief to people 
who need it--now.
    In closing, I want to wish you all a happy Memorial Day weekend. 
Drive safely, drive slowly, and buckle up.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 7:08 p.m. on May 23 in the Roosevelt 
Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on May 24.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 778-780]
Monday, June 2, 1997
Volume 33--Number 22
Pages 777-816
Week Ending Friday, May 30, 1997
Remarks at a Memorial Day Ceremony in Arlington, Virginia

May 26, 1997

    Thank you very much. General Foley, Chaplain Schwartzman, Mr. 
Metzler, to the members of the Cabinet, General Shalikashvili, and the 
leaders of our Armed Forces, to Members of Congress, and especially to 
the members of the Armed Forces who are here, the leaders of our 
veterans organizations, all of you who are veterans and your families, 
and all of you who are family members of those who have given their 
lives in the service of our country.
    My fellow Americans, we gather here today, as we do faithfully every 
year, to pay tribute to our country men and women who fell in the line 
of duty, who gave their lives to preserve the liberties upon which our 
Nation was founded and which we have managed to carry forward for more 
than 200 years now. All across America, our grateful Nation comes 
together today to honor these men and women, some celebrated, others 
quite unknown, each a patriot and a hero.
    For many of our schoolchildren who have known no war, today may seem 
to be little more than a day off from school or a welcome start to the 
summer. But on this day, and all that we pause to remember, there are 
essential lessons for the young and, indeed, for all the rest of us as 
well: Appreciate the blessings of freedom; recognize the power and 
virtue of sacrifice; respect those who gave everything on behalf of our 
common good.
    This day reminds us of what we can achieve when we pull together as 
one nation,

[[Page 779]]

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