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<DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page i-iv] Monday, April 5, 2004 Volume 40_Number 14 Pages 489 529 Contents WEEKLY COMPILATION OF ------------------------------ PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and other Presidential materials released by the White House during the preceding week. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10). Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers for $80.00 per year ($137.00 for mailing first class) and to foreign subscribers for $93.75 per year, payable to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The charge for a single copy is $3.00 ($3.75 for foreign mailing). The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http://www.gpo.gov/nara/nara003.html. There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. [[Page i]] Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents [[Page ii]] Addresses and Remarks See also Bill Signings; Meetings With Foreign Leaders Arizona, discussion on homeownership in Phoenix--489 Baseball Hall of Fame members, remarks honoring--508 Bush-Cheney dinner--509 National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, announcing National Security Adviser Rice's public testimony-- 507 National Republican Congressional Committee dinner--515 NATO, ceremony honoring seven nations on accession--495 Radio address--494 West Virginia, discussion on job training in Huntington--520 Wisconsin First-responders in Appleton--506 National economy in Appleton--497 Bill Signings Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, remarks--514 Meetings With Foreign Leaders Albania, Prime Minister Nano--495 Bulgaria Defense Minister Svinarov--495 Foreign Minister Pasi--495 Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg-Gotha--495 Croatia, Prime Minister Sanader--495 Meetings With Foreign Leaders--Continued Estonia Defense Minister Hanson--495 Foreign Minister Ojuland--495 Prime Minister Parts--495 Latvia Defense Minister Slakteris--495 Foreign Minister Piks--495 Prime Minister Emsis--495 Lithuania Defense Minister Linkevicius--495 Foreign Minister Valionis--495 Prime Minister Brazauskas--495 Macedonia, Prime Minister Crvenkovski--495 NATO, Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer--495 Romania Defense Minister Pascu--495 Foreign Minister Geoana--495 Prime Minister Nastase--495 Slovakia Defense Minister Liska--495 Foreign Minister Kukan--495 Prime Minister Dzurinda--495 Slovenia Defense Minister Grizold--495 Foreign Minister Rupel--495 Prime Minister Rop--495 Supplementary Materials Acts approved by the President--529 Checklist of White House press releases--529 Digest of other White House announcements--527 Nominations submitted to the Senate--528 Editor's Note: The President was in Greensboro, GA, on April 2, the closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in this issue will be printed next week. [[Page iv]] ? <GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT> [[Page 489]] <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 489-494] Monday, April 5, 2004 Volume 40_Number 14 Pages 489 529 Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004 Remarks in a Discussion on Homeownership in Phoenix, Arizona March 26, 2004 The President. Thank you all. Thanks a lot. Thank you all very much. I appreciate Doug McCarron's leadership in terms of making sure people have the skills necessary to work in the jobs of the 21st century. Actually, you look like you're dressed the way a president should be-- [laughter]--and I'm dressed like a carpenter --[laughter]--which isn't all that bad a deal. I want to thank you for having me here. I appreciate Mike McCarron for opening up this facility. Thank you, Mike, for inviting us. He invited us here so we can have a discussion on job training skills and homeownership. Before we have the discussion, I do want to say a couple of things. First, I want to recognize some people in the audience. Two great United States Senators, John McCain and John Kyl, are with us. I don't know if you know this, Doug, but John McCain was telling me on the way over from the airport that he was here when they opened this facility. He told me--he said, ``You're going to find a magnificent training facility.'' He forgot to tell me how magnificent it is. This is quite a place--quite a place. I know you're proud of it. I appreciate Members of the Congress who are here, J.D. Hayworth, John Shadegg, Jeff Flake, Trent Franks. Thank you all for coming. It's such an impressive place, they even brought old Ron Lewis from Kentucky, who's a Member of the House, with us. Ron, thank you for being here, glad you came. There he is. Mr. Mayor, Phil Gordon, is with us. Thanks for coming, Mr. Mayor. I appreciate you being here. I want to thank members of the Carpenters Union who have opened up this beautiful facility to us. Thank you for working hard. Thank you for being responsible citizens who love your family and love your country. Most of all, I'm honored to be in your presence. Thanks for building the stage. [Laughter] Today when I landed, I met a lady named Barbara Lockwood. Barbara, where are you? There she is. Thanks for coming, Barbara. Barbara is a volunteer of Keep Phoenix Beautiful. The reason I bring that up is, communities are really strong when people are willing to volunteer, willing to take time out of their lives to improve the community in which you live. There's all kinds of ways to do so. Keep Phoenix Beautiful is one such idea. Mentoring a child is an idea. Loving a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself is an idea on how to make sure your community is good. I know that many of your members work hard on the day job and volunteer to help somebody's life. See, America can change for the better, one heart and one soul at a time.Q03 And the reason I want to bring up Barbara is that she sets such a good example by taking time out of her life to make Phoenix, Arizona, a better place. Barbara, thank you for your service, and thank you for the example you have set for others. The housing industry is booming, which means more people own their home, and that's positive. It means more carpenters are working, and that's positive. It's an amazing statement to say that, given what this country has been through. We've been through a recession. We've been through an attack on America, and that attack on America affected us. We lost jobs after the attack on America. It also changed our way of thinking about how we look at the world. We used to think oceans could protect us, where we could kind of sit back and see threats gather and could deal with them if we felt like it or ignore [[Page 490]] them if we wanted to, because oceans protected us. But that changed on September the 11th. We're doing everything we can to secure the homeland. I want to thank those who are involved with the first-responders or our police and firefighters for working hard to be ready. But the best way to protect America's homeland is to stay on the offense and bring these people to justice before they hurt us again. [Applause] Thank you. The Nation is strong. We refuse to be intimidated by these killers. And we started to recover, and then we found out that some corporate citizens forgot what it meant to be responsible citizens. You know who I'm talking about, the people who didn't tell the truth to their shareholders and their employees. We passed tough new laws. I want to thank the Members of the Senate who are here and the members of the congressional delegation for joining together to pass tough laws that sends this message: We're not going to tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America. That dishonesty affected us. It was another hurdle we had to cross. It kind of shook the confidence of the people. And then we had another hurdle we had to cross. As I told you, September the 11th changed how we should view the world. We must deal with threats before they fully materialize. When we see a threat, we've got to deal with it. I looked at the intelligence in Iraq, and I saw a threat. The Congress looked at the same intelligence, and it saw a threat. The United Nations Security Council looked at the same intelligence, and it saw a threat as well. We said to Saddam Hussein, ``Everybody thinks you're a threat, so you disarm.'' We gave him yet another choice. It was his choice to make. We said, ``Disarm, for the sake of freedom and peace,'' and he defied the world again. And therefore, I had a choice to make: Do I trust the word of somebody who had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people? Do I trust the word of a madman? Or do I take actions necessary to defend America? Given that choice, every time, I will defend this country. [Applause] Thank you all. When you're marching to war to defend the country, it sends a negative signal. If you're a homebuyer, it doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the future if you think your country is going to war. If you're somebody trying to build homes, marching to war is a negative thought, not a positive thought. Now we're marching to peace. The world is more peaceful. But these are hurdles we have overcome as a country. Think about these statistics: We're the fastest growing major industrialized nation in the world; the unemployment rate right here in Arizona has gone from 5.9 percent last year to 5.2 percent this year; inflation is low; interest rates are low; manufacturing activity is up. No, this economy has gone through a lot. And you know why? Because the American workers and the American people and the American entrepreneurs are strong, steady, and resolute. I'm going to tell you another statistic, which is an amazing statistic given what we've been through: Housing starts in 2003 were the highest in a quarter of a century. Homeownership sales were the highest ever. Sixty-eight percent of homeownership--the homeownership rate is the highest ever, and that's fantastic news for America. We want more people owning their own home. There's nothing like saying, ``This home is my home.'' There's nothing better than somebody over there saying, ``Welcome to my home.'' And we're about to talk to some first-time homeowners. And I want to share their stories with you. They're going to share their stories with me, and you're going to get to hear it. I do want to talk about a challenge for our country, and there is a minority homeownership gap in America. Not enough minorities own their own homes. And it seems like to me, it makes sense to encourage all to own homes. And so we've done some interesting things. Again, I want to thank the Congress, but we passed downpayment assistance programs that will help low-income folks buy their own home. A lot of times, if you're trying to buy your own home, you never bought one, the downpayment seems like a little much. Some of you know what I'm talking about. It seems to make sense if one of the things we're trying to do is to get--to close the minority homeownership gap and to get 5.5 new--million new minority homeowners into homes over the next 5 years, that we [[Page 491]] ought to help with downpayments, and we have. The State of Arizona is going to have $2.6 million to help people with downpayments. I proposed that mortgages that have FHA-backed insurance pay no downpayment. That will help 150,000 new homeowners. What we're trying to do is make it easier for somebody to own a home, and there's practical ways the Government can help. We've got what's called HUD Section 8 programs that are generally rent programs. We've converted those rent programs to self-sufficiency programs, where people are helped to be able to set aside money for downpayments. We're about to hear somebody who has benefited from such program.
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