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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iv]
Monday, April 5, 2004
Volume 40_Number 14
Pages 489	529


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
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[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[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--
    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
        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
        Defense Minister Svinarov--495
        Foreign Minister Pasi--495
        Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg-Gotha--495
    Croatia, Prime Minister Sanader--495

Meetings With Foreign Leaders--Continued

        Defense Minister Hanson--495
        Foreign Minister Ojuland--495
        Prime Minister Parts--495
        Defense Minister Slakteris--495
        Foreign Minister Piks--495
        Prime Minister Emsis--495
        Defense Minister Linkevicius--495
        Foreign Minister Valionis--495
        Prime Minister Brazauskas--495
    Macedonia, Prime Minister Crvenkovski--495
    NATO, Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer--495
        Defense Minister Pascu--495
        Foreign Minister Geoana--495
        Prime Minister Nastase--495
        Defense Minister Liska--495
        Foreign Minister Kukan--495
        Prime Minister Dzurinda--495
        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]]


[[Page 489]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[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 
    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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