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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, July 7, 1997
Volume 33--Number 27
Pages 991-1023

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Electronic commerce initiative--1003
    Madrid Summit sendoff by veterans--1018
    Maryland, Public Service Campaign for Educational Excellence in 
        Departure for Boston--992
        New England Presidential luncheon in Boston--995
    New York City
        Democratic National Committee dinner--1000
        St. James Theatre--1000
    Radio address--991
    Tax cut proposal--992

Communications to Congress

    Russia, most-favored-nation status, letter transmitting report--1000

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Electronic commerce, memorandum--1006

Executive Orders

    Adding Members to and Extending the President's Council on 
        Sustainable Development--998
    Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices--998

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters on the South Lawn--992
    Interview with European television journalists--1012

Letters and Messages

    Electronic commerce, message to Internet users--1010
    Independence Day, message--1011


    To Implement the World Trade Organization Ministerial Declaration on 
        Trade in Information Technology Products and the Agreement on 
        Distilled Spirits--999

Resignations and Retirements

    State Department, Chief of Protocol--1020

Statements by the President

    See also Resignations and Retirements
    Death of Jimmy Stewart--1012
    Electronic commerce memorandum--1006

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--1023
    Checklist of White House press releases--1022
    Digest of other White House announcements--1021
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--1023

Editor's Note: In order to meet publication and distribution deadlines 
during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the cutoff time for this 
issue has been advanced to 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, 1997. Documents 
released after that time will appear in the next issue.


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.

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[[Page 991]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 991-992]
Monday, July 7, 1997
Volume 33--Number 27
Pages 991-1023
Week Ending Friday, July 4, 1997
The President's Radio Address

June 28, 1997

    Good morning. Today I'm speaking to you from the East Room of the 
White House, where I'm joined by hundreds of America's brightest high 
school students. These Presidential Scholars are here in our Nation's 
Capital to learn how democracy works, and we know we can make it work 
much, much better.
    I want to talk to you this morning about steps I'm taking to open 
the airwaves so voters have the loudest voice in our democracy, and 
about responsibility of Congress to clean up the campaign finance 
    Our democracy is the oldest and most successful in the world, but we 
know that there is something wrong with the way we pay for elections. 
Our campaign finance laws were last rewritten 23 years ago. For quite a 
long while those laws worked well, but they have been overwhelmed by a 
flood of money and the changes in the way we communicate with one 
another and the cost of communication.
    Spending in congressional campaigns has risen sixfold in the last 
two decades. That's more than 3 times the rate of inflation. Now both 
political parties are locked into an ever-escalating arms race, as they 
compete to raise more and more money. There's simply too much money 
required for campaigns, it takes too much time to raise, and it raises 
too many questions.
    In my State of the Union Address, I challenged the Congress to act 
to stem the rising tide of campaign money by passing comprehensive, 
bipartisan campaign finance reform by July 4th, the date we celebrate 
the birth of our democracy. Unfortunately, Congress has made little 
progress toward reform since that time, and it's clear that the 
legislation will not pass, will not even be voted on by Independence 
Day. That's too bad because there has been a significant number of 
bipartisan support for the McCain-Feingold bill, which I have also 
    But now we shouldn't wait for Congress to act, and I'm not waiting. 
Within my power as President, I've acted to advance key elements of 
reform, and I'll continue to do so. First, I have petitioned the Federal 
Election Commission to ban so-called soft money contributions, the large 
contributions from corporations, labor unions, and individuals that both 
parties raise. Bipartisan lawmakers led by Representatives Chris Shays 
and Marty Meehan have asked for the same thing. I am pleased that the 
FEC will begin formal proceedings on our request next month.
    Second, our Justice Department will fight in the courts to uphold 
efforts to limit campaign spending. We know how a spending spiral can 
have dangerous consequences, but for two decades, court cases have made 
it very hard to enact tough limits. Right now, strong spending limits 
passed for elections in Cincinnati, and judicial elections across Ohio 
are being challenged. We believe spending limits are constitutional, and 
if we need to, we'll make that case to the highest court in the land.
    And we're acting to address the single greatest reason for out-of-
control costs, spending on television. In 1972, candidates spent $25 
million for political ads; in 1996, $400 million. We're the only major 
democracy in the world that does it this way, and it doesn't have to be 
this way. We can make our most powerfully effective medium a powerful 
force for expanding democracy. Free TV time can help free our democracy 
from the grip of big money.
    For years I have supported giving candidates free time, and in fact, 
Vice President Gore proposed legislation to do that a decade ago when he 
was in the United States Senate. Now we're working to make it happen. In 
March I called on the Federal Communications Commission to require 
broadcasters to give candidates free time as a condition of

[[Page 992]]

receiving a new, lucrative license for high-tech digital TV. That's the 
least we can ask of broadcasters, who are given access to the public 
airwaves, worth billions of dollars, at no cost, with only the 
requirement that they meet a basic public obligation. Today I'm 
appointing two distinguished Americans to lead a commission that will 
help the FCC decide precisely how free broadcast time can be given to 
candidates as part of the broadcasters' public interest obligations.
    Les Moonves is the president of CBS Entertainment and one of 
America's most prominent and creative broadcasters. And Dr. Norman 
Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is one 
of America's best known political scientists and a renowned expert on 
campaign finance reform. Their commission will explore the details of 
free time for candidates and other public interest obligations, such as 
children's broadcasting, which may need to be updated.
    All these steps are important, but still they're no substitute for 
legislation. Again I say, Congress must act to pass comprehensive 
bipartisan legislation. And as I said before, Senators John McCain and 
Russ Feingold, joined by Representatives Shays and Meehan, have strong 
legislation that would limit spending, end soft money, and give 
candidates free time or reduced-rate TV time. I'm pleased to report that 
Senators McCain and Feingold have announced they will bring their bill 
to a vote later this summer in the Senate. This will be our first chance 
to see who's for real on the issue of reform.
    Needed change has been filibustered to death in every Congress for a 
decade. In my first term, it was filibustered to death each and every 
year. Now the same people who filibustered reform before, whose 
obstruction gave us the present system, have vowed to do it again. Let's 
let the people be heard. Let's not let them get away with it. Every 
Senator must realize that a vote for a filibuster is a vote to continue 
undue special interests influence, soft money contributions, out-of-
control spending, and continued public skepticism about the way the 
political process works.
    When it comes to fixing our campaign finance system, let's make this 
summer a time not of talk but of action, not of recriminations but of 
results. We have a rare chance to restore the trust and earn the 
participation of the American people. The way we pay for elections is 
broken; it's time to fix it. I ask for your support. And thanks for 

Note: The address was recorded at 6:09 p.m. on June 27 in the East Room 
at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on June 28.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 992-995]
Monday, July 7, 1997
Volume 33--Number 27
Pages 991-1023
Week Ending Friday, July 4, 1997
Remarks on Departure for Boston, Massachusetts, and an Exchange With 

June 30, 1997

Tax Cut Proposal

    The President. Ladies and gentlemen, now that the two Houses of 
Congress have completed action on their tax plan, I would like to make 
some comments and offer my plan for what I think should be done with the 
tax portion of the balanced budget agreement.
    By way of background, let me point out again, as I have said many 
times, I was determined to change the economic policy of the United 
States Government when I became President. We abandoned trickle-down and 
the big deficits and instead adopted an invest and grow strategy: reduce 
the deficit, invest in the education and skills of our people, and make 
sure we sold more American goods and services around the world. That has 
contributed, along with the ingenuity, hard work, and productivity of 
the American people, to the healthiest economy we've had in a 
    I want the balanced budget we ultimately pass to continue to 
reinforce that strategy and our values. The agreement that we signed 
with the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress reflects the 
invest and grow strategy. It is in balance with our values of honoring 
work, strengthening families, and offering opportunity. It eliminates 
the deficit, it invests in education, it extends health care for more of 
our children while securing Medicare for our parents, and it provides 
for an affordable tax cut for the American people.
    America's families deserve a tax cut, and they deserve one that 
reflects their values. It is, after all, the energy and dedication of

[[Page 993]]

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