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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, March 9, 1998
Volume 34--Number 10
Pages 351-388

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

        Arrival in Los Angeles--352
        Dinner for Senator Boxer in Los Angeles--352
    Drinking and driving, signing memorandum on standards to prevent--
    ``Earth to the Moon'' film screening--383
    First woman space mission commander--380
    Food safety legislation--374
    John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation dinner--363
    Medicare Commission--381
    Mortgage Bankers Association of America--356
    National economy--384
    New York City, 75th anniversary celebration of Time magazine--370
    Radio address--351

Communications to Congress

    Bosnia-Herzegovina, message reporting--373
    Cuba, message reporting on payments--379
    Housing and Urban Development Department, message transmitting 
    Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, message transmitting 
    International agreements, letter transmitting report--356
    Iran, message transmitting notice--378

Communications to Congress--Continued

    Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, letter 
        transmitting report--379
    National Drug Control Strategy, message transmitting--369
    Trade agreements program, message transmitting report--356

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Conducting ``Conversations With America'' to further improve 
        customer service, memorandum--368
    President's Community Empowerment Board, memorandum--373
    Standards to prevent drinking and driving, memorandum--366
    Vietnamese cooperation in accounting for U.S. prisoners of war and 
        missing in action, memorandum--377

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Cabinet Room--381


    Continuation of Iran Emergency--378


    National Older Workers Employment Week--384
    Women's History Month--362

(Continued on the inside of the back cover.)

Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also 
available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http://


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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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
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[[Page iii]]


Statements by the President

    Death of Fred Friendly--376
    House Banking Committee vote on funding for the International 
        Monetary Fund--382
    House of Representatives action on the political status of the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico--376
    New railroad station for New York City--377
    Representative Esteban Torres, decision not to seek reelection--367
    Senate action to continue Disadvantaged Business Enterprise 

Statements by the President--Continued

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee support for NATO enlargement--367
    United Nations Security Council vote on Iraq--363

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--388
    Checklist of White House press releases--387
    Digest of other White House announcements--386
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--387

[[Page 351]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 351]
Monday, March 9, 1998
Volume 34--Number 10
Pages 351-388
Week Ending Friday, March 6, 1998
The President's Radio Address

February 28, 1998

    Good morning. This morning I want to talk to you about one of the 
most important ways we can help all children live up to their God-given 
potential--giving them the tools they need to master the fundamentals of 
    This week America got a wakeup call on education. We learned that 
our high school seniors are lagging behind those in most other 
industrialized nations in math and science. In a global economy that is 
increasingly powered by information and technology, this is a very 
sobering fact. It tells me we can have no higher priority than to 
transform our K through 12 classrooms in every community. We need 
smaller classes, better teaching, higher standards, more discipline, 
greater accountability.
    And clearly, we must give our children more help with reading. 
Currently, 40 percent of our Nation's 8-year-olds are not reading even 
at the basic level. And those students are far more likely to get 
discouraged and drop out of school or never to learn what they need to 
know while they're in school. Failing to read early on is a burden that 
can bog down a child for life. That's why I launched the America Reads 
challenge, to make sure all our children can read on their own by the 
end of the third grade.
    Thanks to an amazing outpouring of support, tens of thousands of 
volunteer tutors are already at work in our communities, giving our 
children the intensive reading help they need. More than 900 colleges 
have committed to give their students work study credit for devoting 
after-school hours to tutoring children. And this year 3,000 new 
AmeriCorps members and thousands of new senior volunteers will recruit 
more than 100,000 volunteer reading tutors for our children. We are on 
track to give extra reading help to 3 million children at risk of 
falling behind.
    But we need Congress' help to meet this goal. This past November, 
the House of Representatives voted with bipartisan support to promote 
literacy efforts in the home, the school, the community. Legislation 
with these goals is now awaiting action in the Senate, which means $210 
million in targeted assistance is now on hold in Washington, not at work 
in our communities. So today I call on the Senate to pass this 
legislation without delay. We need it. Our children need it.
    This coming Monday, reading out loud to children will be the talk of 
the Nation. To celebrate the birthday of the late Dr. Seuss, whose much 
beloved books have sparked the imaginations of children and parents 
alike for generations, the National Education Association and many other 
groups are sponsoring the first Read Across America Day. Thousands of 
people, from baseball star Cal Ripken to the leaders of the Cherokee 
Nation to the sailors of the U.S.S. Austin, will read favorite books and 
share the joy of reading with children in every part of our country. I 
encourage parents and grandparents to get involved. Read with your child 
on Read Across America Day and every day.
    Scientists have now shown reading to your children every night 
before bed can help lay the foundation for his or her life and, in turn, 
for our Nation's future. Literacy is the key to all learning. Without 
it, history is a haze, math is a muddle, the Internet is indecipherable, 
the promise of America is a closed book. But we can change all that. 
With an army of reading tutors, well-trained teachers, and involved 
parents, we can make sure every child can read by the third grade. And 
if we do that, there is no limit, in the words of Dr. Seuss, on the 
places our children will go.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 3:22 p.m. on February 26 at the 
Spanish Rights Center in Oakland, CA, for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on 
February 28.

[[Page 352]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 352]
Monday, March 9, 1998
Volume 34--Number 10
Pages 351-388
Week Ending Friday, March 6, 1998
Remarks on Arrival in Los Angeles, California

February 28, 1998

    Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to begin by thanking 
Congressman Gallegly, Congresswoman Millender-McDonald, Congressman 
Sherman, and Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky for joining me here.
    I have just met with some of the people who were hurt by the 
terrible weather you've had in southern California over the last week, 
as well as a number of the people who were involved in the rescue 
effort. Let me begin by saying that our hearts and prayers are with the 
families who lost their loved ones. I especially want to send our 
condolences to the families of Officer Rick Stovall and Officer Brit 
Irvine who gave their lives in the line of service as they responded to 
the emergency in Santa Maria.
    There were many people of all ages who lost their lives in this 
terrible tragedy. I received a fax from a friend of mine yesterday whose 
son lost a childhood friend of his, a young fellow student. I met a 
young woman in there in the meeting who lost her fiance after he had 
saved the lives of a woman and her three young children.
    There is very little that anyone can say at this moment to ease the 
human loss. We do know that the weather we are experiencing now has been 
dramatically aggravated because of El Nino. I have visited with families 
in Florida where 39 people were killed in the worst tornadoes in 50 
years, in northern California, and now here today.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent a lot of time in 
southern California in the last 5 years and couple of months since I've 
been President. I talked with James Lee Witt in some detail before I 
came down here today. We are determined to do all we can. FEMA is 
responding swiftly to provide disaster relief funds in 35 counties, 
including over $2 million more for Glenn County. The SBA has an outreach 
office in Orange County, and Federal Highway Administration personnel 
have already released $40 million to California for road repairs.
    There will be a lot more to be done. The Members of Congress and the 
local officials have talked to me about other things that we need to do 
to deal with the particular problems of people who lost everything or 
who are still at risk of further natural calamities.
    Let me just say today, I want more than anything else to praise the 
courage of those who worked so hard during this disaster--the fire, the 
police personnel, the emergency personnel, all the others who were 
involved; many of them risked their lives, and as we know, two lost 
their lives--and to praise the courage of the people who have lost 
everything they have but still have their lives. I want to encourage 
them, to tell them their fellow Americans are thinking about them, and 
to pray for tranquil weather as we begin the rebuilding process.
    Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:05 p.m. on the tarmac at Los Angeles 
International Airport. In his remarks, he referred to Gloria Molina and 

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