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pd10no97 Proclamation 7050--Veterans Day, 1997...
<DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page i-ii] Monday, November 10, 1997 Volume 33--Number 45 Pages 1697-1753 Contents [[Page i]] Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents [[Page ii]] Addresses and Remarks Fast-track trade legislation--1729, 1735, 1743, 1746 Florida Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner in Boca Raton--1701 Democratic National Committee luncheon in Palm Beach--1697 Democratic National Committee autumn retreat on Amelia Island Arts and culture session--1710 Dinner--1712 Education session--1705 Globalization and trade session--1707 National Public Radio's ``Performance Today,'' 10th anniversary-- 1725 New Jersey, gubernatorial candidate Jim McGreevey in Edison--1716 New York Congressional candidate Eric Vitaliano in Staten Island--1714 Mayoral candidate Ruth Messinger in New York City--1719 Senator John F. Kerry, dinner--1732 Texas, dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station--1741 Virginia, gubernatorial candidate Donald S. Beyer, Jr., in Alexandria--1722 Bill Vetoes Line item vetoes Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998, message transmitting reports--1712 Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998, message transmitting reports--1711 Communications to Congress See also Bill Vetoes Cyprus, letter transmitting report--1750 Sudan, message--1728 Executive Orders Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan--1727 Interviews With the News Media Exchange with reporters Briefing Room--1743 College Station, TX--1740 Oval Office--1735 Roosevelt Room--1746 Rose Garden--1729 Proclamations National Adoption Month--1726 National American Indian Heritage Month--1722 National Day of Concern About Young People and Gun Violence--1745 Veterans Day--1749 Statements by the President Fast-track trade legislation--1731 Russian ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention--1739 Supplementary Materials Acts approved by the President--1753 Checklist of White House press releases--1752 Digest of other White House announcements--1750 Nominations submitted to the Senate--1751 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). There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. [[Page 1697]] <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 1697-1701] Monday, November 10, 1997 Volume 33--Number 45 Pages 1697-1753 Week Ending Friday, November 7, 1997 Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Democratic National Committee Luncheon in Palm Beach, Florida October 31, 1997 The President. Harriet got on a roll, I didn't want her to stop. What did you say? No, I was just thinking Harriet was on a roll. I didn't want to stop her. Thank you, and thank you, Jerome. We are old friends. And I want to thank Sidney and Dorothy for having me back in their wonderful home. I was here a little over 5 years ago. They look much younger even than they did then, and I have all this gray hair to show for the last 5 years, but I've enjoyed it immensely. You mentioned the St. Mary's Hospital Board, and for those of you who don't know, that was the hospital that took care of me when I tore my leg off by falling 8 inches here a few months ago. I visited the little school in Jupiter that I was supposed to visit that day when I couldn't go. And I'm delighted to be back here. We're in Florida, among other things, pushing the fast-track legislation. There's going to be a vote in Congress next week. And Secretary Daley, the Secretary of Commerce, and my Special Counselor, Doug Sosnik, who has a wife from Argentina, the three of us just got back from Latin America. And I came back even more convinced than ever that it's the right thing to do for our country. Let me just be very brief. What I'd like to do is to talk a minute or two and then, if you have a couple of questions maybe I could hear from you. That would help save my voice, and it will be more interesting for you. We learned today that growth in the last quarter--this quarter, is 3.5 percent, and growth has averaged almost 4 percent over the last year, the highest in more than a decade. I think that has come about because we both broke political gridlock in Washington in 1993 with the economic plan and in 1997 with the Balanced Budget Act, and because, perhaps even more important, we broke an intellectual gridlock. Harriet mentioned that she knew me a long time before I became President. Most Americans didn't. And one of the things that never ceases to amaze me is when I read things written about our policies and they say, ``Well, he's adopted this Republican policy and that Democratic policy and just making it up as he goes along.'' I was reading the other day--last night, getting ready to come down here, an article I wrote in 1988 that basically sounds like the speeches I'm giving today. But if you're a Governor out in the hinterland, you don't exist for people that interpret you to America until you move to Washington. So I thank Jerome and Harriet for being my old friends. But what I wanted to do when I came to Washington 6 years ago was to get people to stop thinking in these sort of outdated, left-right terms, and start thinking instead about what we were trying to do, what is the mission of America. And if you think about it in that term, it helps you to pick the proper course. Without economic policy, it seemed to me there was a huge fight between whether we should run a huge deficit and cut taxes or whether we should run a slightly smaller deficit and spend more money. And I thought both of those were wrong for the modern economy. And people laughed at me when I went to Washington and said, ``Here's what we're going to do. We're going to reduce the deficit, balance the budget, and spend more money on education and the health care of our children and empowering our poorest communities.'' And they said, ``Yeah, and the $3 bill is coming back.'' But that's what we've done, and it worked. [[Page 1698]] On crime, it seemed to me we were having a phony debate in Washington about whether we needed to talk tougher and have harsher sentences or do more to help prevent crime in the first place. The sensible thing to do is to sentence more harshly people who should be and prevent everybody you can from committing crimes and also work on the environment. That's what the Brady bill, the assault weapons ban, 100,000 more police on the street were about. And we've contributed to a dramatic decline in crime in the last 5 years. On welfare, the debate was, ``It's an unfortunate system, but don't you have to take care of these children,'' or ``These people don't really want to work, so you have to make them work''--sort of polarizing debate. My experience as a Governor was that nearly every person I ever met on welfare was dying to go to work; that the system penalized them because they generally didn't have the education and skills they needed on the one hand, or on the other, if they took a job that was a minimum wage job, they lost Medicaid health coverage for their kids, and they didn't have the money to pay for child support. So we said, ``Let's be tough on work, require people that can work to work, but take care of their children, because everyone's most important job is taking care of their kids.'' We've had over 3 million people drop off the welfare rolls, the biggest decline in history, the smallest percentage of Americans on welfare since 1970, after 20 years of high levels of immigration. I guess what I'm saying is, what I think works is saying, ``The Government can't sit on the sidelines. The Government can't be a savior. The Government's job is to create the conditions and give people the tools to make the most of their own lives and to build good communities and families.'' And I believe we're much closer than we were 5 years ago to my dream of the 21st century America where there's opportunity for everybody responsible enough to work for it, where we're still leading the world for peace and freedom, and where the country is managing its diversity, even celebrating it, but coming across all those lines into one America. And for all of you who have helped me to do that, I'm very grateful. Now, we still have some challenges. One of them is this fast track bill. A third of our growth in the last 5 years has come from trade. This bill gives me the power to negotiate trade agreements. If the Congress doesn't like them, they can vote them down. It has all been caught up in, I think, worries of uncertainty and instability among certain workers, because not everybody wins when there's more trade, although most job loss in America, 80 percent, is due to technology. So what should we do? We ought to provide more education and better transition for people who lose their jobs through trade or technological changes, not walk away from trade. These jobs pay more on average. And we have no choice. Latin America is going to grow on average 3 times the rate of America. We're 4 percent of the world's people. We've got 20 percent of the world's income. If we want to keep it, we better sell more to the other 96 percent. So the fast-track debate is a big debate. We had a big meeting with China this week; the President of China was here. We have severe disagreements over human rights, political rights, religious rights. But the best way to advance those issues, in my view, is to work with China and try to make a partner out of China in the 21st century, not create a new cold war with a different country on the other side. If it comes out that way, it ought not be our fault. We ought to have the sure knowledge if there is a polarizing situation in the 21st century that it's not our fault, that we did everything we could to create a responsible, international system of free trade, peace, common efforts against terrorism, weapons proliferation, shared environmental and disease problems, and respect for democracy and human rights. So I think we're doing the right thing. We've got a number of other challenges. I'm in a big debate with the Congress--in some ways, the most fateful one--over whether the United States should have national academic standards in the basics in schools and an exam--voluntary--to see if our children are meeting those standards. And I suggested we start with a reading test in the fourth grade and a math test in the eighth grade. Just had another study this week that said that kids who take algebra in [[Page 1699]] the eighth grade are far more likely to stay in school and far more likely to go to college and far more likely to do well in college. We're the only major country without any kind of national academic standards, and I think it's crazy not to do it. I'm still fighting that out. We were thwarted this year in our efforts to pass campaign reform, but I think we've got a good chance to pass it next year. And I might say, I appreciate the fact that all of you who are here at this event are giving us what in the current jargon is called ``hard money'' and what also will be provided for under the new campaign finance reform law. We need to change the finance system.
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