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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, December 13, 1999
Volume 35--Number 49
Pages 2517-2577

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Arkansas, Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock--2565
    Democratic National Committee dinner--2559
    Digital divide, narrowing--2552
    Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, presentation--2521
    Fort Gibson, OK, school shooting--2521
    Health care quality and patient safety--2527
    ``Keep Hope Alive'' reception--2534
    Kennedy Center Honors reception--2518
        Departure for Worcester--2552
        Memorial service for firefighters in Worcester--2555
    National Christmas tree lighting--2551
    Radio address--2517
    Senator Tim Johnson, reception--2532

Bill Signings

    Chattahoochee River, legislation to protect segment, statement--2557
    Commerce in depiction of animal cruelty, legislation to establish 
        Federal criminal penalties--2557
    Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 
        1999, statement--2559
    Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999, statement--2524
    John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Act, statement--2558
    U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999, statement--

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Improving health care quality and ensuring patient safety, 
    Narrowing the digital divide, memorandum--2554

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters in the Rose Garden--2527, 2552
    News conference, December 8 (No. 185)--2537

Letters and Messages

    Ramadan, message--2559


    Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week--2526
    National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day--2531

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Vietnam, flooding--2556
    Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire--2518
    World Trade Organization Seattle Round--2518

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--2575
    Checklist of White House press releases--2574
    Digest of other White House announcements--2574
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--2574


Editor's Note: The President was in West Memphis, AR, on December 10, 
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.


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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Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

[[Page 2517]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2517-2518]
Monday, December 13, 1999
Volume 35--Number 49
Pages 2517-2577
Week Ending Friday, December 10, 1999
The President's Radio Address

December 4, 1999

    Good morning. Yesterday we crossed a historic threshold with the 
creation of more than 20 million new jobs since January 1993. This is a 
great American achievement and further proof of the health of our 
economy, which now has given us the longest peacetime expansion in our 
Nation's history. Today I want to talk about a group of new workers who, 
just a few short years ago, were virtually locked out of our growing 
economy and their chance at the American dream--the more than one 
million Americans who are now moving from welfare to work every year.
    Seven years ago I asked the American people to join me in ending 
welfare as we know it. In 1996, with bipartisan support, we passed a 
landmark welfare reform bill. Today I am pleased to announce that we've 
cut the rolls by more than half. Fewer Americans are on welfare today 
than at any time since 1969, 30 years ago. We're moving more than a 
million people a year from the welfare rolls to the payrolls, 1.3 
million in 1998 alone. And most of the people who get jobs are keeping 
them. They're getting raises and paying taxes and teaching their 
children to honor the dignity of work.
    We've changed the culture of welfare from one that fostered 
dependence to one that honors and rewards work. That's why I fought to 
create high performance bonuses for States that do the most for parents 
entering the work force. I am pleased to announce the first of those 
awards today.
    Twenty-seven States will share $200 million in bonuses for four 
categories: how many people they've placed in jobs; how well those 
people did at keeping their jobs and improving their wages; the biggest 
improvement in job placement; and the biggest improvement in on-the-job 
success. The States ranked highest were Indiana, Minnesota, Washington, 
and Florida. I congratulate these States for their achievement. If every 
State had performed as well as Indiana in placing workers in jobs, we 
would have helped more than twice as many people go to work last year. I 
challenge every State to invest its welfare reform resources in helping 
people to succeed at work.
    This is not just about numbers. It's about real people. People like 
Wendy Waxler of Washington, DC. Wendy wanted a job, but needed time to 
care for her daughter, who has cerebral palsy. She couldn't afford to 
lose the Medicaid that paid the doctor's bills. Through welfare to work, 
Wendy found a flexible job and kept Medicaid and food stamps, at first. 
Now she and her daughter have health insurance, and Wendy has new 
confidence and new dreams.
    People like Wendy Waxler are an asset our economy simply cannot 
afford to waste. So we must do more to support working families and 
people who are trying to turn their lives around. That's why I've asked 
Congress to raise the minimum wage, so that a full-time job is a real 
ticket out of poverty; it's why we won new resources and will fight for 
more, for our new markets initiative, to make it easier for businesses 
and banks to invest in America's poorest communities; and why I'm asking 
Congress to increase our commitment to quality child care.
    All of us have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to 
ensure that every eligible family receives health care and nutritional 
assistance, so all our children can grow up healthy. I fought hard to 
ensure that the welfare reform law guaranteed these critical supports. 
Now our administration is taking steps to hold States accountable and 
make sure families get the benefits they need. Today I am also 
announcing new performance bonuses like the ones I just awarded for 
States that do the best at enrolling eligible families in Medicaid and 
food stamps.
    Finally, the old welfare system actually weakened families, by 
discouraging couples

[[Page 2518]]

from marrying or living with their children. We want to change that, so 
starting next year there will also be bonuses for States that do the 
most to get poor children into two-parent homes, where we know they have 
the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.
    Supporting hard-pressed working families and helping people to make 
the transition from welfare to work isn't just the right thing to do; 
it's also the smart thing. It encourages millions of people to take 
responsibility for their families, their future. In so doing, it expands 
opportunity and strengthens our economy and builds a healthier future 
for all of us.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 7:15 p.m. on December 3 in the Oval 
Office at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on December 4. In 
his remarks, the President referred to the Personal Responsibility and 
Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law No. 104-193. The 
transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on 
December 3 but was embargoed for release until the broadcast.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2518]
Monday, December 13, 1999
Volume 35--Number 49
Pages 2517-2577
Week Ending Friday, December 10, 1999
Statement on the World Trade Organization Seattle Round

December 4, 1999

    We made progress at the Seattle WTO trade meetings although 
significant differences remain. I remain optimistic that we can use the 
coming months to narrow our differences and launch a successful new 
round of global trade talks. A successful round will include bringing 
down barriers in agriculture, manufacturing, and services, keeping E-
commerce tariff-free and ensuring that trade will lift living conditions 
for working people everywhere while protecting the environment. And, as 
I said in Seattle, a successful WTO must be more open and accessible to 
all citizens around the world.
    I am determined to move forward on the path of free trade and 
economic growth while ensuring a human face is put on the global 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2518]
Monday, December 13, 1999
Volume 35--Number 49
Pages 2517-2577
Week Ending Friday, December 10, 1999
Statement on the Fire at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse 

December 4, 1999

    Hillary and I were deeply saddened to learn of the tragedy that has 
struck the Worcester community. The six firefighters who are now missing 
and presumed dead valiantly put their lives on the line in the effort to 
save others and protect their city. Their courageous service reminds us 
all of the tremendous commitment and sacrifice made by the thousands of 
firefighters across America who risk their own lives every day to 
protect our communities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these 
courageous firefighters, to their families, to the Worcester Fire 
Department, and the city of Worcester.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

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