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pd14ja02 Remarks on Signing the Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i]
Monday, January 14, 2002

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Weekly Compilation of



[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Pages 11-57

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Addresses and Remarks

    See also Bill Signings; Meetings With Foreign Leaders
    California, townhall meeting in Ontario--11
    Economic team, meetings--24, 42
    Federal Reserve Board Chairman, meeting--24
    Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, fundraiser--40
    Massachusetts, Boston Latin School in Boston--32
    New Hampshire, University of New Hampshire in Durham--29
    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, remarks on implementation--36
    Ohio, bill signing in Hamilton--26
    Oregon, Parkrose High School in Portland--20
    Pennsylvania, bill signing in Conshohocken--52
    Radio address--19
    Virginia, bill signing in Arlington--44

Bill Signings

    Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for 
            Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the 
            United States Act, 2002
    Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and 
        Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002, statement--50

Bill Signings--Continued

    Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs 
        Appropriations Act, 2002, statement--49
    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, remarks--26
    Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, 

Executive Orders

    Exclusions From the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program--26

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Cabinet Room--24
        Oval Office--42

Joint Statements

    Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Assurance of Project 
        Benefits Agreement--39

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Greece, Prime Minister Simitis--48

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan--38

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--56
    Checklist of White House press releases--55
    Digest of other White House announcements--54
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--55

  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 
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Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 11-19]
Pages 11-57
Week Ending Friday, January 11, 2002
Remarks at a Townhall Meeting in Ontario, California

 January 5, 2002

    The President. Thank you all very much. Mario, muchas gracias por tu 
palabras. Thank you all for coming.

[At this point, the President spoke in Spanish, and no translation was 

    Thank you for letting me come. Thank you for taking time out of your 
fin de semana para hablar con el presidente. I'm honored that so many 
came out for this weekend. It gives me a great chance to share some 
thoughts with you as we begin a new year that I believe is going to be a 
fantastic year for America. And I look forward to answering some 
questions you may have.
    I want to thank your Governor for being here. Governor Gray Davis 
kindly took time out of his schedule for coming. Governor, thank you for 
coming. I want to thank some of the members of the mighty--and I mean, 
mighty--congressional delegation from the State of California. We've got 
Gary Miller, whose district this is. Gary, thank you for coming. David 
Dreier, chairman of the Rules Committee--David, thank you for being 
    David and I worked closely together to get a trade bill out of the 
House of Representatives. He knows what I know, that trade is good for 
creating jobs in the State of California. Fearful people, people who 
don't trust the ability of our entrepreneurs, build walls around 
America. Confident people tear them down, and I'm confident in the 
American spirit. I'm confident that the entrepreneurs of our country--
Hispanic, Anglo, African-American--compete with anybody, any place, any 
time, and let's trade freely.
    Congressman Calvert, Congressman Issa, are with us, as well. Thank 
you two for coming. And finally, Congressman Jerry Lewis is with us 
    I notice the people in the uniforms here applauding a little louder. 
They understand that Congressman Lewis plays an incredibly important 
role when it comes to appropriating monies for the United States 
military. There is no--he's been strong on the defense of America. I 
look forward to working with Jerry Lewis in the next budget cycle to 
make sure that the defense of this Nation is the number one priority of 
the budget of the United States.
    I want to thank Rosario Marin, the Treasurer of the United States, 
for being here. It's nice to be back in your neighborhood, Rosario. I 
want to thank Hector Barreto, the Administrator of the SBA; Ruben 
Barrales, who works for me in the White House. Thank you for coming, 
    I want to thank our host organizations, the Latin Business 
Association, the Ontario Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic 
Chamber of Commerce of Orange County, and the Latino Coalition, for your 
sponsorship. One of the things that I am most proud of, of our Nation, 
is the number of Latinos who own their own business, the number of 
Latinos who really work hard to access the American Dream.
    The growth of Latino-owned small businesses in California is 
astounding. It is amazing how many people now can say, ``I am a proud 
business owner.'' To me, that is what America is all about, somebody who 
has a dream, somebody who works hard and can say to themselves and their 
community, ``This is my business. This is something I own, and nobody 
can take it away from me.''
    And the job of Government is always to remember the importance of 
the small business and the entrepreneurial dream. The job of Government 
is not to try to create wealth. The job of Government is to create an 
environment in which people are willing to take risks to realize their 
dream. It's to educate people. It's to provide opportunity and then make 
the playing field as level as it is and

[[Page 12]]

see who can succeed or not in the great country called America.
    This has been an amazing year for Laura and me. Some things occurred 
that we expected. Some things happened that we didn't expect. I'm going 
to talk about one thing we were able to anticipate and one we weren't. 
First, I will tell you that nearly a year ago I hosted a group of 
business leaders to Austin, Texas, before I had become sworn in as the 
President. And leaders all around the country came and made it very 
clear that our economy was pretty darn slow, and I knew we needed to do 
something about it, and I'm going to talk about that in a second.
    So it was expected that there would be unemployment on the rise, 
expected that after a period of great prosperity, the economy would slow 
down. And we took some action that I'll describe here in a second. 
Obviously, what was not expected was what took place on September the 
11th, and we're doing something about that, as well. This great land of 
ours made a clear statement, that we will not let terror stand, that 
those who inflicted damage on America would pay a severe price.
    We learned some interesting lessons, that we're now vulnerable at 
home. I remember giving a speech to a group of high school seniors right 
after September the 11th, and it dawned on me in the middle of this talk 
that this is the first high school class that--in a long time, that is 
graduating in a time when somebody is attacking America.
    These evil ones still want to hit us. But after September the 11th, 
America is now ready. We're after them. Any hint of somebody wanting to 
harm our country, we're acting. We've got thousands of FBI agents 
chasing down every single lead. We respect people's constitutional 
rights, and we will continue to do so. But if we think somebody is 
fixing to hurt the American people, we will move in this country. We're 
now on an alert because of September the 11th. And I want to thank the 
police officers who are here. And I want to thank whoever--if any FBI 
agents are here, and all law enforcement officials in the State of 
California and all across our country who are working endless hours to 
make sure with gather any information possible to protect the American 
    My most important job is the security and safety of the American 
people. Every morning I wake up, and when I wake up, I go to the Oval 
Office. I'm kind of an early morning guy, by the way. I take Barney and 
Spot out. [Laughter] They take a good look at the Rose Garden--
[laughter]--up close and personal. [Laughter] And then I head into the 
Oval Office. And I read about the potential threats to America. And one 
of my first meetings is to visit with the head of the FBI. And my 
question every morning is, ``Mr. Director, what are you doing about this 
threat? What's happening with this lead? Are you taking care of this 
piece of business?''
    The culture of our law enforcement has changed to the point where 
they now know what I know, that we've got to do everything in our power 
to protect the American people. But the best way to secure the homeland 
of America is to find the evil ones wherever they try to hide and bring 
them to justice. And that's exactly what the United States military--
    I am very proud of the U.S. military. They've done exactly what 
we've asked them to do. For those of you who wear the uniform, thank 
you. For those of you who have got loved ones who wear the uniform, 
thank you, as well. We're making steady progress in Afghanistan. The 
evil ones awakened a mighty giant. You know, we're a compassionate 
people, and we're a decent people, but if you come after us, you will 
learn that you have made a big mistake.
    It seems like the more TV channels there are, the more anxious 
people become on TV. But I want to remind my fellow citizens, we've only 
been at war for 90 days. That's not a very long period of time. But in 
90 days, we've made incredible progress. The Al Qaida, the Usama bin 
Laden group, can't claim Afghanistan as a haven anymore.
    You know, they were like parasites. I know we've got some ranchers 
and farmers here; you understand what a parasite is. Parasites try to 
take over the host, and if there's enough parasites and if they've been 
there long enough, the host itself becomes ill. The host no longer is in 
a position of power in Afghanistan; the Taliban has been routed.
    But you know what my most meaningful memory has been recently? And 
that has

[[Page 13]]

been the joy on the face of women and young girls in Afghanistan as they 
have been liberated from one of the most brutal regimes.
    We're taking action. We're taking action against evil people, 
because this great Nation of many religions understands, our war is not 
against Islam or against faith practiced by the Muslim people; our war 
is a war against evil. This is clearly a case of good versus evil, and 
make no mistake about it, good will prevail.
    The American people are patient, very patient, and for that, I'm 
grateful. I appreciate so very much the fact that the Americans from all 
walks of life have stepped back and have figured out that this is going 
to require a lot of effort and energy to succeed in our war against 
terror. And I want to thank you for your patience. We're now in a 

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