Home > 1999 Presidential Documents > pd15no99 Remarks at a Veterans Day Ceremony in Arlington, Virginia...

pd15no99 Remarks at a Veterans Day Ceremony in Arlington, Virginia...

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    Ms. Salazar. You live in New York now, sir, right?
    The President. I will authorize you to tell the people who I'll vote 
for for Senator in New York.

[[Page 2280]]

Note: The interview was taped at 7:20 p.m. on November 4 in the 
Performance Studio at the Artists Collective for later broadcast. The 
transcript was embargoed for release by the Office of the Press 
Secretary until 6 p.m. on November 5. In his remarks, the President 
referred to actor Charlton Heston, president, National Rifle 
Association; and President Fidel Castro of Cuba. This item was not 
received in time for publication in the appropriate issue.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2280-2281]
Monday, November 15, 1999
Pages 2267-2372
Week Ending Friday, November 12, 1999
The President's Radio Address

November 6, 1999

    Good morning. Today I want to talk to you about new steps we're 
taking to make America safer for consumers, particularly for older 
    For 7 years now, we've worked hard to build safer streets and 
stronger communities, and our strategy is working. We have the lowest 
crime rate in 30 years. Our Nation is safer. But no one really believes 
America is as safe as it can be. We have to fight all kinds of crime at 
every level.
    To many of our most vulnerable citizens, especially our seniors, the 
greatest threat may not come from a criminal on the street, but from a 
scam artist on the phone. Every year, illegal telemarketers bilk the 
American people of an estimated $40 billion, and more than half the 
victims are over 50 years of age.
    Telemarketing thieves are stealing more than money; they're stealing 
people's hopes and dreams and their security. In far too many cases, 
victims have been robbed of savings they've spent a whole lifetime 
building up. Some have even lost their homes as a result.
    Over the years, I've taken a number of steps to crack down on 
telemarketing fraud. I signed into law the toughest criminal penalties 
for telemarketing crimes in history. Our enforcement efforts have 
resulted in more than 300 convictions nationwide. But we have to do 
    Today I am announcing important new tools to help government, 
organizations, and consumers take action. And I'm directing the Attorney 
General to send me a plan to crack down on consumer fraud. Specifically, 
I'm calling on the Justice Department to strengthen prevention and 
enforcement and improve coordination among the Federal Government, State 
and local law enforcement officials, and our consumer groups.
    Citizens also need new tools to take on telemarketing fraud and to 
find out where to go for help. According to a recent study, one out of 
four Americans said they wouldn't know where to turn if they were 
victimized by a telemarketing scam. This is an even greater concern as 
we enter the holiday season and the chance of becoming a victim of fraud 
    That's why today we're launching a new nationwide campaign to help 
consumers fight telemarketing ripoffs. It's called Project kNOw Fraud, 
and it's led by the U.S. Postal Service, the American Association of 
Retired Persons, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Department 
of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Association of 
Attorneys General, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    This campaign will give consumers new resources to slam the phone on 
telemarketing scams. Beginning November 15th, every household in America 
will receive an easy to read postcard with commonsense tips and 
practical guidelines to prevent telemarketing fraud. This is the largest 
consumer protection mailing in our history. It will provide information 
you can keep by the phone to help you distinguish between fraudulent and 
legitimate telemarketers. The bottom line is this: You must familiarize 
yourself with the telltale signs of fraud, and don't give out important 
personal financial information to an unknown caller.
    We're also establishing a new toll free number that will soon be up 
and running to help people who believe they've been the victims of 
telemarketing fraud. It will provide links to law enforcement officials 
who will be able to share information and track down patterns of fraud. 
As many as 1\1/2\ million callers are expected to utilize this new 
service every year. We've also created a new website for consumers to 
receive fraud prevention information and even file a complaint on-line. 
It can be found at www.consumer.gov.
    With our actions today we're sending a clear message to fraudulent 
telemarketers: We've got your number, and we won't let you off the hook.

[[Page 2281]]

    As we close out the budget season in Washington, I urge Congress to 
send the same message, to reject arbitrary, across-the-board cuts that 
will undermine our law enforcement efforts and instead send me a budget 
that will protect our families and our communities and advance our 
    Let's all answer the call of the American people, put partisanship 
aside, and finish the work we've been sent here to do.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 7:15 p.m. on November 5 in the Room 
137 at Englewood High School in Chicago, IL, for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. 
on November 6. The transcript was made available by the Office of the 
Press Secretary on November 5 but was embargoed for release until the 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2281-2282]
Monday, November 15, 1999
Pages 2267-2372
Week Ending Friday, November 12, 1999
Memorandum on Protecting Consumers From Fraud

November 6, 1999

Memorandum for the Attorney General

Subject: Protecting Consumers from Fraud

    My Administration has taken unprecedented steps to safeguard 
consumers through vigorous law enforcement and prevention, but we must 
continue to do more. For example, we have announced new initiatives on 
Internet fraud and identity theft that call on law enforcement to step 
up their efforts on behalf of consumers. In addition, as part of my 21st 
Century Crime bill, I announced several new measures that will help 
protect elderly Americans from fraudulent activities. My crime bill will 
give the Department of Justice new authority to block and terminate 
telephone service to illegal telemarketers. In addition, it will give 
Federal prosecutors new tools to protect nursing home residents from 
abuse and neglect; to fight health care fraud; and to safeguard 
retirement and pension plans.
    Consumers are often unaware of where to receive assistance. A recent 
Postal Inspection Service survey found that 12 percent of respondents 
admitted to being a victim of fraud, but that 25 percent of all 
respondents did not know where to go for help if they were the victim of 
telemarketing or mail fraud.
    Today I announced the ``kNOw Fraud'' project, which is a public-
private partnership of the United States Postal Service, the American 
Association of Retired Persons, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, 
the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the 
National Association of Attorneys General, and the Securities and 
Exchange Commission (SEC). Even though violent crime rates are at record 
lows, illegal telemarketing fraud costs Americans an estimated $40 
billion every year. Project ``kNOw Fraud'' will help arm consumers with 
needed information so that they can protect themselves from 
telemarketing fraud. This initiative shows how Government can serve the 
public when working in close coordination to vigorously enforce consumer 
protection laws and keep the public informed about new scams and how to 
avoid them.
    Federal agencies such as the FTC and the SEC also have initiated 
important consumer protection initiatives in order to thwart fraudulent 
activities. The FTC's Consumer Response Center takes consumer complaints 
and inputs them into a centralized database, the Consumer Sentinel, 
which is available for use by Federal, State, and local law enforcement 
agencies across the country and in Canada. Since its launch, Consumer 
Sentinel counts some 214 partner organizations that have contributed an 
estimated 200,000 complaints to the database, allowing law enforcement 
officials to ascertain whether a complaint is an isolated incident or 
part of a wider pattern of activity. Last year, the SEC's Office of 
Investor Education and Assistance handled more than 60,000 consumer 
complaints and inquiries, many of which dealt with telemarketing or 
online fraud. In addition, the SEC's website warns the public about 
fast-breaking scams and tells consumers how to investigate investment 
    Recognizing the need for closer coordination, earlier this year you 
directed the Council on White Collar Crime to coordinate and bolster the 
consumer protection activities of the Department of Justice, the FTC, 
the SEC, the Postal Inspection Service, and others. To further these 
efforts, I direct you to report back to me within 6 months with a plan 
(1) to better prevent consumer fraud

[[Page 2282]]

activities and (2) improve coordination among the Federal Government's 
consumer protection activities to ensure that each agency's expertise is 
considered. In creating this plan, you should consult with all 
interested parties, including other Federal agencies and offices, 
including the FTC and SEC; State and local law enforcement; and consumer 
agencies and consumers. This plan also should build on efforts of the 
private sector, including nonprofits, to protect consumers.
    These steps, taken together, will help to protect consumers from 
fraud and also help to save consumers millions of dollars in the next 
                                            William J. Clinton

Note: This memorandum was made available by the Office of the Press 
Secretary on November 5 but was embargoed for release until 10:06 a.m. 
on November 6. An original was not available for verification of the 
content of this memorandum.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2282]
Monday, November 15, 1999
Pages 2267-2372
Week Ending Friday, November 12, 1999
Statement on the Death of Joseph Serna, Jr.

November 7, 1999

    Hillary and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mayor 
Joe Serna earlier today. Joe was an extraordinary public servant, 
educator, father, husband, and friend. He was a great leader of 
Sacramento and a source of inspiration to the Hispanic community and all 
Americans. Our Nation has lost a remarkable man. Our thoughts and 
prayers are with his family.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2282]
Monday, November 15, 1999
Pages 2267-2372
Week Ending Friday, November 12, 1999
Notice--Continuation of Iran Emergency

November 5, 1999

    On November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170, the President 
declared a national emergency to deal with the threat to the national 
security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted 
by the situation in Iran. Notices of the continuation of this national 
emergency have been transmitted annually by the President to the 
Congress and the Federal Register. The most recent notice appeared in 
the Federal Register on November 12, 1998. Because our relations with 
Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing 
the January 19, 1981, agreements with Iran is still underway, the 
national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, must continue in 
effect beyond November 14, 1999. Therefore, in accordance with section 
202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am 
continuing the national emergency with respect to Iran. This notice 
shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the 
                                            William J. Clinton
The White House,
November 5, 1999.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 a.m., November 9, 

Note: This notice was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on 
November 8, and it was published in the Federal Register on November 10.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2282-2283]
Monday, November 15, 1999
Pages 2267-2372
Week Ending Friday, November 12, 1999
Message to the Congress on Continuation of the National Emergency With 
Respect to Iran

November 5, 1999

To the Congress of the United States:

    Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) 
provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, 
prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President 
publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice 
stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the 
anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent the 
enclosed notice, stating that the Iran emergency declared in 1979 is to 
continue in effect beyond November 14, 1999, to the Federal Register for 
publication. Similar notices have been sent annually to the Congress and 

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