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pd16au99 Videotape Remarks to the ``Safe Schools, Safe Students: What Parents Can...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, August 16, 1999
Volume 35--Number 32
Pages 1577-1631

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps graduation ceremony--
        Arkansas Broadcasters Association dinner in Little Rock--1577
        Community in Helena--1582
        Gore 2000 in Little Rock--1584, 1586
    Biobased products and bioenergy--1620
    BusinessLINC, roundtable discussion--1607
        American Bar Association in Atlanta--1600
        Presidential Medal of Freedom, presentation to former President 
            Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter in Atlanta--1605
    Gore 2000 reception--1610
    Missouri, National Governors' Association meeting in St. Louis--1588
    Presidential Medal of Freedom, presentation--1612
    Radio address--1583
    ``Safe Schools, Safe Students: What Parents Can Do'' teleconference, 
        videotape remarks--1627
    Shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center--1610, 1612, 
    Virginia, 50th anniversary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at Fort 

Communications to Congress

    ``Central American and Haitian Parity Act of 1999,'' message 
        transmitting proposed legislation--1577
    Export Administration Act of 1979, continuation of the national 
        emergency with respect to the lapse
        Letter transmitting notice--1612
        Letter transmitting report--1629

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Biobased products and bioenergy, memorandum--1626
    FY 2000 refugee admissions consultations, memorandum--1628
    Interagency Group on Insular Areas, memorandum--1604

Executive Orders

    Developing and Promoting Biobased Products and Bioenergy--1623

Interviews With the News Media

    Interview with Susie Gharib of the ``Nightly Business Report''--1616


    Continuation of Emergency Regarding Export Control Regulations--1611

Statements by the President

    Death of Representative Mickey Leland, anniversary--1629
    Reading programs, funding--1629
    Tornado damage in Salt Lake City, Utah--1616

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--1631
    Checklist of White House press releases--1630
    Digest of other White House announcements--1630
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--1630

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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[[Page 1577]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1577]
Monday, August 16, 1999
Volume 35--Number 32
Pages 1577-1631
Week Ending Friday, August 13, 1999
Message to the Congress Transmitting the Proposed ``Central American and 
Haitian Parity Act of 1999''

August 5, 1999

To the Congress of the United States:

    I am pleased to transmit for your immediate consideration and 
enactment the ``Central American and Haitian Parity Act of 1999.'' Also 
transmitted is a section-by-section analysis. This legislative proposal, 
which would amend the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief 
Act of 1997 (NACARA), is part of my Administration's comprehensive 
effort to support the process of democratization and stabilization now 
underway in Central America and Haiti and to ensure equitable treatment 
for migrants from these countries. The proposed bill would allow 
qualified nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti an 
opportunity to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. 
Consequently, under this bill, eligible nationals of these countries 
would receive treatment equivalent to that granted to the Nicaraguans 
and Cubans under NACARA.
    Like Nicaraguans and Cubans, many Salvadorans, Guatemalans, 
Hondurans, and Haitians fled human rights abuses or unstable political 
and economic conditions in the 1980s and 1990s. Yet these latter groups 
received lesser treatment than that granted to Nicaraguans and Cubans by 
NACARA. The United States has a strong foreign policy interest in 
providing the same treatment to these similarly situated people. 
Moreover, the countries from which these migrants have come are young 
and fragile democracies in which the United States has played and will 
continue to play a very important role. The return of these migrants to 
these countries would place significant demands on their economic and 
political systems. By offering legal status to a number of nationals of 
these countries with long-standing ties in the United States, we can 
advance our commitment to peace and stability in the region.
    Passage of the ``Central American and Haitian Parity Act of 1999'' 
will evidence our commitment to fair and even-handed treatment of 
nationals from these countries and to the strengthening of democracy and 
economic stability among important neighbors. I urge the prompt and 
favorable consideration of this legislative proposal by the Congress.
                                            William J. Clinton
The White House,
August 5, 1999.

Note: This message was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on 
August 6. This item was not received in time for publication in the 
appropriate issue.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1577-1582]
Monday, August 16, 1999
Volume 35--Number 32
Pages 1577-1631
Week Ending Friday, August 13, 1999
Remarks at the Arkansas Broadcasters Association's 50th Anniversary 
Dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas

August 6, 1999

    Thank you very much. Congratulations on your 50th anniversary. And 
thank you for honoring my friend and my partner James Lee Witt.
    You know, Bobby--I was wondering what Bobby would say. I thought he 
would say, ``You know, I knew I could guilt Bill Clinton into coming to 
this dinner once I found out he was going to be in Arkansas and I 
reminded him how many early-morning radio interviews I'd given him over 
the last 20 years.'' And I want to thank Bobby Caldwell, who is my 
longtime friend, and all of you for the work that you do, as well as for 
honoring a wonderful man tonight.
    I am honored to be joined by Rodney Slater, and I know there are 
others here in our administration--Kay Goss, Buddy

[[Page 1578]]

Young, and people who were in our administration in Arkansas, like Bill 
and Judy Gaddy, are here, and many others that I haven't had a chance to 
see. I thank the members of the legislature who are here--Steve Faris 
and Don House; and Bud Harper, who has the job that James Lee used to 
have and, like James Lee, used to be a county judge, and therefore, was 
prepared for it.
    And I want to acknowledge my good friend John Paul Katz, who served 
as Speaker of the House when I was Governor. And also, James Lee's 
family--James Lee and Lea Ellen have done a great job, and you know 
they're building a political dynasty in Yell County. And if your last 
name is not Witt, you can't be county judge in Yell County anymore. 
[Laughter] Not ever.
    Let me say that--I know most of this has been said, but I want to 
say a few things about James Lee and what he represents in terms of what 
I've tried to do as your President. This is one of the best times in 
American history, but when it comes to weather, it's been one of the 
worst. Since 1993, we've had the worst flood of the century in the 
Midwest; the worst earthquake in Northridge, California; weather 
disasters in places they weren't supposed to happen. We've had tornadoes 
in Minnesota, ice storms in Florida. And now the farm crops are burning 
up, not in the South, but in the East and the Northeast, where today we 
acknowledged the worst drought ever for the farmers from Maryland to New 
Jersey to Rhode Island.
    We have had in total more than 250 natural disasters in all 50 
States and territories. And many of them have cost a lot of human lives.
    Well, the old saying that God doesn't send you anything you can't 
handle was made true from the point of view of my administration and 
millions of Americans because James Lee Witt agreed to be head of the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    I got this idea, I have to tell you, when I went to Florida as a 
candidate for President and I saw the enormous anxiety that people felt 
in the aftermath of the terrible hurricane, where their whole lives had 
been wrecked. And I talked to Senator Pryor about this--I remember this 
very clearly--that people kept saying the Federal Government is not 
working; they're not helping; I don't know what they're doing; they're 
taking too long; they act bureaucratic. You know, just one thing after 
    And I realized what the problem was. And that is that for decades, 
through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency was treated like a political appointment. 
And normally the person who got it was somebody who wanted something 
else, who was a big supporter of the President, but couldn't quite 
become an Ambassador to a European country or couldn't quite get a 
position in the Cabinet. I took care of that by putting FEMA in the 
    And all these people that had this job were good people. They were 
not bad people; they were good people. And there were all these 
dedicated professionals who were working day in and day out. But there 
was no one at the helm who wanted the job and who had experience in what 
the job was and who could put every fiber of his being into dealing with 
people in the most difficult times imaginable.
    And, you know, when I was Governor and James Lee was head of the 
office of emergency services here, we had horrible floods; we had 
tornadoes that leveled little towns. I remember going over to west 
Memphis when the whole place was decked and the glass had been shattered 
at the dog track and glass was flying through the air over there at more 
than 100 miles an hour. Just a miracle that we didn't have lots of 
people killed by something that was just like a hail of bullets.
    And I knew that he cared what happened to people when they were 
running tight, and I knew he knew that people were frustrated, they were 
angry, they were disoriented, when they'd lost everything in the world. 
And we needed somebody who actually had that kind of experience and that 
kind of ability doing this job.
    You know, when everything is going along all right, most people 
think of the Cabinet of the President as the Secretary of State, 
Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General, and maybe if you're from 
Arkansas, you think about the Secretary of Agriculture. But

[[Page 1579]]

when your house is blown away and when your community is buried in 
water, the most important person in the Federal Government is the person 
that heads the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    And because of all the things we've been through as a nation in 
natural disasters in the last 6 years, James Lee Witt has very often 

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