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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, December 16, 1996
Volume 32--Number 50
Pages 2473-2508

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    See also Appointments and Nominations
    Airline safety initiative--2490
    Democratic Leadership Council luncheon--2481
    Drug Policy Council meeting--2491
    Human rights proclamation, signing ceremony--2476
    Kennedy Center Honors reception--2474
    Radio address--2473

Appointments and Nominations

    Commerce Department, Secretary, remarks--2493
    State Department, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, 
    U.S. Information Agency, Voice of America, Director, remarks--2479
    White House Office
        Asssistant to the President for Economic Policy, remarks--2493
        Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy, 
        National Economic Council
            Director, remarks--2493
            Member, remarks--2493
        Office of Management and Budget, Director, remarks--2493
        U.S. Trade Representative, remarks--2493

Communications to Congress

    Cyprus, letter transmitting report--2506

Executive Orders

    Administration of Foreign Assistance and Related Functions and Arms 
        Export Controls--2492

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Cabinet Room--2491
        Oval Office--2479
        Roosevelt Room--2490
    News conference, December 13 (No. 132)--2493

Letters and Messages

    Christmas, message--2489
    Kwanzaa, message--2489


    Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week--2478
    Wright Brothers Day--2505

Statements by the President

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit--2481

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--2508
    Checklist of White House press releases--2507
    Digest of other White House announcements--2507
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--2507


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.

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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
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[[Page 2473]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2473-2474]
Monday, December 16, 1996
Volume 32--Number 50
Pages 2473-2508
Week Ending Friday, December 13, 1996
The President's Radio Address

December 7, 1996

    Good morning. This week I had the honor of lighting both the 
national Christmas tree and the national menorah. Both are symbols of a 
time of year filled with joy, hope, and expectation, a time, too, when 
we reflect on what we've done and what is left to do, a time to honor 
our obligations to family and community.
    Last summer we made a new beginning on one of our Nation's most 
vexing problems, the welfare system. When I signed the historic welfare 
reform law, we set out to honor a moral obligation for our Nation, to 
help many people in our national community to help themselves. This law 
dramatically changes the Nation's welfare system so that no longer will 
it fail our people, trap so many families in a cycle of dependency, but 
instead will now help people to move from welfare to work. It will do so 
by requiring work of every able-bodied person, by protecting children, 
by promoting parental responsibility through tougher child support 
    We've worked a long time to reform welfare. Change was demanded by 
all the American people, especially those on welfare who bore the brunt 
of the system's failure. For decades now, welfare has too often been a 
trap, consigning generation after generation to a cycle of dependency. 
The children of welfare are more likely to drop out of school, to run 
afoul of the law, to become teen parents, to raise their own children on 
welfare. That's a sad legacy we have the power to prevent. And now we 
    I came to office determined to end welfare as we know it, to replace 
welfare checks with paychecks. Even before I signed the welfare reform 
bill, we were working with States to test reform strategies, giving 43 
States waivers from Federal rules to experiment with reforms that 
required work, imposed time limits, and demanded personal 
responsibility. And we were toughening child support enforcement, 
increasing collections by 50 percent over the last 4 years. That's about 
$4 billion.
    We were determined to move millions from welfare to work, and our 
strategy has worked. I am pleased to announce today that there are now 
2.1 million fewer people on welfare than on the day I took the oath of 
office. That is the biggest drop in the welfare rolls in history.
    Some of these reductions have been even more striking. The welfare 
rolls have dropped 41 percent in Wisconsin, 38 percent in Indiana--two 
States where we granted landmark waivers to launch welfare reform 
    Throughout the country we're working to make responsibility a way of 
life, not an option. That means millions of people are on their way to 
building lives with the structure, purpose, meaning, and dignity that 
work gives. And that is something to celebrate.
    But this is just the beginning of welfare reform. We had a choice: 
We could have gone on as we had with a system that was failing, or start 
anew to create a system that could give everyone who's able-bodied a 
chance to work and a chance to be independent. We chose the right way: 
first, working over the last 4 years with the States to reform their own 
systems, then passing a new welfare reform law requiring even more 
change in every State and every community.
    But there is still much to do, and it now falls to all of us to make 
sure this reform works. The next step is for the States to implement the 
new law by tailoring a reform plan that works for their communities. As 
required by the law, we have already certified new welfare reform plans 
for 14 States. Today I'm pleased to announce we're certifying welfare 
for four more States: California, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Alabama. 
All their plans will require and reward work, impose time limits, 
increase child care pay

[[Page 2474]]

ments, and demand personal responsibility. And across the board, as we 
give welfare funds back to the States, we will protect the guarantees of 
health care, nutrition, and child care, all of which are critical to 
helping families move from welfare to work. And we'll continue to crack 
down on child support enforcement.
    Welfare as we knew it was a bad deal for everyone. We're determined 
to create a better deal. We want to say to every American, work pays. We 
raised the minimum wage; we expanded the earned-income tax credit to 
allow the working poor to keep more of what they earn. Now we have to 
create a million jobs for people on welfare by giving businesses 
incentives to hire people off welfare and enlisting the private sector 
in a national effort to bring all Americans into the economic 
mainstream. We have to have help from the private sector.
    Together we can make the permanent under class a thing of the past. 
But we have a moral obligation to do that through welfare reform, 
working together in our communities, our businesses, our churches, and 
our schools. Every organization which employs people should consider 
hiring someone off welfare, and every State ought to give those 
organizations the incentives to do so, so that we can help families 
reclaim the right to know they can take care of themselves and their own 
    Our future does not have to be one with so many people living 
trapped lives. The door has now been opened to a new era of freedom and 
independence. And now it's up to us, to all of us, to help all the 
people who need it through that door, one family at a time.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 5:25 p.m. on December 6 in the 
Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on 
December 7.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2474-2476]
Monday, December 16, 1996
Volume 32--Number 50
Pages 2473-2508
Week Ending Friday, December 13, 1996
Remarks at the Kennedy Center Honors Reception

December 8, 1996

    Thank you very much, and welcome to the White House. Every year 
Hillary and I look forward to the Kennedy Center honorees coming here, 
especially because this is such a great season of celebration. Tonight 
we pay tribute to five performing artists whose work has transformed the 
landscape of American art.
    America is more than the land we live on. It is even more than its 
people. It is an ideal. Our artists express that ideal and give voice to 
the common experience. They are the singers of the American soul. Their 
art challenges us and deepens our understanding of ourselves and the 
world around us. It is my privilege to welcome them, along with their 
families and friends, to the White House.
    Edward Albee's life epitomizes the rebellious spirit of art. Maybe I 
ought to repeat that. [Laughter] From childhood, he challenged 
convention. He left college for the streets of New York where he worked 
by day and wrote by night. For 10 years he pursued his art with single-
minded purpose but without recognition. Then, in only 3 weeks in 1958, 
he wrote a play that took the American theater by storm and changed it 
forever, ``Zoo Story,'' a play about a young drifter and a well-to-do 
stranger who meet on a lonely park bench. It was the first of many plays 
by Edward Albee that dared us to look at ourselves in the same stark 
light he turned on our fears, our failings, and our dreams. For over 40 
years, his work has defied convention and set a standard of innovation 
that few can match. From ``Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf'' to ``Tiny 
Alice'' to ``Three Tall Women,'' his plays have invigorated the American 
theater and inspired a new generation of playwrights to do the same.
    Tonight our Nation, born in rebellion, pays tribute to you, Edward 
Albee. In your rebellion, the American theater was reborn.
    Bennett Leslie Carter was born in the tough New York neighborhood 
that became the site of the Lincoln Center, where eight decades later he 
would be cheered to the rafters. From the small clubs of the Harlem 
Renaissance where he began playing saxophone to world tours for the 
biggest of the big bands, Benny Carter redefined American jazz. From the 
start, his fellow musicians said the way he played the sax was amazing. 
They say that about me, too. [Laughter] But I don't

[[Page 2475]]

think they mean it in quite the same way. [Laughter]
    Benny Carter's influence on jazz is immeasurable. Whether he played 
with them or not, all the great bands used his arrangements. He 

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