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pd17ap00 Remarks at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Dinner...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 771-773]
Monday, April 17, 2000
Volume 36--Number 15
Pages 771-837

[[Page 771]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page 772]]


Addresses and Remarks

    See also Meetings With Foreign Leaders
    American Society of Newspaper Editors, question-and-answer session--
        Gun safety rally in Denver--793
        MSNBC's townhall meeting on guns in Denver--796
    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dinners--816, 817
        Education Writers Association, question-and-answer session in 
        Reception for Representative Cynthia A. McKinney in Atlanta--828
        Democratic National Committee luncheon in New Orleans--775
        ``Messiah 2000,'' performance in Alexandria--784
    Maryland, State bill signing ceremony in Annapolis--788
    Middle East peace process--792
    PBS' ``The American President,'' documentary screening--771
    Radio address--774

Bill Signings

    Joseph Ileto Post Office legislation, statement--833

Communications to Congress

    Iraq, letter reporting on compliance with United Nations Security 
        Council resolutions--788

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Rose Garden--792

Letters and Messages

    Jubilee 2000, message--785

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Israel, Prime Minister Barak--792


    National Crime Victims' Rights Week--787
    National D.A.R.E. Day--806
    National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day--783
    National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week--834
    National Park Week--835
    Pan American Day and Pan American Week--782

            (Continued on the inside of the back cover.)

Editor's Note: The President was in Atlanta, GA, on April 14, 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
the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as 
amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the 
Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the 
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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

[[Page 773]]


Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    America's Private Investment Companies initiative--806
    China, permanent normal trade relations status--791
    Elephant ivory and whale products, proposals to reopen trade--833
    Greek legislative elections--786
    Organ donation legislation--806
    Prescription drug coverage, Department of Health and Human Services 
    Republican budget proposal--771

Statements by the President--Continued

    South Korea and North Korea, summit meeting--786
    START II Treaty, Russian State Duma action--833
    V-22 aircraft tragedy--785

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--837
    Checklist of White House press releases--836
    Digest of other White House announcements--835
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--836

[[Page 771]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 771]
Monday, April 17, 2000
Volume 36--Number 15
Pages 771-837
Week Ending Friday, April 14, 2000
Statement on the Republican Budget Proposal

April 7, 2000

    This new Republican budget combines bad fiscal policy and a flawed 
economic strategy. It undermines our efforts to strengthen Social 
Security and Medicare, makes it harder to pay off the debt, and rests on 
dramatic cuts in education, law enforcement, the environment, and 
efforts to promote peace in national security.
    I remain committed to working with any Member of Congress from 
either party on a budget that will strengthen Social Security and 
Medicare, add a prescription drug benefit, eliminate the debt by 2013, 
expand access to health coverage through Medicaid and the Children's 
Health Insurance Program, and strengthen education and other key 
investments. Let's put this empty political document aside and work 
together to keep America on a responsible fiscal course that meets our 
Nation's long-term challenges.

 Note: This item was not received in time for publication in the 
appropriate issue.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 771-774]
Monday, April 17, 2000
Volume 36--Number 15
Pages 771-837
Week Ending Friday, April 14, 2000
Remarks at a Screening of PBS' ``The American President'' Documentary 

April 7, 2000

    The President. Thank you very much, and welcome. I want to say a 
special word of welcome to all the voices of the Presidents who are 
here--and they were supposed to give me a list of them--I don't know 
what happened, I just saw it. [Laughter] But I know we have Senator 
Bumpers, Senator Glenn, Senator Simon, Representative Rostenkowski, 
Governors Weicker and Weld. Bill Ferris, we welcome you here. And a 
special word of thanks to Sy Sternberg and his family. We appreciate the 
fact that New York Life has underwritten this.
    I also want to thank the coproducers, Philip Kunhardt, Jr., and 
Philip Kunhardt III and Peter Kunhardt. And there are some other voices 
here from the series: Ben Bradlee, Walter Cronkite, James Roosevelt, 
Charlie Rose--I don't know if he's here or not--and Tim Russert.
    Tonight this is a fitting way for us to open the first in a series 
of events celebrating the 200th anniversary of the White House. It is 
clearly the right thing to do to begin by honoring the lives of 
individuals who have roamed the halls and carried the burden of the 
Presidency within the walls of the White House.
    This room has not only witnessed historical events, it has played a 
role in shaping them. It has hosted 42 administrations and 41 different 
personalities, every President except George Washington. The East Room 
began as a laundry room for Abigail Adams--an auspicious beginning--
[laughter]--reminding us that there are certain basic elements to this 
    Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis laid maps and animal skins on 
this floor where you're sitting and charted the Lewis and Clark 
expedition. Later, in 1814, a banquet was being held here in this White 
House and in this room when James Madison sent Dolley word that the Army 
had miscalculated where the British were going to assault Washington, 
and he told her to cut Gilbert Stuart's painting of George Washington 
down and get out of the house as quickly as possible. She did, and they 
had to leave the banquet here. The British came in, ate the food, and 
then burned the White House. [Laughter]
    Later, this house and this room was the headquarters for battle-worn 
Union troops during the Civil War. President Roosevelt's children 
roller-skated here. Over the years, this room and this house have 
survived a

[[Page 772]]

major fire, two wars, a plane crash, and five weddings. And of course, 
it has been a gallery for some priceless art which embodies the history 
of this country.
    Each President in his own time has survived unique challenges, 
striving to fulfill the purpose of our Founders to form a more perfect 
Union. Tonight we will have the opportunity to see two of these 
selections from the ``American President'' series, the first documentary 
series ever to profile all of our Chief Executives.
    The first viewing is on the life of Thomas Jefferson. Every American 
President has been inspired by Jefferson, affected by his decisions, 
fascinated by his life story. He spent a lifetime shaping our new and 
ever-evolving democracy. It would become, as he said, more developed, 
more enlightened as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, 
manners and opinions change.
    One hundred and fifty years later, our 35th President, John 
Kennedy--whose sister, Eunice, is with us tonight, and we thank you for 
coming--brought that same spirit of innovation and progress to the White 
House. His fleeting time in this house remains a singular story in our 
history. Our President for only a thousand days, he changed the way we 
think about our country, our world, and our own obligations to the 
future. The New Frontier inspired millions of Americans to take a 
personal responsibility for making our country stronger and more united. 
As he said, ``The New Frontier is not a set of promises. It is a set of 
challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people 
but what I intend to ask of them.''
    Many great people have called this house home. All of them, so far, 
have been white males of European descent. I am absolutely convinced 
that in the not-too-distant future, there will be a woman President, and 
a person of color will occupy the White House and the Oval Office. But 
the Presidency was not built by one person. And in a fundamental way, it 
has been carried forward by the American people since the beginning.
    I have spent a lot of time reading the histories of various periods 
in the White House and the biographies of some of my lesser known 
predecessors. One of the things that I hope this series will do is to 
give people a feel of the mixture of the personality and character and 
skills of a President and his time, and also a sense of what personal 
joys and tragedies surrounded Presidents.
    Just for example, Franklin Pierce, one of the only other Presidents 
who came from a small State and was a Governor, is generally accounted 
not to have been a very good President. But when you consider the times 
in which he served, I wonder whether Lincoln could have succeeded in 
1853, instead of 1861. And almost never do I hear anyone talk about the 
fact that when Franklin Pierce was on his way to be inaugurated, with 
his wife and his only child, he took the train from New Hampshire to 
Washington, and there was a minor accident in which 10 or 11 people 

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