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pd17mr97 Statement on Senate Confirmation of Federico Pena as Secretary of Energy...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, March 17, 1997
Volume 33--Number 11
Pages 319-371

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    See also Meetings With Foreign Leaders
    Democratic National Committee dinner--340
    District of Columbia economic plan--335
        Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dinner in Aventura--362
        Lighthouse Elementary School in Jupiter, telephone remarks--367
        Saxophone Club in Miami--366
    Free TV and political reform conference--330
    Israeli schoolchildren, attack--350
    ``National Economic Crossroads Transportation Efficiency Act,'' 
        announcement of proposed legislation--343
    North Carolina joint session of legislature in Raleigh--351
    Radio address--319
    Senator Byron Dorgan, reception--339
    ``Straight Talk on Drugs'', ABC radio town meeting--345

Communications to Congress

    Peacekeeping operations, letter transmitting report--330

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Defense Department schools participation in national testing, 
    Government employment for welfare recipients, memorandum--320

Executive Orders

    Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital 
        Television Broadcasters--338

Executive Orders--Continued

    Exclusion of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group From the 
        Federal Labor-Management Relations Program--343

Interviews With the Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        National Press Club--330
        Oval Office--321
        South Lawn--350
    News conference with President Mubarak of Egypt, March 10 (No. 

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Egypt, President Mubarak--321, 322

Statements by the President

    Mexico, House action on narcotics certification--361
    Senate confirmation of Federico Pena as Secretary of Energy--350
    Senator Wendell H. Ford, decision not to seek reelection--330
    White House Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning, 

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--371
    Checklist of White House press releases--370
    Digest of other White House announcements--369
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--370


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National
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[[Page 319]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 319-320]
Monday, March 17, 1997
Volume 33--Number 11
Pages 319-371
Week Ending Friday, March 14, 1997
The President's Radio Address

March 8, 1997

    Good morning. This week we learned that America's economy continues 
to grow steady and strong, creating almost 600,000 new jobs in the first 
2 months of this year alone and about 12 million in the last 4 years. We 
can make this time one of enormous promise for America, but only if we 
make sure that all Americans who are willing to work have the chance to 
reap the rewards of our prosperity.
    This morning I want to talk to you about what we can do to lift the 
permanent underclass into a thriving and growing middle class and to 
announce new steps the National Government will take to move people from 
welfare to work.
    Four years ago, when I became President, I pledged to end welfare as 
we know it. We worked with States to launch welfare reform experiments 
to require work. We cracked down on child support enforcement, 
increasing child support payments by 50 percent. We required teen 
mothers to stay at school and live at home if they wanted to receive 
welfare. Today I'm pleased to report that due to these efforts and our 
growing economy, we've already moved 2.6 million people off the welfare 
rolls, a record number.
    Last summer, we took the most dramatic step of all when I signed the 
bipartisan welfare reform legislation that imposed time limits, required 
work, and extended child care and health care so that people can move 
from welfare to work without hurting their children. The new law ended 
the old welfare system when we said to those on welfare: Responsibility 
is not an option; it must be a way of life.
    Now, all the rest of us have our responsibility, indeed, our moral 
obligation, to make welfare reform work, to make sure that those who now 
must work, can work. We must move another 2 million more people off the 
welfare rolls in the next 4 years. And frankly, we must recognize that 
many of these people will be harder to reach and will need more help 
than those who moved off the rolls in the past 4 years.
    This cause must engage the energy and the commitment of everyone in 
our society, of business, houses of worship, labor unions, universities, 
civic organizations, as well as government at every level. Above all, we 
must harness the private sector to bring jobs and hope to our hardest 
pressed neighborhoods. We are working with leaders of American business 
to help mobilize other businesses to hire people off welfare. My 
balanced budget plan would give businesses tax incentives to hire people 
and would give job placement firms a bonus for every person they place 
from welfare into a job.
    States can do more, too. I have called upon every State to use the 
power that has now been given to them under the new welfare law, to turn 
welfare checks into private sector paychecks. And the National 
Government must do its part and set an example. Our National Government 
is now the smallest it has been in three decades, but it is still the 
Nation's largest employer. We must do our part. So today I am committing 
a National Government action plan to hire people off welfare.
    I am formally directing the heads of each agency and department of 
our Federal Government to do everything they can to hire people off the 
welfare rolls into available jobs in Government, consistent with the 
laws already on the books for hiring Federal workers. Because this 
effort is so important, I am asking Vice President Gore, who has led our 
reinventing Government effort and done so much to make our Government 
work better as it costs less, to oversee this endeavor.
    I want these agencies to use the worker-trainee program, which the 
Government already has in place, to train workers quickly and move them 
into entry-level jobs. Then if the people do well for 3 years, they can

[[Page 320]]

join the civil service. And I am asking every member of my Cabinet to 
prepare a detailed plan for hiring welfare recipients, what jobs they 
will fill, how they will recruit welfare recipients, how they will make 
sure these people have the chance to work hard, perform well and, 
thereby, deserve to keep their jobs. The members of the Cabinet will 
present these plans to me in one month at a special Cabinet meeting.
    The job of moving people from welfare to work as the law requires 
will not be easy. But we must help them as they help themselves. And we 
need to help all low income Government workers. We need to make sure 
they take advantage of the earned-income tax credit, the tax cut that 
already has helped 15 million of our hardest pressed working families. 
We should give these workers help with transportation to work, and we 
must help them to find affordable child care.
    Government can help to move people from welfare to work by acting 
the way we want all employers to act, demanding high performance from 
workers but going the extra mile to offer opportunity to those who have 
been on welfare and want to do something more with their lives. If we 
all do that, we can move into the 21st century strong, united, and with 
the American dream alive for all our people.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The President spoke at 10:06 a.m. from the Oval Office at the 
White House.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 320-321]
Monday, March 17, 1997
Volume 33--Number 11
Pages 319-371
Week Ending Friday, March 14, 1997
Memorandum on Government Employment for Welfare Recipients

March 8, 1997

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: Government Employment for Welfare Recipients

    Since I signed the historic welfare reform law, I have urged 
businesses, nonprofit organizations, and religious groups across the 
Nation to help make its promise of opportunity real by offering jobs to 
welfare recipients. We are making great progress, but there is more to 
do. And today, I take action to ensure that the Federal Government, as 
the Nation's largest employer, contributes to the greatest extent 
possible to this national effort.
    I therefore direct each of you, as head of an agency or department, 
to use all available hiring authorities, consistent with statute and 
prior executive memoranda, to hire people off the welfare rolls into 
available job positions in the Government.
    In particular, I direct you to expand the use of the Worker-Trainee 
Program and other excepted service hiring authorities. The Worker-
Trainee Program allows agencies to quickly and easily hire entry-level 
persons for up to 3 years, with the ability to convert the appointment 
to career status if the employee has performed satisfactorily. Though 
recently underutilized, the program allows agencies to bypass complex 
Federal personnel hiring rules and procedures to bring people into the 
junior grades of the work force.
    I further direct you, in recognition of the different 
characteristics of the various agencies' work forces, to prepare an 
individualized plan for hiring welfare recipients and to submit that 
plan to me within 30 days. This plan should have three principal 
<bullet>    The plan should contain a survey indicating in which 
            divisions and for which categories of positions your agency 
            can most easily hire welfare recipients, both in the 
            Washington, D.C. area, and in the field.
<bullet>    The plan should describe in detail how the agency intends to 
            recruit and hire qualified welfare recipients. This 
            description should include a proposed local outreach 
            program, and utilize Federal Executive Boards and Federal 
            Executive Agencies to bring Federal job opportunities to the 
            attention of welfare offices, State and private employment 
            offices, nonprofit organizations, and others that work with 
            welfare recipients on a regular basis. This program should 
            build upon the Government's existing nationwide employment 
            information systems.
<bullet>    The plan should describe in detail how the agency will 
            assist welfare recipients, once hired, to perform well and 
            to keep their jobs. The agency should include in this aspect 
            of the plan proposals for

[[Page 321]]

            on-the-job training and/or mentoring programs.
    I expect each agency head to report to me about his or her plan at a 
special cabinet meeting called for that purpose. Following this meeting, 

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