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pd18ap94 Remarks in a Town Meeting in Minneapolis...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, April 18, 1994
Volume 30--Number 15
Pages 745-820

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    American helicopter tragedy in Iraq--809, 815
    American Society of Newspaper Editors--794
    Law enforcement officers--775
    Legislative agenda--783
    Mayors and law enforcement officials--810
        Health care rally in Minneapolis--746
        Japan and Rwanda--752
        Town meeting in Minneapolis--754
    Missouri, arrival in Kansas City--745
    Nonprofit organizations--784
    Public housing, telephone conversation--773
    Radio address--769
    Radio and television correspondents dinner--786
    Thomas Jefferson dinner--778
    United States Winter Olympic athletes--804, 806

Appointments and Nominations

    Export-Import Bank, member, Board of Directors--809
    National Science Foundation, Deputy Director--791
    Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Associate Judge--791
    Treasury Department, Under Secretary--814

Appointments and Nominations--Continued

    U.S. Attorneys
        New Jersey--792

Communications to Congress

    Angola, message--790
    Evacuations from Rwanda and Burundi, letter--792
    Panama Canal Commission, message--791
    Protection of United Nations personnel in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
    Rhinoceros and tiger trade, letter--781

Executive Orders

    Amending Executive Order No. 12882--813
    Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: The National 
        Spatial Data Infrastructure--779

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Cabinet Room--772, 783
        Briefing Room--809
        Minneapolis, MN--752
        Roosevelt Room--815
        South Portico--771

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Turkey, Prime Minister Ciller--815
(Continued on the inside back cover.)

[[Page iii]]



    Death of Those Aboard American Helicopters in Iraq--814
    Jewish Heritage Week--768
    National Day of Prayer--794
    National Park Week--813
    National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week--789
    Pan American Day and Pan American Week--768
    251st Anniversary of the Birth of Thomas Jefferson--807

Statements by the President

    See also Appointments and Nominations
    Bombing in Hadera, Israel--808

Statements by the President--Continued

    Disaster assistance for California--817
    Nonprofit liaison network--786
    Trade sanctions against Taiwan--783

Statements Other Than Presidential

    See also Meetings With Foreign Leaders
    President's telephone call to Prime Minister Rabin of Israel--808
    Resignation of Prime Minister Hosokawa of Japan--754

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--820
    Checklist of White House press releases--820
    Digest of other White House announcements--817
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--818


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[[Page 745]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 745-746]
Monday, April 18, 1994
Volume 30--Number 15
Pages 745-820
Week Ending Friday, April 15, 1994
Remarks on Arrival in Kansas City, Missouri

April 7, 1994

    Thank you very much, Governor Carnahan, Mayor and Mrs. Cleaver, Mr. 
Holden, Speaker Griffin, and all of you. Thank you for coming out today. 
I didn't know there would be such a good crowd here. I'd like to stay 
with you longer, but I'm afraid I'll be late to the meeting if I stay 
too long.
    I do want to say a word or two if I might. First of all, I thank you 
for your sentiments, and I thank the Mayor and the Governor for what 
they said. I've had the opportunity to come to Missouri quite a lot 
since I've been President, mostly because of the terrible ravages of the 
floods that gripped your State. I'm proud of the work that we were able 
to do together and proud of the response of my administration to the 
problems of people during that flood.
    Frankly, the one thing that bothers me is that we can't have our 
National Government function all the time the way it did during that 
flood. Why does there have to be an emergency before people will stop 
using all the hot air and rhetoric that seems to grip Washington, put 
aside the special interests, talk to one another, ask what the problem 
is, and try to get it solved? I ran for President because that's what I 
wanted to do.
    When I was the Governor of your neighboring State to the south, it 
never occurred to me that I could get by day-in and day-out just on hot 
air. It never occurred to me that the purpose of politics was to try to 
take words and push people to the furthest extreme, to the left or the 
right. And I ran for President because I got tired of all the rhetoric, 
people saying Government couldn't do anything or Government could do 
everything, people saying everybody out there is on their own or people 
saying that people had no responsibility to improve their own lot. And I 
felt that if we could pull this country together and face our problems, 
we could go into the next century with the American dream alive and 
well. That's what we're trying to do, and we've made a good beginning on 
    I just want to point out that in the 15 months that I've been 
President, since we got our economic plan in place, trying to drive down 
interest rates and drive up investment, our economy has produced 2.5 
million jobs, 90 percent of them in the private sector, more than were 
produced in the previous 4-year period. After 12 years of talking about 
the deficit while the national debt tripled, if the Congress adopts the 
budget I have given them now, we'll eliminate 100 Federal programs, cut 
over 200 more; have the first decrease in discretionary domestic 
spending since 1969; and we'll have 3 years of declining Government 
deficits for the first time since Harry Truman of Independence, 
Missouri, was President of the United States of America.
    One of the things that bothers me is that sometimes I think that out 
here in the country, folks are worried that nothing's getting done in 
Washington because of what they read about in the papers. Let me tell 
you, we are moving more rapidly to do more things than we did even last 
year. The Congress is moving forward at a record pace on the budget. The 
Congress will take up a crime bill as soon as it comes back on Monday, 
which will put 100,000 police officers on the street, take assault 
weapons off the street; it will stiffen penalties and reduce parole for 
seriously dangerous repeat violent offenders; and it will give our 
children the means to have recreational facilities, alternatives to 
imprisonment for first offenses, and other things that will give them a 
chance to avoid the trouble that has come to so many people in the high 
crime areas of our country. We can do better, and we're going to with 
that crime bill.

[[Page 746]]

    We have an education bill that we just passed that, for the first 
time in the history of the country, provides world class standards for 
all of our schools and encourages grassroots reforms to achieve them. 
Soon after the Congress comes back we're going to pass the school-to-
work bill, which says to all the kids that don't go on to 4-year 
colleges, ``We care about you, too; your education, your training, and 
your future's important. We want you to be able to get at least 2 years 
of further training after you leave high school.''
    These are the kinds of things that we're doing up there. And I came 
here tonight also to talk about this health care issue. Let me remind 
you, my fellow Americans, that health care in America costs 40 to 50 
percent more of our income than it does in any other country, and yet 
we're the only advanced country that doesn't provide health insurance to 
all of our people so that all of our working people have health care 
    Let me remind you that people on welfare get health care paid for by 
the Government. But if someone leaves welfare and takes a minimum wage 
job without health insurance, then that person puts his or her family at 
risk. The kids don't have health insurance, and you start paying taxes 
for somebody who wouldn't go to work to have health care. That is crazy, 
and we can do better.
    Let me remind you that we have 81 million Americans--81 million of 
us live in families where somebody's been sick, where there's been a 
child with diabetes, a father with a heart attack, a mother with cancer. 
And they have what the insurance companies call preexisting conditions, 
which means that under the present system, you either pay higher 
insurance rates, you can't get insurance at all, or you can never change 
your job because if you do you lose your health insurance. No other 
country tolerates that. We live in a country where the average 18-year-
old will change jobs eight times in a lifetime; when people in their 
fifties and sixties are losing their jobs, having to find new ones, and 
they can't get health insurance now because they're older and their 
rates are higher than younger people. That is wrong. We can do better. 
And we can do better without messing up what's good about America's 
health care system.
    So all of my adversaries on this health care thing, I wish everybody 
would just tone the rhetoric down and talk about the real existence of 
real problems and how we can solve them. The truth is I don't want the 
Government to run the health care system. It's a private system; it 
ought to stay private. What I want is guaranteed private insurance for 
everybody. I want all of you to be able to choose your doctor or your 
health care plan, not just once but every year. More and more workers 
and their families are losing the right to choose their health care 
plan. I want to guarantee it for all Americans. And I want people to be 
guaranteed those benefits in the workplace, just like most of us are 
today. And finally, I want small business people and self-employed 
people to have access to the same good competitive rates that those of 
us in Government and big business do today. I think that is fair, 
reasonable, and just. And if we don't do it, we're going to continue to 
have serious problems in this country.
    I hope you will help us provide health care security for all. We've 
been fooling with it for 60 years. We haven't done it yet. And what have 
we got to show for it? Continued problems. We can do better, and this 
year we're going to, with your help.
    Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

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