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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, December 20, 1999
Volume 35--Number 50
Pages 2579-2635

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



Addresses and Remarks

    See also Bill Signings; Meetings With Foreign Leaders
        Community in West Memphis--2579
        Earle High School dedication ceremony in Earle--2586
    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner in Houston, TX--
    Democratic National Committee gay and lesbian luncheon--2625
        Representative Alcee Hastings, reception in Fort Lauderdale--
        State Democratic convention in Orlando--2591
        Unity reception in Coral Gables--2602, 2607
    German action to compensate Nazi regime victims of forced labor--
    Lands legacy initiative--2617
    Middle East peace process--2621, 2627
    Radio address--2590

Bill Signings

    Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act, statement--2615
    Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, remarks--2618
    Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, 

Communications to Congress

    Burma, letter transmitting report on national emergency--2621
    Export Administration Act of 1979, letter transmitting report on 
        continuation of the national emergency--2625
    Kosovo International Security Force, letter reporting on the 
        deployment of U.S. military personnel--2623
    Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), letter transmitting report on 
        national emergency--2625

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Arkansas Delta Circuit Rider Pilot Project, memorandum--2584

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters on the South Grounds--2622
    Interview with Mark Knoller and Peter Maer of CBS Radio in Orlando, 

Joint Statements

    United States-European Union summit
        Southeast Europe--2632
        World Trade Organization--2633
(Continued on the inside of the back cover)

Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also 
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Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
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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 iii]]


Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    European Union leaders--2632, 2633
    Israel, Prime Minister Barak--2621, 2629
    Syria, Foreign Minister al-Shara--2621, 2627


    Bicentennial Commemoration of the Death of George Washington--2616
    55th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge--2627
    Wright Brothers Day--2628

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, retirement--

Statements by the President--Continued

    Panama Canal, transfer to the Republic of Panama--2619
    Turkey's European Union candidacy--2598
    Year 2000, OMB's report on the Federal Government's readiness--2620

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--2635
    Checklist of White House press releases--2635
    Digest of other White House announcements--2634
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--2635

[[Page 2579]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2579-2584]
Monday, December 20, 1999
Volume 35--Number 50
Pages 2579-2635
Week Ending Friday, December 17, 1999
Remarks to the Community in West Memphis, Arkansas

December 10, 1999

    Thank you. Was she great or what? Let's give her another hand. 
[Applause] She was unbelievable. That's great.
    Well, to Dr. Glen Fenter and your board chairman, my longtime friend 
Alex Coulter; and to Sandy and all the students from the college and all 
the faculty members, thank you. Thank you for being exhibit A for the 
new economy in eastern Arkansas.
    Mayor Johnson, Judge Williams, Representative Jones, Representative 
Steele, I think I speak for all of us when I say we are delighted to be 
here. I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Rockefeller and the other 
people from State government who came over to be with us. I thank 
Secretary Riley for coming down with us; and my longtime friend Carl 
Whillock, who I'll say a little more about in a minute; and Rodney 
Slater, who I'll say a little more about in a minute.
    I also would like to thank this White House staff who have heard me 
say now 5,000 times, we have to do more for the Delta. My Deputy Chief 
of Staff, Maria Echaveste; Lynn Cutler; Lisa Kountoupes--it is their job 
to monitor everything the Federal Government does that might, in their 
wildest imagination, have a positive effect on Arkansas and the other 
States in the Delta. And I thank them.
    But I want to say a special word of thanks to Senator Blanche 
Lambert Lincoln and to Marion Berry, who, long before he was a 
Congressman, was the farmers' advocate in our administration in 
Washington, and long before he did that, he used to host all of us at 
the Gillette coon suppers. [Laughter] That's my ultimate trump card with 
every Congressman or Senator from every other State in America who tells 
me they know more about rural America than I do. I say, ``Well, how many 
coon suppers have you been to?'' [Laughter] I haven't lost an argument 
in 7 years up there. [Laughter]
    You have absolutely no idea the amount of time and effort and the 
passion that these two people have put in to trying to help eastern 
Arkansas and the Delta. You cannot imagine. They have been magnificent. 
I deal with Members of Congress from all across America. I deal with 
people who are really good at what they do. There is nobody--nobody--who 
has done a better job standing up for the people they represent than 
Blanche Lambert Lincoln and Marion Berry.
    I may have a little trouble getting through this speech today. 
First, I'm a little tired. I talked to Hillary last--about 1 o'clock 
last night, and we talked three times between 11 and 1. And she was kind 
of jealous that I was coming down here. And I want you to know she's 
doing great, and I'm proud of her for what she's doing, and my daughter 
is doing great.
    I woke up early this morning and started thinking about what I 
wanted to say. It's a little harder now. I look out in this crowd, and I 
know half of you by your first names. There's old Bobby Glover sitting 
there, gave me the first contribution I got when I ran for attorney 
general in 1976. You could have stopped this whole thing if you hadn't 
done that. [Laughter] Mary Louise Poindexter had me to the first revival 
of the Elaine Christmas parade. I've been colder in Elaine than any 
public official in the history of America. [Laughter] We know east 
Arkansas--that's not the royal ``we,'' that's all of our crowd here. And 
we owe eastern Arkansas. Rodney's roots are here. He did such a good job 
for you as a highway commissioner and at ASU, and he's been a superb 
Secretary of Transportation. Carl Whillock was the president of ASU, 
head of the co-ops. When Marion went home, he came to Washington; he 
thought somebody ought to stick up for the ordinary farmers in the 
Department of Agriculture. I see Kevin Smith out there. I've

[[Page 2580]]

had so many people here. You can't imagine how many people from Arkansas 
we've got working in Washington. It's sort of a subterranean plot. 
That's how we stayed in all these years; we had people that showed up 
and remembered who they were working for.
    I was thinking about the first time I came to Crittenden County to 
John Gammon's wild game dinner when they were still meeting in that--
that's before the dinner moved uptown--when they were still meeting in a 
place that had a tin roof. And the first night, a woman got up, a young 
woman got up to sing ``If I Can Help Somebody,'' and the darndest rain 
came up you ever saw. And it was raining on that tin roof and it sounded 
like a musical background, and she was just beautiful, singing.
    Ness Sechrest reminded me that the first time I saw him, I had to 
traipse all the way out to Horseshoe Lake and fish with him and do other 
sundry things that he thought were necessary to decide whether he should 
support me or not. [Laughter] He's been making the same mistake for 24 
years now.
    And I came here today to make another installment on the work we've 
been doing together for two decades. I'm very proud that I signed the 
bill when I was in my very first term as Governor to create the vo-tech 
school here. And then in 1991 I signed the bill that enabled you to 
convert it to a community college. And since I have been President, the 
enrollment at this college--the stories like Sandy's--the enrollment has 
increased by tenfold of accredited students--tenfold. And that's 
something you can be really proud of, and it will make a difference.
    I was thinking when I was coming over here today, all the time I 
spent in the eighties when the whole State, the whole country, this part 
of the country was in trouble economically, trying to get plants to come 
in here and save the ones that are here. When I got reelected Governor 
in '82, I remember going up to--I think it was Poinsett County, and they 
closed the Singer plant for the last time. I stood there and shook hands 
with 600 people when they walked off the job for the last time. That was 
right before I got inaugurated Governor the second time. I had this 
emblazoned memory of all these people leaving their jobs for the last 
    I remember going all the way to Japan to try to get the Sanyo people 
not to close the plant in Forest City, and then working with all the 
folks in Brinkley and other places to help start this Wal-Mart ``buy 
American'' campaign, to get them to buy the TV's from Sanyo and shirts 
from Brinkley and first one thing, then another.
    I have a vivid memory of what you have been through and the 
struggles you had and the struggles you continue to have. And we're here 
to try to fulfill our duty, not only to you but to people like you 
throughout the country. I'm very grateful that I've had the chance to 
serve these last 7 years. I'm grateful that we're ending the 20th 
century on a high note.
    In February we will have the longest economic expansion in the 
history of the country--already the longest peacetime expansion. In 
February it will be longer than the one we had in World War II, when we 
had to fully mobilize.
    Since 1993, we've got over 20 million new jobs. We've got the lowest 
unemployment rate and welfare rolls in 30 years, the lowest poverty 
rates in 20 years, the lowest African-American unemployment and poverty 
rates ever recorded since we kept separate figures for about three 
decades now. We have the lowest unemployment rate for women in 40 years 
and the lowest poverty rate for single-parent households in 46 years in 
America. And I'm proud of that. But you couldn't prove it by some places 
in this country, because there are still people in places that have been 
totally left out of this remarkable upswing, and that's what we're here 
to say. All of you know that. Maybe they're too rural. Maybe they're too 
undereducated. Maybe they're too this, that, or the other thing. Maybe 
their power is too expensive or the transportation is too distant.
    I've been across America now, doing what I used to come over here 

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