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pd20mr00 Remarks to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Luncheon in...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, March 20, 2000
Volume 36--Number 11
Pages 519-576

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



Addresses and Remarks

    American Ireland Fund dinner--567
    Carnegie Endowment's Annual Nonproliferation Conference, videotape 
    Gun control legislation--550
    Gun safety agreement with Smith & Wesson--569, 572
        Democratic National Committee dinner in Chicago--539
        Democratic National Committee dinner in Lincolnwood--542
    Legislative agenda--563
    Maryland, Democratic National Committee dinner in Baltimore--555
    National League of Cities' Congressional City Conference--524
    National medals of science and technology, presentation--547
        Community in Cleveland--533
        Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee luncheon in 
    Oil prices--563
    Radio address--519
    Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars--565

Bill Signings

    Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000, statement--550

Communications to Congress

    Federal agency climate change programs and activities, letter 
        transmitting report--555
    Iran, letter transmitting notice on continuation of the national 

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Oval Office--569
        South Lawn--563
    Interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC's ``This Week''--520

Joint Statements

    Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom--550

Letters and Messages

    Saint Patrick's Day, message--572


    Continuation of Iran Emergency--538
(Continued on the inside of the back cover.)

Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also 
available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http://


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 
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[[Page iii]]



    National Poison Prevention Week--573

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Congressional budget resolution--554
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization--537

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--575

    Checklist of White House press releases--575

    Digest of other White House announcements--574

    Nominations submitted to the Senate--575

[[Page 519]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 519-520]
Monday, March 20, 2000
Volume 36--Number 11
Pages 519-576
Week Ending Friday, March 17, 2000
The President's Radio Address

 March 11, 2000

    Good morning. In just a few days, Congress will begin to write the 
next year's budget. This is an important challenge we in Washington take 
up every year, with important consequences for the American people. 
Today I want to talk to you about the outcome I seek for our families 
and our future.
    I've always thought you could tell a lot about people's priorities 
by what they do first. For me, above all, that means maintaining the 
fiscal discipline that has brought us to this point of unprecedented 
prosperity, with 21 million new jobs, the lowest unemployment in 30 
years, the longest economic expansion in history. It means staying on 
the path to make America debt-free by 2013. It means saving Social 
Security, strengthening Medicare, modernizing it with a voluntary 
prescription drug benefit that so many of our seniors need and too few 
can afford. And it means continuing to put the education of our children 
first, with higher standards, more and better trained teachers, after-
school and summer school programs, modernizing our schools.
    These are my first priorities. I think they're most Americans' first 
priorities. But it seems the congressional majority has hardly given 
them a second thought. Before Republican leaders have put a single penny 
toward strengthening Social Security or Medicare; before they put a 
single penny toward a prescription drug benefit; before they put a 
single penny toward educating our children, they've allocated nearly 
half a trillion dollars to risky tax cuts. More than half our money 
already spent--and not a penny on our most pressing priorities.
    Unfortunately, the majority tried to take us down this road before. 
Last year, they went for one big tax cut with one big grab. This year, 
they're doing it piece by piece, one tax cut after another. Just this 
week, we saw Republican leaders attach special-interest tax breaks to 
what should have been a simple raise in the minimum wage. Now, all these 
cuts together add up to a serious threat to Social Security and 
Medicare. They would make it impossible to pay down the debt by 2013 or 
make vital investments in education, fighting crime, protecting public 
health and the environment, and other urgent national priorities.
    As the budget process begins, I urge Republican leaders to change 
their course and steer clear of a fiscal dead end. It's wrong for 
America. It was wrong last year, and it's wrong this year. Let's do 
first things first.
    I urge Congress to write a budget that puts aside enough funds from 
our hard-won surplus to eliminate the debt by 2013; to write a budget 
that strengthens and modernizes Medicare with a prescription drug 
benefit; to write a budget that extends the solvency of Social Security; 
one that invests in education, extends health coverage to more American 
families, and meets other pressing priorities.
    Of course, Congress still has plenty of time to get its work done 
right and get it done on time. I hope it will do so. If Congress takes 
care of first things first, we can also give targeted tax relief to 
America's families: a tax credit to help pay for college or save for 
retirement; a tax credit to help care for aging or ailing loved ones; a 
tax relief to reduce the marriage penalty; tax relief to reward work and 
family with an expanded earned-income tax credit; an increased tax 
credit for child care expenses.
    I will work with any Member of either party to get these things 
done. We can get them done, but only in the context of a realistic, 
responsible, balanced budget, one that maintains our fiscal discipline 
and makes the most of this great moment of prosperity. Now, that's a 
budget that makes sense. One that works for working Americans.
    Thanks for listening.

[[Page 520]]

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

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 520-524]
Monday, March 20, 2000
Volume 36--Number 11
Pages 519-576
Week Ending Friday, March 17, 2000
Interview With Sam Donaldson of ABC's ``This Week''

March 10, 2000

Gun Control Legislation

    Mr. Donaldson. Mr. President, thank you very much for letting us 
come over and talk to you today. You know, among your top legislative 
priorities, everyone understands, is gun control. You want trigger 
safety locks; you want a 3-day waiting period for the sale at gun shows; 
you want photo ID's, among other things. Going to be tough to get?
    The President. It's tough to get. We were able to get the Brady bill 
passed in '93 and the assault weapons ban in '94. And unfortunately, 
several of the Members who voted for those were defeated because they 
did. But it's a safer country because of that.
    We've had half a million people who couldn't buy handguns because 
they were felons, fugitives, or stalkers, and we've got the gun death 
rate down to a 30-year low. So I think nearly everybody who looked at it 
thinks we ought to close the gun show loophole and require child safety 
locks on guns and ban the importation of these large ammunition clips. I 
hope we can do that.
    Mr. Donaldson. The NRA says that the gun manufacturers have trigger 
locks now. They say all of the guns being manufactured in this country, 
the handguns, have the trigger locks. So what's the big deal?
    The President. They don't all, actually; most of them do. We've 
worked with a lot of the gun manufacturers, and they deserve a lot of 
credit. And for the first time, they really showed some genuine 
independence from the NRA line that nothing ever needs to be done, ever. 
And they came up with the child trigger locks.
    What our legislation would do would be to require the manufacturers 
to do it. And I would also like to see them make those available to 
retrofit guns, because a lot of people who have guns now in their homes 
would like to buy them, would like to protect them in that way. But I 
think that it would be important.
    But closing the gun show loophole is really important because a lot 
of people who now know they will be checked in gun stores can go to the 
urban flea markets or to the gun shows and buy a gun and have no 
background check whatever. And I think it's a big
    Mr. Donaldson. Well, of course the NRA says, ``We're for that. We're 
for an instant check at gun shows.'' And they say, ``The Congress 
appropriated money for you to put into the system so that the insta-
check, just like our credit cards, can go through.'' And they say, ``Why 
hasn't he done it?''
    The President. Well, not all the records are subject to insta-check. 
For example, we offer, by the way--most of their allies in Congress want 
a 24-hour, not a 72-hour waiting period at gun shows. And there's 
something to be said for that if it's a weekend show and the people are 
moving on to somewhere else, and all that. So what we offered them was, 
okay, 24 hours for every one you can check in 24 hours, but over 90 
percent of them you can check in 24 hours. But for those you can't check 
because of some problem with it, we ought to be able to hold them up to 
3 days, because the ones that don't check out in 24 hours are 20 times 
more likely to be rejected because of the problems with the background.
    So I think we can work this out. You know, when I brought the 

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