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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, March 22, 1999
Volume 35--Number 11
Pages 419-469

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Amtrak crash in Illinois--447
    Arkansas, dinner honoring former Senator Dale Bumpers in Little 
    Child care legislation, proposed--449
    Conference on U.S.-Africa Partnership for the 21st Century--443
        Departure for Palm Beach--447
        Democratic National Committee dinner in Stuart--449
    International Association of Fire Fighters, legislative conference--
    Millennium Evening at the White House, sixth--441
    Peace Garden Scroll and the Shalom Chaver Award for International 
    Presidential Medal of Freedom, presentation to George J. Mitchell--
    Radio address--428
    Radio and TV Correspondents' dinner--466
    Saint Patrick's Day
        Ceremony with Prime Minister Ahern of Ireland--456
        Speaker's luncheon--455
        Dinner for Representative Max Sandlin in Texarkana--424
        Reception for Representative Max Sandlin in Texarkana--419

Bill Signings

    Farmers and ranchers, legislation providing guaranteed loans, 

Communications to Congress

    Corporation for Public Broadcasting, message transmitting report--
    Iran, message transmitting report on the national emergency--441
    National Endowment for Democracy, message transmitting report--463

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters in the Oval Office--432, 447
    Interview with Michael Jackson, KRLA radio--433

Joint Statements

    U.S.-Africa Ministerial Joint Communique--461
    U.S. President Bill Clinton, the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and 
        the British Prime Minister Tony Blair--462

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Ireland, Prime Minister Ahern--455, 456, 458, 462
    NATO, Secretary General Solana--432
          (Continued on the inside of the back cover)

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[[Page iii]]

Meetings With Foreign Leaders--Continued

    Northern Ireland
        Deputy First Minister Mallon, Northern Ireland Assembly--455, 
        Sinn Fein leader Adams--455, 458
        Social Democratic and Labour Party leader Hume--455, 456, 458
        Ulster Unionist Party leader Trimble--455, 456, 458
    Organization of African Unity
        Chairman Ouedraogo--443
        Secretary General Salim--443
    United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mowlam--456, 

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Bombing of a family planning clinic in Asheville, NC, attempted--429
    Child care legislation, proposed--449
    Cuban Government's sentencing of human rights activists--440

Statements by the President--Continued

    National Missile Defense legislation--457
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization, accession of Poland, Hungary, 
        and the Czech Republic--423
    Northern Ireland, killing of Rosemary Nelson--440
    Patients' rights legislation--457
    Senator John Chafee's decision not to seek reelection--440
    Weapons labs, review of security at Department of Energy--463

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--469
    Checklist of White House press releases--469
    Digest of other White House announcements--468
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--469

[[Page 419]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 419-423]
Monday, March 22, 1999
Volume 35--Number 11
Pages 419-469
Week Ending Friday, March 19, 1999
Remarks at a Reception for Representative Max Sandlin 
in Texarkana, Texas

March 12, 1999

    The President. Thank you very much. Thank you. You know, I told 
Leslie, I said, ``Max is doing so well I don't need to say anything.'' 
[Laughter] ``If I say anything now, it's going to be an anticlimax.'' 
[Laughter] He had me halfway believing that stuff by the time he got 
through. [Laughter].
    Let me say to all of you, I am delighted to see such a large crowd. 
I'm sorry, apparently some people had to be turned away; I wish I could 
have seen them as well. I thank you for coming. I thank you for coming 
to see me and for coming to support your Congressman. I want to thank 
Mr. Mayor, thank you for making me feel so welcome. And I thank the 
whole committee that was involved in this, my longtime friend Judge Ed 
Miller. Thank you, Judge--Molly Beth Malcolm, and Willie Ray and all the 
others who are here on the host committee.
    I want to thank my friend of many years, once my law student, John 
Rafaelli, who has got a lot more money than I do and is putting us up in 
this beautiful hotel now. I thank him for that.
    Let me say just a couple of words. You know, I came today for two 
reasons. I came here to help Max, and I also went home to Hope to 
dedicate the birthplace that the local foundation there set up. They 
restored the old home that I lived in from the time I was born until I 
was 4 years old. And it was an interesting day. You know, it was cold 
and rainy, and the wind was blowing. I said, ``You know, I always got 
humbled when I came home, but this was the worst.'' I mean, for 5 years 
I've been trying to convince the American people that this global 
warming was for real. [Laughter] And we have the coldest March day in 
100 years in Hope. I don't know how much ground I lost today on that. 
    But as you might imagine, it was a very emotional day. A lot of my--
my brother and his wife and my wonderful young nephew came in from 
California. My stepfather was there; a lot of my kinfolks from all over 
southwest Arkansas and from Texas came in on my mother's and my father's 
side of the family. And last night, when I was coming back from a 
remarkable trip I had to Central America to see the victims of the 
hurricanes there and the associated disasters and to reaffirm the 
partnership that we have for the future, I sat and tried to write down a 
few things that I wanted to say. And I had, surprisingly, since I was 4 
when I moved out of that place, a lot of memories still of that 
wonderful old house.
    And it occurred to me that in that little town where I was born and 
where I spent so much time in the intervening years, when I was a kid, 
nearly 50 years ago, there were two things that we were raised to 
believe in that town that I have tried to bring to this country and that 
I have tried to get every child in this country to believe: One is to be 
optimistic, to believe that you can create a life for yourself and live 
out your dreams; the other is to have a sense of belonging, to believe 
that we are part of one community in our towns, in our States, in our 
country, and increasingly with like-minded people all around the world, 
that we belong, and that because we belong we have a responsibility not 
only to ourselves and our loved ones but to others, and that the better 
our neighbors do, the better we'll do.
    I've tried to convince every child in this country that both those 
things are true. And the evidence is I may have done better out in the 
country than I have in Washington, DC--[laughter]--but making the effort 
has been a joy for me.
    I can say without any hesitation that much of the good things that 
have happened I was

[[Page 420]]

a part of but certainly not solely responsible for. Many of the things 
which Max talked about could not have been achieved if I hadn't had 
strong allies in the United States Congress.
    And I came here for him today not simply because he is a member of 
my party but because we share the same values, the same convictions, the 
same vision for the future of the country, because he fights for you up 
there, because he--and he does it, I think, in three ways. Number one, 
on issues that are specific to this district, he speaks to me about 
them. Number two, he believes in things that are good for America that 
will have a special impact here--our efforts to lower class sizes in the 
early grades, our efforts to open the doors of college to all people 
with the tax credits and the student loans the other initiatives to the 
administration. He believes that we ought to have a Patient's Bill of 
Rights to protect the quality of health care for people in managed care 
programs throughout the country. And I do, too. [Laughter] He believes 
in the proposal I made to save Social Security and Medicare before we 
spend the surplus, and I want to talk about that a little in a minute. 
And finally, in this last year, even though he is a very junior Member 
of the United States House of Representatives, he was one of the most 
serious, substantive, thoughtful, and effective advocates, asking all 
the Members of Congress to read the Constitution, read the history, and 
uphold their oath to protect the kind of Government that we have 
preserved in this country for over 220 years. For all those reasons, you 
should be very, very proud of your Congressman, who is a remarkable 
    Now, I'm having a great time. You know, I can now go around, and I 
can go to fundraisers like this, and none of them are for me. [Laughter] 
And I love that. I love the idea that if I can stay healthy, I can spend 
quite a few years trying to give back to this political system and to 
candidates and to people that I believe in who have given me so much.
    I want you to know that in the 2 years I have left, what I'm going 
to try to do is to take advantage of the good times we have now and the 
optimism and the self-confidence we have to ask the American people to 
look at the big, unmet challenges this country still has ahead of us 
when we start this new century.
    You know, when I ran for President in 1991 and 1992, we had to get 
the country working again--literally, working. The unemployment rate was 
too high, real wages for working people hadn't gone up in 20 years. The 
crime rate was going up. The welfare rolls were exploding. We had 
increasing social tensions between people of different racial and 
religious groups, manifested in civil disturbances in some of our 
cities. And it seemed to me that we clearly had to stop doing the same 
things we've been doing for the last dozen years and take a different 
course. And we did, and the results have been good, and Max talked about 
    But now we have to say, ``Well, so now what?'' Should we just sort 
of, like being at school, should we call a recess and just say, ``Gee, 
we feel good. We're going to go out and play a while?'' I think that 
would be a big mistake. I think it would be a big mistake for several 
reasons. Number one, we've still got some unaddressed problems. Number 

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