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pd26fe96 Letter to Congressional Leaders on Drug Producing and Drug Transit...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 26, 1996
Volume 32--Number 8
Pages 313-364

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]


Addresses and Remarks

    See also Appointments and Nominations
    California, employees of McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach--358
    Domestic violence hotline--347
    Eid al-Fitr observance--341
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 
        swearing-in of Kweisi Mfume--342
    New Hampshire
        Community in Keene--325
        Community in Manchester--330
        Community in Rochester--321
        Democratic dinner in Nashua--336
        Community in Wilkes-Barre--314
        Roundtable discussion on floods in Wilkes-Barre--313
    Radio address--319
    White House Conference on Empowerment Zones--349

Appointments and Nominations

    Federal Reserve System, Board of Governors, Chair, Vice Chair, and 

Communications to Congress

    Budget deferrals and rescissions
        Letter transmitting--349
        Message transmitting--362
    Drug producing and drug transit countries, letter--356

Communications to Congress--Continued

    Law of the Sea Convention, message transmitting fisheries 
    National Endowment for Democracy, message transmitting report--345

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Oval Office--345, 354
        Roosevelt Room--347

Letters and Messages

    Presidents' Day, message--335

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Ukraine, President Kuchma--345

Statements by the President

    Balkan peace process--344
    Death of Pat Brown--336
    Railroad accident in Silver Spring, MD--336
    Terrorist attack in London, United Kingdom--341

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--364
    Checklist of White House press releases--364
    Digest of other White House announcements--362
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--363

Editor's Note: The President was in Santa Monica, CA, on February 23, 
the closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the 
Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in 
this issue will be printed next week.


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.

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[[Page 313]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 313-314]
Monday, February 26, 1996
Volume 32--Number 8
Pages 313-364
Week Ending Friday, February 23, 1996
Remarks Prior to a Roundtable Discussion on Floods in Wilkes-Barre, 

February 16, 1996

    Thank you very much. Well, Jim, I was looking at the pictures behind 
me while you were talking, trying to visualize what you all have been 
through. And I want to just begin by thanking you and everyone who 
worked with you for the way you handled this, and also the people of 
this area for the way they handled it.
    Governor, Congressman, Mayor, we're all honored to be here with you. 
I'm here, obviously, along with the James Lee Witt and a number of 
people from the Federal Government who were privileged to work with you. 
We have Dave Sharma from the Department of Transportation, a number of 
people here from SBA, General Genega from the Corps of Engineers, and 
Martin Lancaster, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works. And I'll have 
more to say about them in a moment.
    I think all of you know that the Governor and your two United States 
Senators who had to go back to work and Congressman Kanjorski, and 
Congressman Holden and I, along with our FEMA Director, James Lee Witt, 
just toured Parkin Street with the mayor. And I must say I was very 
moved by the spirit of the people there. They told me some of the 
stories and I went over to the place where the water came out and I saw 
the damage there to the canal.
    I have--I followed this problem with great interest, and, of course, 
even though I was a long way away and not in public life then, I have 
very vivid memories of that 1972 flood. Everyone in America saw it 
unfolding and saw the suffering that all of you went through. And I want 
to say that I know there were other places which really suffered in the 
Wyoming Valley. We have people here, I think, from Plains, Avoca, and 
Shickshinny and Lycoming County. There was, I think, the Governor told 
me--I think you had 12 people lost their lives in this flood. So I just 
want to say to all the people of Pennsylvania how much I appreciate what 
you went through.
    I also--in these natural disasters I never cease to be amazed by the 
courage and ingenuity and stamina people show. I just met a--when I was 
out West I met a man who was a retired employee of the public utility in 
this little town where I visited. He was a Norwegian immigrant well up 
into his sixties, and to help the town deal with the aftermath of the 
flood, he worked for 8 hours on a jackhammer with a cracked rib. And 
that's the sort of thing that you see all over America.
    I want to compliment Eric Malone here who is, as I understand it, 
only 19, and he used his jet ski to pull five people from the Juniata 
River. I couldn't even stay on a jet ski. [Laughter] And I'm impressed 
that he got himself and others on. I thank Jean Wilde for coordinating 
the evacuation of Mercy Hospital and the work that you are continuing to 
do. And I thank you, sir. I can't believe that you evacuated 100,000 
people. For those of us who were not here when this flood occurred, we 
saw the pictures, but I don't think that the dimensions of it hit home 
in the rest of America until it was announced that you were actually 
evacuating 100,000 people. We saw the pictures of all of these people 
leaving their homes. It made a profound impact on everyone.
    We want to continue to do our part at the national level through all 
of the Federal agencies. FEMA has already invested $35 million in 
response and recovery effort here, and that number will continue to 
climb. The Small Business Administration, I believe, has already 
approved about $11\1/2\ million in home and business loans. The Corps of 
Engineers is here, and the fact that Martin Lan- 

[[Page 314]]

caster and Bill Coleman are both here is very encouraging to me.
    To date, the Department of Transportation has allocated $11 million 
to help repair roads that were damaged by the floods, and today I am 
pleased to announce--I talked to Secretary Pena just before coming 
here--that we will provide another $10 million for that purpose. That 
will give you $21 million to deal with the roads. And FEMA is going to 
give this city another $400,000 to repair the damage along Parkin Street 
to the canal.
    But that, I think, is just the beginning. I think the Federal 
housing assistance to the State, Governor, will run somewhere in the 
neighborhood of $10 million for the people who have had their homes 
damaged. And I'm sure there will be more.
    One of the things that you mentioned that I wanted to emphasize is 
that in 1993, after we dealt with the impacts of the terrible flooding 
in the Middle West, and the Governor was still in Congress then--you 
remember, we changed the law to permit, I think, up to 15 percent of the 
total losses in any given State to be used for the State to develop a 
mitigation plan to avert such things happening again. And we estimate 
that you will probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million 
that you can put into mitigation.
    And so I would urge you to make maximum use of that, to come up with 
whatever plans you can to avert this from happening again. And, of 
course, that would be over and above the work that the Corps of 
Engineers has now agreed to do. And I think Congressman Kanjorski 
announced this last night. But I want to emphasize that the Corps has 
now agreed to move forward with a contract that can be done now that 
this preliminary agreement has been made, and we can start work on that 
this year to make sure that the Wyoming Valley will never be subject to 
a flood like that which came in 1972. And I think that's very important.
    And I believe they're prepared to provide some extra protection as 
well. I know--the Governor and I were talking about the other 
communities in this area and in the State that were damaged by the 
flood. I think FEMA has already made available about $2\1/2\ million to 
local governments, and as you need it there is more available there to 
help the local governments try to deal with the problems that they 
sustained in the flood.
    So the main point I want to make to you is, I am grateful to all of 
you for what you have done, and we will do our part. And the thing that 
I am determined to do is to see that we stay with you until all the work 
is done, until you've returned to normal, until you've got everything 
back the way it ought to be. And we'll stay all the way through.
    I've already said more than I meant to. I'd like to spend some time 
now hearing from the rest of the people around the table if you want to 
tell me how you think we should do that.

Note: The President spoke at 12 noon in the chapel at King's College. In 
his remarks, he referred to Jim Siracuse, emergency management director, 
Luzerne County; Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania; Mayor Thomas McGroarty 
of Wilkes-Barre; and William Coleman, Deputy Administrator for Federal 
Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget. This item was not 
received in time for publication in the appropriate issue.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 314-319]
Monday, February 26, 1996
Volume 32--Number 8
Pages 313-364
Week Ending Friday, February 23, 1996
Remarks to the Community in Wilkes-Barre

February 16, 1996

    The President. Thank you very much.
    Audience member. We love you!
    The President. Thank you.
    Audience member. Hillary, too!
    The President. Thank you very much.
    I want to begin by saying that Patrick Murphy did not have the 
easiest job in the world today and that all of his fellow students who 
stood up and cheered him may have made it a little harder even. 
[Laughter] But he hung in there, and he did it very well. And he spoke 
powerfully about this community and his people. I think we ought to give 
him another hand. [Applause]
    Father Lackenmier, I want to congratulate you on the 50th 
anniversary of King's College. You know the Vice President was in 
Pennsylvania just a couple of days ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary 
of the first computer, ENIAC, over in Philadelphia. So Pennsylvania now 

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