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pd27de99 Remarks at the D.C. Central Kitchen...
<DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page i-ii] Monday, December 27, 1999 Volume 35--Number 51 Pages 2637-2668 Contents [[Page i]] Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents [[Page ii]] Addresses and Remarks ``America's Millennium'' celebration, videotape remarks--2651 Christmas greetings to the Nation--2665, 2666 D.C. Central Kitchen--2653 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner--2643 Emission standards for cars and sport utility vehicles--2649 ``Lost Lives'' Christmas Eve, radio remarks for broadcast in Ireland--2666 Maury Elementary School--2649 Radio address--2647 Walt Disney World holiday celebration, radio remarks--2655 Bill Signings Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, statement--2637 Communications to Congress Chemical weapons, letter transmitting report--2665 Communications to Federal Agencies Electronic Government, memorandum--2641 Suspension of Limitations Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, memorandum--2647 Use of Information Technology To Improve Our Society, memorandum-- 2639 Executive Orders Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay--2651 Interviews With the News Media Exchange with reporters at D.C. Central Kitchen--2653 Interviews Larry King of CNN's ``Larry King Live''--2656 Peter Jennings of ABC News, excerpts--2645 Letters and Messages Christmas, message--2652 Kwanzaa, message--2656 Statements by the President See also Bill Signings Deaths C. Vann Woodward--2648 Grover Washington, Jr.--2648 Tom Henderson--2665 Gun control legislation--2651 Nigeria, lifting the ban on direct flights--2655 Venezuela, flooding and mudslides--2637 Supplementary Materials Acts approved by the President--2668 Checklist of White House press releases--2667 Digest of other White House announcements--2667 Nominations submitted to the Senate--2667 Editor's Note: In order to meet publication and distribution deadlines during the Christmas holiday weekend, the cutoff time for this issue has been advanced to 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 23, 1999. Documents released after that time will appear in the next issue. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF ------------------------------ PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS 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 Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10). Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers for $80.00 per year ($137.00 for mailing first class) and to foreign subscribers for $93.75 per year, payable to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The charge for a single copy is $3.00 ($3.75 for foreign mailing). There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. [[Page 2637]] <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 2637] Monday, December 27, 1999 Volume 35--Number 51 Pages 2637-2668 Week Ending Friday, December 24, 1999 Statement on Flooding and Mudslides in Venezuela December 17, 1999 I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and physical devastation caused by flooding and mudslides in Venezuela. On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest sympathies to all those who have suffered losses. We stand ready to help with rescue and relief efforts in any way we can. Note: This item was not received in time for publication in the appropriate issue. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 2637-2639] Monday, December 27, 1999 Volume 35--Number 51 Pages 2637-2668 Week Ending Friday, December 24, 1999 Statement on Signing the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 December 17, 1999 Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 1180, the ``Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.'' This landmark legislation will remove barriers that have placed many individuals with disabilities in the untenable position of choosing between health care coverage and work. It also improves and expands vocational rehabilitation and employment service options for this talented, but as yet not fully tapped, workforce. This new law represents one of the most important legislative advances for people with disabilities since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I have urged its passage for 2 years and was proud to include full funding for it in my FY 2000 Budget. The enactment of this law well illustrates what we can accomplish when we work together on a bipartisan basis to expand employment opportunities and affordable health-care options. The Act will ensure that individuals with disabilities have a greater opportunity to participate in the workforce and in the American Dream. It offers new ways for the Federal Government to partner with the States and the private sector to help people with disabilities to work and to keep their health care coverage. Most significantly, H.R. 1180: <bullet> Expands States' ability to provide a Medicaid ``buy-in'' to individuals with disabilities who return to work. <bullet> Creates a new Medicaid demonstration to assess the effectiveness of providing Medicaid coverage to people whose condition has not yet deteriorated enough to prevent work, but who need health care to prevent or forestall that level of deterioration. This provision will allow States to help those individuals with diseases such as muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's Disease, diabetes, and HIV. <bullet> Lengthens from 4 years to 8-\1/2\ years the period for which Social Security disability beneficiaries who return to work can continue to receive reduced-cost Medicare coverage. <bullet> Provides grants to States to design and administer infrastructures to provide services that support working individuals with disabilities. <bullet> Provides Social Security disability beneficiaries a choice of providers for employment-related services. <bullet> Authorizes the Social Security Administration to test new and innovative ways to enable individuals with disabilities to return to work and make economic independence a reality. <bullet> Enables individuals with disabilities to reestablish eligibility for Social Security disability benefits on an expedited basis if their attempts to return to work prove to be unsuccessful. These individuals will be able to request reinstatement of benefits without having to file a new disability benefits application--thereby reducing the risk of returning to work. These provisions give people who want to work a chance to do so by ensuring access [[Page 2638]] to health care insurance and modernizing the employment services system for people with disabilities. Together, these provisions affirm the basic principle manifested in the Americans with Disabilities Act: that all Americans should have the same opportunity to be productive citizens. The Act also contains several provisions to extend expiring tax laws. These provisions continue incentives for the advancement of several national priorities and reaffirm our commitment to help American families and businesses. Most importantly, the bill extends the research and experimentation tax credit for 5 years, encouraging companies to undertake new multi-year research activities. This crucial tax credit will help innovative American companies build on my Administration's impressive economic achievements and will lead to new products and technologies to improve people's lives. In addition, H.R. 1180 extends for 3 years the provision that allows America's middle-income taxpayers full use of important personal tax credits--such as the child credit, the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning credits, and the child and dependent care credits--without limitation by the alternative minimum tax. This also will allow tens of millions more taxpayers to forgo performing complex calculations. The Act extends a provision that will help improve school facilities in low-income communities by providing no-interest loans to school districts in needy areas for rehabilitation and repairs, educational equipment, curriculum development, and teacher training. The Act will provide more economic opportunity to Puerto Rico by extending application of the research and experimentation tax credit to such activity undertaken in Puerto Rico, as I proposed. In response to another of my proposals, H.R. 1180 also will provide a greater transfer of excise tax revenue on rum not made in the States to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for 2-\1/2\ years to provide aid that the islands urgently need. Furthermore, H.R. 1180 extends through 2001 critical tax provisions to: <bullet> Encourage employers to pay for their workers' continuing education. <bullet> Help disadvantaged people, including welfare recipients, find jobs. <bullet> Encourage businesses to clean up polluted ``brownfields''. <bullet> Stimulate low- and no-emission production of power. <bullet> Assist first-time home buyers in purchasing a home in the District of Columbia It is unfortunate, however, that the revenue losses resulting from these provisions were not fully offset. I am pleased that H.R. 1180 will do much to improve the lives of people with disabilities and will extend important tax provisions. I am deeply disappointed, however, that the bill includes a provision for a special allowance adjustment for student loans. This provision will expose the Federal Government, rather than lenders, to substantial financial risk due to the difference between Treasury and commercial paper borrowing rates, and will provide unnecessary and costly new benefits to the student loan industry with no benefit whatsoever to students. My Administration has a deep and long-standing commitment to promote and increase the independence of individuals with disabilities. I would like to thank each individual who has been involved in the challenging work of developing this landmark legislation. Special thanks should be given to the congressional leaders, who have contributed so much to the passage of H.R. 1180, particularly Senators Jeffords, Kennedy, Roth, and Moynihan, as well as Representatives Dingell, Archer, Rangel, Stark, Waxman, Thomas, Matsui, Bliley, Shaw, Bilirakis, Nancy Johnson, Cardin, Sherrod Brown, and Lazio. I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Alexis Herman, Secretary of Labor; Kenneth S. Apfel, Commissioner of Social Security; and Donna Shalala, Secretary
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