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June 3, 1999

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“We have presented a good budget to the Congress; the one they have come back with won't work. We've got to work together to give the American people one that will.”

“The problem of climate change and global warming is real...what we need is to invest in technologies that reduce greenhouse gases while spurring economic growth.”

“We have some encouraging news on Kosovo, but we should be cautious, and we should see real results.”

President Bill Clinton
June 3, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton met with members of his Cabinet to discuss a range of important issues. In remarks following the meeting, the President urged Congress to pass a fiscally responsible budget that would safeguard Social Security and Medicare, reduce the national debt, and protect funding for critical programs. The President issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to help meet the challenge of global warming by taking steps to improve energy efficiency in federal buildings. The President said that he is encouraged by recent developments toward peace in Kosovo, but that the military campaign, along with diplomatic efforts, will continue until it is clear that Milosevic fully accepts and implements NATO's conditions.

Fighting for a Fiscally Responsible Budget. In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton proposed a budget plan that would reduce the national debt, safeguard the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, and offer targeted tax cuts for long-term retirement while staying within budget caps. Today, the President criticized the current Congressional budget plan for failing to protect the solvency of Social Security and Medicare while potentially slashing critical programs like:

  • Head Start, and the Reading Excellence Program, which helps children learn to read by the 3rd grade;
  • Clean-up of Superfund toxic waste sites; and
  • DEA, FBI, prisons, and drug control.

Meeting the Challenge of Global Warming. The President today issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to take steps to significantly improve energy efficiency in federal buildings in order to meet the challenge of global warming. The order, which will save taxpayers over $750 million a year, requires federal agencies to achieve by 2010:

  • 35% greater energy efficiency in buildings relative to 1985 levels; and
  • 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from building-related energy use relative to 1990.

The President announced that the Department of Defense will award this month the largest energy-saving contract in the history of the federal government. Under this contract, over 800 buildings at 5 military installations will be retrofitted, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a savings by taxpayers of over $219 million. The President also urged Congress to enact his proposed $3.6 billion package of tax incentives for American businesses and consumers who purchase energy-efficient homes, appliances, cars, and renewable energy sources.

Preparing for Peace in Kosovo. The President expressed cautious encouragement regarding the Serbian government's apparent agreement to NATO's terms. He welcomed diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, but warned that, based on past experience with Milosevic, caution should be exercised. He said NATO plans to continue the air campaign along with diplomatic efforts until it is evident that the Serbian government fully accepts and implements NATO's conditions for peace.

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