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Calling On Congress To Take Immediate Action On America's Agenda

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White House at Work


Tuesday, June 6, 2000


"Today is the first full day back to work for members of Congress since Memorial Day. Three weeks from now, they leave again for the Fourth of July recess. Those three weeks provide a critical window of opportunity for Congress to make real progress on some of our nation's most vital priorities. I urge congressional leaders to seize that opportunity."

President Bill Clinton
Tuesday, June 6, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton called on Congressional leaders to break the logjam that has delayed action on critical issues such as disaster relief, the war against drugs, military readiness, LIHEAP cooling assistance, and air safety. The President insisted that Congress immediately pass supplemental emergency funding that has languished in the Senate for months. The President also called on Congress to complete work on a fiscally responsible budget that invests in the American people, and to pass common-sense gun safety legislation; a strong, enforceable Patient's Bill of Rights; a $1 increase in the minimum wage over two years; and an affordable, voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Calling for An End To Funding Delays For Critical Needs. In February, President Clinton sent Congress an urgent $5.5 billion supplemental funding request to pay for pressing national needs that could not wait for next year's budget. After quick, bipartisan House action, the Senate has now dragged its feet for three months. Among other serious consequences, further delays will result in:

  • Reduced air safety inspections and air traffic control system maintenance;
  • Delayed relief to victims of Hurricane Floyd;
  • Insufficient firefighting resources on national parks and public lands;
  • No emergency LIHEAP cooling assistance for low-income families;
  • Weakened anti-drug efforts in Colombia;
  • A delay in providing international debt relief; and
  • Insufficient funding for military readiness and American troops in Kosovo.

Urging Congress to Move Forward on America's Priorities. The President called on Republican Congressional leaders to complete work on the following key priorities:

  • Raising the minimum wage;
  • Permanent normal trade relations for China;
  • A strong, enforceable Patient's Bill of Rights;
  • An affordable, voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit available to all beneficiaries; and
  • Common-sense gun safety legislation.

Insisting on a Budget that Invests in our Priorities. The President has proposed a balanced and fiscally responsible budget that makes investments in key priorities for the American people, including important investments in education such as modernizing 6,000 schools, hiring 100,000 quality teachers to reduce class size, identifying and turning around failing schools, and increasing accountability. However, in order to pay for fiscally irresponsible tax cuts, Congressional Republicans have cut $24 billion from the President's domestic priorities. This would result in fewer quality teachers for our schools, fewer law enforcement officers and prosecutors to fight crime, reduced environmental protection, and less funding for National Science Foundation research. This year, as he has for the past seven, President Clinton will insist that Congress produce a responsible budget that honors our values and invests in the American people.

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