THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Immediate Release January 5, 2001
The James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:20 P.M. EST
MR. SIEWERT: I think you just saw former Joint Chiefs of Staff,
John Shalikashvili, so I'll start with a statement from the President on
"Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John
Shalikashvili, and I met this morning to discuss his report concerning the
comprehensive test ban treaty, CTBT. The report argues persuasively that
ratifying the CTBT would increase our national security and that the
security benefits of the treaty outweigh any perceived disadvantages.
"The report's recommendations address concerns raised during the
October 1999 Senate debate over CTBT. I urge Congress and the incoming
Bush administration to act on them. I also hope the Senate will take up
the treaty at an early date as a critical component of a bipartisan
nonproliferation policy. CTBT is supported by our friends and allies
overseas and designed to reduce existing nuclear dangers, as well as those
that might emerge in the future.
"I commend General Shalikashvili for his thorough and rigorous
report and his continued service to the nation." That is a statement by
Q Jake, do you know if the President mentioned this issue when
he met with President-elect Bush?
MR. SIEWERT: I do not know. But they certainly talked about
proliferation generally; I don't know if he specifically raised this, but
I'll check on that. He's tended to want to keep that conversation private,
but that's a question I could probably put to him, whether he specifically
raised that one.
Q Keep it private, like the conversation with the
MR. SIEWERT: Yes. A lot of conversations in private around
The President next week will take a couple of trips and he will
take the opportunity to travel a bit around the country to some places that
have mattered a great deal to him over the years, places that helped him
become President, get reelected and build a tremendous record here over the
last eight years.
On Tuesday, he will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, make
remarks at Michigan State University and will made an additional stop in
the midwest, returning to Washington that evening. And on Thursday, the
President will travel to a state where I spent a lot of time, New
Hampshire. He will be going to Dover and Manchester and Boston,
Massachusetts, on the way back.
And he will make, in Dover, one of a series of speeches that he's
been making about the challenges the nation confronts. That one will focus
primarily on his record and his achievements on domestic policy, but also
on the sort of continuing work that the nation has in front of it. So he
will also, I expect, return to Washington that evening.
As you remember, East Lansing was the site of one of the
presidential debates. It's also near the bus tour that he took in 1992.
In New Hampshire, Dover was the place where the President gave his now
famous "last dog dies" speech, on February 13th in 1992. And Manchester is
a place that he spent a lot of time walking the streets talking to the
citizens in New Hampshire, and he wanted to take this chance to talk to and
thank some of his supporters in both those places, and talk about not just
the past, but about the challenges the country has in front of it today.
Other than that, I don't think I have anything, other than the
fact that in another -- it's unremarkable, I suppose, but it's remarkable
that it's unremarkable that the unemployment rate is at 4.0 percent today,
a rate that many economists thought unthinkable when we took office. It's
now been there well over a year, and we, in the year 2000, had the lowest
unemployment rate since 1969.
And as we move forward, as we said before, we leave the incoming
administration with a very solid employment picture -- 22.5 million new
jobs and a tremendously low unemployment rate, one below what most
economists thought was achievable. Most economists thought that NAIRU, the
non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, was in the neighborhood of
5 percent, or thereabouts, and we've actually been well below that for a
long time now. So, by any measure, that's a good number.
Q Jake, we keep hearing from the Bush folks that the economy
may be faltering, it may not be in as good as shape as it should be. How
do you reconcile that with the unemployment numbers?
MR. SIEWERT: The unemployment numbers show that the economy
remains in relatively solid shape. What we've seen is a slight decrease in
the rate of growth. But the economy is growing and the economy remains in
very solid shape. What we have also is we have, aside from an unemployment
rate that was unthinkably low just eight years ago, we've had 22.5 million
new jobs. And we now have, instead of a $290 billion deficit that we
inherited, we now have a surplus that's over $200 billion.
Most importantly, the incoming administration has a lot of tools
that were not available to this President when he took office. He took
office when the unemployment rate was at 7.2 percent, and he had huge
budget deficits to deal with, which obviously limited his options.
Whereas, this incoming administration has a lot of new options, a
strengthened budget picture, a strengthened IMF, a strong economy that's 50
percent bigger than it was when he took office. So they have a lot of
levers to deal with problem spots as they crop up, and we'll see how they
deal with it.
Q What happened on the Camp David trip this morning, and why
was Bruce Lindsey along on that trip? Was it just a packing trip?
MR. SIEWERT: The President was -- no, actually I checked on
that. But the President was traveling to Camp David just on some personal
matters. I think he wanted to take care of a couple things up there,
packing and the like. He will probably be going back to Camp David one
more time, but he wanted to take the time that he's there next to enjoy it
with some family and friends, and not have to deal with some of the minutia
of daily life.
So Bruce was simply along because he had some work to do, and he
was going to take the opportunity to talk to the President on the trip to
Camp David, on the trip back. So Bruce was talking to him about some other
matters, and matters that involved Bruce's work here, and he was just
simply along for the ride, as it were. As you know the President's --
Q You make it sound like he's got something stashed up there.
MR. SIEWERT: I actually -- I've never really seen his quarters
up there, so I can't speak to that. But I think -- no, this is pretty
routine housekeeping, as he said.
Q Is there going to be a farewell address? Is he planning
MR. SIEWERT: I'm not sure whether we'll do a farewell address.
But we'll certainly -- the President has taken the time to give some
speeches over the last month or so, and we'll give another speech next week
in New Hampshire. And we may have other opportunities to talk to the
nation, but we have not yet decided whether he'll do a farewell address.
But we'll let you know if he does decide.
Q Will the speech today at Ft. Myers be a farewell address to
MR. SIEWERT: That it certainly will be. The President
appreciates the work that Secretary Cohen and the Joint Chiefs have done in
putting together an event that honors him for his work as
Commander-in-Chief, and he wants to pay tribute to the work that they've
done, the hard work that they've done over the last eight years for the
He'll obviously cite the work that they've done as we
transitioned out of a Cold War footing and created a new and ready fighting
force. He'll also certainly celebrate some of the work that they did in
trouble spots, like the Persian Gulf and in the Balkans over the last eight
Q Jake, are more pardons likely, and, if so, how soon?
MR. SIEWERT: I would not expect anything until towards the end.
I expect that -- he's asked to review some more; Counsel's Office is
looking at them and I think they'll probably present a package to him at
some point. But I think that would be very much towards the end. I
wouldn't expect anything at the early part of next week or over this
Q What about the President's meeting today on the Middle East,
this evening? Can you give us an update on his mood and on the situation?
Is he more optimistic today?
MR. SIEWERT: He's been kept apprised of the discussions by Sandy
Berger and he is determined to keep working at this. He's dedicated some
time tonight to meet with the Israeli negotiator, who is in town. They'll
meet in the Oval Office around 5:30 p.m. They obviously have agreed, in
principle, to the parameters the President has laid out. They've expressed
some reservations, as have the Palestinians, and the President will take
the opportunity to talk to them about how we might reconcile the
interpretations so we can move forward.
But the President believes that it is critical that in his last
days that he do everything he can to try to make his best effort to see
whether we can put the parties in a place where they can begin to talk.
But, ultimately, it's up to the parties to make that decision.
Q Will there be more activity, Jake, this weekend, do you
MR. SIEWERT: I don't know that we have anything planned, but the
President always has the ability to pick up the phone and talk to someone.
But I don't think we have anything scheduled other than the negotiations
today. We're obviously expecting at some point that a Palestinian
negotiator will come in and do something similar that we've done with the
Q What about the New York speech Sunday night?
MR. SIEWERT: Well, I think, inevitably, the President will
address the work that has gone on on the Mideast peace process in that
speech, and probably have a little bit to say about where we are today.
Q On the Middle East, how quickly would this Palestinian
negotiator come in?
MR. SIEWERT: I don't think there's anything planned yet, but I
think we'll decide -- the President today will take the opportunity to meet
with the Israeli negotiator, assess where we are, and when we're done with
those discussions we'll let you know how we're going to proceed from there.
Q How much time is planned for that?
MR. SIEWERT: It's slated for a half an hour, 45 minutes, I
Q Coverage -- photo, anything?
MR. SIEWERT: We'll put out an official photo.
Q Can you confirm that he Director of the CIA will go to --
MR. SIEWERT: I'd refer you to the CIA on that.
Q On the environmental announcement, a couple of things --
Alaskan Republicans are really unhappy about it, and are trying to push to
have it overturned. Senator Murkowski's spokesman is saying, nobody has
done this much environmental damage going out the door since Sadam Hussein
torched the oil fields.
MR. SIEWERT: I find it hard to believe that this could be
characterized as damage. What we are doing is protecting a great deal of
pristine wilderness area from logging and from other exploitative uses.
We're actually protecting that land for the American people, for their
enjoyment. And we've consulted very heavily on this process.
I know there's been a lot of comments from people who opposed
this move on the merits, saying that there's been no process here -- we
have had over 600 public meetings, 25,000 people came to those meetings.
We've received a million comments on this rule, predominantly favorable
ones, urging the President to take action. And so we've had a very open
process. The President announced this originally October 1999, so he spent
more than a year discussing with the public. Everyone has known what the
parameters of the discussion were. And so what we're moving to do is to
try to protect wilderness from commercial exploitation.
Q -- are particularly upset because Tongass was not included
in that original rule, and they think that this is unfair because it wasn't
part of the rule-making process.
MR. SIEWERT: We indicated some time ago that was part of the
process. There were some people who were upset when we issued the first
rule that Tongass was not included, and we actually went out of our way to
listen to commentary that we received from a number of different people
urging us to protect that land. And we tried to -- now we're treating it
the way we treat every other national forest, with a little bit more leeway
for some of the logging there, given that it was included in the rule
But it's been an open process, and we've had commentary from a
lot of different people urging us, actually, to protect that land in
Alaska. And that's actually part of what came out of the public review
Q What about concerns of the economic impact, the timber
industry fearing a loss of jobs? Any sense of how many jobs would be
eliminated and how these communities would be compensated?
MR. SIEWERT: Well, the logging that's under contract now that
people have already completed contracts for will go forward. And there is
-- remember, this only covers land that's protected in the national forest
system. Logging that has been signed on and contracted for will be
completed and those jobs will be supported as those contracts are carried
Q Jake, with respect to this action and the other actions the
President has taken in recent weeks with executive orders or other
administration initiatives, how worried is he that the new administration
is going to make an effort to undo them when it comes in?
MR. SIEWERT: Well, those are decisions that are best left to
them. He understands that they have a different point of view on this.
But the President is the President until January 20th and he's going to use
his executive authority to protect the environment and to do everything he
can to protect worker safety and people safety.
So through this rule-making process on this particular rule,
we've tried to be as open as possible and listen to as many concerns as
possible. If they have a different point of view, they're welcome to it
and they can go through a similar process when they take office. But
that's up to them.
On the monuments, I know, particularly, no administration has
ever undertaken to undo a monument designation. And Democratic and
Republican administrations have both used those to protect wilderness
areas. And no administration has ever tried to do that. So it would be
unprecedented in that case if they were to try to do that. I've heard some
talk about that. But I don't -- we obviously wouldn't think that was wise,
because we thought these lands were worth protecting. But those are
decisions that a future administration will have to undertake for their --
Q Jake, you're not saying the rules haven't been reversed --
rules have been reversed, haven't they?
MR. SIEWERT: Rules have been reversed and modified, but there's
a process that has to be undertaken.
Q -- the monuments, right?
MR. SIEWERT: The monuments has never been undone by another
administration. Obviously, both -- Teddy Roosevelt started that process, a
Republican President, and both Democrats and Republican Presidents have
Q Jake, have you written these actions in such a way as to
make it difficult to reverse them?
MR. SIEWERT: I think in any rule, it's a relatively difficult
process to undo it, because you need to go through the entire process
again. But it's fairly arcane, and they're not written in any particular
way that makes it difficult to reverse, other than that the process itself
is a cumbersome one. And it's a lengthy one.
Q In spite of that, and the fact that you're protecting 78
million acres, or thereabout, this is a very sweeping proposal. Why not
just leave it to the next administration? This is a fairly controversial
decision that you're doing unilaterally.
MR. SIEWERT: Well, but we made -- first of all, I think one
thing is very clear. We would have done this one way or the other, whether
the President was President Gore or President Bush. We made this proposal
in October of 1999, and we've moved forward with it in a public way -- a
million comments, 600 hearings. We've moved forward in a way that was very
public, and that allowed people to comment and, in fact, took a great deal
of time, over a year, that we spent putting this together.
And we had every intention, and we said so at the time, in
October of 1999, of getting this work done before the President left
office. He said that when we announced this initiative in the first place.
So he's keeping his commitment, that he made then, to finish this up. We
would have done this one way or the other.
Q What do you say to critics, though, who say the President,
in all this flurry of activity over the past several weeks, is doing too
much, too fast, trying to shore up a --
MR. SIEWERT: It's all work that we had promised to do at some
point or another. And the President, as I've said before, the President's
one of the hardest working Presidents in recent memory. He's going to stay
busy, working right up to the last day. That's the way the Constitution
envisioned it, and that's the way we're going to conduct our business here.
Q President-elect Bush the other day commented on the Fed's
decision to reduce rates by half a point. Could you comment on that and
explain what your policy has been toward commenting on Fed actions?
MR. SIEWERT: I won't comment on his comment, because I don't see
any utility in that. It is our policy to respect the independence of the
Fed. And throughout this administration, we've been very careful not to
comment on the Fed's actions, and generally not to comment on any movements
in the market, as well.
That's something that Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin, former NEC
Director Bob Rubin, thought was very important. It was something that
Larry Summers and Lloyd Bentsen and Gene Sperling and others enforced with
a great deal of discipline throughout the administration because we find
that comments one way or the other don't do a whole lot of good.
Q Let me ask you about the one other thing the President-elect
said earlier this week, about the economy needing a recovery. Can I
construe from your remarks earlier about the jobless rate that you don't
think the economy needs a recovery?
MR. SIEWERT: Look, the economy was growing at a torrid pace
early last year, around 5 percent. It is now growing at a lower pace.
Most private economists -- not administration economists, but
private-sector economists surveyed by the blue chips, surveyed by the Wall
Street Journal -- think the economy will continue to grow this year, it
will continue to grow. That does not constitute a recovery. It
constitutes a slowdown in a economic growth rate that many thought was
So the reality here is the economy is growing. It is something
that's just an indisputable fact and most economists project that it will
continue to grow.
Q Well, is 2 to 2.5 percent growth a good thing?
MR. SIEWERT: It's higher than it was during the previous Bush
administration. We have had a higher rate of growth. We have averaged
about 4 percent growth --
Q -- the Reagan administration, 2 to 2.5
MR. SIEWERT: Our growth rate is higher overall than under the
Reagan. But the bottom line -- growth has averaged, throughout the Clinton
administration, around 4 percent, which is a very strong rate and it's been
sustained over eight years.
And I'll remind you that we're in the longest expansion --
economic expansion in the history of the United States. It's somewhat
unprecedented. But there's no reason why it can't continue if policymakers
and economic decision-makers make the right choices.
Q Jake, with respect, if the President-elect uses the word
"recovery," he's wrong?
MR. SIEWERT: It's just not an accurate statement of the current
reality of today's economy. The economy -- unemployment is at 4 percent,
something that was unthinkable in the past. And the economy, even in a
slightly slower growth rate, is continuing to generate jobs. We generated
over 100,000 jobs just last month.
Q So this growth rate, 2 to 2.5 percent, is that an acceptable
rate of growth or not?
MR. SIEWERT: I'm not going to get into acceptable rates of
growth -- this isn't the Soviet economy here, we don't project growth
rates. (Laughter.) We have averaged about a 4-percent growth rate -- we
don't do 10-year plans with 4-percent projections and things like that.
Q It's becoming the Soviet economy.
MR. SIEWERT: Oh, please. (Laughter.) This debate has been
clouded by some rather silly rhetoric coming out of the other side, in
that, as I said the other day, the tax cuts that they have proposed do not
offer stimulus in the near term. And yet, they're talking about them as
though they do. They simply do not. Their stimulus occurs in 2002, which
is, as you all know, a little ways away. And dealing with the slower rate
of growth is something that's a challenge that confronts policymakers
So that charge is largely exaggerated. And when the economy was
growing at 5 percent, last spring, they said then that they wanted a tax
cut. They wanted a tax cut when the economy was growing at 5 percent, and
now they want one when it's growing at 2.5 percent. It's not about the
growth rate, it's about the tax cut itself, which is debatable on its
merits. But it's not about increasing the economy's rate of growth in the
Q Jake, is the President going to invite Governor Davis and
the representatives of the California utilities to the White House to talk
about energy in California?
MR. SIEWERT: Not exactly, no. The President's economic team,
Gene Sperling, Larry Summers and Bill Richardson will meet with California
utility executives and the FERC Commissioner, sometime next week, along
with Governor Davis, in Washington, at a place TBD. I don't expect it will
be at the White House. But the idea there is to try to create some sort of
framework that could help to alleviate the supply crunch that California is
experiencing now in energy.
Q Is the President inclined to ask regulators to cap wholesale
MR. SIEWERT: I don't think that we -- the FERC is independent,
and I don't think that I would -- I don't want to get in to that.
Q What role should the federal government play in this crisis
MR. SIEWERT: Well, Bill Richardson has already taken some moves
that have helped, and that the Governor requested, and that the utility
companies have recognized. The FERC is obviously very critical, but it's
an independent agency. But they'll be involved in some of these
discussions. But the President's economic team thought it might be useful
to sit down with the regulators and with the industry and with the Governor
to sort of check in and see what the lay of the land was, and see if we
could maybe coordinate and agree upon some sort of framework that could
help alleviate the supply crunch.
Q Are there proposals that you're going to review at this
meeting? Anything concrete that we could talk about now?
MR. SIEWERT: I think I'll leave that for the parties that are
involved in that discussion.
Q The Israeli media is reporting that there's going to be a
scaled-back plan, as opposed to the plans that have been talked about. Do
you have any response to that declaration of principle?
MR. SIEWERT: I haven't seen that report.
Q What does the California crisis crunch say about the future
of electrical deregulation in America?
MR. SIEWERT: Well, I don't -- there are obviously -- I think it
may offer some lessons, but it -- we have supported nationwide electricity
deregulation, and I think that a nationwide deregulation could very much
increase the efficiency in the system, maximize efficiency in the system,
and lower costs for consumers over the long term. But it may work -- a
lesson that one state undertook may not have applicability for a broader
nationwide reform, because some of the problems that crop up in one state
when they're trying to do it on their own may not apply as easily to a
Q -- thinks that deregulation in California has been a
colossal failure. Do you all agree with that assessment?
MR. SIEWERT: I'm not going to get into that. Obviously, there's
a problem now and we're trying to do what we can to help solve it.
Q Will this problem in California make it politically more
difficult to pursue deregulation on a nationwide basis? I mean, who's
going to want to volunteer their --
MR. SIEWERT: Well, look, we put a proposal up, Congress didn't
act on it. We thought it would have helped save consumers money and create
a more efficient distribution of energy around the country, bring more
market incentives to bear on the process. But Congress didn't act on it.
It's up for a new Congress, a new administration to decide how to move
Q Jake, what's the goal of this new counter-intelligence board
and why does the President think it's needed?
MR. SIEWERT: It's needed because the world has changed a little
bit and we've moved away from a system where -- we've moved into a world in
which threats are more diverse and diffuse and we need a
counter-intelligence capacity that recognizes the realities of the changing
world. As I was telling some of you this morning, a threat today can as
easily come from a laptop as it could from an old cloak-and-dagger spy, and
we need a counter-intelligence capability that matches that new globalized
Just for example, in the wake of some of the viruses that struck
last year, the President met with high-tech officials and talked to them
about the problems of cyber security. That's a new threat and one that we
need to address, one we need to have an ability to work across agencies in
a collaborative process to address. And that's something that the
President heard directly from high-tech CEOs when they were here.
Because the virus that was spread, I believe, in Southeast Asia
ended up affecting the private sector, but in a way that had an impact on
national security by taking down the on-line capabilities of a lot of the
nation's leading financial providers.
Q Jake, does the President envision a board or an individual
czar of intelligence --
MR. SIEWERT: This is a little bit of both. There will be a new
counter-intelligence executive. There will also be a board. But the idea,
primarily, is to create a process through which the agencies that are
charged with the responsibilities for counter-intelligence -- primarily the
CIA, Department of Defense and the FBI -- can work together in a way that's
more coordinated and looks at new threats, assesses them and decides how to
protect our secrets.
Q When will this executive be picked?
MR. SIEWERT: I assume he'll be picked by the next
Q In response to the Wen Ho Lee case and the lack of sharing
of information between agencies --
MR. SIEWERT: I think this work was well underway before that
particular case came to the public eye. But, obviously, this reflects the
work of a lot of different agencies and 18 months of work. I'm sure they
took a look at that case and made an assessment about what they could do to
improve their system.
Q Jake, going back to rule-making. Other Presidents, as
they've gone out the door, have pushed through rules. Jimmy Carter was
famous for that in the late '80s. But no one has had pushed through so
many sweeping changes, rules, as this President has, and people who count
these things say no President throughout his administration has ever put as
many rule pages into the federal register as President Clinton has.
Is this a record he's sort of proud of?
MR. SIEWERT: Well, I can't speak to whether it's a record or
not. I'll let you do your own research, I'm not a historian of rules.
But the President is proud of the record that we've done to
protect the environment, certainly. And he's proud of the work that we've
done to protect worker safety. And he's proud of the work we've done to
improve food safety, the new organic labeling requirements.
So the work we've done, it's not about making rules for rules
sake. This is about making rules that protect the environment, protect
worker's safety, and protect Americans on the job and at home. So it's not
about creating paper for the sake of having more paper, it's about what the
rules will do, and who they'll protect, and protecting pristine wilderness
Q Sources are telling our folks that at least two senior
Clinton advisors advised Secretary Mineta not to take the Secretary of
Transportation job in the Bush administration. Do you know of these
objections, and why would they object?
MR. SIEWERT: I do not, and for eight years here, people have
been saying a lot of different things in the administration on background,
and it's not going to change, I assume, in the last 14 or 15 or what is it
-- 15 days, I guess, and counting. But the reality is that the President
talked to Norm Mineta, who is a friend of his, before he took the job,
several days before he took the job. Vice President talked to Norm Mineta
before he took the job. Both of them could not have been more encouraging
about at least exploring the idea of taking this job. They said ultimately
the choice is his, but they said that he should do what he thought was
right, and they said that they thought it would be good if he could serve
in some capacity. But it was a decision that was his to make.
Q So you're not aware of any --
MR. SIEWERT: I'm not aware of anyone, and the President and Vice
President encouraged him to make his own decision, but certainly didn't
discourage him from going ahead.
Q Any reaction to the independent counsel saying he will
decide within weeks of Mr. Clinton leaving office whether he should be
MR. SIEWERT: No. He's been saying that for some time now, so I
don't have any further comment on that.
Q Any idea where the President's going to go the afternoon of
MR. SIEWERT: To --
Q Andrews. (Laughter.)
MR. SIEWERT: He will leave the east front of the Capitol in a
helicopter and we'll go to Andrews and we'll take off and --
Q We've got him to Andrews. Now where is he going?
MR. SIEWERT: Where next? (Laughter.) We'll let you know. I
actually think we have a better idea than maybe we did yesterday or the day
before that, but we're not prepared to announce anything yet.
Q He is not staying in town, right?
MR. SIEWERT: He is not seeing it. No, we'll leave on January
20th. He'll be back from time to time, but his primary residence, as I've
said before, will be in Chappaqua.
Q Will the First Lady wave good-bye to him as he leaves?
MR. SIEWERT: I expect they'll leave together.
Q Is the radio address taped this week?
MR. SIEWERT: Yes, it has been taped.
Q And it is on?
MR. SIEWERT: Health care.
Q Might the President make two stops after leaving? I mean
like go to a couple of states in the same day?
MR. SIEWERT: He'll go to Maryland, and then -- no, I'm kidding.
No, I don't think so. I think he'll go --
Q He wouldn't go to Arkansas and New York in the same day or
MR. SIEWERT: I don't think so, I don't think so. I'll let you
know if that changes, but that's not what we're planning.
Q Thank you.
MR. SIEWERT: Thank you. Do we need a week ahead? We don't even
need a week -- the week ahead is really just the travel that I announced.
I guess there's a little bit in here, so I should probably do it. Tape the
radio address -- we'll put that on paper as soon as we can.
He goes to New York on Sunday and will attend the celebration of
the swearing-in of Senate Hillary Rodham Clinton at Madison Square Garden.
That is a thank-you to the volunteers and people who helped on her
campaign. It's sponsored by the New York State Democratic Party. He will
also speak at the Israeli Policy Foreign Tribute Dinner at the Waldorf
Astoria Hotel; spending the night in Chappaqua, returning the next day.
On Monday, he will speak at the dedication ceremony for the new
or refurbished AFL-CIO building in Washington. D.C. and give the
Presidential Citizens Medal to 20 prominent Americans, including some
journalists, for their lifetime of service and contributions to society.
We'll put a list out today so you can get working on that. That is the
second highest honor the President can bestow on a civilian after the
Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He goes to Michigan and another Midwest stop on Tuesday.
Wednesday he'll be here and speak at the dedication of the completion of
the FDR Memorial. As you remember, they were doing some more work on that
memorial, and the President wants to go down there on Wednesday, and will
do so. And he will also speak at a lunch honoring Senator Max Baucus. And
travel to New Hampshire and Boston on Thursday. And that's it.
Q Will he have a news conference before he leaves office?
MR. SIEWERT: Possibly. Possibly. We've actually been
discussing that very possibility. But I don't have anything locked down
Q When is he going to try to get back up to Camp David, since
the snow stopped him today?
MR. SIEWERT: I don't know, actually. He may go next weekend.
Q What's he got up there? (Laughter.)
MR. SIEWERT: He left his toothbrush. (Laughter
END 12:52 P.M. EST