THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 6, 1997
PRESS BRIEFING BY
The Briefing Room
1:35 P.M. EDT
Q Vetoes? Have you got any bills around?
MR. MCCURRY: Hasn't come down yet. Double-check again,
because we didn't check for about -- double-check and see if the Clerk's
Office has gotten anything from the Hill.
MR. LOCKHART: I checked about 15 minutes ago, but I'll
MR. MCCURRY: And it hadn't come in. All right. That's
Q Do you expect it today?
MR. MCCURRY: Do you think? (Laughter.) Look, the House
took off for a four-day weekend. Do you think they would give us the
pleasure of vetoing this thing and then all weekend long reminding them
that they should not have left town until they got this disaster
assistance passed? I doubt it. I think not.
Q Your credibility is good on the President's speech -- he
did write it. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: Thank you. Thank you for that compliment,
Q Everything but the kitchen sink.
MR. MCCURRY: Hey, we're going to ease into the briefing
today, sort of go slowly. Make C-SPAN try to figure out when it actually
began and didn't begin. I had a call -- Senator Russ Feingold called me
and he made a very good point. He called to say, look, I want to be 90
percent complimentary for what the President has said on campaign finance
reform and the support we have gotten from you guys on passage of the
legislation, but there's just one little minor adjustment. And then he
-- remember when we were talking about the petition earlier in the week,
and I said, look, this bill doesn't look like it's going to go anywhere,
so that's why we need to explore other options -- he said, we actually
have been doing hard work on trying to get momentum behind the
He pointed out that Senator Susan Collins from Maine has now
signed on as a co-sponsor, another Republican co-sponsor, and that
they're working to get additional sponsors. And he remains very hopeful
that they can continue to press hard to try to move the legislation later
in the year. So I told him I would go and eat crow and say I should not
have been so pessimistic about the legislation's chances.
Q But obviously not July 4th.
MR. MCCURRY: Clearly, not July 4th, but he said, look, we
think we are making progress and engendering support for it and we're
going to continue to press hard. And I think, obviously, the President,
as you heard from a number of us, in no way feels that pushing forward
with the Federal Election Commission diminishes the effort we can make to
enact this feature of campaign finance reform because it would be
preferable, as we said all along, to enact the legislation.
Q There are now three Republicans that support this
MR. MCCURRY: I guess so. I mean, I think that's right.
They're working on getting additional co-sponsors. They're up to, I
think, 32, the Senator said. So they're working hard on it. And I
Q He's not going to withdraw his bid then to the FEC?
MR. MCCURRY: No, we will continue to pursue that, but we
see that as a complementary effort.
Q On the issue of campaign finance, what does the White
House think of dead people making contributions to the Democratic
MR. MCCURRY: Not much.
Q Would you like to enlighten us with any further thoughts
on the subject?
MR. MCCURRY: Dead people should not contribute to
campaigns. (Laughter.) They should not vote either.
Q What does it say about the appearance of these things
when, apparently, there are a total of some -- according to an eminent
newspaper -- some 20 checks from fictitious donors, both corporate and
MR. MCCURRY: Well, one thing, only because there was some
confusion about this earlier, these are contributions that were directed
by and large to the Democratic National Committee, so they can tell you
more about the whole audit procedure they went through and how they
screened the donations. But it really would be -- they made an
exhaustive look, audited their contributions to try to find exactly this
type of problem, and they can tell you more about what they found and
what the circumstances suggest. I don't think I can enlighten you much
Q Well, let me just ask this -- since these contributions
apparently came through the auspices of the President's friends John
Huang and Charles Trie, would the President consider asking those two
gentlemen to step forward and testify?
MR. MCCURRY: I believe we've already done that. We've
encouraged people to be supportive and cooperative.
Q Would he personally try to do that if he could reach
MR. MCCURRY: I don't even know if he knows where they are,
but I think we've said generically and the President has said publicly
that we urge people to be supportive and to provide information.
Q How about specifically, for those two men? Is he willing
to specifically call -- usually people don't say no when the President
asks them to do something.
MR. MCCURRY: Look, they have all got lawyers, they're being
represented by lawyers. We have said we think people ought to cooperate.
We are cooperating. We have provided thousands and thousands of pages
worth of documents from the White House. We've worked with the DNC. The
DNC has provided thousands and thousands of pages worth of documents.
The problem we've got right now with this whole subject is
the Republicans are seemingly unwilling to get into the other side of the
equation, which is what was going on with Republican Party abuses. And
you heard Senator Glenn, who I can tell you personally is fairly
mild-mannered and not the most partisan individual on the face of the
Earth, get exercised to the point of really making a very angry comment
about this yesterday. So what we want -- we want fair, balanced
hearings. We want people to cooperate. We want them to get on with it.
Q Do you think the White House operators could find Charlie
MR. MCCURRY: I have no idea.
Q Mike, you spoke to the audit, but in making such an
audit, doesn't this sort of speak to an issue of intent on the part of
those who are raising money on behalf of the party, in terms of whether
or not there were any sort of misleading motives with the use of "dead
donors" and mystery money?
MR. MCCURRY: I have not a clue what you're asking. What
are you trying to ask?
Q I'm asking you, do you think that now that this is coming
to light again with the dead donors and the mystery money, so to speak,
that there's a question of whether or not there was intentional bad
tactics in fundraising on behalf of the party.
MR. MCCURRY: I don't -- it's not "coming to light again."
There's been one story today and it's the story that covers the whole
general subject now -- we've talked about the whole thing in general;
that question has been long ago answered.
Q Mike, Trent Lott seemed to indicate -- he didn't say
specifically, but he seemed to indicate on this CR and census sampling
issue and the supplemental spending bill that if the President vetoes it
they're going to send it back with those provisions. But he kind of
hinted that they might not be the exact same provisions that they have in
there now. What kind of compromising --
MR. MCCURRY: It's inconceivable to me that the Majority
Leader would just turn right around and pass the same legislation the
President has vetoed. And as I said earlier today, that just is a
formula for gridlock, it doesn't make any sense. So something is going
to have to give after the President vetoes this legislation and it pretty
clearly will be their insistence on attaching these completely
objectionable and extraneous measures to a disaster relief bill.
Q How do you know that?
MR. MCCURRY: Because I just have a great hunch that that's
what's going to happen.
Q What's the progress? Are you talking to them about a
possible compromise after he vetoes --
MR. MCCURRY: They have tried to -- they've floated some
ideas and they've been -- and we're always available to talk and try to
resolve these things. It's our obligation as the Executive Branch to
work with Congress and to get on with business. But they knew exactly
what was going to happen and the delay now is not only the delay as a
result of not failing the act before the recess, but now to pass
something that clearly is going to be vetoed. So it's going to be well
into next week before they can get back -- I believe Senator Daschle said
earlier today it's going to take most of next week to grind through some
kind of compromise on this.
And it was all unnecessary from the beginning. That's the
point. And we are pretty confident that the public understands why the
President is acting this way and we're pretty confident the public
understands that the census and squabble about government shutdowns that
look very partisan has nothing to do with helping communities and people
who need disaster assistance. So I think the public has gotten the
message here, and maybe the majority in the Congress will sooner or
Q What about the rights of way and law enforcement
provisions? That's something else that the administration --
MR. MCCURRY: Look, when the President vetoes this
legislation there will be a long recitation of some of the objectionable
features, and there all addressed item by item. I think the ones that
are principally of concern to the President because they really fly in
the face of everything we've been trying to do to work together to
accommodate the views of the Congress are the provisions regarding the
automatic CR and the census.
Q Mike, what are the tactical reasons as to why the Clinton
administration told the Supreme Court not to take up the New Jersey
school board case?
MR. MCCURRY: As the Solicitor General said at great length
in the brief and as he has said subsequently to some of you, it's just
not the right case to settle such momentous matters.
Q Isn't it kind of controversial just before the speech at
the University of San Diego?
MR. MCCURRY: Not at all. We've worked very closely with
civil rights, and I think many of them understand our thinking on this
issue. And I imagine a great number of them share the view that this is
not the case to bring before the Court as well, on these matters.
Q You probably discussed this earlier, but I just want to
understand, notwithstanding any separate decision about whether General
Ralston should or should not be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, does the
President agree with Secretary Cohen's analysis that the adultery issue
on its face should not disqualify him?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the President believes the Secretary
is correct that the issue is good order and discipline and not
necessarily adultery. And if you looked at what they briefed at the
Pentagon yesterday, they went at great length through that and Ken Bacon
did a good job I think of explaining what the real issue is.
Q But can I just have the answer to my specific question --
does he agree that on its face this issue and the General's behavior
should not disqualify him from consideration --
MR. MCCURRY: The President has not evaluated the facts and
Secretary Cohen is doing that. And we've got a lot of confidence in his
ability to do it and get it right.
Q What do you see --
MR. MCCURRY: -- issue over there.
Q What do you say to critics, though, who are concerned
that they see a double standard?
MR. MCCURRY: Look, I really encourage you to take a look at
Ken Bacon's briefing yesterday, because double standard in that
allegation are made by people who don't recognize that each and every one
of these case have got their own separate facts and they need to be
evaluated based on facts. We don't just sort of lump everything together
and make judgments based on perception -- particularly when it comes to
sensitive matters that involve justice. Justice in this country is a
case-by-case proposition. We have to look at facts and look at the
underlying facts of any situation. And that's what they're doing at the
Q But I think the argument -- the broader issue around the
double standard question is that some of the women in the military and
people who consider themselves to be gay and in the military feel that
they've been subject to a witch hunt for years and there was no concern
about that. There are a number of women in the military who believe that
their sexual lives are under constant scrutiny and that if they rebuff
advances then they're subject to these rumors, and there hasn't been any
concern about that.
MR. MCCURRY: It's incorrect to say there's been no concern
Q What does the President think of the call by a group of
women Congress House members to have a high-level review of the military
code as far as sexual behavior?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I think as Secretary Cohen, himself, has
said, there needs to be an examination of standards and they ought to be
exacting standards, high standards, and they ought to be fairly applied.
I think how you arrive at that is something that the Secretary will deal
with and we believe will deal with very appropriately.
Q When do you think he'll get Secretary Cohen's
MR. MCCURRY: He said yesterday, and I think Ken said on his
behalf, not for another week or two.
Q Mike, two questions. Is Marine General Sheehan now the
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to speculate on individual
candidates. We've had one public discussion of a candidate, a leading
candidate. I'm not going to get into other names.
Q Does the White House believe that the military should
revise its rules on adultery?
MR. MCCURRY: Asked and answered. That was just that
Q Mike, Indonesia has cancelled orders for F-16s and pulled
out of U.S. military exercises in protest over criticism from Congress on
their human rights record. Do you --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, it's from Congress, and as you know, the
administration itself has been somewhat critical in our annual human
rights report. We regret the decision by the government of Indonesia.
We have a bilateral relationship in which we cooperate in a number of
areas, but we do have some disagreements with respect to human rights,
worker rights issues. But we stick by our concerns.
Q Are you going to try and get them to reconsider this? Is
anybody putting any --
MR. MCCURRY: I think at the moment, I think the State
Department can tell you better about how we will proceed, but my guess is
that they will try to find some other purchaser for the planes.
Remember, this is a transaction in part that alleviates the obligation we
have to the government of Pakistan, which originally purchases the
Q Back to the military for a second. I think what the
congresswoman said was that there should be a moratorium on any further
action vis-a-vis adultery cases while a review were to take place. You
seem to have signaled that you would support a review. Do you also think
that there should be a moratorium?
MR. MCCURRY: I think it would be better for Secretary Cohen
to address that. He's ultimately responsible for those types of reviews
within the Department. He has been on the Hill today talking to members
of the Armed Services Committee. I think he wants to make sure that we
see the standards correctly drawn and fairly applied.
We go through these episodes occasionally when we go through
a feeding frenzy or a very highly controversial crisis and the rules of
the road are reestablished. And it feels like we're going through a
moment like that now. But I think that the President is confident that
the Secretary is the right person to drive that process to make sure that
we end up in the right place.
Q Mike, is there concern at the White House that if Ralston
is nominated, the battering that the Pentagon make take during hearings,
the issue is sure to come up at hearings, and given these fights recently
on the allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination and the
Pentagon's poor handling, can they afford to take another beating?
MR. MCCURRY: It's a question based on hypothesis because it
assumes a recommendation from the Secretary that the Secretary has not
made. And I'm just not going to get into it.
Q Can you give us any color from the graduation?
MR. MCCURRY: I won't because I was not there, as you know.
But your pool, I am told by Marcia Berry, has gotten a pretty good color
readout. They are due back here -- I understand the President and the
First Lady were greeting people who attended the ceremony and they were
still up there visiting with Chelsea and her friends and her friends'
parents. So they should be back soon and there is a pool report that's
got some of that color.
Q What is the President doing this weekend? Does he have
MR. MCCURRY: We don't know, do we? We'll check later on.
I'm not aware -- I think he's got some family and friends in town.
Q Algerian election reaction?
MR. MCCURRY: Did you get anything on that? Why don't you
find that. Come back to that in a second and I'll do something for you.
Q Mike, just one thing on the graduation. Do the Clintons
feel like they have successfully protected her childhood from media
scrutiny and so forth and allowed her to grow up in a normal fashion.
MR. MCCURRY: The President has very often complimented all
of you for your willingness to give her the privacy to let her go through
her teenage years and reach a proud moment that in many ways and many
respects is the beginning of adulthood in a real way. And they're very
grateful for that.
And I think it's not so much that they protected her or
shielded her, but they just tried to create circumstances in which in
this very unusual setting she could live as normal a life as possible.
And I think, to your credit, to Chelsea's credit and I think to her
parent's credit it worked. And that was good news. And I think that
today, in part, she gets launched off to the next part of her life in
fine fashion as a result.
Q Well, they did let her speak abroad, but never around us
and we've had no sense of who she is, what she is, but she does make
public appearances when she goes to Asia and Africa.
MR. MCCURRY: She's a very capable, beautiful young lady,
probably in part because of that.
Q Because she doesn't speak to the United States?
MR. MCCURRY: Because she doesn't sit down and do interviews
with Helen Thomas every morning at 7:00 a.m.
Q Gee, that's too damn bad. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: But I want you to know since I sit there and
talk to you every morning at 7:00 a.m., I have grown through the
Q Senator Daschle says we hear from our Hill folks that the
flood bill won't get to the White House until Monday. So do you think
you'll negotiate over the weekend and see if you can affect the timing?
MR. MCCURRY: Of when the bill comes down here?
Q No, henceforth -- what are you going to do after Monday,
how are you going to handle it when it gets here?
MR. MCCURRY: They'll send it down Monday so that they don't
have to sit there with the President's veto message ringing in their ears
all weekend. But the President will veto it on Monday and we'll get back
to seeing -- I don't think the House comes back in until Tuesday, anyhow,
and we'll get on with seeing if we can't work this out.
Q No, no, no, my question is, you could talk over the
weekend to see if you could figure out what to do after --
MR. MCCURRY: They left town. There's not anyone around to
Q What's the radio address on tomorrow?
MR. MCCURRY: The radio address will be about the repugnant
crimes that occurred based on bigotry, intolerance in this country, and
the effort that we need to make to deal with that. And the President has
some ideas on how in the coming year we might better address the question
of hate crimes.
Q Is that related to the church burnings report that's
coming out this weekend as well?
MR. MCCURRY: In part, because it is a related topic, not
necessarily directly related, but as part of an ongoing effort this
President is going to make to combat intolerance, bigotry, prejudice and
racism in our society.
Q Mike, since you're rolling up for the race relations
commencement address and speeches are being written, do you have any
information that you can give us on the initiative that's coming out?
MR. MCCURRY: I think Joe laid out pretty much where we are
yesterday, a little snapshot. I will tell you, we are going into a
period where we're consulting more closely with a wide variety of people
outside the White House now. And so we're going to fine-tune and perfect
some of the -- mostly some of the process that the President will present
next week. I think substantively the President's got a good sense of how
he wants to address issues next weekend, but we will be sort of fine
tuning aspects of our initiative as we go into next week.
Q Following up, has the White House decided if there will
be a White House Conference on Race?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President, as I may have just
hinted, will have some thoughts about a specific question related to that
in the radio address. And he, of course, will be outlining a way in
which we can use the coming year in a very positive way to address
questions of diversity, tolerance and coming together as one America as
we prepare for his speech in San Diego.
Q Mike, you touched a few minutes ago on Senator Glenn's
anger, but didn't delve into the part that -- the whole bipartisan
process on campaign finance or investigations seem to be falling apart.
Could you elaborate on what the White House's thinking is on that?
MR. MCCURRY: As I said before, we have believed all along
that it's important to fairly and impartially review the facts and
circumstances surrounding campaign finance issues in the 1995-'96
election cycle. Or even more generally, the question of how we finance
campaigns in our country -- because, among other things, the President
believes the conclusion will be abundantly clear that we need to reform
campaign finance laws. And that's why, in a sense, we've already put
forward the President's thinking on that by endorsing the
It's important, if the American people are going to have any
confidence in the process of looking at the campaign, that it be done in
a fair and balanced way. And what seems to be breaking down now on the
Hill is any sense that hearings in either the Senate or the House are
going to be fair, because they clearly are going to be designed to suit
the whims of the majority.
Q More to the point, do you see a rescue strategy, so to
speak, to try to keep a very fragile process together that the White
House would be engaging in? If it's falling apart, what are you going to
do to put it back together?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, it's not the responsibility of the
Executive Branch to hold together fragile Senate and House hearings. I
mean, that's the job of committee chairs working with ranking members.
And that's where the process is falling apart now, is at the committee
chair level and that requires leadership and it requires the
congressional leaders to be directly involved.
Q But do you agree you have a vested interest in it?
MR. MCCURRY: In having them fall apart or come together?
Q Either way.
MR. MCCURRY: I think we have a vested interest in making
sure the facts come out, that we continue to cooperate and that the truth
be learned about the '95-'96 campaign cycle. We've actually already
tried to do our part by being as forthcoming as we can, by providing
documents when we can, by trying to answer as satisfactorily as we can
questions from you when we're in a position to do so. So we're going to
continue to do that work. That's how we'll proceed.
Q You say it's the committee chairman -- it's falling apart
at the committee chairman level. So you're faulting Senator Thompson for
not maintaining a bipartisan process?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I'm just saying it appears from our
distance down here that they're having trouble keeping this fair and
balanced, and that's the point that Senator Glenn was making yesterday.
And I think those of you who know them, know that he would probably do so
Q Yes, but the key relationship here, in addition to how
he's getting along with Democrats, is how he's getting along with you. I
mean, there is regular correspondence. How is it from your perspective?
MR. MCCURRY: From our perspective, we continue to
cooperate. We've had some disagreements, but we tend to try to resolve
those disagreements. I think that our ability to cooperate will probably
be similarly affected as the minority side has been affected, as the
hearings -- if they do take on a more partisan cast.
Q What's your understanding of where the process stands
with this advisory commission on cloning?
MR. MCCURRY: That they meet tomorrow. Among other things,
they are preparing a final report to the President that I think,
depending on the outcome of their deliberations tomorrow, would come to
the White House sometime fairly soon. I'm not that they've set a
Q -- what happens?
MR. MCCURRY: Whatever their recommendations are, the
President will duly consider them.
Q Based on what you know about what they're considering,
the private research can go forward, but not to actually make humans out
of the embryo research --
MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't make any -- I wouldn't rush to
judgment about what their conclusions are.
Q So would you say that the reporting on what their
preliminary conclusions are is incorrect?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I don't know that it's incorrect. I
just think the thrust of their recommendations I don't think are going to
be too surprising, given the widespread concern expressed in both the
scientific and the ethical community about human cloning. It's likely
going to be a recommendation that we not start cloning human beings.
Q Right, but is there anything in those recommendations
that you would object to so far? Or are you waiting for the final
MR. MCCURRY: We're going to see it and evaluate it, but I
think the general headline I just gave you is pretty obvious.
Q Back on disaster relief just for a second, accepting for
the moment that the Republicans are making mistake, let's say,
hypothetically, someone has got to rise above this and go forward. I
mean, some sort of compromise has to be forged, right? Do you see a way
for the White House to encourage that process? Is there anything he can
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, I think -- under our Constitution, that's
what a veto is designed to do, and that's exactly what will help this
situation, is when the President makes it very clear to Congress that we
need to get disaster relief to the communities and people who need it.
And we can't gum up that bill with things that are clearly going to be
objectionable and are going to remain objectionable. Congress will
hopefully get that message and act accordingly -- send us a bill that the
President can sign. That's the way the process works, and it works
Q Which is not necessarily a clean bill? I mean, are you
saying you can accept some things?
MR. MCCURRY: Look, the disaster all along -- with
bipartisan agreement, the disaster bill has also included some
peacekeeping funding for our forces in Bosnia, because they need to have
the financial support that's been requested, too. So there are other
measures that are in there. But we're talking specifically about things
that are not germane to the subject of disaster relief that are being
attached to this bill because it's a fast -- supposedly fast-moving
legislative vehicle that don't have -- that are controversial enough that
they shouldn't be there holding up a bill that needs to pass.
Q But, Mike, what is, therefore, the greater good --vetoing
objectionable elements that you may or may not be able to live with, or
getting the disaster relief out and running? What's the greater good in
terms of where you want to go, as far as accepting or rejecting the bill?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the greater good is to do business
efficiently and in a bipartisan way the American people elected a
Republican Congress and a Democratic President to do. And we've had some
success in doing that this year. That's why this is kind of a bizarre
setback, because it goes back to more the climate of the 1995-'96 budget
disagreements, which we think -- we thought was largely settled and
largely settled in ways that would have prevented a recurrence of that
type of partisan bickering.
Q Mike, getting back on the race issue, Reverend Jesse
Jackson says that his comments are falling on a deaf ear here at the
White House. He's calling for more minorities and women to have power
positions in the White House, judgeship positions. What doe you say
about that? What does the President say?
MR. MCCURRY: I think he's right. We need a new Press
Secretary, for example. (Laughter.) No, look he's --
Q Who are you going to get?
MR. MCCURRY: He's advocating -- April. (Laughter.) Look,
there is a -- he has forcefully and in a very articulate way made that
argument. He's made that argument for a long time. We've responded
saying we think we have done well on that criteria that he raises in
those criticisms. But we have always respected his voice and always
listened very, very carefully to him, and not necessarily always agreeing
with everything the Reverend says, but a lot of us -- and the President
included -- admire his guidance, and we listen and hear him out and try
to do the right thing -- not always doing exactly what he wants, but
doing what the President thinks is in the best interest.
But without any doubt, broadly speaking, I think the
President and the Reverend share the same vision of what we want to see
happen in this country with respect to diversity, minority empowerment,
the advances that we want to see all Americans make together as one
Q But you reject those specific criticisms that he made the
other day after meeting with the President?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I don't know that --
Q Specific criticisms about the EEOC and the senior White
MR. MCCURRY: I mean, on the EEOC, we -- look, we have
reduced a backlog that was well above 100,000 cases. We cut it in half.
The President wouldn't say that he is at all satisfied with the progress
because there is still a backlog of cases. But remember, we've gone out
and sought additional funding for the agency to try to retire that
backlog, and Congress has said no every time we've requested it. So
we're managing to reduce the backlog even though it's not perfect.
I think -- look, there is -- and the Reverend, I think,
understands this well. There is advantage in having pressure coming from
that side all the time because it makes it possible for us to advance the
argument that we have to try to move forward. It sometimes ends up being
compromised, but it's not at all out of line for there to be criticism
because I think that helps create an environment in which we can address
some of these issues more effectively.
Q Does the White House agree that there needs to be more
Q So you're saying you value his input, but you disagree
with the specific --
MR. MCCURRY: We disagree with some of his -- I mean, we
have a different interpretation of some of the specific areas he raises,
put it that way.
Q What about the White House staff?
MR. MCCURRY: We think the White House staff --
Q Senior positions.
MR. MCCURRY: In senior positions, we can work up numbers
and everything for you, but we are very satisfied that in terms of
diversity we've compiled an exemplary record.
Q He says Frank Raines is not enough.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he's not alone. That's the answer.
Look around. I mean, he may not know some of our new people who are
working in high-level positions, too.
Q A disaster relief question. I don't understand why -- if
the President has an interest in delivering this aid to these people, why
wouldn't he make a phone call over the weekend to reach out to the
congressional leaders to say how can we get thing --
MR. MCCURRY: We have had ongoing consultations with them --
senior members of the staff. The President has said I'm on standby if
there's something that's going to move this. But you've heard the
Majority Leader speak and you know that there's not likely going to be
movement on this issue over the weekend. We're here, we're available.
If they wanted to stick around in town and try to work something out this
weekend, I think the President will be more than available to do it.
Q Dick Morris is probably on standby, too. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: To do more commentary on CNN, no doubt.
Q Ooooh. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: Ooooh. That was fair. Come on, how often do
I shill for you? (Laughter.)
We don't have anything good on the Algerian election results
because we're waiting for reports from international observers in our
embassy on the election before we comment on the results and the fairness
of the voting. That's why there wasn't anything brilliant to say on top
of the briefing.
Q Mike, do you have what's coming up next week?
MR. MCCURRY: I can put that out in a minute, and tell you
that we've got a couple of pieces of paper coming. We've got still the
radio address we've not put out, right?
Q You're going to put the radio address out today?
Q That was taped or live?
MR. MCCURRY: No, it was taped. It was already taped, so we
can put that out on an embargoed basis.
Q What's the labor thing?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll try to get that out early. We are doing
the -- are we finalizing -- remember that whole question about executive
order versus a memoranda on the project labor agreements? I think we've
now finalized -- it's been reported by many of you already where we are
going with that memoranda. I think they finalized that memoranda. So
let's try to get that out relatively quickly. Anything else for the
afternoon? And that will pretty much be it, so we'll try to get everyone
out of here reasonably early.
Q Mike, is there any substantiation to a report that the
U.S. is planning to hold military -- joint military operations with
MR. MCCURRY: No. We do not conduct joint military
exercises with Taiwan.
Q Mike, I had heard that the President may be meeting with
labor leaders from some of the G-7 countries on Monday. Is there any
truth to that or is that --
Q Labor ministers or labor leaders?
Q Labor leaders, not labor ministers.
MR. MCCURRY: That's interesting. What is that? Oh, that's
right. There is a -- has been traditionally a discussion, growing out of
both the -- I think it began -- maybe it came out of Tokyo or it came out
of the Naples meeting -- a convention that there is a general discussion
of labor and employment issues early on. That would certainly be
consistent with the President's view that employment issues and expanding
job creation. And by the way, I'm sure you all reported dutifully on the
fact that unemployment is at 4.8 percent and 12.3 million jobs have been
created since Bill Clinton has been President of the United States. I
know that was probably right up there in the leads on everything you
But job creation and how we do job creation is something
that the President and Prime Minister Blair agree ought to be a focus
both of the Denver summit and then the Birmingham summit next year. So
we'll keep you posted on it.
Q Are labor leaders going to attend the Summit of the 8?
MR. MCCURRY: We obviously don't know yet. Oh, some of them
do, because in some countries the labor minister, in some cases, has the
economic portfolio, along with finance ministers and others. But we'll
check further. It doesn't sound like we're announcing it, and I did not
see it on the week ahead. But if we formalize that, we'll let you know.
Q Is there anything on the week ahead other than --
MR. MCCURRY: Nothing except what you guys already know
about the Emir of Qatar is here on Wednesday. The President is going to
address a juvenile justice conference on Wednesday. He's got the annual
meeting of the Business Roundtable, the President will address Thursday
afternoon. And Friday we head out to California for the graduation
speech at UCSD.
Q Anything specific on a juvenile justice speech that he's
going to focus on?
MR. MCCURRY: He'll have some specific ideas, but it will be
designed to promote the President's juvenile justice strategy and our
Q Can you reconsider and give us a news conference here
before the President goes out to Denver?
MR. MCCURRY: No, it's not going to be possible. And we
will be able to do a full-scale press conference in Denver, as I told you
earlier. That's the 22nd.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
MR. MCCURRY: Bye. Happy weekend.
END 2:08 P.M. EDT