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GORE CALLS FOR NEW COOPERATION TO BREAK WASHINGTON GRIDLOCK Says Administration, Congress 'Must Begin the Work Together'

BALTIMORE -- In a speech to members and leaders of the Democratic House Caucus, Vice President Al Gore today (1/28) called on Congress and the Administration to forge a new relationship of cooperation to confront the country's major challenges, starting with reviving the economy, creating new jobs, and controlling skyrocketing health care costs.

"President Clinton is working to craft a national economic strategy to put America back to work, to put paychecks back in the pockets of American families, to renew hope in an American dream too long faded, and restore the lustre of a future tarnished now by uncertainty and fear," Gore said.

Gore's speech to the National Legislative Education Foundation Issues Conference was delivered at a meeting of House Democratic Caucus members who were gathered there to discuss legislative issues and priorities. It was held at the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore, MD.

"Both the President and the Congress represent the people. We have no power but that which the people give us. If we exercise that power in blind partisan bickering, the clock of government stops, and time goes on, leaving us behind.

"Neither Congress nor the executive branch can run the country by itself under the Constitution. They must work together ... If one of them gets out of balance or stops altogether, the other is not strengthened," Gore said.

The goal is to renew cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government, Gore said, then create a balanced approach between new investment and a long-term commitment to deficit reduction.

"President Clinton has made the urgency of the health care crisis clear in declaring that controlling health care costs and providing a basic system of health care to all Americans is a national imperative. The health care task force he has created with the First Lady heading it up matches his words with action," he said.