THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT BREAKFAST FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS The East Room
8:55 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Last night I went to bed early -- at 1:15 a.m. -- for you, and I was taking odds on how many of you would actually be here this morning at 8:30 a.m. (Laughter.) This may be a greater of loyalty than the votes yesterday. (Laughter.)
I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, a special word of thanks. And in his absence, to Mr. Gephardt, to whom I talked last night sometime after midnight. I want to thank you, David Bonior, for your work. And I want to say a special word of thanks for the southern-drawled discipline of Butler Derrick -- the fine job he did. (Applause.) I love to listen to Butler talk -- he makes me sound like a Yankee. (Laughter.) I'd also like to thank the other leaders up here on the platform, but especially the two chairs who are here: Mr. Natcher and Mr. Sabo for the work they did. (Applause.)
And I want to thank, of course, most of all, all of you for what you did yesterday. And I want to thank your constituents, the people who made this possible. If it hadn't been for the American people voting for a change in direction in this country, communicating that to you, and telling you that they would stay behind you if you made the tough decisions, none of this would have been possible.
Yesterday was a great day of victory for ordinary Americans and for the proposition that this government can work for them again, that we don't have to be mired in gridlock, that we don't have to spend all of our time posturing and dividing and running for cover instead of moving into the future.
It was a wonderful beginning. I think it's important to remember that it's just a beginning, that you now have to encourage your colleagues on the other side of the Capitol to act. (Applause.) And that we all have to continue to stay in touch with the people who sent us here.
When I leave you today, I'm going to Atlanta to try to continue my dialogue with the American people and to say we still have a great deal of work to do to create the jobs and invest in our people and reduce the deficit. But people know that it's working.
You know, this last week I have had to take a good deal of time off to deal with the foreign policy responsibilities of the President. But one of the most interesting things that happened during this last week is that every world leader with whom I met at some point during the conversation said that America seems to be on the move again, that it's exciting to see so much happening here. (Applause.)
I just want to say on behalf of all of you who were working last night, who missed the White House Correspondents Dinner, I'll give you a list of my jokes on the way out -- (laughter) -- but you won't have to endure them again.
We are looking forward, the Vice President and I and all of our family, to working with you as we complete this work. This can be a historic year for this country. You acted with unbelievable dispatch. I don't think that a budget resolution has ever been passed so quickly and one has ever been this comprehensive and acted on this quickly. It is a wonderful beginning. But is just the beginning.
And let's, all of us, determine that we're not going to quick until our job is done. Let's urge the people, as I said, in the Senate, to join hands with us and move forward quickly now. And let's stay in touch with the folks back home and tell them what we're really doing is giving the government back to them.
Thank you very much, and God bless you. (Applause.)
END9:00 A.M. EST