THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT UPON DEPARTURE
The South Lawn
8:15 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Before I leave I'd like to make a couple of comments, if I might.
First of all, I was, frankly, somewhat disappointed yesterday at the delay in the progress of the national service legislation in the Senate. This is one idea that all Americans should be able to agree on. We know we have broad bipartisan support. Several Republican senators have told us that they like the bill and intend to support it. And I very much hope that next week whatever considerations were moving the Republican Senate toward filibuster will evaporate.
Mr. Segal and all the people supporting national service have worked hard with Republicans and Democrats from the inception of this legislation. We have a very large number of Republican supporters in the House of Representatives, as well as the Democrats, and significant support in the Senate. And this is not the bill to delay. America needs this. It's a very important part of our efforts to open the doors of college education to all Americans and give hundreds of thousands of young Americans over the next few years a chance to serve their country while earning credit against their college costs. I think it's very important that we move on it.
The next thing I would like to say is I'm very encouraged and I have very positive feelings about the progress made in the conference on the budget plan. The conferees are obviously determined to move toward the largest deficit reduction package in history and to do it in a way that promotes growth and jobs. I was quite encouraged that some of the provisions that were agreed on yesterday were those that I think are important to encourage people to invest in new jobs in this country, including the provision longchampioned by Senator Bumpers to give a significant tax break to people who make investments of five years or longer in new businesses and smaller businesses in this country.
So I think we're off to a good start on that, and I'm very hopeful about the spirit that is prevailing in the conference today.
Q Mr. President, do you have any update on the Park Police or the Justice Department on Vince Foster and the investigation?
THE PRESIDENT: No. It's just a normal, routine thing that would be done. I don't think anything's going to come out other than what you already know.
Q What will you say about your friend in Arkansas?
THE PRESIDENT: That he was a wonderful person. That I don't think that any of us will ever know exactly why his life ended the way it did. But today I think that we should all determine not to judge his life by the way it ended solely. He was a terrific friend, a great father, a great husband, a great lawyer. He was one of the ablest and best people I ever knew in my life. That's what makes this day the more painful. But we have to accept the fact that there are many things we're not in control of, many things we don't understand, and we have to be grateful for what his life was.
Q The floods -- what about the funds, and are they playing politics on the flood issue?
THE PRESIDENT: Who?
Q The House?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think we should read too much into that. Let's wait and see what happens next week. There are people in the House that have very strong feelings about the procedures by which matters should be brought to vote and debated, and I think that's what's going on. I wouldn't read too much into that one way or the other. Let's wait and see what they do. I think they'll work through it next week.
END8:18 A.M. EDT