THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY DEE DEE MYERS
The Briefing Room
2:45 P.M. EDT
MS. MYERS: A couple of statements. First is an announcement of additional sanctions on Haiti. Leon Fuerth will be along to brief probably slightly before 3:30 p.m. He can go into some detail, but let me give you the gist.
As part of the Clinton administration's commitment to restore democracy in Haiti, the President has imposed additional financial sanctions to block assets of all Haitian nationals residing in Haiti. The order also reconfirms prior blockings of named individuals who participated in or supported the illegal regime in Haiti, and extends to all Haitian family members of already blocked individuals, wherever resident.
Q Do you have any sense that there's any serious
money here, or is the serious money that you'd be concerned about in places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands?
MS. MYERS: Well, Leon will be able to go into additional detail on this. But this is aimed at blocking the assets of wealthy Haitians in the United States and in places controlled by the United States, such as overseas branches of U.S. banks.
Q I understand that, but --
MS. MYERS: I don't know what the expected total in assets is. This is something we'll be working with allies on.
Q There are reports that most of the money has already been moved out of the barn, and that it's in places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, and that those places aren't playing along with this anyway.
MS. MYERS: As you know, the last round of sanctions, which included a ban on commercial air traffic and additional financial transactions -- something that we've urged our allies to go along with -- we've had some support, particularly on commercial airlines from a number of countries. And there was a statement from foreign ministers at the OAS last week, urging that financial transactions be cut off. So there's been some support on that; we're looking for additional support on this as well.
But I think it sends a signal to wealthy Haitians and others that we're serious about this, that we want to see democracy restored; we want to see President Aristide reinstated. We're going to continue to press, we're going to continue to tighten sanctions until that end is produced.
Q It applies to all Haitians?
MS. MYERS: It applies to all Haitians living in Haiti -- their assets in the U.S. or in places controlled under the control of the United States.
Q What about -- does it apply to Aristide?
MS. MYERS: To the best of my knowledge, he's not living in Haiti. It's Haitians residing in Haiti.
Q I understand that, but you said it also applied to places controlled by the United States.
MS. MYERS: No, no, no, to assets -- family members, assets controlled by the U.S.
Q Dee Dee, on a different subject -- in Putting People First, the Clinton campaign promised to end the unlimited soft money contributions that are funneled through national, state and local parties to presidential candidates. How does the President defend the continuing inaction, particularly by Democratic members of the House, on campaign finance reform?
MS. MYERS: The President made a commitment to pursue an end to soft money, and he's done exactly that. As you know, last year he introduced comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation that was endorsed by Common Cause. Versions of that bill have passed the House and passed the Senate. The President has urged them to move quickly in the conference and to put the bill on his desk.
Unlike previous presidents, he said he'll sign that bill. He's worked very hard on this. He'd met repeatedly with members of Congress and discussed it with them. He wrote a letter to members of Congress last week urging that this be passed. He's put Mack McLarty, our Chief of Staff, and George Stephanopoulos, a senior adviser, in charge of it. They have regular contact with members of Congress on this. This is something the President feels strongly about and has worked very hard on.
At the same time, while the Republicans are out there raising money to defeat the President and his allies, the President refuses to unilaterally disarm. We'll continue to raise money, to play by the rules as they exist. But at the same time, the President's working very hard to change those rules. And we've made good progress. Again, bills have passed both Houses of Congress.
Q But, Dee Dee, you've got Democratic control of both Houses of Congress. It's been since November that it passed the House. It passed the Senate a year ago June. You're telling me that a Democratic President can't get a Democratic Majority Leader and a Democratic Speaker to agree on a formula?
MS. MYERS: In fact, he's worked very hard on it. He's urged them repeatedly, worked with them repeatedly to get this piece of legislation to his desk. The President doesn't control Congress. He certainly has influence over them and has used that to try to get this legislation signed into law.
Again, unlike previous presidents, the President has said he'll sign this. And I think it's interesting because there's been a number of times when the President has spoken out on this issue -- for example, when the Senate filibustered the bill --calling for action. And I don't remember there being a lot of coverage of that. So while the President has spoken out on this, I don't think everything he's said has been covered. I think Congress is certainly well aware of the role that he's played, and he'll continue to press for this.
Q Dee Dee, can I ask you on Haiti, is it true or not true that the Clinton administration is offering a golden parachute to military Haitian leaders to take early retirement?
MS. MYERS: The President has given -- the United States has given the Haitian military two options: step down, or leave the country. What we've done is place very strict, and getting stricter, financial sanctions on members of the Haitian military, on their families, on supporters of the de factor illegitimate regime there, the government there, in an effort to get them to step down. We'll continue to do that. We'll continue to discuss ways to get them to step down. I think they do feel the pressure tightening.
Q How about the offer of economic assistance that was set down?
MS. MYERS: We are looking at a number of ways. What we're looking at right now is sanctions, and as I just announced, we'll be tightening those sanctions yet further today. And that is effective immediately, by the way.
Q What brought on the additional sanctions today, why today?
MS. MYERS: I think it's something that's been under discussion for a while, and I think we worked out the details. There's an interagency process headed by Leon Fuerth, which he can talk a little bit more about later. But it was done today; the President signed the executive order, and so we're announcing it.
Q Are there more sanctions in the pipeline?
MS. MYERS: I think we certainly wouldn't rule out the option of making additional changes, tightening where we think it's appropriate as we see either opportunities to or the need to based on how things are working.
Q What more can you do in this regard? What more sanctions can you take?
MS. MYERS: Leon can probably answer that question a little bit better about what specific options might be left open.
Q Is there any progress that you can cite? You say that they're feeling the sanctions more. What proof can you cite at this point?
MS. MYERS: I think just the reports that we've gotten back. I think some of the reactions from the people there, from the business leaders there who are beginning to feel the pressure. I think that the sanctions are clearly having an effect. They've had an economic effect; there's no doubt about that. A lot of the people there are leaving. Commercially scheduled airline flights will end in just a couple of days. I think they're well aware of that. So I think there is a sense that these sanctions are really starting to bite.
Q What people are leaving? You mean U.S. --
MS. MYERS: U.S. official people who want to get out, because they sense that there is a sense that this thing is really starting to have an effect.
Q When you say commercially, you're talking only about to and from the U.S., correct?
MS. MYERS: No. There's -- let me give you the exact --
Q Air France, for example, has apparently enlarged it to a 747 that used to be a 737 on some of its flights.
MS. MYERS: They are in the process I think of -- we're in dialogue with them about it. There are a couple of other countries -- Panama, Canada, and the Netherlands Antilles have joined the U.S. in --
MS. MYERS: Well, there aren't that many countries that fly to Haiti.
Q Did you ever think you'd be saying "we're in dialogue with them"? (Laughter.)
MS. MYERS: You know, I'm working on becoming more State Departmentesque.
Q No thanks.
MS. MYERS: I'm doing well.
Q What did you say --
Q Tubular, Dee Dee, tubular.
MS. MYERS: Yes. I'm moving from tubular to dialogue. (Laughter.)
Q Bad timing.
MS. MYERS: Yes. I should know better than to say that with the lights on. That was off the record. (Laughter.)
Q Off something, not the record.
Q What do you say to critiques that say the Haiti situation has moved beyond being affected by sanctions anymore, and that this administration needs to show more resolve and backbone on this situation and other foreign policy crises?
MS. MYERS: I would say this administration has shown tremendous resolve on the issue of Haiti. We've continued to put pressure on them, to tighten sanctions, to get our allies both in the OAS and the U.N. to go along. Sanctions are having an effect there, economically and psychologically. We're going to continue to insist that the military leaders step down until they do.
Q How does the President view achieving ultimate universal coverage in health care through a combination of individual and employer mandates?
MS. MYERS: The President has said repeatedly that his bottom line is universal. He said he would look at a number of ways to achieve that. He's asked Congress to come back to him with a bipartisan bill that will get to universal. He's going to look at whatever the Congress is able to produce. I don't think we're in a position to prejudge legislation that might be in process.
Q Any objection, though, to using some combination of both individual and employer mandates?
MS. MYERS: I think the President is willing to look at a number of options, as long as he's convinced that it gets to universal.
Q Even if it's a smaller benefit package?
MS. MYERS: Again, he hasn't ruled -- what he has said is, give me something, a package of benefits that can never be taken away, that will cover everybody, private insurance for every American. And beyond that, he's asked Congress to come back to him with something. He has said he'll look at it. I think he has made clear that he expected a number of changes in the bill when he sent it up to Congress. There have been changes, he thinks many of them for the better.
Q Have you got anymore details about the September summit? They said it was going to be in the United States -- where it's going to be, around what time?
MS. MYERS: You're talking about with President Yeltsin?
MS. MYERS: No. We won't have details of that for several weeks, I think.
Q Do you have the dates?
MS. MYERS: No, I think those are still being worked out.
Q Is it definitely going to be September, or was Nick Burns correct yesterday when he said it would be September or October?
MS. MYERS: I would take -- the best of my knowledge is that it's sometime in the fall. Nick is certainly the best judge of when it's going to be. I think that the announcement might come sometime after G-7 of specific dates.
Q After or at?
MS. MYERS: At or after.
Q Well, I know, but I mean, nobody knows or --
MS. MYERS: Yes, because I don't think the dates have been finally worked out.
Q But it's going to be here in Washington?
Q The Russians said September this morning.
MS. MYERS: I don't know what the total trip might be.
Q How can the Russians be talking about September when --
MS. MYERS: I'm just not prepared to announce the dates yet. They're coming -- President Yeltsin will come sometime in the fall. Nick said yesterday, September or October.
Q If the Russians are saying today that they're coming to Washington in September, can you really say that you can't comment on that or something? That's kind of peculiar.
MS. MYERS: All I can tell you is that there's no final on dates. Now, I know this is going to come as a shock to you, Brit, but I bet you this has happened before where dates for a trip have --
Q What normally happened before is that when there's going to be a summit, the two countries agree on when it's going to be and then they announce it at the same time.
MS. MYERS: And that's exactly what we're in the process of doing. It is the pressure to announce the dates before the dates have been agreed on that leads to misinformation.
Q Dee Dee, we have a news flash here that Randall Robinson said in a news conference that he's withdrawing from plans to cochair a White House conference on Haiti because of the "egregiously bad faith of the President in response to Haitians clinging for their lives."
MS. MYERS: Obviously, that's the first I've heard of that.
Q What was that question, Dee Dee?
MS. MYERS: The question was that Randall Robinson announced today that he's withdrawing from his position as cochair of a conference on Africa in protest to our -- to the United States government's policy on Haitian refugees. And the response of that is that --
Q Did I say Africa?
MS. MYERS: I thought that's what you said.
Q Sorry, Haiti.
MS. MYERS: Oh, Haiti.
Q It is Africa? Are you sure?
Q It doesn't matter --
Q Whatever --
Q The guy's eating, so hey.
MS. MYERS: He was going to play some role in some random -- (laughter) --
Q tuna fish sandwich, so not to worry.
MS. MYERS: Obviously, we believe that the process in place to process -- handle Haitian refugees is an effective one. As you know, we have a ship -- two ships in Kingston Harbor in Jamaica that are actively processing refugees. We're in the process of building an on-land facility in Grand Turk, and that should be open by mid-July.
Q Does that mean you don't agree with Father Aristide, who called it a cynical ploy the other day, Dee Dee?
MS. MYERS: I think we believe the process in place is a sound one. It will help ease the burden of refugees fleeing Haiti and help us determine those that are actually eligible for refugee status. We continue to urge Haitians, however, to use in-country refugee processing facilities that are there. As you know, roughly 3,000 people have been granted refugee status through those incountry processing centers. And we continue to process a good number of people there regularly.
Q Well, are those kinds of statements helpful to the policy that's designed to put him back in power?
MS. MYERS: We remain committed to putting him back in power. At the same time we're moving forward with our refugee policy. And I'm not going to comment specifically on Father Aristide's comments.
Q Can you tell us something about the conference on Africa and what the reason is for it and who's attending and --
MS. MYERS: I don't have any of those details for you. We should have them soon.
Q Dee Dee!
MS. MYERS: Sarah.
Q For God's sake -- (laughter). I have two questions that are coming to me off of two telephones from people who want to know about this fund that's being raised to pay for his legal expenses legal expenses.
MS. MYERS: Well, Sarah --
Q Why won't you recognize me?
MS. MYERS: I did. I did.
Q Well, then why are you taking a question from someone up there, then?
MS. MYERS: I'm not, I'm trying to hear your question.
Q Well, but he's talking while I'm talking.
MS. MYERS: No one else is talking. You have my full attention.
Q I hear you laughing. I'll bet there are lots of queries --
MS. MYERS: I heard the question.
Q and I want to know if this is the first time that a President has ever collected funds like this. And second, I would like to know -- is anybody talking up there?
MS. MYERS: No. (Laughter.)
Q The second thing is, I'd like to know if this is not illegal, because there will always be people who will say that somebody, whether they gave it to a trust or not, that they were trying to influence the President.
MS. MYERS: Sarah, the answer to that is that no final decisions have been made on a legal defense fund. As Mr. Cutler, Special White House Counsel, said a couple weeks ago, he would look at a wide variety of issues dealing with establishing a fund to pay for the President and the First Lady's legal fees. They are still looking at a number of issues with respect to that. The President has made no final decisions about it, including whether or not to establish such a fund. If and when that decision is made, we will provide all the details.
Q Thank you.
Q On King Hussein -- do you have any readout to the meeting? And is the White House satisfied, has he been forthcoming enough on the issue of meeting with Rabin?
MS. MYERS: Yes, we actually do have -- the President and King Hussein met for about half an hour privately today to discuss the Middle East peace process, as well as regional developments and U.S.-Jordan bilateral issues. The President expressed his deep appreciation for King Hussein's courage and vision, and his strong support for King Hussein's effort to make peace with Israel. The President also reiterated his commitment to a comprehensive and lasting peace. He stated that the upcoming meetings in Jordan and Israel would produce substantive results and make further progress toward achieving that goal.
Then, after they met in the Oval, the President and King Hussein and the First Lady and Queen Noor had lunch in the Residence.
Q Was it lunch or breakfast?
MS. MYERS: It was an early lunch. I can't comment on the specifics of the menu. I'm afraid I'm not poorly informed on that topic.
Q Is the President, though, pressing him to meet with Prime Minister Rabin? Because the King's been vacillating on that.
MS. MYERS: The President is pressing all the parties to work toward a comprehensive peace. I'm not going to get into the details of that discussion.
Q Any chance I can get that statement --
MS. MYERS: Sure.
Q Dee Dee, that kid, Blake Levon, who tried to get the President's autograph yesterday -- has the White House heard from him at all?
MS. MYERS: We sure have, and he's been invited to the radio address on Saturday. (Laughter.)
Q Oh, David, was that you?
MS. MYERS: It was. David Leavy is the autographseeking coordinator. Who did he call? He called, I think --
Q This will give David a chance to meet the President. (Laughter.)
MS. MYERS: Based on CNN reports yesterday, he called my office, and we handled it.
Q Did he ask for a meeting or just simply an autograph?
MS. MYERS: I believe he asked -- I'll have to refer to the coordinator, David Leavy. He did ask for a face-to-face meeting, yes.
Q You know this means there are going to be 100 kids trailing the President -- (laughter).
MS. MYERS: I know.
Q foreign policy, too -- get them all in there. (Laughter.)
Q To change the subject, the Senate today voted in an amendment to Treasury and postal appropriations that would -- give me a moment here -- certify that any White House employee administering the drug testing program not have a history of drug use. The Democrats during debate charged that the inference of this amendment is that Patsy Thomasson, the current holder of that position, due to her link with Mr. Lassiter, has some sort of past links to drug use. How do you respond to this, and how do you interpret this amendment passed unanimously by the Senate today?
MS. MYERS: I'll have to take the question. I was unaware of the amendment being passed. And I'm certainly not going to comment on implied allegations against members of this staff, which are completely unproven.
Q On Haitian sanctions, as I understood the more limited sanctions that you had in effect in recent weeks, wealthy Haitians couldn't take their money out of the United States but could transfer it abroad. Now you're going to close that avenue to them.
MS. MYERS: We already closed the transfers. We eliminated transfers in the last round of sanctions, which was announced by the President and Bill Gray. That was, again, limited to a certain number of people. This expands freezing assets in the United States of all Haitians living in Haiti.
Q So it's the expansion of number of people affected --
MS. MYERS: Correct.
Q not the modality of what they can with money.
MS. MYERS: It applies a certain aspect of sanctions to all Haitians living in Haiti, as opposed to those on the targeted list.
Q Do you have any estimate as to how much money is involved, either for the top 400 or for all Haitians?
MS. MYERS: Leon Fuerth, who's going to background on it, may have more specifics on things like that. I don't know the answer.
Q get any kind of response yet from North Korea?
MS. MYERS: No, not yet. We expect it will be a few days. He's traveling now in Europe with the Secretary of State and is actually going on to Vienna to talk with the IAEA. But no meetings with North Koreans are on his schedule.
Q Dee Dee, has the President decided to authorize the shoot-down of civilian aircraft suspected of carrying drugs?
MS. MYERS: He's asked for a narrow change in the law, which would exempt certain countries and certain individuals in the U.S. from prosecution. Dr. Brown -- Dr. Lee Brown briefed on that today, so I would refer you to that. And then Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics Gelbard will be testifying on the Hill -- probably doing that right now, for a little more information on drug policy generally, but on the changes the President has requested in the law specifically. So he's asking Congress to make some changes, which would, in narrow circumstances, allow our allies to use surveillance information in pursuing civilian aircraft that they believe are carrying drugs.
Q Does the President back up Bentsen's moves now to support the dollar?
MS. MYERS: Secretary Bentsen had a statement on that today, which I would refer you to, and the President said a little bit about it this morning. But I have no further comment on it.
Q Did the President put his primatur on that?
MS. MYERS: Well, have you seen Secretary Bentsen's comment? Because he -- why don't I take this opportunity to fish it out here. It's very brief -- for Helen's benefit.
Secretary Bentsen's statement reads as follows: "I'm concerned by recent movements in the exchange markets. We are carefully monitoring developments. We continue to be in close communication with our G-7 partners, and we continue to be prepared to act as appropriate. Ultimately what is important is the fundamental strength of our economy, and I'm very confident in the outlook. We are now in the midst of the first investment-led recovery from a low inflation base in 30 years, and there's increased evidence of recovery abroad. We share with the Fed and with our G-7 partners the common goal of sustained recovery with low inflation."
So he didn't make any additional announcement today.
Q Did he think it will stabilize the dollar, Dee Dee?
MS. MYERS: I would refer you to the Treasury for any comment on this.
Q That's the first investment-led recovery with low inflation and a man on second. What's -- (laughter.)
MS. MYERS: I'm sure the Treasury will be happy to walk through with you exactly what the basis for that comment is.
Q Dee Dee, back to the soft money. There is a big range between unilateral disarmament and raising $40 million in 18 months or whatever. He didn't have to double the previous record; could he not have just raised as much as the Republicans? I mean, if he really thinks it's that evil, why did he go out to double the previous record?
MS. MYERS: The President is playing by the rules as they exist. At the same time, he's working very hard to eliminate soft money, to limit campaign spending, to include public financing, to reform PACs. Those are all elements of the legislation that he introduced that had been passed in one form or another by both the House and Senate. He has said repeatedly he will sign that bill. He's urged Congress to send it to him.
Q Does he feel a personal sense of responsibility, a restraint?
MS. MYERS: He feels a personal sense of responsibility to change the system; that's why he introduced legislation, that's why he's worked hard to pass it. In the meantime, the Republicans are out raising money to defeat him, to defeat people who support him. The President does not feel at all obligated to stand by and let that happen without fighting back. No way.
Q Dee Dee, can you give us any idea of the President's plan over the Fourth of July weekend, before the trip; and this weekend, too, if you can, but that one, particularly.
MS. MYERS: This weekend, the only thing on his public schedule at this point is the radio address. Fourth of July weekend, he does not have any travel plans.
Q Any observances involved, or anything?
MS. MYERS: Nothing on his schedule at this point.
Q Will there be travel next week?
MS. MYERS: We'll probably have travel on Monday evening and then I think that's it for the week.
Q Evening did you say?
MS. MYERS: It will be sort of a late afternoon trip up and back to New York.
Q Have you advanced your knowledge on summer vacation, Dee Dee?
Q What kind of a fundraiser is the New York event?
MS. MYERS: DNC.
Q This Monday?
MS. MYERS: Yes, Monday.
Q Have you advanced your information on the summer vacation yet, Dee Dee, learned anymore about that?
MS. MYERS: Unfortunately, I'm unable to do that.
Q What kind of meetings will the President, himself, be having on health care? Is he going to bring in more members, a la the meeting last night?
MS. MYERS: He met with a number of members of the Senate Finance Committee over the course of several days last week and this week. I think he'll meet with other members as he sees fit. There's nothing scheduled for today.
Q Has he talked to Bradley?
MS. MYERS: Not that I know of, but he may have spoken to him by phone.
Q Has he spoken to the group of Senate Finance moderates, as they are calling themselves, about whether or not he would be willing to sign onto a plan if they come up with one themselves?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think he's met with most of the members of that group over the course of the last week in one form or another. And the message that he's given to all of them is largely the same -- that his bottom line is universal; he believes it has to happen in a reasonable and specific amount of time; that he's flexible on the way to get there. And he's encouraged the Senate and the House on ways to get to universal. He believes that Senator Moynihan, Senator Bradley and others are committed to universal coverage, and will come back to him with reasonable ways to get there.
Q Dee Dee, is five years a reasonable amount of time?
MS. MYERS: I'm not going to put any limits on it; the President hasn't.
Q What's tomorrow look like?
MS. MYERS: Seasonably high temperatures. Today's weather's partly cloudy, winds out of the northwest at five to 10 knots; low 66 to 71. Tomorrow --
Q Sorry I asked. (Laughter.)
MS. MYERS: Tomorrow he's meeting with Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin. That is still slated as a White House photo only. I'll let you know if it changes.
Q That's a slap at the Russians, isn't it?
Q Why is that?
MS. MYERS: Then he has the congressional picnic, which is at 6:45 p.m., happening in the Blue Room and on the South Lawn. I believe we're working on a pool. Trisha Yearwood will be the entertainment.
MS. MYERS: Trisha Yearwood -- she's a country artist.
Q Why is there no coverage of the Russian prime minister, something as important as that?
MS. MYERS: It's currently scheduled. I think we're revisiting that, Helen, and I will let you know.
Q Michael Fay, now that I presume he's safely out of Singapore, is the U.S. saying anything on his reports that he was beaten and coerced into his confession? And has this now affected U.S.-Singaporian relations with the latest revelations?
Q He's coming to the radio address. (Laughter).
MS. MYERS: What was the question? What was the first half of the question?
Q Worse than a caning. (Laughter.)
Q Any comments on his latest statements that his confession was coerced?
MS. MYERS: No, I don't think that's new. I think that was something that his parents claimed throughout the ordeal. We're glad that he -- is he back? Does anyone -- do we have a confirmation that he's landed?
Q No, it doesn't say that here.
Q On the way back.
MS. MYERS: We look forward to his impending return to the United States.
Q And what about relations with Singapore, though?
MS. MYERS: We announced at the time that there would be some sort of changes. But I would refer you to the State Department for anymore information on that.
Q report the President will visit Singapore this year?
MS. MYERS: There's nothing scheduled.
Q I'm not joking.
MS. MYERS: There's nothing scheduled. I know of no plans to.
Q He has a trip planned --
MS. MYERS: He has a trip planned -- the APEC meeting is in Indonesia.
Q on that trip?
MS. MYERS: It's in November, but I don't know the specific dates. Everything's happening in November. Or is it September and October.
Q In either Naples or New York or when they meet here, does the President want to believe he's in a position to offer Yeltsin any additional economic assistance?
MS. MYERS: We're still revising the specifics for the G-7 meeting. As you know, President Yeltsin will participate in the sort of day two political discussions. We're certainly looking at the success of previous investment programs there, something that we're discussing. But I don't want to comment specifically on whether additional aid will be.
Q Do you think -- have been successful?
MS. MYERS: Oh, I think there have been -- Nick Burns talked a little bit about it yesterday. But I think that there has been some success in both the bilateral and multilateral aid programs to Russia over the course of the last year and a half. Absolutely.
Q Dee Dee, I understand President Clinton is meeting with President Menem of Argentina Friday morning.
MS. MYERS: We'll have an announcement on that probably later today.
Q What's the question?
MS. MYERS: The question was is President Clinton meeting with President Menem of Argentina, and the answer is we may have an announcement on that later today or tomorrow.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 3:13 P.M. EDT