THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
BRIEFING BY PRESS SECRETARY DEE DEE MYERS
The Briefing Room
2:25 P.M. EDT
Q Where are they?
MS. MYERS: I don't mean to disappoint all of you rock and roll fans but none of the members of the band were with the entourage today. Mr. Jagger and others were not here. There is a contingent here with the Rolling Stones entourage. I'm not sure in what capacity they all serve.
Q Well, we have a Mick here.
MS. MYERS: We have a Mick and, boy, he rocks. (Laughter.)
Q I think that was a compliment.
MS. MYERS: Who's older?
Q The other one.
MS. MYERS: You're the young Mick.
Q Much older.
MS. MYERS: We'll call him young Mick.
Q Isn't there some risk that by raising the Mitchell bill, the Senate version, that the President is undercutting efforts in the House to get a much stronger health care bill that includes a full mandate?
MS. MYERS: Well, certainly, the President wants to see as strong as possible health care bill passed. But he does believe both the version introduced in the Senate and the version introduced in the House meet his ultimate objective, which is universal coverage.
There is a long legislative process in front of us. There will be much negotiating on the floors of both the House and the Senate and we'll see what the final bill looks like. The President will continue to urge that the Congress pass a bill that guarantees universal coverage, contains costs and maintains the quality and choice that the American people are used to and deserve.
Q When the President did his half-a-loaf answer about insurance reforms and how that wouldn't get you to where you needed to be and if you just did insurance reforms how more people would drop out because only the sick would come and everyone's rates would go up, how is that different than what the Mitchell bill is going to do? Because the President even admitted himself that the Mitchell bill relies on the market reforms first and then it -- how are the reforms different from the Mitchell bill? Why does he support it?
MS. MYERS: There are subsidies, ways to help small businesses and individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it to opt into the system. And then if these voluntary measures do not get you to at least 95 percent by the year 2000, then there are additional steps that kick in. If by 2000 we're below 95 percent, there will be a commission that will make recommendations to the Congress, the Congress will be forced to act. And if the Congress does not take any other action to get us to universal coverage, then an employer mandate will kick in where responsibility will be shared 50-50 between employers and employees. So there are additional measures as well as back up measures to make sure that we do get to universal.
Q To follow on that, though, how can you guarantee in the first five to six to seven years of the Mitchell plan that exactly what the President fears on insurance reforms will not happen? That rates -- if you're going to be community rating and going to have young healthy people having their premiums go up but there's no mandate, why won't they drop out of the next five years?
MS. MYERS: Well, again, there will be subsidies there that will help people -- small businesses and individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it -- to get into the system. There will be provisions particularly to help pregnant women and children into the system early, that's something that's included in the Mitchell bill.
And the bottom line is that if the reforms don't work, the bill contains additional measures to make sure that additional steps are taken to get us to universal. So, one, there are additional measures besides simply insurance market reforms. And, two, there are guarantees that are built into the program for exactly that reason, to make sure that if we don't get everybody into the system that there is a backup mechanism that will guarantee that that happens.
Q Dee Dee, what is the President trying to accomplish with the combination of the nightly two-minute DNC ads, the other kind of events that he's scheduled? Who's he trying to reach and what's he trying to accomplish?
MS. MYERS: I think the President's trying to speak directly to the American people. There has been an incredible amount of information and misinformation around the issue of health care over the moths. More money has been spent on this issue than on any other issue of public policy perhaps in history. And I think what the President seeks to do tonight is speak directly to the American people about what's at stake, about the importance of passing these measures, about the importance of continuing to work to press Congress to get this done.
So he'll do that every night, or at least most nights until the Senate takes action.
Q What does he want to do about people who don't subscribe to cable TV?
MS. MYERS: Well, that's a good point. I mean, originally, we did approach the broadcast networks, and we were turned down. So what we've done is a combination of newspaper ads, radio ads in all 50 states, and two minutes per night on CNN. Fortunately, cable has reached a majority of American households now, but we would have certainly looked at other options, had they been open to us.
Q wouldn't sell the time to you?
MS. MYERS: Is this kicking in and out?
Q What's the matter with the mikes?
MS. MYERS: I don't know.
Q You're saying the nets wouldn't sell you the time?
MS. MYERS: Correct. And just to be clear for legal purposes, it is the DNC who is paying for this.
Q Do you know what it cost?
MS. MYERS: The budget's roughly $1 million. That includes the radio ads -- it's slightly under $1 million. The radio ads, the TV ads, and the newspaper ads.
Q You're counting a lot on this backup mandate in the Mitchell bill. The states have tried to pass bills that have mandates sometime in the future, like Massachusetts did. And, mysteriously, these back-up future mandates never appear. And given that you've said that universal coverage is an economic argument, in other words, without it, none of the other reforms work. How can you be sure that that backup is going to kick in, since it's been the experience of states that have tried this delayed approach that it hasn't kicked in?
MS. MYERS: I'm not familiar with specifically how the state structured it. But it would be written into law that, if by the year 2000, we did not get to 95 percent that other steps would have to be taken. And if we go to 95 percent, the additional steps would be looked at, the commission would make recommendations, which I think you're all familiar with.
I think that is a bill that will be written into law. You can never guarantee that a legislative body won't go back and change its mind. I don't think -- you could never guarantee that if we passed a bill that mandated universal coverage. So -- but I do think that if a bill is passed into law that requires additional steps to be taken, that those steps will be taken. I mean, generally, that's -- I think that's true of any legislative matter that is passed.
Q Last night, the President said that having more news conferences was one of the changes that he planned to make. What are the other changes that he's planning to make?
MS. MYERS: Well, I don't know that he's outlined a lot of changes. I think he's going to continue to try to speak directly to the American people. I think more news conferences is certainly a step that he is interested in taking. I think he enjoys that format. It gives him a chance to have a dialogue and a back-and-forth, and to explain in a little bit more detail his views, his programs, his ideas about how things should work and what he intends to do.
I think that certainly we always look for different ways to communicate, and I think the President will continue to do that to make changes in -- one of the things he said last night is that he doesn't think that his message has always gotten through. I think the most important thing -- he thinks the most important thing for him to do is to keep pressing, to keep working, to get up every day fighting for the changes that he wants to make.
At the same time, I think he'll continue to consider new steps. One of them is speaking directly to the American people through paid advertisements, which we're doing tonight. Another is perhaps having more news conferences, both in prime time and perhaps some that are not in prime time. And I think as time goes on, we'll look at additional ways to make sure that the President's message is effectively communicated.
Q Could you carry forward on what the President said last night about Syria? Does the administration have any genuine expectations that some progress might be made on this trip?
MS. MYERS: I think we'll have to see. Secretary Christopher leaves tomorrow for the region. He's spending time there in a number of countries, including Israel, Syria, and I believe Jordan. We are hopeful that we can make progress on all tracks. We've made great progress on certainly the Palestinian-Israeli track, on the Jordanian-Israeli track, and I think that there is hope that we can continue to make progress on the Syria-Israel track as well. But I think Secretary Christopher will go to the region this weekend and continue those efforts.
Q Can you take a question on Bosnia before the lights go off? Do you think the latest action by Yugoslavia and tightening up the embargo is going to have any real impact? Do you think it's a hopeful sign?
MS. MYERS: I think we welcome any steps to continue to put pressure on the Bosnian Serbs to accept the contact group's proposal. With reference specifically to Serbia, we've heard these kinds of statements before. Certainly, we would welcome them severing economic and political ties. They've been continually rearming and supplying the Bosnian Serbs. They've been their principal supplier throughout this conflict. I think what we want to see is action, not just words. But, certainly, if they mean what they say, that would be a positive step.
Q Can I follow on that? Mr. Panetta and yourself this morning seemed to go out of your way to make it clear that the pressure is increasing for the U.S. to lift the arms embargo. Is that another step, another warning to the Serbs that they better get their act together? Are you kind of giving Congress the okay to go ahead with that?
MS. MYERS: No, I don't think that's the intention. I don't think our policy has changed.
Q the way you're articulating it?
MS. MYERS: Well, no, I don't think so. I think that's something that we've said since Saturday, when the Contact Group issued its communique. And, essentially, we outlined that a Contact Group outline steps beginning with expanding and increasing enforcement of sanctions followed by looking at ways to expand exclusions -- increase protection of safe areas. And, finally, we said that if the Bosnian Serbs do not change their view and accept the Contact Group's plan that lifting the arms embargo may become unavoidable.
I think it is a fact that pressure in the United States Congress has increased on this. We have always believed that the best way to go about it would be a multilateral lifting. That continues to be our position. There's been no change in our position, but I think that it's just simply a fact that there is pressure within Congress to perhaps take this step unilaterally.
Q What's the President's view on the recommendation of this Immigration Reform Commission regarding the computer database?
MS. MYERS: The President has always believed that we need to increase enforcement of existing immigration laws, measures that prohibit the hiring of illegal aliens. He's certainly going to look very seriously at the Jordan proposal or the Commission's proposal which is chaired by Barbara Jordan. We haven't had a chance to study it yet but the President has already taken steps to try to increase enforcement of the borders and to try to take additional steps to increase enforcement of existing laws that prohibit the hiring of illegal aliens.
There have been some concerns raised about the proposal from the Commission but I think we want to take a good look at it. And, generally, support the notion that we have to do more than enforce existing laws.
Q As far as this idea of a centralized database, he is not going to reject that out of hand?
MS. MYERS: No, I think he wants to take a look at the proposal, have a chance to study it first. We haven't rejected anything on the proposal. I think we're aware that there have been some concerns raised particularly with regard to privacy about such a proposal. But at this point, again, I think the President wants to take a look at this particular proposal. We'll be reviewing it over the course of the next couple of weeks, and we'll see where we go from there.
I think there's been a lot of attention paid. The President has increased funding for border enforcement, for example. We've really worked to create a partnership with the states to pay for the cost of illegal immigration. There's money included in the crime bill, for example, to increase enforcement of existing immigration laws. So this is a problem that the President has worked hard to address, and we'll look very seriously at this proposal.
Q Speaking of the crime bill, what's the latest assessment here on prospects for that thing getting through?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think we're still very hopeful that it will pass. Certainly if it gets to the floor of the House and the Senate, we expect it to pass with bipartisan -- large bipartisan majorities.
We have run into some snags as we work to get a majority for the rule. But I think everybody here is hopeful that we'll get that done. I don't know, at this point in the day, if there's still a vote expected. It could come as early as tomorrow, but it may get pushed back.
Q Did the President call anybody on this?
MS. MYERS: I don't think he has. But I'll take that and see if there's been any calls added to his call sheet. I mean, he's certainly willing to do whatever it takes to get this passed.
Q Will you post the answer to that, please?
MS. MYERS: Yes.
Q What is he doing today, Dee Dee?
MS. MYERS: Today, as you know, he met with the Cabinet this morning; and then you heard from some of the Cabinet members. He also met with the NEC, the National Economic Council, just to continue to talk about ways to keep the economic recovery going to make sure that the economy continues to grow.
He'll spend some time just doing sort of phone and office time this afternoon, and he has a few more meetings. And then tonight he's actually has the -- he's not going out at all tonight, so he has the evening at home.
While we're at it, do you want to --
Q Is he sick or something?
Q Dee Dee, could you tell us who he's talking to on health care today -- members?
MS. MYERS: Well, he is talking to some members of Congress. We've made it our practice not to announce those in advance. If members choose to, they come out to the stake out afterwards; many of them do. But there are two or three meetings -- one-on-one meetings with members of Congress to talk about health care.
Q Can you tell us so we know when to look for something?
MS. MYERS: It's late afternoon and then one in the early evening.
Q Can you give us a time?
MS. MYERS: No, I'm not going to give you the exact times, but --
Q Are they undecided members, or are they all for it?
MS. MYERS: It depends. I mean, it will depend on a day-to-day basis. I think he'll meet with a variety of members to discuss whatever their concerns are. And I think different members will have different concerns.
Q Can you tell us if it's the leadership at all?
MS. MYERS: I don't believe so today.
Q On Haiti, what is the latest status on this group of Haitians that have been granted asylum, but are stuck in Haiti?
MS. MYERS: We have not yet worked that out. They are there. We are continuing to press the de facto government there to allow a charter plane to land. In the meantime, we're looking at other ways, both as we discussed yesterday -- by land or by sea -- to get them out. We do plan to get them out as soon as possible.
Q Are we, in effect, negotiating with the local regime to get them out?
MS. MYERS: I think we've made it clear that we expect them to allow the charter plane to land. I don't know if I'd characterize that as negotiations. But if that doesn't work, we're certainly going to look at other ways. And we do expect to get those refugees here.
Q In the interim, is there any means of protection for those people that can be provided on the ground by the United States?
MS. MYERS: Well, we don't have any -- we have a very small contingent there. As I said yesterday, I don't think we can guarantee that applying for asylum in-country is without risk. But certainly we have made it clear to them that we expect that these people be allowed to leave; that they've been cleared for coming into the United States. Our embassy is monitoring the situation on the ground, and I think they understand what our view is about this.
Q Is there any thought about putting these people, for example, in a site where they could receive American protection in the interim?
MS. MYERS: Not that I know of.
Q Dee Dee, what is officially their status, then? I mean, could these people be a trip wire to any possible U.S. military action? Because as the President has said, the U.S. would protect any American citizens in Haiti. And he talked about the interests of Haitian Americans and the like. Since they've been granted asylum, are they given any sort of official U.S. recognition? Are they under the protection of the U.S. at this point?
MS. MYERS: Well, they aren't U.S. citizens, so I think that they would certainly fall into a different category. We have made it clear to the de facto regime that we expect these people to be allowed to leave.
We've arranged for a charter flight. All that remains to be done is for the de factos to allow that flight to land and take off, and we expect that that will happen. If it does not, we will look at other ways, again, to remove those refugees and to get them into the United States. I think they know our position -- that we expect those refugees be allowed to leave.
Q Do they know what will happen if they are not allowed to leave, or if they are hurt?
MS. MYERS: I don't think we've made any specific quid pro quo kinds of threats. But I think that they understand that we expect those people to be able to leave, and that at the same time, we expect the de facto military leaders to step aside. And we will continue to pursue that policy until they do.
Q Are you saying that we might go in and get them out?
MS. MYERS: No. I'm saying that --
Q But you said we would then look at other ways to remove those refugees.
MS. MYERS: What I meant is what we discussed yesterday, which is that we are looking at ways to bring them out by land or by sea.
Q You haven't seen any sign of a threat against these people by the thugs --
MS. MYERS: No, and we're continuing to monitor it. I don't think there have been any -- there was some incidents, as you know, in Port au Prince at the refugee processing center there. Obviously, we deplore that in the strongest terms. We made that clear to the de factos. Our ambassador and others on the ground there are keeping very close watch on the situation.
Q No sign that the people that have received asylum have been particularly targeted by the Haitians?
MS. MYERS: I can double-check that, but I don't know of any incidents against them.
Q Dee Dee, Secretary Bentsen has asked Janet Reno and the Ethics Office to better define the rules by which various government officials, law enforcement officials, can discuss sensitive matters, as in the case of the RTC. Does the White House view such action as needed and helpful?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think we would welcome any clarification, anything that will help guarantee that government officials honor not just the letter of the law, but all of the ethics rules that guide our day-to-day activities, and that understand fully the scope of those restrictions.
As you know, White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler issued a memo a while back, I think, clarifying what we can and cannot do here with regards to contacts with regulatory agencies and some other issues that I think are important. I think the President and certainly the White House would welcome any additional steps that might help clarify that and avoid the kind of mistakes that have been made in the past.
Q Dee Dee, back on the paid political announcement tonight -- do you have any numbers to back up the President's assertion tonight that never in the history of the country has such a big campaign been launched to kill or defeat an initiative like health care reform?
MS. MYERS: I don't know if we have a dollar-by-dollar breakdown; I can check and see. But certainly that is the opinion. There was the one study by -- what was it? Anyway, there's one study out there which --
Q Annenberg's --
MS. MYERS: Yes, Annenberg's study, which characterized it as such. Other people -- Kathleen Hall Jamison and others who are close watchers of this that have written books on it have certainly characterized it that way. I don't think we have any independent studies, but there have been numerous reports that suggest that that's true.
Q Senator Gramm again today, and Senator Dole had a news conference. And they're once again insisting that the Mitchell bill contains 17 new taxes, 32 new bureaucracies, is basically government-run health care.
MS. MYERS: That's ridiculous. It's just not true. And I would challenge them to produce a list of 17 new taxes. At the same time, I would challenge them to explain how this is a government-run health care system. What this does is build on the current system of private health insurance. It relies in the early stages mostly on market reforms with some subsidies, which I think many of those -- some subsidies were included in Senator Dole's plan, which we're still waiting for him to turn into legislation. And should we fail to get to 95 percent, the commission will make recommendations. And an employer mandate would require not that government provide insurance, but that employers provide insurance, which builds on the employer-based private system that we have today.
So I fail to understand Senators Gramm and Dole's definition of big government system. This builds on the current system, which I don't think they would describe as government system.
Q Is there any realistic chance that one Republican in the Senate would support the Mitchell bill?
MS. MYERS: I certainly hope so. I mean, as you know, there have been a number of Republican senators, including Senator Dole, who have repeatedly -- until recently -- repeatedly insisted that what we need is universal coverage. And you can go back -- and I have a list if anyone's interested -- of times that Senator Dole has come out and said, I think we can get a bipartisan bill that will include universal coverage. He said that as early as, I think, the winter of this year.
We're hopeful that there are a number of Republican senators who have been fighting for years for genuine reform. The President and many of those senators believe the only way you get genuine and meaningful reform is by covering everybody.
So I think the President remains hopeful that we will have a bipartisan bill. He's worked for that; I think he's come that extra mile to find a bill that will be acceptable to both sides of the aisle. And every time, as he's said, every time he steps forward, they step back. And I think that's too bad.
Q What did he say in the Cabinet meeting this morning about a one-vote strictly Democratic majority, as was the case last year with the economic plan. Would he be willing to go for that this year?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think we'll have to wait and see. I think what he wants to do is get a bipartisan bill. I think he'll fight to pass health care however that is possible, but I think it has been and remains his objective to have a bipartisan bill. Certainly, again,there are a lot of Republicans who have been fighting for genuine health care reform for a long time.
A lot of them -- Senator Packwood goes back 20 years when he introduced -- and introduced, I guess, last year a bill that included a universal coverage through an employer mandate with a 75- 25 split. I guess he says now he's changed his mind, but after 20 years of fighting for health care reform that includes universal coverage, I think that's too bad.
Q So if necessary he will go for the same kind of strategy as he got on the economic bill even though at the end of that, as you will recall, he said he never again wanted to go through that kind of partisan battle again?
MS. MYERS: Well, I don't -- he wouldn't necessarily choose to do that, but certainly wouldn't -- the President is committed to passing health care reform, and he will do that by whatever means is necessary. But I think the bottom line is that he remains committed to a bipartisan bill.
Q On abortion, is the President still solid on abortion coverage as being a part of a bill?
MS. MYERS: There's been no change in his position on that. He introduced a plan that included coverage of pregnancyrelated services which is -- as you know, most health care plans, about 70 percent of health care plans include that now. It is something that will have to be worked out, however, between the House and the Senate. It is something that there is not universal agreement on.
Q And one other thing, do you have anything on Janet Reno's study on the abortion violence, whether there's a pattern?
MS. MYERS: No, I'd have to refer you to Justice on that.
Q Until fairly recently the President said that the health care security act that he proposed and that the health care task force worked on was the best plan for reform. And last night he talked about the Democratic bills, plans in both the House and Senate as not just acceptable alternatives but in fact better than his plan in several ways and he gave examples. Why did he not, after all the work the task force worked on, adopt some of the proposals that the House and Senate are now putting forward as part of his plan after all the work that went on?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think certainly members of Congress who have been working on health care reform for years and years have their own ideas and certainly were able to put forward some suggestions to improve the bill. What the President has said is that the current proposal -- that he'd listen to members of Congress and to the American people and came up with a health care, or now supports health care plan that is less bureaucratic, that is more streamlined than the bill that he introduced.
The main elements of his bill he stands by. He still believes, for example, that an employer mandate is the best way to get to universal coverage. Nobody has shown him a better way. He's willing to try market reforms first, but only with the guarantee that if that doesn't get you to universal health care that there is a backup plan.
Q Is he, in fact, though, saying that the work of the Health Care Task Force failed to take into account some of the experience that Congress has?
MS. MYERS: No. I think the Health Care Task Force was broadly based, but I don't think even a very comprehensive, wellmeaning and intelligent effort can have all the best ideas. I don't think this president or this White House believes that we have the corner on good ideas.
The President said when he introduced it he'd be willing to look at ways to improve it or make it better. He meant it. He looked at ways, decided that there were ways to improve. He did that, but I think the fundamental bottom-line elements of the bill he believes are critical, and I think he believes that the plan he put forward was the best way to get there including the shared responsibility or employer mandate.
Q Do you know what his schedule for next week is?
MS. MYERS: Let's do the weekend here. There's a few things -- tomorrow, Friday, the President will do this sort of economic event at 10:00 a.m. And again, this is just sort of -- the budget passed on August 6, 1993, so this is sort of the one-year anniversary.
Q Who is the audience?
MS. MYERS: The audience is workers from a couple of different companies in the area.
Q How many people?
MS. MYERS: It's in the Rose Garden so, generally, it's a couple of hundred.
Then he has lunch with the Vice President. He'll tape the radio address tomorrow. And then he's expected to leave around 4:00 p.m. for Camp David.
Then on Saturday at about 4:50 p.m. -- excuse me -- at about 3:30 p.m. he'll leave Andrews -- so he'll leave Camp David before that -- leave Andrews around 3:30 p.m., fly to Michigan. The arrival will be open. He'll give remarks there. Then he'll attend a reception and a dinner. These are both events for the Michigan Coordinated Campaign, which will support Democratic efforts in the upcoming elections.
Then they'll return to Camp David, getting back to Andrews at about 10:00 p.m., a little after 10:00 p.m.
Q Is Mrs. Clinton going with him?
MS. MYERS: Good point. I keep saying they, but I think it's only the President. I don't think she is.
Q Can we stop you right there just for one second? The remarks when he arrives, are they an airport arrival?
MS. MYERS: Correct. It's an open arrival.
Q And that's the only thing that's open?
MS. MYERS: Correct. No, the --
Q Oh, part of the reception is open?
MS. MYERS: Yes. Let me just check which one. The reception at 6:00 p.m. is an expanded pool event and the dinner is closed to press.
Q And under what auspices or premise are these remarks being delivered? In other words, what is this for?
MS. MYERS: It's a fundraising event for the Coordinated Campaign.
Q The arrival remarks at the airport?
MS. MYERS: Oh, that will be just an opportunity to say hello to local supporters. There will be a group of people that are there that will be invited to just greet him on his arrival. And I think his remarks there will be very general. I'm sure he'll touch on health care.
Q It's not a public event to make this sort of partially --
Q It doesn't qualify as --
MS. MYERS: No, no. No, no, no.
Q It's still a political --
MS. MYERS: It's still a political event. It's just a way to sort of address the general public as opposed to just people at the event.
Then, Sunday he's back at Camp David. He comes back, spends the night Sunday night at the White House. On Monday he has a number of meetings and various activities. At 4:30 p.m. he will have the Medal of Freedom ceremony in the East Room. And then at 7:30 p.m. Monday night he's at a DSCC fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency.
And that is as far ahead as this particular schedule goes.
Q Tomorrow night is a DSCC ad, too, right?
MS. MYERS: Yes. Tomorrow night, Saturday night, Sunday night, Monday night. I think through the weekend.
Q Different ads?
MS. MYERS: Each one will be different.
Q Have you produced them already? Are they in the can?
MS. MYERS: No, no.
Q He's not doing them live, though, is he?
MS. MYERS: No, he'll be taping them depending on the situation. Today's was taped. He's doing another taping today. They'll run at 7:50 p.m. Eastern time but they'll run simultaneously across the country so, in other words, it will be 4:50 p.m. Pacific time.
Q Any travel likely next week --
MS. MYERS: And in Hawaii, where they have universal health care, it will be at 1:50 p.m. (Laughter.)
Q Any travel at all likely next week?
MS. MYERS: Not that I know of.
Q What time will it be on in Guam? (Laughter.)
MS. MYERS: That's a good question. Some time before 1:30 p.m.
Q (inaudible) --
MS. MYERS: We're still looking into that.
Q What was the question?
MS. MYERS: The question was can we get the scripts embargoed the evening before. I think I haven't gotten an answer to that yet.
Q Any chance the Stones will come later?
MS. MYERS: I think that the contingent of Stones that was coming has come.
Q Who was that?
MS. MYERS: None of the band members, but there were other people who work with the band.
Q Is the White House being snubbed -- (laughter.)
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:55 P.M. EDT