THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
The Briefing Room
1:08 P.M. EST
MR. MCCURRY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the White House. I'm going to start off with something unusual today. From time to time, some of you report on the internal doings at the White House and who's up and who's down on the White House staff. Normally, as you know, we don't comment on that kind of thing. But sometimes you write about George -- that would be George Stephanopoulos -- and speculate about what his role is and how close he is to the President and his authority and everything. And I just want to note for the record, as of today, in Greece, Stephanopoulos is the President. (Laughter.) And we congratulate President Stephanopoulos today on his inauguration. (Laughter.)
Q Is he registered as an agent of a foreign government? (Laughter.)
Q And is there an independent prosecutor to look into it?
MR. MCCURRY: The Vice President of the United States, looking anxious I might say, came by last night to inquire -- to make sure George was still here. I wouldn't interpret that any further for you.
What else do we have to tell you today? The President of the United States is delighted to today forward to the United States Senate for confirmation the name of Daniel Glickman, the former U.S. Representative from Kansas's 4th congressional district, for confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture. Dan Glickman played a leadership role for America's farmers during his almost 18 years in the House, serving on two important agriculture subcommittees, serving as a key player in the formulation of the past four farm bills. And the President looks forward to his active involvement of the development of the 1995 farm bill.
Q Why did this take so long to send it up?
MR. MCCURRY: Because we do it right. (Laughter.)
Q What was wrong?
MR. MCCURRY: There was nothing wrong. We just wanted to make sure we had everything in order --
Q And he passed everything with flying colors -- the FBI and --
Q Are you satisfied that there will be no problems?
MR. MCCURRY: We're satisfied that he will receive confirmation from the Senate and go to work promptly. We've had good conversations with both Chairman Lugar and with Senator Leahy. We'll leave it up to them to tell you further about their own plans for the confirmation process, but we do expect hearings to be scheduled shortly, perhaps even this month, so we can move on with the confirmation process.
Q Foster confirmation process?
MR. MCCURRY: One more?
Q What about his daughter? Did you clear up the idea of her using his telephone card?
MR. MCCURRY: We are confident in sending forward the nomination that he will be able to receive confirmation by the Senate and be able to address any issues that members of the Senate may wish to pursue during the course of the confirmation process.
Next. President Clinton is pleased to announce that President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has accepted an invitation to meet with him in early April. And the two leaders will discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the U.S.-Egypt partnership for economic growth and development and efforts to advance the Middle East peace process. President Clinton last met with President Mubarak in Cairo during the President's October 1994 trip to the Middle East.
The Vice President has announced today that he will be going to the Middle East. He will travel to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Oman and Saudi Arabia from March 19th to March 24th. He will also meet with President Mubarak. They will be actually conducting the first meeting of the U.S. Egypt Joint Committee for Economic Growth.
And, of course, as you know, Secretary Christopher is in the region and just met with President Mubarak yesterday, I believe -- or day before yesterday.
Q Do you have a date for that?
MR. MCCURRY: Just early April.
Q He'll be coming here?
MR. MCCURRY: He'll be coming here to Washington, yes.
Q Mike, are you going to give us a list of the congressional types who were here? And the meeting, I guess, started a little late. Do you know how long it's going to go?
MR. MCCURRY: It was underway as I come out now. And I don't have a readout on it yet. We've got 20, I think of, the 23 members that are in this particular caucus within the House that are present.
Q Will we get a list?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, we'll have a list.
Q The President made it clear he was happy with the number of jobs created last month that added to his 6.1 million total. Is the President happy with the kinds of jobs that were created? The report says they were mostly service industry jobs, secretarial, restaurant workers. Is that what the President's looking for?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he wants jobs that can pay higher wages to the American people, but we recognize that that requires more work to increase education and training opportunities to raise the skill levels of American workers. And while we are delighted with the employment report today, we do recognize that growing the economy, as the President often describes it, will require extensive efforts to build our capacity to develop higher-skill and higher-wage jobs.
In the month of February, there were 27,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector, and over the past 12 months there have been, I think, some 325,000 manufacturing jobs created. So there has been job creation in higher-wage-paying sectors of the economy. But we recognize that we need to do everything we can do to increase the capacity in those sectors of the economy that can pay higher wage rates.
Q Mike, can you give us some sense of where this affirmative action review stands? There are some reports it might come out next week.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the review of programs will be done, as I've often said, carefully and deliberately by those who are working on it. We do have a date to testify before Congress later this month, and the question at this point is whether or not the President will address those issues publicly prior to that testimony by Justice Department official. We will know more about that, I think, as we go into the next week or so. But the President, as he's told all of you, is anxious to publicly join the issue, present at least his preliminary thinking on the review as soon as he can do so. But we don't have any date scheduled yet for that presentation.
Q Do you have any reaction to the House passing the latest tort reform measure today?
MR. MCCURRY: Did they get to final passage on product liability? Well, we've outlined some of our concerns about his legislation. We feel that this does not -- the package of the three measures together, both loser pay, product liability and securities reform, doesn't do enough to protect the interests of the American consumer. And the President will be seeking modifications of this legislation as the legislation now moves to the Senate.
In all, we believe that reducing unnecessary and frivolous litigation is an important objective, that there are provisions in the House-passed bills that don't do enough to protect the interests of the American consumer. And we'll be interested in seeking changes in this legislation when it goes to the Senate.
Q If the Foster nomination investigation is completed, why is it going to take until May to hold hearings on the nomination?
MR. MCCURRY: I can't answer that question. You should probably appropriately address that question to Senator Kassebaum.
Q Have you sent it up?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, it's been -- the nomination has been sent to the Senate. And we would like them to proceed with hearings and with the confirmation process as quickly as they can.
Q So the delay is not from here?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not -- I believe Senator Kassebaum is the one that has to speak to the scheduling of hearings.
Q My question is, is the White House content with that kind of delay? Would you all would like to see it sooner?
MR. MCCURRY: We are anxious to start with some of the things that the President outlined in his State of the Union address; specifically, the national campaign to end teenage pregnancy. And obviously, Dr. Foster is the ideal person to lead that type of effort as surgeon general. So we are interested confirmation for Dr. Foster as soon as possible. We will work with the Senate, and specifically with Senator Kassebaum, as they schedule the hearings and move forward.
Q You were going to have a response on capital gains.
MR. MCCURRY: I don't -- I've got something of a response, but not probably as complete as you would like. The President has said -- I checked into this -- the President said that he will give any tax cut proposal full consideration and that he will weigh it by several fairly simple criteria: First, does it create jobs and incomes for working families? Second, is it efficient; i.e., does it give a good bang for the buck in the incentives provided? And third, how does it affect the overall fairness of the tax code itself?
Now, some of you recall that in 1993 the President proposed and then helped pass a capital gains tax cut that was targeted on small businesses, and he felt that kind of proposal met his criteria, obviously. It had a 50-percent exclusion for investments in new equities and companies that were worth $50 million or less -- also there was a holding period involved, I think, for five years -- that it was exactly the type of measure that was targeted on those who are going to generate new jobs, help the economy grow, as we were pointing out today.
And the President feels that some of the proposals that are now out there, including the ones that were embedded in the Contract on America fail to meet that criteria. They don't -- they go disproportionately to the upper income. I think a third of the benefits in the measure that was outlined yesterday go disproportionately to people who have more than $100,000 of annual household income, and that just doesn't meet that type of criteria.
So we will -- again, as I say, we will look at any tax cut proposal to see if it gives the kinds of consideration of the criteria the President has outlined. And we will look -- judge it accordingly at that point.
Q Is the White House satisfied with the economic plan announced yesterday by the government of Mexico?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. If I'm not mistaken, the Treasury Secretary has had some things to say on it today, but we do welcome the tough monetary and fiscal measures that were announced by the government of Mexico last night. They demonstrate Mexico's resolve to restore financial stability and to restore confidence in the markets. The measures demonstrate Mexico's willingness to take necessary, although we acknowledge, painful, steps to put itself back on the road to long term economic health. We believe our assistance and that of other international financial institutions will be critical to Mexico's economic recovery.
Some of you may know that the Treasury has announced today that the first $3 million can be drawn upon by the government of Mexico as early as today.
Q Three billion.
MR. MCCURRY: Three billion. Thanks for that correction. It is in our interest that Mexico, with this assistance, move forward with plans, reforms that can contribute to long term stability and economic growth.
Q What part did the administration play into making of this package?
MR. MCCURRY: I would have to check on that. I believe we've been in active consultations with the government of Mexico, specifically on the credit facility that's available, but I don't know what role, if any, was played in reviewing the aspects of the reform package and the changes in the monetary and fiscal policies that President Zedillo announced last night.
Q Mike, getting back to the group of Democrats here today -- some conservative Democrats are saying that they're getting more attention from Republicans on the Hill -- more attention from Republicans than they are from the White House. Is this meeting an attempt to placate them? And also, what do you know about some ideas for putting together a type of Democratic answer to the Contract which would come out after the 100 days, supposedly, and without White House interference?
MR. MCCURRY: Jill, I know the President has been consulting regularly with members of Congress and has had different combinations from both Republican Party constituencies and the Democratic Party here to the White House for conversation. He's interested in doing that because he's interested in hearing their views and consulting regularly with Congress across a wide range of issues.
Today at this session he was interested in hearing their views on a range of subjects including, most likely, affirmative action. But he is talking to a very wide cross section of Congress which is very diverse. He's had, I think, at least on six or seven occasions, different groups down for lunch.
And on the other aspect -- you know, on the other aspect of how we deal with what happens after the 100 days of the Contract on America, we are going to be working to advance the proposals the President has always put forward; the Middle Class Bill of Rights, those aspects of the budget proposal that represent our commitments on new investment and spending.
Again, you know, before we start dealing with alternatives, we need to deal with what is the Republican majority in the Congress going to do to bring forth their own budget proposal. They still, as you've heard from us over and over again, have not brought forward any specific proposal that allows us to engage the debate and to see where they would take fiscal policy over the course of the coming year, two years.
Q There is some suspicion, apparently, among members of the Republican majority on Capitol Hill that some areas of the administration are rushing to spend money before it can be rescinded in the rescission package. AID was cited in one article for about $30 million for housing for troops in Estonia, returning from Estonia. Does the administration know anything about that? Is there any type of directive?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm sorry. I missed the first part of your question. These are cuts --
Q Proposed cuts in the rescission package that agencies or departments are apparently rushing to spend before they can be rescinded.
MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't know without checking specifically with the agencies on items, but we've got a range of commitments that are out there where the United States in the world community has put down some commitments that other foreign governments are relying upon. That's one reason among many why we think we need to move forward quickly with some of the legislation that's pending so we can resolve some of these issues and make good on our international commitments. But that's a sentiment that I believe is shared by a number of Republicans on Capitol Hill as well.
Q They are also talking about some domestic programs. Is there -- there hasn't been any kind of order from here to spend the money before they can get it back?
MR. MCCURRY: Not that I'm aware of, no.
Q Mike, is the President going to establish a committee to review the CIA? And if he is, why is that necessary?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, it's -- look, it's necessary -- there's a limit to how much I can actually talk about the results of that particular presidential directive because it is classified. I can talk about it probably in general terms that might be helpful. But the President has approved, as I think it was reported in the Post today, that he has signed a presidential directive on intelligence priorities. But the purpose of it is to give some clearer signals to the intelligence community about what the chief customers of intelligence analysis -- the President and senior foreign policymakers of the government -- what they need to have as we look out into this new world that we live in and assess all those things necessary to protect the national security interests of Americans. It's important in a time of limited resources for the President and his policymakers to give clear priorities to the intelligence community so that they can gather the type of information that will help them make the right decisions protecting Americans interests around the world.
And that's, broadly defined, exactly what this presidential directive does. It sets up a procedure by which, from time to time, we can review the work of the intelligence community, see that it's addressing exactly those concerns that we have in providing to the President and other principal policymakers and foreign policy the kind of information they need and want so that they can make the right types of decisions.
Q Isn't that what the President's foreign intelligence advisory board was supposed to do?
MR. MCCURRY: No, it doesn't do quite that, Wolf. They review a range of things related to the work of the intelligence community and provide, as the name would indicate, advice on how better to meet those goals. In the case of the President and his policymakers, they want to give priorities -- actually want to sort of say, look, here are things we specifically want to have as we look at the decision-making that we're going to have to conduct.
Now, the advisory board helps in that effort, but they kind of do a broader gauge review of the work of the intelligence community across a range of issues, not necessarily directed to the strict function of policy-making.
Q Mike, can we construe from the President's directive that he's not happy with the quality or nature of the intelligence he's getting?
MR. MCCURRY: No, you can construe from the directive and from the review that proceeded it that a lot of new thinking has to go in, in shaping America's priorities in the new world we live in. It reflects, in some ways, the very hopeful nature of the post- Cold War era. There are certain types of threats that are now reduced, specifically the nuclear threat; we don't have Russian strategic intercontinental missiles aimed at the United States anymore. So we have a range of security threats that are different in this world.
Quite frankly, proliferation remains a concern. Terrorism remains a concern, International crime remains a concern. And how you structure the priorities of the intelligence community to reflect the new threats that are more urgent in the post-Cold War world is part of what this review and this directive are all about.
Q Did you come up with any reaction to President Mitterrand's invitation to Fidel Castro to stop by for lunch, dinner anything?
MR. MCCURRY: I didn't. We are largely satisfied with where we are with the French on a range of issues right now; the bilateral relationship remains, we think, strong. We were able to deal with the differences that do exist. But I'll see if we have anything more specific.
Q does that intelligence directive take in economic espionage?
MR. MCCURRY: It addresses priorities, as defined by the President and his policymakers. I can't, for obvious reasons, go through and list for you the priorities.
Q I don't know if you can answer this question either, but does it look -- how far does it go in looking at the broader range of how intelligence is gathered, what agencies gather it, and how it's presented? There have been suggestions that some agencies functions are being changed or consolidated.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, this is not an organizational proposal. This really goes more to what type of information do the President and his policymakers need; how do you structure priorities and give clear signals to those agencies within the intelligence community so they can do the right work. It's not -- this is not a reinventing government aspect, although, it clearly relates to some of the same goals of reinventing government, because we're dealing with reduced resources and making sure that we use those resources more effectively. The President is basically saying to the intelligence community that in an era in which you've got less to work with, we want you to do more of the things that are more important -- and defining what's more important and setting some priorities is really the principal goal of the exercise.
Q Has the White House gotten any word from Justice on whether or not there will be a special council on --
MR. MCCURRY: Not to my knowledge.
Q Would you necessarily?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not certain that we necessarily would. My understanding is that the Attorney General forwards whatever recommendation is made, if it is forwarded to the federal judicial panel. But I'm not aware that they -- that there's been any notification here.
Q Mike, on WTO, did the President receive the letter from the EC President asking him to get more involved, and has he responded?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, he did receive it and it is -- falls within the consultations that we currently have on -- falls within the consultations that we now have ongoing with our trading partners about how to proceed forward here. I decline to make any specific comment in reaction to the letter.
Q How soon would you expect that he might respond?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we're working with our trading partners with the hope that we can resolve this question, move ahead quickly to find a candidate who can head the WTO. But I don't want to suggest any specific time line.
Q What is the deadline for that, for finding the new director?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, in some senses, the deadline passed already because the World Trade Organization is up and running and it does need leadership and needs leadership as soon as possible.
Q Mike, Senator Moynihan said this morning that President Clinton has been too nuanced on the plan to end AFDC and called on the President to level an explicit veto threat against this legislation. Could you respond to that?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he is -- the Senator, being a noted expert on the subject as well as a former boss of mine, I can appreciate his strong feelings on a subject that he is one of the leading authorities in this country. I'd say at the same time the President, this past week, I think, outlined in great detail his specific concerns about welfare reform when he spoke to the National Association of Counties and laid out, I would suggest, a very clear road map of how we could proceed on welfare reform.
Now, our hope is that when the measures reach the Senate where Senator Moynihan will clearly be a principal architect of the reforms, we can work with the Senate and fashion a proposal that meets the outline -- or meets the objectives the President outlined earlier this week; specifically, doing more to get people to make the transition from welfare dependency to work, doing more to support children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in poverty and doing more to find the right mechanisms that can help states make good on these transitions. And the President was pretty clear on his thinking earlier in the week, and, obviously, we will talk at great length with Senator Moynihan because he will be so central in the debate that lies ahead.
Q Several concerned Democrats have expressed a concern that any of the tax cut packages could end up leading to a bidding war just like it did in '81. And I wondered if that might be coming up at the meeting today in addition to affirmative action?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we would hope not because our thinking on a tax cut proposal is very clear in the Middle Class Bill of Rights. We've got a very targeted proposal that not only is provides good effective tax relief to middle-income Americans, but it also supports the economic recovery responsible for the type of employment numbers that you saw today. I mean, there's a reason why that recovery has sustained over so many quarters and why it's produced so many jobs for the American working family.
And the reason is that our tax policy and our fiscal policy has been designed to support the type of strong economic performance that we saw in the numbers today. The concern that we do have is that some proposals, including the tax cut proposal outlined by the Republicans yesterday, might jeopardize the economic recovery that is producing over the last two years 6.1 million new jobs.
Q Does the CIA report on Serb atrocities give the President any second thoughts on making concessions to Milosevic?
MR. MCCURRY: No. It has, one, underscored his determination that these crimes be prosecuted by the International War Crimes Tribunal; and, two, underscored the determination we feel that the diplomacy that could bring this conflict to an end needs to be accelerated and invigorated.
That was the purpose of Assistant Secretary Holbrooke's visit with Milosevic recently, and it's the reason why we would continue to press for measures that would get Milosevic and Serbia- Montenegro on the side of the type of solution to the Bosnia conflict that's been outlined by the Contact Group.
Q Back to Glickman. Lugar yesterday said on Fox that the administration has been missing in action on discussions on the farm bill. What's your idea what's going on on those? And what does Glickman bring, and how quickly can he get in on those talks?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he brings, as I suggested at the outset, he brings a wealth of experience in crafting the last four farm bills that have been passed by the Congress. And he brings leadership on behalf of the administration to the debate with Congress on how to fashion the 1995 farm bill.
So I'm not accepting the criticism of Senator Lugar. But even if that were to be true, the nomination and confirmation of an agriculture secretary could certainly help bring the issues together so we can get on with the work of crafting a 1995 farm bill. These are all -- as we look ahead to later this year when the President hosts a rural summit, I think you can expect a lot of these types of issues to come together. And the presence of a confirmed agriculture secretary would be helpful.
Q rural summit?
Q You already announced --
Q Where's that going to be, in Moscow? (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: I'm just whetting your appetite for a little bit. (Laughter.)
Q Yeah, you sure are.
MR. MCCURRY: It's a slow day; I wanted to give you something to chase around for the rest of the day.
Q In light of the fact that the Republicans on the Hill so far have been able to remain surprisingly unified on most of the issues that have come up. Is there any message going out from the White House to these conservative Democrats that says we have to stay unified as a party; we really wish that you would vote with us more often?
MR. MCCURRY: Are these the Republicans that you're talking about that I saw talking amongst themselves in a newspaper account yesterday being terribly dispirited by their lack of unity? Those Republicans?
Q Well, in terms of the vote counts. Yes, those very same Republicans, in terms of the vote counts they've been able to pull together --
MR. MCCURRY: The Republicans such as the leading Republican strategist who yesterday in commenting on the Hatfield matter said that he detected within the Republican Senate consideration issues some creepy Leninist-type thinking. Did you all see that? Very interesting. (Laughter.)
Q He was talking about John Lennon. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: I, of course, would never -- I, myself, wouldn't say something like that, but I thought it was interesting that Bill Kristol did. (Laughter.)
Q Oh, so those Republicans -- we're talking about those Republicans? (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: Oh, oh. Those unified Republicans that are calling each other Leninists and --
Q Well, forget about the Republicans. (Laughter.) In terms of these Democrats, is there any message going out from the White House to these folks who have been voting with Republicans on a lot of these issues that we really do need to stick together, that Democrats need to --
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. I mean, broadly, in a broad sense, of course. The President in conversations that he has with members of the Congress and in conversations that we hear Democratic members of the House and Senate having with each other. We are all stressing the need to hang together.
We have -- a lot of things we believe in as Democrats are under assault because there are contrasting visions now of what the American future is going to look like. There is one vision that is very stark, very bleak, and it is related to the Contract. And there's another vision that is much more hopeful. And, frankly, the President defines it as the New Convenant because it defines a new relationship between the government and the American people.
But the point that the President makes over and over on behalf of his own thinking as it relates to the philosophy of the New Covenant, and he makes this equally to Democrats on the right of the political spectrum and on the left, is that we believe that government can be a common instrument used by the American people to address the real problems that we face in this country. But if you believe in that role for government, you have to fine-tune that instrument so that it works more effectively. And that is an issue upon which we see Democrats on either side of the spectrum coming together and rallying behind the view that the President is expressing.
Q As a quick follow-up, are there are sticks that the White House intends to level on Democrats who don't go along with the position?
MR. MCCURRY: We haven't found sticks necessary. I that the -- what concentrates the mind so effectively is the specter of Newt Gingrich and some of the work of the contract on America. That is a very stark different view of what the country would look like. And it's not one that is appealing to Democrats.
Q What's the President's reaction to the fact that so many Democrats are voting for these Contract items?
MR. MCCURRY: I've got -- Ginny gave me a note saying that the Senator Lugar's office has called and said that they've schedule the hearings for agricultural secretary-designate, Mr. Glickman, for March 21st, 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen.
Q Did you sound out with the Senate the appropriateness of the nomination before it was sent up in terms of sending his FBI files and looking over the analysis of his career?
MR. MCCURRY: We've had White House staff up on Capitol Hill doing the good kind of staff work that you'd expect of the White House staff.
Q Mike, if sticks aren't necessary, why are so many Democrats voting for the Contract? Does the President wish that more of them were voting against --
MR. MCCURRY: They are different views on specific items that are going to be pending before Congress. The Contract, as it takes the shape of specific legislation, will provoke different kinds of reactions from Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans have lost votes on some aspects of the Contract, too, but those are individual members of the Congress making their best judgments as they take on legislation.
What I'm -- I'm asked a question I think is more to the broad question of how do you shape a debate between two different views of the future. And in that contest, the President has --enjoys considerable support from Democrats on Capitol Hill. He's working to forge that support and to strengthen that support, of course. But we're satisfied that we do enjoy across a range of the caucuses in both the House and the Senate a great deal if not unanimity, at least a clear consensus around fighting for the things that we believe in as Democrats.
Q Mike, can I get back to the farm bill for one second? You were just talking about these days of diminishing resources. Broadly defined, what is the President's agricultural policy?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, look, I -- my staff was giving me bad looks on that. We will have more to say on that and, of course, our agricultural secretary designate will properly address exactly those types of issues as they go through the confirmation process.
Q You'll have more to say at the world summit on that, too, right?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes.
Q So later this month, or later this year?
Q Would that be one of the economic conferences, or is it separate?
MR. MCCURRY: No. I'll -- we'll tell you more about that as soon as we can.
Q Mike, looking ahead, what's happening next week? Anything else?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll, you've got, I think, the week ahead, but I'll give you some sense of what we're going to be doing. Next week, the debate on Capitol Hill will be defined, we expect, and probably you expect, too, by the rescission debate in the House. And the President will be speaking to many of those issues when he -- well, first starting tomorrow, when he talks about some of the effects of the rescission proposals on the national service program. There's a desire somewhere on Capitol Hill to cut at least 15,000 AmeriCorps members out of the kinds of work that they're doing, the opportunities that their getting through the national service program.
We'll be talking, next week, about the National League of Cities. The President will address some of the cuts that affect the opportunity of young people to get important employment experience during summer jobs -- by having summer jobs. We'll talk more about some of the cutbacks on food programs and how they affect kids; talk about school lunches and continue to make that case. We want the American people to understand where the money is going -- where is it coming from to go to pay for the tax cuts that are going to the wealthy, and the tax write-offs for corporations that are in this proposal by the Republicans. We want them to understand that's coming out of these programs that are important to kids.
And the President will also be meeting with -- is it the National Board of the PTA -- on Tuesday, talking a little more about rescission cuts that affect our fight against drugs. They are taking away one of the most valuable tools, which is -- like the D.A.R.E. program -- exists in a lot of schools around the country. So drug- free schools will be on his mind as he speaks on Tuesday.
And then as we get later in the week, I expect you'll be hearing more about reinventing government and the type of things I talked about earlier that follow on the work that the Vice President is doing. So that's, thematically, more a week in which the President continues to make a very strong case for this different view of the American future that I was talking about just earlier.
Q Mike, still no plans for any travel until Atlanta, Tallahassee and Haiti?
MR. MCCURRY: That is correct.
Q Do we know yet who is going with the President to Haiti?
MR. MCCURRY: We've not announced the delegation.
Q Has the President talked to John Major since yesterday?
MR. MCCURRY: No, he's not.
Q And is Major still coming here next month?
MR. MCCURRY: Very likely.
Q Have you chosen now deliberately to call the Contract With -- or whatever it is -- America, the "Contract On America"?
MR. MCCURRY: What is it -- Contract On America? Contract with America? Contract For America? (Laughter.)
Q You called it Contract For America the other day.
MR. MCCURRY: I guess -- whatever they want to call it. What do they call it?
Q Contract With America.
MR. MCCURRY: Contract With America. But it is sort of a "Contract On America" if you think about it, though. (Laughter.)
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:43 P.M. EST