THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
The Briefing Room
12:40 P.M. EST
MR. MCCURRY: Good afternoon to you all. It's good to have you here at the White House, and I'm so happy that you're here. And I'd be delighted to take your questions.
Q Senior administration officials and senior Democratic people on Capitol Hill have confirmed that you you're going to come forward with a seven-year budget plan. Can you tell us when and to what level of detail you will be providing us?
MR. MCCURRY: No, and no.
Q Can you tell us why not?
MR. MCCURRY: The President -- go back a little bit. At the time the continuing resolution was negotiated, as you all know, the President and the Congress agreed that it was very important to address those priorities the President has stressed all along in the discussions of the budget -- how we can protect Medicare and Medicaid, and how we can protect our nation's environment, how we can make the kinds of investments in education and technology that will help the economy grow, and how we can protect working families from further tax increases.
Now, as you all know, the reconciliation bill that's been passed by the Congress does not meet that test that's now been agreed to by the President and the Congress. And I'm sure that those on Capitol Hill would quickly say, well, the President's own budget proposal, balanced budget proposal from June doesn't meet that test either. Because of that, Mr. Panetta wrote to the Hill leadership and said, we will start working through in a very serious way those priorities and those issues associated with reaching these objectives in the time period the continuing resolution suggests and get down to the business of writing a balanced budget plan.
And we've been working on that. We've said to you persistently that we would be working seriously towards that end. And the President has instructed his negotiators to prepare ideas that could be part of a useful discussion in good faith. So that's --
Q But is it or is it not a budget?
MR. MCCURRY: I think it's fair to say it will be a useful contribution to the discussions when the discussions turn serious. And we hope they will turn serious very soon because we cannot get this budget impasse off square one until the negotiators from both sides sit down, roll up their sleeves and start going to work.
Now, if the President and his negotiators are willing to come forward with some new ideas on how we address the President's priorities in the context of the seven-year budget that intuitively the members of Congress think is the right time frame, then we expect of them a willingness on their part to come forward with suggestions on how we address the priorities the President considers important. And we hope that the discussions as they proceed in coming days will take on that flavor. Now, how and when that all might happen remains to be seen.
Q Have you agreed to seven years, or not? Have you agreed to seven years, or not?
MR. MCCURRY: That's in the continuing resolution.
Q Okay, so you've agreed to that, right?
MR. MCCURRY: It's a federal law at this point.
Q Okay. So why does there need to be some concession on the part of the Congress --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, because there were -- remember that the issue is doing all these things that the President has talked about all along -- protecting Medicare. Does the current reconciliation bill of the Congress do that? No, it doesn't.
Q They certainly would argue it does.
MR. MCCURRY: Does it protect investments in --
Q In fact, they argue that it does and you don't.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we'll argue with them, but not with you. (Laughter.)
Q But, Mike, those are just a bunch of adjectives.
MR. MCCURRY: What's the question?
Q The question is why is -- if you haven't embraced -- why do you need to have concessions in exchange for a seven-year plan? You don't yet have a seven-year plan, do you?
MR. MCCURRY: We have, as I was just asked, some serious ideas that we're willing to sit down and talk about with the Republican negotiators. But we've got --
Q Are these ideas in the plan?
Q Is that a whole plan? Is that --
Q You don't have a budget.
Q Is that a budget --
MR. MCCURRY: You can't write a -- you have to write a budget as a whole budget.
Q That didn't stop you in June.
Q You don't have one.
MR. MCCURRY: Who said?
Q Well, that's what --
Q You did.
MR. MCCURRY: Who says we --
Q We are asking you that.
Q Why don't you answer the question very simply?
Q You said, no and no, indicating you didn't have one.
MR. MCCURRY: I said that we will be willing to come forward with some ideas that get on with the business of reaching the test that the Congress and the President have now agreed to, how do you balance a budget in the time period of seven years and do it in a way that protects Medicare, Medicaid, education, environment and does not raise taxes on working families. We've been doing serious work on our side of this negotiation to prepare for that serious discussion, and we expect and fully hope that the Republican negotiators have done likewise.
Q Mike, does the President now consider the presentation of these serious ideas which might look and quack like a budget a condition precedent to getting serious talks with the public? In other words, based on their keep saying that you have to provide a plan, has he instructed negotiators now to essentially --
MR. MCCURRY: We spent a week back and forth, you know, you go first, you go first, you go first. It's now time to roll up the sleeves, get down to business, write a budget so we don't shut the government down December 15. What the President has made clear is it's time to come forward, roll up our sleeves, get this work done, write a budget, balance the budget and put this atmosphere of crisis in which the American people lose the services of government behind us.
Q Well, just to follow up, does the President feel that it would be -- does he appreciate the Republicans' contention that it's unfair to ask them unilaterally to negotiate down from their baseline, which is the only thing that's really on the table as a fully formed plan?
MR. MCCURRY: The problem at the moment is they have no baseline now because they don't have a --
MR. MCCURRY: As you know, they are getting ready to adjust their numbers, and the CBO will have to come forward with their own assumptions.
Q Well, you really can't do much until then, then, can you?
MR. MCCURRY: No, that's not the case.
Q Well, how can you people be coming forward with ideas when the agreed upon baseline is not before either one of you?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we believe that the Office of Management and Budget economic assumptions have been right on the money all on --
Q I know, but you've agreed to discard those. You've agreed not to use those, haven't you now?
MR. MCCURRY: No, we've -- all we have agreed to do is when there is an agreement between the Congress and the President on an overall balanced budget plan, that will be scored by the CBO. That's what the continuing resolution says.
Q Which means at the end of the day, CBO numbers rule, and without knowing --
MR. MCCURRY: No --
Q -- what they are, how can you know how they will affect what the thing will look like?
MR. MCCURRY: That's a good question that goes to the Congressional Budget Office. It is hard for -- we can't -- we have to prepare our own budget ideas using the best numbers we have available, which come from the Office of Management and Budget. And then the Congress will have to use their expertise to evaluate those proposals as they develop their own economic assumptions.
Q Did the President tell them to come up with ideas that could prepare -- could wind up with a budget in seven years and still protect the Social --
MR. MCCURRY: The President told them to negotiate in good faith according to the terms of the continuing resolution.
Q Are the serious ideas that meet the tests of the continuing resolution that you guys are working on now, or are those based on OMB assumptions or CBO's --
MR. MCCURRY: They're based on OMB assumptions. Those are the only assumptions we have available to us at this point.
Q You have the earlier CBO assumptions which are going to be closer than --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the earlier CBO assumptions are about to be adjusted, and we don't know how they will be adjusted, as you know.
Q Have you collapsed your 10-year budget into seven?
MR. MCCURRY: We believe -- we have tried to take the philosophical premise of the President's 10-year budget, which is that we've got to maintain these commitments to our nation's elderly and do what we need to do, invest in a strong and growing economy, and do so in a way that provides tax relief and certainly not more tax burden to working families. And we have attempted to do that consistent with the President's priorities in the time frame that has been agreed to in the continuing resolution.
Q What do you mean when you say it's time to get off dead center, it's time to get going, but we're not going to do anything until the Republicans make concessions first? How do you square those two things?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I didn't -- that's not what I said. I said that we are going to go ahead -- this is a negotiation. I don't know how many of you have ever been in negotiations, but what you do is you sit down and one side puts forward ideas, the other side puts forth a different set of ideas, and you begin to bargain and negotiate. And the President hopes that we reach that point sooner rather than later so that we don't go through the nonsense of another government shutdown, costing the American people hundreds of millions of dollars a week and a half from now.
Q You can't tell us today, can you, that you have a fully formed offer to make?
MR. MCCURRY: No, but I just -- you came in a little bit late, but I winked and nodded and made it pretty clear where we are on that.
Q Senator Dole apparently called the President on this subject this morning. Can you tell me what -- or tell us what Clinton's commitment to Senator Dole was?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm sorry, say again.
Q Senator Dole apparently called Clinton today on this subject --
MR. MCCURRY: I was not aware of that. I know that the President has a desire to reach out and make some calls today, but my understanding is they were going to relate to Bosnia. I'll check and see whether they related to --
Q Did President Bush endorse -- call him?
MR. MCCURRY: I'll check and see whether they -- whether there was a discussion of budget.
Q Will the White House present these ideas to the Republicans at the meeting this afternoon, or are you going to wait for the Republicans to make some gesture of good faith first?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I won't predict when, but I suspect at some point we will publicly walk through the elements of this approach. And I would suggest that's probably a matter of a couple of days from now, several days from --
Q In what way would you do this?
MR. MCCURRY: When we feel like it's an appropriate point to present them, we will do so.
Q But I mean, present them in a speech or in --
Q Will you give it to the Republicans before you give it to the press, or is it going to be simultaneous?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I don't want -- I don't know. And I think a lot of that will depend on what kind of atmosphere we are in now that we're on the verge of resuming some of these discussions.
Q Who is Leon seeing today?
MR. MCCURRY: He's seeing the team that they've been meeting on the other side, which consists of Chairman Domenici, Chairman Kasich, and then the negotiators as they were in the last round last week is my understanding.
Q Mike, will it be the President walking through this, or will it be Leon, or who would it be?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll see. I'm not going to speculate on it until we set it up.
Q Mike, Senator Dole has already said that there will not be a shutdown of the government on December 15. The White House seems to be the only talking about shutting down the government.
MR. MCCURRY: To the contrary. We have said from the beginning, let's take that off the table now. There is no reason for the American people to have to sit their with the uncertainty in the holiday season of shutting down the government, and we like the attitude that Senator Dole had when he said we wouldn't do it. The problem was it was repudiated by other Republicans and then the Senator modified that judgment the following day.
Q If these are serious negotiations, though, what's the theory behind publicly disclosing what counterproposals you're making to the Republicans?
MR. MCCURRY: Good point. Did I do that? No. Were you yelling at me because I wouldn't? Yes.
Q You said you're going to be doing it.
MR. MCCURRY: No, I said that we had some obligation to help people understand what the contours of it are at the proper point, the appropriate point. That's why I can't speculate now on when we might want to do that.
Q Mike, some of the governors are saying you should put the CPI adjustment back on the table. Is it on the table? Is it going to be a part of these discussions?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we don't know at this point. We'll have to see what is on the table. But it was very interesting that the governors, as you saw what their letter said -- in a bipartisan way, they said if there's an adjustment in the CPI calculation -- in other words, if we adjust for inflation in a new way and generate savings as a result of that, where should the money go? Did you see where they said the money should go? It should go into Medicare and Medicaid, EITC. It ought to go to exactly those priorities the President has been talking about for some time.
And the White House is very encouraged that we have a bipartisan agreement of the governors now to take some of the -- to recalculate the way we'd write this balanced budget and do it in a way that protects the American people and put some of the resources back into the programs that the President has been saying all along are necessary. We hope the Congress will listen very carefully to what those bipartisan group of governors had to say.
Now, as to the question of the CPI calculation itself, our view remains that that's not something that should be settled by politicians negotiating a budget. It ought to be settled by experts who can tell us with some precision the degree to which the current calculation of the Consumer Price Index overstates inflation. Most economists -- in fact, I think there's a widespread agreement it does overstate the impact of inflation, but the critical issue is by how much. And our attitude all along has been that ought to be a question answered by the expertise of economists and --
Q Have you got your economists working on that?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. We've looked at that very carefully.
Q When do you expect to hear from them?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, in any event, it would have to be consistent with the continuing resolution, something that would be developed in consultation between the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget.
Q Is that one of the serious ideas that you are going to --
MR. MCCURRY: I don't -- our range of things that the President wants to see addressed by his negotiators have been very clear. We identified nine specific areas and a total of about 25 specific objectives in the letter that Mr. Panetta sent to the Republican leadership. And our work has been aimed directly at those areas as they were outlined by Mr. Panetta.
Q Mike, these new ideas, are they at all based on or drawn from the Stenholm budget, whatever you want to call it?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, they're all in that same -- I guess we'd say, all in the same neck of the woods.
Q Do you think the President's June proposals for tax cuts would change in the seven-year scenario?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President still believes it's very important to give tax relief to working Americans, especially for education and child care expenses. And you can imagine that we'd want to preserve that as any part of the discussions go forward.
Q Perhaps just the thrust, not the amount?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I don't want to get in -- again, remember, I'm not here to negotiate the budget. We've had serious people doing that, and I can tell you, in general, they are very serious in their work and approach to these issues and hopefully we will find a similar attitude on the part of the Republicans willing to address what the President considers important. If we're willing to work on the timing issue and the process issue, which the Republicans are most adamant about, we would similarly hope that they would be willing to address the question of budget priorities which is what the President is most adamant about.
Q Does Mr. Panetta intend to get specific about some of these ideas this afternoon?
MR. MCCURRY: Look, you're asking me to describe what the context and atmosphere is of a meeting that's going to occur this afternoon. I have no way of knowing this at this point. I don't know what the -- I can tell you a little bit about how our side will approach the discussion, and we're going to be serious. We're going to have ideas. We're going to want to move this issue forward. And whether or not there's a similar attitude on the other side remains to be seen.
Q Is the President going to keep up a series of appearances this week on Bosnia, to build support for this vote? Can you tell us what his plans are?
MR. MCCURRY: His plans are, as often as he can and with your indulgence, to talk about this issue because what we know is that the American people are very skeptical about the use of our troops in Bosnia to enforce this peace. That's because I think a lot of them are for the first time beginning to understand the nature of this conflict, the enormous progress we made in Dayton by achieving a peace agreement itself, and they want to know more about it. And they need to have a lot of questions answered. And the President is determined to do that because he wants them to understand the precise nature of the mission. He wants the American people to understand that these troops are not being sent to Bosnia to go to war, they're being sent there to preserve and protect the peace. And he wants them to know the very precise, limited nature of the deployment, its mission, its objectives and its exit strategy.
Q Do you have any statistics on the phone calls to the White House, mail to the White House, how it's running?
MR. MCCURRY: We can get some -- come back at that later.
Q Just to follow on Terry's --
Q Can I follow up on that? Is the President considering a visit to Bosnia?
MR. MCCURRY: No. We made that clear early today.
Q Is the fact that the public doesn't perhaps understand all the answers to those questions your explanation for why the administration has lost support since the President's original speech on Wednesday?
MR. MCCURRY: In some measures he's gained support; in others it depends on how you ask the question on what people are saying.
Q What measures has he gained support?
MR. MCCURRY: Oh, I think more people are -- first of all, in one respect he's gained because more people are paying attention to it. A lot more people in this country now have learned something about the conflict in the Balkans and are looking to get some answers as to why our troops are going to be there. And I think that -- the President's view is that that's forward progress because as more people understand the nature of the conflict and what we can do in the humanitarian purposes for which our troops are going to be in Bosnia, the more they will be supportive of the mission. The more they know, we believe, the more they will be supportive.
Q To follow up Terry's question, have you got some kind of schedule you give us of other events where he'll be speaking on the things that we're talking about?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll provide schedule information as we have it available. I don't have it here.
Q Did he get President Bush's support?
Q To get back for just a second to budget questions --
MR. MCCURRY: Helen, ask that back in a second.
Q The President has not yet vetoed the reconciliation bill. Is he going to veto that in the next day or so when -- is he going to do that in kind of a high-profile ceremonial manner?
MR. MCCURRY: Could be.
Q Marine band?
MR. MCCURRY: Helen? Yes, the President is grateful that his predecessor has issued a statement expressing support for our troops and for American efforts in Bosnia. He knows that like many Americans, President Bush has some concerns about the mission. But the President is gratified that the former President is supportive of our troops, and would suggest that it's in our national interest to maintain the integrity of the United States' credibility in this world and that our standing as the leader of the free world and the standing of NATO would be dramatically diminished at this point if we did not go forward with this deployment. That was President Bush's argument. President Clinton agrees with that argument. And the President is grateful for the former President's statement.
Q Has he or will he?
MR. MCCURRY: He has talked to him.
Q When? Can you tell us --
Q -- during their phone call? It was right after the speech.
MR. MCCURRY: They talked -- I believe they talked after the speech. And they may have talked -- you're running down the numbers and you're running down whether they talked earlier today. I believe they may have talked earlier today.
Q Mike, does the White House have a position yet on the securities litigation conference report? And has the President any intention of meeting with these seven opponents, I guess most --they're all Democrats -- who want to register their objections to him about -- their concerns about -- and then finally, just while I got the floor here, did Senator Dodd lobby the President personally about this on the trip to Ireland?
MR. MCCURRY: In serial order, the conference report has not been acted upon by Congress, so it has not been delivered here to the White House. When it's here, we will look at it very carefully in light of the position that we stated in our previous statement of administration policy on S-240, indicating that we support appropriate reforms of federal securities law. Some of our concerns about the legislation, particularly the safe harbor provision, have been addressed by, among others, Senator Dodd, who has been one of the key congressional participants in crafting the legislation. But when it arrives here at the White House we will look at it, consistent with the views that we've expressed previously and publicly.
Q What about the other two questions he posed?
MR. MCCURRY: I think I answered those as best as I can.
Q Is he meeting with the --
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know whether -- the answer to the last part of the question, I don't know whether he and Senator Dodd discussed it or not.
Q So the answer is you have no ore refined public position on it than you did the last time --
MR. MCCURRY: That's correct. We've got a statement of administration policy which is available on it. We've expressed concerns, but we would note that some of those concerns have been addressed in the process of getting to a final conference report, which is now pending before the Congress.
Q Could you tell us in the conversation between Clinton and Bush --
Q What about --
MR. MCCURRY: On the seven senators -- it is the first I've heard of that, I don't know anything about that. And, again, on Dodd, I have no way of knowing whether they talked about it without asking either Senator Dodd or President Clinton.
Q Did President Clinton call former President Bush a second time seeking support, or did Bush offer?
MR. MCCURRY: I've got someone checking on that.
Q Back on the budget, is it fair to assume that the ideas that the administration is working out more details on would deal with the five areas that the President has identified as his top priorities?
MR. MCCURRY: I missed the last part of that question.
Q Is it fair to assume that the White House is working up, you know, more detailed ideas on the budget, focused on the five areas that the President has identified as his priorities?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President has very clearly stated priorities when it comes to a budget, a budget as a whole -- you have to take a whole approach to the funding issues related to a budget. And how you answer those areas of priority affect other calculations. So, in other words, we would have to address all of the -- you address those priorities, those generate answers that then bring back to you a certain clarification on what the other items are going to look like.
Q Just to try and clarify what you've been talking about here, are you talking about just addressing those areas of conflict, in terms of new proposals as opposed to developing a whole budget in, particularly in areas where there is not disagreement?
MR. MCCURRY: Not necessarily, but I think -- my point was if you focus in on the priorities the President considers foremost in his consideration, then that gives you the structure by which you complete the rest of the budget. Or at least you complete the outlines of the rest of the budget.
Q In developing these new ideas are you incorporating in the ideas that were advanced by Stenholm, as well as John Breaux?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, as I said earlier, they all are in the same neck of the woods. I think I'd just leave it at that.
Q But they do rely on the lower tax cut, those ideas. And that's obviously -- and that's an outlet for money there that --
MR. MCCURRY: It's one -- as I said earlier, the President is steadfast in thinking tax relief for working Americans particularly targeted in the way he would target it, on education and child care remains a very important ingredient of a balanced budget approach.
Q Would the Stenholm approach meet all your principles with the exception of it having no tax cut?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, that would depend on a large part about what you did with EITC, I think, as you know.
Q One of the immediate risks GIs face going into Bosnia is, obviously, accidents. Can you go into some detail about what the President has been told about the risks of accidents they face, and what impact he thinks those accidents will have on public support that he's trying to muster at this point?
MR. MCCURRY: The President has been told that a chief, if not the chief, concern that our military planners have as they prepare this deployment are the millions of land mines that are still extant in Bosnia. The roads that they are going to use for the initial deployment, as you heard from the Pentagon briefing yesterday, have been checked and tested against a land mine threat. But they are putting significant emphasis in the mission plan itself on counter-mine operations. And an extensive part of the deployment has to do with exactly that.
In fact, as we learned in Germany, extensive preparation by our troops went into land mine avoidance, land mine clearance; that has been a key part of the training that our troops have received. And we are very concerned about that. That could very likely be the most proximate threat that they face as they go through the initial deployment. But I think that's why our military planners have put special emphasis on that in their training and their deployment plan and in the work that they've been doing initially, in coordination with the other parties.
Remember that the other parties, too, have got significant responsibilities in the Dayton agreement when it comes to land mines, as to identifying, locating zones and marking zones.
Q Is there any concern by the President that as he tries to muster support on Capitol Hill with the public that an untoward accident at this moment would jeopardize the broader support he seeks?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President consistently, as he has addressed the deployment, has made the point it's not a risk-free mission. And he specifically -- you recall in Germany said that one of our concerns is there could be an accident. So he's tried to let the American people know, prepare them for that type of risk. But as I say again, knowing of that threat we have done everything that we can think of to minimize the risk.
Q The President said today he wanted war criminals brought to justice. How do NATO forces go about this? Are we going after them?
MR. MCCURRY: No, that is not part of the mission description of the international force that will be there to implement the peace. At the same time, we have put extensive effort into supporting the work of the International War Crimes Tribunal. Prosecutor Goldstone was here recently for extensive meetings over at the State Department. And our support for the War Crimes Tribunal and for its mandate is steadfast. But, again, as we've made repeatedly clear and has been made repeatedly clear at the Pentagon, that is not part of the mission description -- to apprehend and bring to justice indicted war criminals.
Q How is it going to occur? Just by chance?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, nations have got specific obligations under the mandate and strictures of the International Court of Justice which governs the work of the Internal War Crimes Tribunal. And they have nation state responsibilities associated with prosecution and apprehension. Our work has been focused in particular on providing the evidence and information necessary to bring indictments against those who were responsible for war crimes, and we're, in fact, very proud of the work we've done in that respect.
Q You mentioned that the President's going to be calling members of Congress on Bosnia this afternoon. Is that directed toward the Senate vote or what?
MR. MCCURRY: No, he's not doing a lot of calls. He had a couple of leaders on the call sheet for this afternoon, including Senator Dole. And I believe he also had plans to try to connect with the Speaker at some point. I think he also wanted to talk to Senator McCain. And I've got someone checking to see if any of those calls have been connected.
Q Is this all on Bosnia?
MR. MCCURRY: On Bosnia.
Q To thank Senator McCain for his support?
MR. MCCURRY: He in a sense already did that. You will recall when the President met with Prime Minister Bruton he publicly acknowledged the role and his gratitude to both the Majority Leader and to Senator McCain. But I think the President is also very interested in how their deliberations are going as they prepare a resolution that would provide an expression of support for our troops.
Q Can you explain what kind of language on arming and training would be acceptable in that resolution?
MR. MCCURRY: Language that would be consistent with the Dayton agreement.
Q But language that says the United States should lead an immediate effort to arm and train the Muslims, is that acceptable?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we want language consistent with the Dayton agreement and consistent with the evaluation of our top military planners who are quite concerned that any direct participation by the implementation force and army in equipping the Bosnian government would run contrary to the security interests of the force as deployed in Bosnia.
Q But does a resolution that calls on the U.S. to lead an effort, is that the same thing as --
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to speculate on specific language. When we've got the language we'll look at it and see if it's consistent with the President's Commander in Chief responsibilities to our troops and to minimizing the risks to those troops.
Q Is the administration drafting any language to be introduced in the House, perhaps by Democrats, or just leaving any House resolution totally to the mercies of --
MR. MCCURRY: I am not aware of any effort to draft specific language for consideration by the House. Most of the House leadership have indicated publicly that they will await action by the Senate and the deliberations in the Senate on a resolution. And we'll see where we go from there.
Q What's tomorrow look like?
MR. MCCURRY: Tomorrow is -- we've got the likelihood of some additional events related to Bosnia. I think the President will also at one point be before the White House Conference on AIDS -- on HIV and AIDS. And the timing of that is -- looks around 12:30 p.m. over in the Cash Room at Treasury.
Q What's the additional events on Bosnia?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll give you a schedule of information. I don't have it right now, they're still working on a couple different ideas.
Q I'd rather have a bite.
MR. MCCURRY: Say again?
Q I said I'd rather have a sound bite.
MR. MCCURRY: On what?
Q On the additional events on Bosnia.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President thinks it's very important to continue making this case. He's going to be looking for a variety of opportunities to do that in coming days, working with people who are committed to trying to bring both humanitarian relief to the people of Bosnia and who are supportive of the role the United States must play to bring peace.
Q Too long. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: He's going to continue to make the case publicly and persuasively for the deployment.
I'm also holding on because I'd like to get the answer to the other question on Bush. You needed something on that, right?
Q Are you going to put out that Bush statement? Could you do that?
MR. MCCURRY: Do you have anything?
MS. GLYNN: This is not Bush.
MR. MCCURRY: We have nothing on that.
Q Will you put out the Bush statement?
Q Will you call us and tell us?
MR. MCCURRY: I believe it's already been put out by his office.
Q How about the other two Presidents?
MR. MCCURRY: Jim McGrath, on the former President's staff, has it and it's available.
I'm sorry, Helen, did you have one last question?
Q The other Presidents -- Ford and Carter?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not aware of any statements by them.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:10 P.M. EST