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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release February 8, 1996

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

A nation's financial integrity is a sacred trust. To preserve our creditworthiness, we must honor all obligations of the United States. Through the Civil War, two World Wars, and the Depression, America has paid its bill and kept its word.

Last week, Congressional leaders acknowledged the importance of protecting our nation's creditworthiness. They made a commitment in a letter to pass a mutually acceptable debt limit increase by February 29th to ensure that the United States does not default on our obligations.

Congress also took a constructive step by passing HR 2924 which I am signing today. This law provides temporary debt relief that allows us to meet all of our obligations and to pay Social Security and other benefits, military active duty pay, and other commitments at the beginning of March. Congress has promised to secure a mutually acceptable debt limit increase. Today, I call on Congress to pass a straightforward, longterm debt limit increase immediately so that we can get on with our shared goal of balancing the budget without the threat of default hanging over our nation.

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