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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 9, 1996
                           Private Residence
                          Alexandria, Virginia            

11:05 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I'd like to thank our host for welcoming us in, and to all the members of the press and our guests here. As you know, yesterday I signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which is the first major overhaul of our telecommunications laws in six decades.

That bill will do an enormous amount of good for our country. It will, for consumers, open up vast new opportunities for entertainment, vast new opportunities for information, vast new opportunities for different kinds of communications. It will create many, many thousands of high-wage jobs. But it will also bring a lot more images and messages into every home in America.

One of the things that the Vice President and Mrs. Gore and I like so much about this bill is that in addition to getting the benefits of the telecommunications revolution, it gives more power to parents to control what their young children see on television by requiring all new television sets to have a V-chip in them.

So we wanted to come here today to discuss with these folks how they feel about it and to give them and to give you a chance to see how this will work. So I'd like to turn it over to the Vice President and give him a chance to make a demonstration and to comment.


THE PRESIDENT: Let me just say one final thing about this. Maybe we ought to change the name from the V-chip to Parent Power chip. (Laughter.)

One of the things that we talk about all the time, to go beyond this, is that all these technological changes that are going on in the world are so wonderful in so many ways. They're making opportunities for people to do things they never could do before. But if we're not careful, they also make the majority of the people feel that they're losing control of their lives in many ways -- not just this way, in many ways. And I think anything we can do to harness the power of new technology, to give people more control back over their lives, their family's lives, the workplace, the community, that's a good thing. We don't want people to feel powerless.

One of the things that frustrates people in this country is they feel there are all these forces out there running around working on their lives and they have no control over them. And this is maybe just one small step, but it's a way of saying to people that new technologies can put you back in the driver seat in your lives, not take you further and further out of them.

Thank you. Thanks again for having me here.

END 11:35 A.M. EST