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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 23, 1999


I am deeply disappointed by reports that the Congressional Republican leadership has abandoned the effort to enact legislation this year to strengthen Social Security for the 21st Century.

We have an obligation to ensure that Social Security is safe and strong not only for today's seniors but for our children and future generations as well. The American people expect us to meet this fundamental challenge. Instead, just one week after passing a budget that promises a massive $800 billion tax cut, the Republican leadership is sending a message that Congress is either unable or unwilling to face up to the challenge of strengthening Social Security.

That is not acceptable, and I urge the Republican leadership to reconsider its opposition to acting on Social Security this year. I have proposed concrete steps to bolster Social Security and offered time and again to work with the Congress in a bipartisan way to make the tough choices needed to secure the Trust Fund over the long term. Republican leaders have yet to consider my proposals or advance any of their own.

Our economy is the strongest it has been in a generation. Now is the time to strengthen Social Security for the future. I remain committed to working with members of Congress of both parties who are committed to enacting comprehensive Social Security legislation this year. We can and must accomplish this critical goal for the American people.