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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 26, 1999


This January President Clinton and I unveiled a plan to save Social Security first -- ahead of any risky, surplus-draining tax schemes. Our plan extends Social Security's solvency until 2059 -- and we have pledged to work across party lines to extend it for a full 75 years.

But this Friday, some Republican leaders announced that they were putting politics first, and Social Security second -- and therefore they wouldn't work with us to save Social Security.

Then we learned that the Republican Party is so divided -- and in such disarray -- the right hand truly doesn't know what the far-right hand is doing anymore. Speaker Hastert says that Social Security reform is not dead. Now Trent Lott insists that it is dead after all.

I have a different view: I believe that Social Security reform absolutely can be done this year -- if the Republican leaders make a clear decision to put Social Security first. It is time for us to act, to save Social Security for the 21st Century. And I urge the Republican leadership to send not mixed signals, but one clear signal: that they will work across party lines, in good faith, until America's retirement program is strong for our future.


NOTE: Excerpts from the Vice President's remarks will be available by 1pm EST on the White House Press Office Radio Actuality Line at 202-456-5671.