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THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Jaipur, India)
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                     March 22, 2000

                       STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I am pleased that the Senate has followed the House in passing a measure to eliminate the retirement earnings test for seniors. In my 1999 State of the Union Address, I asked Congress to work with me to end this confusing and outdated policy that discourages healthy senior citizens from continuing to work past 65 if they choose to do so. I look forward to opening a new era of opportunity for older Americans by signing this measure into law.

Eliminating the earnings limit is an important first step in undertaking comprehensive Social Security reform this year. The work on the retirement earnings test shows that Congress can work together to further the people's business. We should build on this bipartisan spirit to make further progress on Social Security. Last fall, I sent Congress legislation that would use the benefits of debt reduction to extend the life of Social Security to the middle of the next century. Today, I call on Congress to work with me on this simple plan to extend the solvency of Social Security while strengthening benefits to reduce poverty among elderly women.

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