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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 19, 2000
                            October 19, 2000

Today, President Clinton will join Senator Daschle, Congressman Gephardt and the Democratic Caucus to call on Congress to complete its work and send him a fiscally responsible budget that pays down the debt while investing in America's key priorities -- especially the education of our children. The President will challenge the Republican leadership to not leave town without producing a responsible budget that offers tax cuts targeted toward working families -- such as our school construction initiative to help communities modernize crumbling schools -- and invests in key education initiatives, such as after-school programs; reducing class size, strengthening accountability for fixing failing schools; and helping put a qualified teacher in every classroom. The President also will call on the Republican leadership to act on other important priorities before adjourning for the year -- including an affordable prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries, a meaningful Patients' Bill of Rights, a minimum wage increase, hate crimes legislation and a proposal to increase fairness in immigration laws.

REPUBLICAN BUDGET IGNORES AMERICA'S EDUCATION PRIORITIES. In February, President Clinton and Vice President Gore sent Congress a balanced and fiscally responsible budget that makes investments in key education initiatives. Three weeks into the fiscal year, the President has signed three continuing resolutions and Congress has yet to complete and send to the President 8 of 13 spending bills. In particular, Congress still has not completed an education budget, and is now neglecting America's priorities and loading spending bills with election-year, earmarked projects for special interests. The Republican budget provides:

CONGRESS SHOULD COMPLETE WORK ON AMERICA'S PRIORITIES. Republican Congressional leaders have also failed to pass targeted tax cuts for working families, an affordable prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries, a meaningful Patients' Bill of Rights, hate crimes legislation, or reform of our immigration laws. Congress also has made virtually no progress toward passing a minimum wage increase, despite a commitment from Speaker Hastert to do so. President Clinton will call on Congress to complete work on major priorities before adjourning to return to their districts to campaign for re-election, including: