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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Jefferson City, Missouri)
For Immediate Release                                   October 20, 2000


Today, I am signing a measure that will grant Congress still one more in a series of extensions it needs to finish its work. Unfortunately, Congress has shown little urgency toward completing its work even though we are now three weeks into the new fiscal year and some of our most essential priorities, especially in the area of education, have yet to be addressed.

As of today, Congress has failed to make a commitment to reducing class size and repairing our crumbling schools -- two priorities crucial for our nation's students. I urge Congress to approve our proposed tax credits to help local communities with new school construction. In addition, Congress should invest in accountability, to turn around or shut down failing schools and open them under new management, in improving teacher quality, and in expanding after-school efforts that help children learn in a safe environment.

Congress must get to work to address these and other key priorities. The measure I am signing today ends in five days. Congress should complete its work by Wednesday, when this stop-gap funding measure expires. If Congress fails to complete its work by then, I will only grant additional extensions one day at a time. Congress needs to stay in town and complete its business without additional delay.