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in the presence of those of you who have complained about the inadequacies of the approach in the past.
Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown
Q. Mr. President, are you satisfied with Secretary Brown's explanations about his relationship to Vietnam?
The President. Well, let me say he's told me that he hadn't done anything wrong, and he's done just about everything right as Commerce Secretary. I think he's done a great job, and I have no reason not to believe him.
Q. Mr. President, are you concerned that his effectiveness as Commerce Secretary in selling programs that you're pushing, like this one and NAFTA, are undermined by this grand jury investigation?
The President. Not if he hadn't done anything wrong, I'm not. Business Week complimented him in an editorial today. I was glad to see a Democrat get complimented in Business Week. [Laughter]
chance to talk about this in greater detail. But he's already made a statement that they're still committed to a peaceful transition, and I have no reason to believe he's not. And I think that the United States and the free world ought to hang in there with a person that is clearly the most committed to democracy and market reform of all the people now operating in Russia. Until I have some reason to believe otherwise, I'm going to hang right where we are. I think we're in the right place.
Q. What are your concerns about the human rights implications of having the Parliament building there surrounded by armed troops?
The President. I think it depends on what the facts were. If there were a lot of people armed in there and he was worried about civil disorder and unrest and people being shot, I think that when you're in charge of a government, your first obligation is to try to keep the peace and keep order. So I think so far they seem to have acted with restraint
The President. Yes. I hope it will happen but with dispatch in trying to defuse what a lot more as we go along.
Q. Mr. President, did the latest events in Moscow give you pause about your previous support that you've expressed for Mr. Yeltsin?
The President. No. It is a tense and difficult issue, and how to defuse what I understand to have been the circumstances around the Moscow White House was a difficult call. I don't think that any of us should be here basically armchair quarterbacking the unfolding events.
When I talked to Boris Yeltsin a few days ago, I told him very strongly that I hoped that he would be able to manage this transition in ways that really promoted democracy, respected human rights, and kept the peace. And he said that would be exactly his policy.
And so far he has done that, under very, very difficult, intense circumstances. I mean, a lot of you have talked about just the difficulty of managing this and keeping up with what's going on in the countryside and the pressures and all the various interest groups. And I think so far they've done quite well.
Now, I'm going to have a meeting with Mr. Kozyrev later today, and we'll have a
otherwise might have become a very difficult
Now, I don't have all the facts, and neither does anyone else. But nothing has happened so far that has caused me to question the commitment that was made to me by the President and to his own people.
Thank you very much.
NOTE: The President spoke at 12:45 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Kenneth D. Brody, President, Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev of Russia September 29, 1993
Q. Mr. President, is there anything the United States can now do to bring peace in Bosnia since the Bosnian Parliament has voted against the peace plan?
The President. Well, you know, this process-this goes on day by day. We're just
Q. Are you encouraging them then to accept this treaty, or do you think that they should go ahead with their demands for
The President. Well, I have encouraged them to try to make peace. That's what I've encouraged them to try to do. I hate to see another winter come on for all of them there. But that's a decision they'll have to make, their country, their lives, they'll have to make the decision. Russia
Q. Sir, what assurances are you hoping to receive from Mr. Kozyrev about the situation, and what message might you be sending to Mr. Yeltsin through him?
The President. Well, I think he's already given the assurances that all of us hope. They're doing everything they can to preserve peace. And there's a commitment by President Yeltsin to move to a truly democratic system, through truly democratic means. That's about all the United States or anyone else could ask for.
Q. Mr. President, one more question. Is this meeting of yours with the Russian Foreign Minister, is this meeting of yours a meeting of support or is it a meeting of concern?
The President. Well, it's a meeting of support. I'm concerned about events in the sense that I hope they go well, and I hope that everything works out all right. But I am firmly in support of the efforts that President Yeltsin is making to hold democratic elections for a legislative body and to have a new constitution and to present himself for election again. I think that the United States
Memorandum on Funding for
Presidential Determination No. 93-41
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
Pursuant to the authority vested in me by sections 552(c)(1) and 610(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the "Act"), I hereby determine that:
(i) as a result of an unforeseen emergency, the provision of assistance under chapter 6 of Part II of the Act in amounts in excess of funds otherwise available for such assistance is important to the national interests of the United States; and
(ii) that it is necessary for the purposes of the Act that $6.83 million of funds made available for the purposes of Section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act be transferred to, and consolidated with, funds made available for Part II, chapter 5, of the Act, and then transferred to, and consolidated with, funds made available for Part II, chapter 6 of the Act.
You are hereby authorized and directed to report this determination immediately to Congress.
This determination shall be published in the Federal Register.
William J. Clinton
Nomination of an Under Secretary of
The President announced today that he intends to nominate career Veterans Affairs official Raymond John Vogel, to be the Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits. Vogel, a disabled Vietnam-era Army veteran, would head the Veterans Benefits Administration, the VA Agency responsible for delivery of nonmedical benefits to the Nation's 27 million veterans.
In making his announcement, the President said, "John Vogel is uniquely qualified to apply his in-depth expertise to the VA's
new commitment to serve America's veterans during a new era of efficiency and sensitivity. He will ably assist VA Secretary Jesse Brown in his plans to modernize and streamline the VA claims process."
NOTE: A biography of the nominee was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary.
Remarks on Signing the Executive
The President. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another actionpacked meeting of our action-packed admin
Today I am signing an Executive order to create a fair, open, streamlined system of regulatory review for our Government to eliminate improper influence, delay secrecy, and to set tough standards and time limits for regulation.
It's a move in keeping with everything else we've tried to do since Inauguration Day. The philosophy of this administration has always been consistent when it comes to regulation. We reject the "if it moves, regulate it" approach. And we reject the idea that we can walk away from regulation entirely. We have sought a third way, consistent with the philosophy behind the Vice President's reinventing Government project, with our
approach to health care, to export controls, to a whole range of other issues.
We can't reject all regulations. Many of them do a lot of good things. They protect workers in the workplace, shoppers in the grocery stores, children opening new toys. But there are others that serve no purpose at all. This Executive order will provide a way to get rid of useless, outdated, and unnecessary regulations that are outdated, obsolete, expensive, and bad for business.
We're working on the impact of regulation on Government, too. That's what the Vice President's report on reinventing Government does. To improve budget, personnel,
procurements systems, we can strip away an awful lot of redtape for all of you.
All of you are working yourselves on a focused review of regulations. And that's why on September the 11th, as you'll recall, I signed an Executive order directing our Agencies to eliminate 50 percent of our internal regulations.
The next step is reforming the regulatory review process itself. That's what the Executive order today does. We've already shut down the so-called competitiveness council, which closed the back door to special interests to get out from under regulations they didn't like. In its place, we have a dramatically different approach, fair, streamlined, responsive, much more straightforward.
Under the Executive order that I am signing today, involvement by the President and the Vice President in the regulatory process is strictly limited. The order permits the Vice President's review only at the request of the Cabinet member or the OMB's OIRA office. Communications between White House staff members and the public are limited, too, on matters of regulation. In order to be utilized in the rulemaking process or the review process, they must be made in writing and put in the public record.
Just these changes alone mean the days of back-door access to undermining the regulatory process is over. But we also want to limit the number of regulations that may be reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. It's very important that we let ordinary regulations be done in a more timely fashion, where the people who are going to be affected by them have more
front-end involvement. This order requires written justification for rejections of regulations, mandates Sunshine provisions, requires a publicly available fog, which the press will love. It has guidelines not just for review of new regulations but, this is very important, for a review of existing regulations, too. We should be eliminating regulations even as we have new ones.
This order will lighten the load for regulated industries and make Government regulations that are needed more efficient. Most
of all, it will put behind us the politics of
adversarialism that has divided Government
and industry for too long. We saw a beginning of what that can mean for America yesterday, with the announcements between the Government and the auto industry of the project to try to triple the fuel efficiency of our cars by the end of the decade. That's the sort of thing we ought to be focusing on in our relationships with Government and industry.
In the last few weeks, we've seen a remarkable amount of progress in our Nation, a lot of things turning around. This is an important step in that process. The way the Government relates to people whom it must regulate, or decide whether to regulate or not, has an enormous amount to do with the credibility that our Government has with all of the citizens of our country and with how we're spending their tax money. I am very excited about this. I think the wind is now behind us, and I hope we can see through this project and continue on the road that we are clearly taking now.
[At this point, the President signed the Executive order.]
Cutting White House Staff
Q. Mr. President, a Member of Congress on the House floor has just characterized your claim that you've really cut the White House staff as unethical and a lie. He says that you cut people who are not political operatives and that there really hasn't been a budget savings.
The President. Well, we have cut it. I can guarantee people around here have been complaining about it because we're handling more mail, doing more work, and carrying a bigger load than this White House has car
ried in more than a dozen years, and we're doing it with fewer people. All you have to do is just ask people around here and they'll be glad to tell you that.
Who is the Member of Congress?
The President. Well, the burden is on him to establish that. I don't want to get in an argument with him about the staff. The truth is we're doing more work than my predecessors did with fewer people, and it's pretty hard on these people. They're staying here real late, and they're working awful hard.
Q. Do you really have fewer political appointees than your predecessors?
The President. Well, the President has the right to replace everybody in the White House. I didn't do that and most people don't. But to imply that someone who came here because I got elected President is somehow less valuable or not working is, I think, a pretty spurious claim.
The truth is that in the White House, at least, it's been my experience, not just for me, but for my Republican predecessors, that the so-called political appointees are the ones that have to work 60 or 70 or 80 hours a week and are making most of the decisions and doing most of the hard work. So I don't understand what the claim is there. If Mr. Wolf wins re-election to his office, if he hires somebody to work there, they're a political appointee. But if they work hard and do a good job, they deserve to be treated like everybody else.
Q. Do you think when you talked about cutting the White House staff 25 percent, that most Americans thought that that didn't mean political appointees, it just meant career people?
The President. I don't think most Americans make that distinction. I think most Americans want to know what size Government's going to be. If we reduce the size of the Federal Government by a quarter of a million people over the next 4 years, most of those people will be career positions we won't fill again. But to say that the people that work in the White House, that work virtually around the clock all week long are somehow less significant because they work
harder and longer, I think is a pretty hard argument to make.
to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well
NOTE: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. in the being of the American people. In deciding
Cabinet Room at the White House.
Executive Order 12866-Regulatory
The American people deserve a regulatory system that works for them, not against them: a regulatory system that protects and improves their health, safety, environment, and well-being and improves the performance of the economy without imposing unacceptable or unreasonable costs on society; regulatory policies that recognize that the private sector and private markets are the best engine for economic growth; regulatory approaches that respect the role of State, local, and tribal governments; and regulations that are effective, consistent, sensible, and understandable. We do not have such a regulatory system today. With this Executive order, the Federal Government begins a program to reform and make more efficient the regulatory process. The objectives of this Executive order are to enhance planning and coordination with respect to both new and existing regulations; to reaffirm the primacy of Federal agencies in the regulatory decision-making process; to restore the integrity and legitimacy of regulatory review and oversight; and to make the process more accessible and open to the public. In pursuing these objectives, the regulatory process shall be conducted so as to meet applicable statutory requirements and with due regard to the discretion that has been entrusted to the Federal agencies.
Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Statement of Regulatory Philosophy and Principles. (a) The Regulatory Philosophy. Federal agencies should promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, are necessary to interpret the law, or are made necessary by compelling public need, such as material failures of private markets
whether and how to regulate, agencies should assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating. Costs and benefits shall be understood to include both quantifiable measures (to the fullest extent that these can be usefully estimated) and qualitative measures of costs and benefits that are difficult to quantify, but nevertheless essential to consider. Further, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, agencies should select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity), unless a statute requires another regulatory approach.
(b) The Principles of Regulation. To ensure that the agencies' regulatory programs are consistent with the philosophy set forth above, agencies should adhere to the following principles, to the extent permitted by law and where applicable:
(1) Each agency shall identify the problem that it intends to address (including, where applicable, the failures of private markets or public institutions that warrant new agency action) as well as assess the significance of that problem.
(2) Each agency shall examine whether existing regulations (or other law) have created, or contributed to, the problem that a new regulation is intended to correct and whether those regulations (or other law) should be modified to achieve the intended goal of regulation more effectively.
(3) Each agency shall identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees or marketable permits, or providing information upon which choices can be made by the public.
(4) In setting regulatory priorities, each agency shall consider, to the extent reasonable, the degree and nature of the risks posed by various substances or activities within its jurisdiction.
(5) When an agency determines that a regulation is the best available method of achiev