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Exchange With Reporters on Anticrime Legislation in St. Louis

June 24, 1994

Q. Speaking of the crime bill, Mr. President, do you know where it stands right now? Can you give us a state of play?

The President. Well, I met earlier this week with Senator Biden and Chairman Brooks, and we talked about it. We think that the essential elements are intact. We believe that it will come out with 100,000 police, with "three strikes and you're out," with prevention programs, with summer jobs for the kids and midnight basketball, the after-school programs, with the assault weapons ban. And they're still working on some of the other issues. I expect that the conference committee will come out with it reasonably soon, and I think it will go through both Houses.

Q. One of the hangups, sir, is racial justice. Have you decided where you come down on that position yet?

The President. Wait and see what the conference committee does. They asked me to give them a few more days to work on it, and we're going to see what they——

Q. Would it help if you came out with——

The President. ——know what's going on— the main thing we don't want to do is to change the subject. The subject is how to get the crime rate down, how to get the police out, how to get the assault weapons—the police on the street, the assault weapons ban into law, how to get the prevention funds out here, how to get the "three strikes and you're out" law out. And I think that they're working on it. I believe everybody in the Congress is going to work on it in good faith, and I think we'll have a— [inaudible].

NOTE: The exchange began at 12:50 p.m. during a tour of the Fox Park neighborhood. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters on Anticrime Legislation in St. Louis Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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