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Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Cabinet Meeting

March 31, 1993

Budget Resolution and Stimulus Package

Q. Mr. President, are you going to get a $1 billion package for the Russians in aid?

The President. I'll have more to say about that tomorrow in Annapolis. I'm going out there to speak.

Let me say in front of the whole Cabinet here, it was just 6 weeks ago that I presented my plan to the United States Congress. They are on the verge of adopting the budget resolution, which will drastically reduce the Federal deficit. The Senate, I believe, is on the verge of passing the jobs program to put a half-million jobs into this economy. Things are going well. We are moving with remarkable speed.

I do want to make one point, which was obscured a little in the news stories today. I say that not out of criticism, but on the issue of the drop in consumer confidence, the Wall Street Journal had a very detailed article which showed that the principal reason for it is the continuing worry of the American people that this economy is not producing jobs. And consumers without jobs don't have confidence because they don't have money with which to consume. So it is very important that this week, before the Congress goes home, that we pass the budget resolution to reduce the deficit and the jobs program to create jobs. If we can do that, this will be an historic 6 weeks in which we are moving at a very rapid pace.

Q. Do you think, Mr. President, that the Republicans will seek to filibuster against the stimulus package? And if they do, what's your strategy?

The President. Well, we're going to try to win. I don't think so. I believe some of the Republicans support this. As a matter of fact, I think a lot of them support it. Some of them may never vote for it because of partisan divisions. But I think they know that the American people will be very disappointed to find out that a half a million jobs went by the wayside because 41—not even a majority, but 41 Senators stopped a vote from occurring. I don't think that's going to happen. I would be very surprised.

NOTE: The exchange began at 10:12 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Cabinet Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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