Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Congressional Leaders
The President. Let me say, first of all, I'm delighted to have the Congressional leadership here today. And we're going to begin our conversations by talking about the reinventing Government initiative. The Vice President's going to give the leadership a briefing. And I'm very much looking forward to this new phase of the congressional session and of a bipartisan effort on a lot of issues. And I hope we will center it on this, because I think this effort can do as much as anything else to build the trust of the American people and what we're doing on a whole range of other issues.
Q. Mr. President, on health care, some of the people who have briefed, Democrats and Republicans, believe that the Medicaid and Medicare cuts are too large, too politically difficult, and too nonspecific. Can you reassure them?
The President. At the appropriate time.
Q. There is some concern, sir——
Q. What about the chance that the health care, though—do you think that you can handle all of these things, reinvent Government, trade?
The President. Absolutely. I don't think we have an option because I think the country can't walk away from this problem. But I think we should begin with this because this is something that will unify Americans and will unify the Congress and will prove that we can spend the money we have in appropriate ways and stop wasting so much of it.
Q. What will be the chances of bipartisanship on some of these issues, like health care?
The President. Good.
Q. Why so, given the experience you had in the first part of this administration?
The President. These are different issues with different constituencies, and they can be presented in a different way. I think the chances are really good.
NOTE: The exchange began at 11:16 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 Meeting With Congressional Leaders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/217501