Press Briefing by George Stephanopoulos
The Briefing Room
1:00 P.M. EST
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's good to see that some people are taking the day off.
Q: They're all outside interviewing the congressmen.
Q: He didn't answer the question. He didn't say whether he had heard of Perot.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, I think he has.
As you know, the President met with members of Congress this morning. And he will be meeting with another group of members this afternoon. And then, as you all know, he will be addressing the nation tonight at 9:00 p.m. from the Oval Office.
Q: Why is the President now talking about contribution rather than sacrifice?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think that that accurately reflects what he expects from the American people and what he wants all the American people to deliver. The President has always talked in those terms. And I think that sacrifice probably implies something that the program doesn't do. The program is designed to provide direct benefits to the American people -- increase jobs, increased incomes, better health care, better education. But it is going to require every American to do their part -- in return for these direct benefits.
Q: Did the word sacrifice ring any wrong bells in polling last week?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, no, not necessarily. I mean, I just think it doesn't accurately reflect what we're trying to do.
Q: But there will be notion of sacrifice in the program anyway. There will be a concept of sacrifice.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The notion is that we want every American to contribute.
Q: He was talking about sacrifice last week.
Q: contribution is a sacrifice? (Laughter.)
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that's for philosophers, not spokespeople to decide.
Q: On the broad-based energy tax, has the President decided to do what's called a BTU-type of base or formula to determine how much of a tax to trickle down?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President will announce the bulk of the program Wednesday night.
Q: But is that we're expecting, a BTU-type tax?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He'll announce on Wednesday night.
Q: George, would you explain the difference between a BTU tax and an ad valorem tax on energy?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not an expert on that, but a BTU tax generally goes after the heat content of energy and the ad valorem goes at each point along the sales route. But I'm sure we have other experts who can answer it far better than I can at some point.
Q: Which is considered more fair?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President's going to choose the fairest tax.
Q: Can you explain what Mr. Panetta was including when he referred to $34 billion? Is $34 billion, the 150 cuts -- does that include the $9 billion that was announced last week? If you could just give us what you include.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the $9 billion was a start. The President's called for $9 billion in across-the-board savings from every administrative agency. On top of that there will be 150 specific spending reductions in the package or about 150.
Q: And is that what adds up to the $34 billion that Panetta was referring to? I'm just trying to figure out what --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not certain exactly which $34 billion Chairman Panetta was referring to, but I believe that's the inclusive number of the savings in domestic spending.
Q: So that is the $9 billion in the $34 billion?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe so, yes.
Q: But is the $8 billion in defense in the $34 billion or is that separate from the $34 billion?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure, I believe that's separate but we'll have the full details on Wednesday night.
Q: Are these numbers we're talking about -- 9, 34, 25 -- are these the aggregate saving over four years or over the length of the program or are these the reductions in annual debt?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Usually, reductions in the last year of FY97.
Q: Is the President going to say anything tonight?
Q: clarification of what Panetta's $34 billion amounts to?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, I'll find out exactly what he was referring to.
Q: George, one of the congressmen out there was just saying that it looked unlikely that there would be a gas tax hike. Is that an accurate reflection of the plan as it stands right now?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That sounds right.
Q: So it's unlikely?
Q: What was the answer?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes.
Q: George, when you said yesterday repeatedly that there would be a balance between cuts and spending -- or taxes and cuts, rather -- does that mean one-to-one, or a balance of some different sort?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think -- again, I don't have the specific exact formula right now, but there will be a balance.
Q: But does the balance mean close to one-to-one?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes.
Q: George, you say the stimulus program and everything has been affected by the fact that the deficit numbers are higher than they were. Has that affected spending cuts for some reason? Why have we changed from two-to-one to one-to-one to now roughly in balance?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think, again, the two-to-one was simply a goal set forward by the former chairman of the Budget Committee and the Director of the OMB, Mr. Panetta. The President feels that we have a strong program. And as I said, it has a rough balance between spending cuts and tax increases. And he thinks that's the right way to go.
Q: Do you think that goal was never -- was that goal ever a goal of the President's? Did he think that Panetta --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President is committed to getting as much spending cuts as he can, and he's already shown that commitment by cutting White House spending and by cutting spending across the government. And if there are people who can come forward and meet the same goals, let them do it. Let's see their plan line for line. But the President is going to achieve a balance.
Q: Are you having trouble finding anymore than --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President's spent an awful lot of -- this is going to be more spending reductions than any package in the past. He's serious about cutting spending. He has close to 150 specific spending cuts. He's determined to bring down the cost of government and government waste, and that's what the plan will do.
Q: Is he going to have any specifics tonight? And will you have an answer by the end of the day, as he seemed to imply, on the question of the parliamentary appearance?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll have to ask him, but I guess he will, since he said we're getting close. I think that -- on the specifics tonight, the President is generally trying to lay out what went wrong in the last decade, try to talk directly to the American people about the principles behind his program and the consequences of failing to act. And he wants to make sure that people understand the consequences of failing to act and the magnitude of the problems he's determined to reverse.
Q: How much has Ronald Reagan's salesmanship influenced his approach to this week? Can you tell us about the Reagan model?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that, obviously, a lot of us in the White House have looked at Ronald Reagan's selling of his economic plan. But I wouldn't confuse technique with substance. And I think that what you're going to see in this package is a reversal of Reaganomics, a reversal of the last 12 years.
Q: But in the technique of selling it, the Oval Office speech, the speech to the joint session, how have you looked at Reagan's model?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reagan was successful in getting his program through. We think he was following the wrong goals, the wrong priorities and that his plan hurt the country. But he sold it successfully.
Q: I just want to get the legislative calendar correct. Would the idea be to actually pass a stimulus package within the next three or four weeks, stimulus part of the program, and hopefully by August get the whole package tied up? Is that a realistic calendar?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that's the goal you're shooting for. I don't have any hard deadlines. A lot of that depends. We want to move as quickly as we can on the stimulus package and then follow the budget process and the reconciliation process -- absolutely.
Q: George, on the 500,000 jobs that the President suggested this morning would be created as a result of his package in the short term --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Stimulus package.
Q: Is that -- the 500,000 -- would that be the $31 billion stimulus package is going to create 500,000 jobs, or will that plus other things create --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We believe that the stimulus package, through direct and indirect effects, can create approximately 500,000 jobs, yes.
Q: By when?
Q: By next year or is that --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: By the end of next year.
Q: By the end of fiscal '94?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Right.
Q: George, when you said that the spending cuts -- the spending cut -- you'd have bigger spending cuts pretty much than any given budget year, that would be more than the cuts that Reagan proposed in the variety of --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Certainly more than he achieved. And it will be larger than the 1990 budget deal.
Q: George, if the key is on the sales job, what's the key thing that the President has to do to sell his plan to Congress?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The key thing is the President has to make people understand the consequences of failing to act, the direct benefits in people's real lives in increased jobs, increased incomes, increased educational opportunities through passing the package.
Q: George, you had said earlier that it would be a roughly one-to-one balance in terms of spending cuts and tax increases. Will the actual spending cuts -- the size of the spending cuts exceed the tax increases?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe it will be very close. It's a rough balance. But over time, I believe they probably will, yes.
Q: George, in the calculus on jobs, the President said this morning at least a half million or more jobs. Is that a projection based only on the stimulus alone, or does that take into account jobs that might be lost as a result of increases in taxes?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's an estimate of the job -- the new jobs created.
Q: Is that the $31 billion alone, or is causing net effect of the whole package?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe it's the $31 billion alone, but I'd have to get back to you on that.
Q: So the net effect of that --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We believe that his package is going to create jobs, not lose them.
Q: I understand that, certainly in the long term, given what you're thinking about doing to the deficit. But in the short term, has there been any estimate made of jobs that might be lost as a result of increases in taxes?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Again, no. And we think it's going to increase jobs through the investment tax credit and other tax changes.
Q: But I'm talking about the tax increases. Is it your theory of this that there's no job loss attributable to the tax increase?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't have any estimates of that.
Q: Has any attempt been made to achieve any such estimate?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll have to check, but I don't think we have an estimate of job loss.
Q: Saddam was saying in his interview yesterday -- extended what one might call, just to pick a term out of the air, an olive branch. (Laughter.)
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Out of the air? Or the front page of The New York Times. (Laughter.)
Q: toward President Clinton. I wonder how it's being read here.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We judge Iraq by deeds, not words. And we expect full compliance with the U.N. resolutions.
Q: What's your position on the Clark visit? Do you think it was appropriate, inappropriate?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I have no comment on that. We just continue to judge Iraq by its actions.
Q: Would you say that Iraq's actions since President Clinton has taken office have shown a change of behavior from its behavior before the President was --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We still don't have full compliance with the U.N. resolutions and that's what we're demanding. And until we get that, there will not be any changes.
Q: In terms of harassments of the no-fly zones and what not, is there --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Again, we judge Iraq by the full consequences of their actions and we don't have full compliance.
Q: How was the President's discussion with Mitterrand this morning? How did it go?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it went very well. They talked largely about Bosnia and the U.S. ideas for helping solve the crisis. They weren't able to talk last week because President Mitterrand was traveling in Indochina. He just wanted to hear directly from President Mitterrand on his views on Bosnia. President Mitterrand welcomed the U.S. approach, and President Clinton underscored the need for close cooperation between France and the U.S. in the search for solutions.
Q: Was there any mention of Vietnam --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Apparently not, no.
Q: There is no position so far, no position by the President to lift the embargo against Vietnam?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No. They discussed it very briefly, they discussed the trip to Vietnam and Cambodia very briefly but the focus was on Bosnia.
Q: Did he talk about meeting between the two Presidents in the near future?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think so. They want to meet soon, but they didn't set any dates.
Q: Does the President have any plans to make any sort of exception for the HIV-positive Haitians at Guantanamo Bay?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He is reviewing that. It's a matter of serious concern. We just don't have a decision yet.
Q: What was the gist of the meeting with Reverend Jackson? What did he want him to do?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's my understanding that Reverend Jackson met with the Chief of Staff, Mr. McLarty.
Q: He didn't meet with the President?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I do not believe he did. Maybe briefly, yes.
Q: He said he met with McLarty.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And they had a good conversation. I think that they talked both about the Haiti situation in general and the situation of the Haitians on Guantanamo.
Q: What is his view? Given that these people have now been on a hunger strike for quite a while and this seems likely to continue, does he see no opportunity here to offer an exception in this situation apart from the lifting of the overall ban?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's a very serious situation which he's following very closely. He's reviewing it now.
Q: Is he pulling back on his inclination to lift the ban overall and, instead, as Newsweek reports today, planning to lift it for tourists but not for immigrants?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President hasn't reached any decisions now. He has not received any of the proposals from HHS yet but he has it under review.
Q: Is he stepping back at all from his -- is that still a commitment to lift the ban completely?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think there clearly is a distinction between travel and immigration, but that is the kind of thing that he wants to look at as he reviews this policy. But he has not made any final decisions and he hasn't received anything from HHS.
Q: Back on the economic plan. Did the spending cuts and the tax increases total roughly $500 billion? That's a figure that's been mentioned.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Again, we won't have the final numbers until later in the week but I think that's in the ballpark.
Q: Following up, reducing the spending cuts -- what are the parameters on that? Is this a historic precedent for a dollar amount of proposed spending cuts?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think this is going to be an historic package.
Q: But I mean, is this more spending cuts in dollars?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe it will be, yes. I think that has ever been achieved, certainly.
Q: On that one-to-one formula, there will be some programs that you're increasing spending on in your shift of priorities. Apart from stimulus you're going to have increases in spending, as I understand it, on education, job training, technology. Does that fit in to that one-to-one formula or is the one-to-one formula only in terms of deficit reduction?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, we believe there will be a rough balance of the whole package.
Q: One-to-one includes those portions that you increase spending on?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe so, but again, we'll have these all out on Wednesday?
Q: George, since you said the gas tax hike was unlikely, can you rule it out, just completely rule it out?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President will have the package on Wednesday.
Q: Has he met with Republicans yet?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He met with Republicans in the joint leadership two weeks ago. I believe he's going to have another meeting tomorrow on the Hill.
Q: Is he going to bring the Republican rank and file members from the Hill here to talk to them about his economic package?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He won't be able to do it before Wednesday.
Q: Did you say he was going to the Hill tomorrow?
Q: What is the thing tomorrow?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe he has a meeting -- and he might be having a group come here, but they will be a bipartisan group tomorrow.
Q: On the Hill?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it's here, but I'm not positive. I'll get back to you.
Q: Is Carol Rasco meeting today with drug manufacturers?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I know she has a meeting sometime in the future. I don't know if it's today.
Q: Is the 500,000 jobs gross or net by the end of '94?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He asked the same thing. I believe it's the net number, but I'm not positive. It's the number that we hope -- the new jobs we hope to create through the stimulus package.
Q: On the 150 specific cuts, did you -- maybe I misunderstood -- did you say that does not include the defense related cuts?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, no. This is domestic cuts.
Q: Just domestic? All the military cuts are beyond the 150?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe so.
Q: Does that include health care?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: There will be some restrictions on payments to health care providers and doctors, but we don't intend to have any new restrictions on beneficiaries.
Q: And that's included in the 150, or is that separate?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's separate, I believe. I mean, the 150 is domestic spending, not entitlement.
Q: Would a broad-based energy tax include gasoline?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think there would be a specific gas tax -- specific new gas tax.
Q: Gasoline would be taxed on the BTU?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe that's conceivable, sure.
Q: George, is the Vice President going to have a special mission to sell the energy taxes because of his environmental background? Is that his charge?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's wait and see the package.
Q: George, the 150 -- does that include outright elimination of some programs?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think there's likely to be elimination of some programs, yes. As you know, the President has already called for the elimination of hundreds of commissions.
Q: plugging in numbers into this economic package? Or is this --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The plan's not fully completed yet.
Q: George, what's the travel schedule after Wednesday? Any clear idea yet?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We don't have it finally logged down. We believe he's going to be going to St. Louis and southern Ohio on Thursday and Friday and maybe another stop in the Hudson Valley. But we don't have all of the final areas.
Q: Know on Sunday yet?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Probably go out to the west coast.
Q: Early, late in the day, or what?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure yet.
Q: Where on the west coast?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Don't have it all locked down yet.
Q: Is this all by airplane?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes. (Laughter.) Is that a request or what is that? (Laughter.) No bus trips in mid-winter.
Q: the President proposes increasing the portion of Social Security benefits that are subject to taxation. Is that considered a tax increase or is that considered a spending cut?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that when you weigh it against the alternatives, it clearly -- we put it in the realm of spending cuts. But I know that on the Hill it's generally been included as tax increases. I don't have the final accounting.
Q: Would that be the same for the Medicare tax -- for the Medicare premiums?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't believe there are any increases in Medicare premiums -- any new increases.
Q: Even for upper income people?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I do not believe we're going to have any increases -- new increases on Medicare premiums.
Q: Would it be fair to say, George, that the only way the middle class will be affected by this program will be, one, in some broad-based energy tax, and two, the Social Security recipients earning more than $32,000, or whatever, a year without their taxable portion --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that applies to fewer than 20 percent of the people on Social Security, but I would add the middle class are going to receive a lot of benefits from this package. It's going to be -- jobs are going to be created, educational opportunities are going to be expanded, we're going to improve access to child immunization and health care, which can affect the middle class, and we're going to be setting the country on a course that will bring down the deficit and allow for increased incomes in the future. So this program is a direct benefit to the American middle class.
Q: George, just back to Iraq for a second. What U.N. resolutions are they not in compliance with now?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'd have to get back to you on the specifics of that.
Q: Back to the Medicare cuts. Before you had said -- I believe the President had said that any statements under the health care plan would be used to provide universal coverage. And now it looks like some of the spending reductions you're going to have in Medicare are going to be used to cut the deficit. Can you explain if there has been a shift there?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the President believes that the bulk of cost control will go towards the national health care program and improving access. There are some cuts in saving we can achieve in the short term of excess payments from doctors and hospitals. We believe we can get in the short term and we can dedicate towards the deficit. But the bulk of the long term cost control will go towards the national program.
Q: And the $35 billion figure that's been around, is that the short-term cut --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We don't have the final numbers yet.
Q: Is that in the ballpark?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see on Wednesday.
Q: When do you expect to have those final numbers anyway?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Wednesday.
Q: Two questions -- one of which I know you've already answered a thousand times, but I'm confused. How are you going to calculate the health care savings in the out-years since there isn't yet a health car reform plan? Will there be plugged numbers in here or --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think so, no.
Q: So that's just not going to be assumed at all?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President believes we can get greater savings in the long term. We want to see them for the purposes of the specific budget.
Q: The only ones will be whatever your caps are?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: -- whatever we specifically call for.
Q: Short-term things. But in the long term there won't be any number attached to the amount of savings he thinks the plan will generate?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No.
Q: And secondly, has he or anybody else talked to Ross Perot about this, or are you planning on doing any sort of briefing for him in light of his likelihood that he may have a view? (Laughter.)
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm certain he'll have a view. And we'll do our best to make sure it's an informed view. (Laughter.)
Q: Wait, wait, wait. Has anybody yet spoken to Perot?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not that I know of. I wouldn't rule it out. I think that probably we'll make sure that he understands the economic program, just as we want all Americans to understand it.
Q: Are you going to actively seek his assistance of selling it since it may parallel things that he's called for in some way?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that representatives of the administration will clearly be talking to Ross Perot about the program.
Q: You don't have any specific ideas in mind for his participation?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, not yet. I mean, that's, obviously, up to him. We just want to make sure that we're doing our job to ensure that he understands it.
Q: Why wouldn't the President call him?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I'm saying that he won't. I'm just not saying that he will.
Q: Is the President calling, or is anyone on his staff calling Tsongas and Rudman and others who have been active --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe there have been some contacts, yes.
Q: By the President?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not that I know of, but just from different levels of the administration.
Q: With Tsongas?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think so, yes.
Q: Pete Peterson?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, probably.
Q: But not Ross?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I didn't say not Ross. I said I'm certain people will be talking to him.
Q: Certain people have?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I wouldn't rule it out. I just don't know of every context.
Q: If you had to bet would you bet people have? (Laughter.)
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know.
Q: Did Perot request a briefing?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not that I know of.
Q: Will there be any numbers tonight on the economic plan in his address?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think so, no.
Q: How about text?
Q: Will there be an early text?
Q: What time will the text be ready?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: When it's done.
Q: Would you see it in advance?
Q: Would it be before 3:00 p.m.?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think so.
Q: Before 5:00 p.m.?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I doubt it.
Q: After 10:00 p.m. (Laughter.)
Q: You don't think there will be an advance text?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I think there will be an advance text. I'm just not sure how far in advance.
Q: Is he using charts tonight?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I would imagine so.
Q: Will he do the chalkboard thing where he'll walk to charts?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure.
Q: This idea of question time I gather is Gephardt's idea. But since you're considering it, I'd like to ask you why you would want to do it? You've got every Democrat coming over here, as we understand it, for a private briefing with the President. He's going to meet with at least the Republican leadership tomorrow; he's on TV tonight; he's on TV Wednesday night. What's the point?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the point is to make sure that every question is answered.
Q: Well, the Republicans say that you can't do it without their permission and they're inclined not to give it. Does he have any reason for the good of the Republic that he would offer them to try to talk them into this since it is a kind of a constitutional thing?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know why they would reject the opportunity to ask the President about the economic package he's putting forward for the American people. I don't know why they would do that.
Q: Well, I mean, are you considering anything other than -- like having it done at some other venue than the actual House floor, which might get around the constitutional problem that -- what's the state of play on this decision that's to be made about whether to do this?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it's just under consideration. We're looking at every factor as we make this decision. But the President wants to make sure he has as much outreach with members of Congress as he can and that they fully understand the plan.
Q: Is he, is the President troubled by the precedent it might set or appear to set?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it doesn't necessarily set a precedent. If you simply use the hall for the meeting place it doesn't necessarily imply anything.
Q: If it isn't in a formal session of one kind or another, then it becomes and informal meeting using the floor as a setting?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Exactly, exactly.
Q: So it could be before the caucus, in effect, if the Republicans want to play, couldn't it?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Theoretically, sure.
Q: Is he aware of the opposition?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That was the first I heard of it, actually.
Q: Apparently, this was something broached under the Bush administration and the Republicans told the Democrats they wouldn't go along with it for constitutional reasons.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see if we can work something out.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:24 P.M. EST
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by George Stephanopoulos Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269197