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Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters on the Legislative Agenda

January 05, 1995

The President. I want to welcome the new congressional leadership and congratulate them. I was pleased with what I heard and saw yesterday, and I think that we're off to a good start. The real work is now beginning.

I note that there are several areas where I believe that we can work together and where I hope we can work rapidly, congressional reform, the line-item veto. I hope we can do something on lobbying reform and on campaign finance reform. I believe that there are areas we can work together on welfare reform, on health care reform. We can do a lot of things.

I think we all know that we're expert in stopping things. What we want to do is prove now we can work together to make things happen. And I'm encouraged by what I've heard and seen.

I also think there is a consensus in this country that we shouldn't do anything that would increase the deficit, hurt the middle class, hurt poor people who are trying to work their way into the middle class, or do anything that would undermine our economic recovery. So on that basis, I think we can look forward to a good Congress. I'm excited about it and ready to go. And I'm glad they're here.

Q. Is it like a compromise—between you and me—[laughter]—is it going to be compromise or combat?

The President. My answer to that is, Mr. Gingrich will whisper into your right ear, and I will whisper into your left ear. [Laughter]

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:13 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House, prior to a meeting with congressional leaders. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters on the Legislative Agenda Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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