Remarks on the Budget Negotiations and an Exchange With Reporters
The President. I want to be brief today because we're getting off to a little late start. We've got a lot to do. I have three things to say: I think we made a good start yesterday; we're making progress; and I believe we need to open the Government. I hope we can agree to do all that.
Q. Sir, do you know any more information on the soldier who was wounded in Bosnia?
The President. Our reports are sketchy, and I have tried to get an update, but what I do know is that there were apparently two vehicles and four soldiers involved. Only one was seriously hurt, and he has been med-evac'd to Croatia, in a hospital there, and we understand he's in stable condition.
But mines have always been our biggest concern, and we're working very hard on it, but that's what happened. And we'll continue to monitor it and do the best we can. The mission itself is going very well. The people have received our soldiers very well, and I'm very well satisfied with the progress. And I'm obviously very sorry this happened, but they're making good progress on the mine problem, but it's going to be difficult to get rid of them all.
Q. [Inaudible]—the measure to get the workers back that's going to get through Congress?
Senator Dole. Well, it passed the House. We hope we can pass it in the Senate today, so make some progress.
Senator Daschle. We tried to pass a clean CR, one without any conditions. And that was objected to, but I hope we can work something out.
Q. But isn't the fact now that the Democrats are holding things up?
Senator Daschle. Not at all. As a matter of fact, as I said, we passed a continuing resolution—we had no conditions. It sent people back to work, and that was objected to. So we're not trying to hold anything up here. We hope we can get some sort of an agreement as early as today.
Q. Well, what's it going to take to get a deal?
Speaker Gingrich. Well, let me just say something. I think the President had a right—we're glad to have you all in. We have a lot of work to do. We made, I thought, real progress last night. It is not easy. We have very significant areas we have to work on, but I thought the spirit was very positive. We don't just want to get the Federal workers back, we want to get them paid. And in order to do that, I think we've got to get this whole thing worked out. But I thought we had a great start last night. And with you all's permission, I think we can get a lot more done in the next few hours.
Q. Mr. President, is the message from the Democrats basically that they don't trust you?
The President. We've got to go to work. Thank you very much.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:35 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House, prior to a meeting with congressional leaders. In his remarks, he referred to Spec. Martin J. Begosh, USA, whose vehicle hit a landmine in Bosnia on December 30. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.
William J. Clinton, Remarks on the Budget Negotiations and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/223175