5:21 PM 30 Oct 1998
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Draft 10/30/98 5:00pm Jordan Tamagni PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON TALKING POINTS FOR GLEN FOREST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OVERFLOW EVENT FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA October 31, 1998 Acknowledgments: Principal Susan Fitz; Teacher (TK). I want to start by wishing all of you a Happy Halloween! I know that most of you havenO,t put on your costumes yet ... but the scariest thing IO,ve seen so far this week isnO,t a costume -- itO,s the plan some Republicans in Congress have hatched to fire the 100,000 teachers they committed to hire last week! You just heard my weekly radio address, but I wanted to talk to you for just a few more minutes about what I believe we have to do to keep those teachers in the classroom, and keep America on the right track. This is not an ordinary time -- and this is not an ordinary election. This Tuesday, the American people will elect the first Congress of the 21st Century. The result of that choice will shape the way we live for years to come. For nearly six years I have worked to bring this country together, to move it forward, and to be a force for peace and freedom throughout the world. Today, because of the hard work of the American people and the policies we put in place, we have nearly 17 million new jobs ... the lowest unemployment in 28 years ... the highest homeownership in history ... the smallest percentage of our people on welfare in 29 years .. , the lowest crime rate in more than five years. And because we have held fast to fiscal responsibility, we have the firs.t balanced budget since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and the smallest federal government since John Glenn first orbited the earth. But this past year, extreme partisanship in Congress threatened the progress we have worked so hard together to make. As I said in my radio address -- we donO,t need two more years of partisansip -- we need two more years of progress. We need a Congress that prepares our children for the future by putting 100,000 teachers in the classroom, modernizing our schools, and insisting on high academic standards -- not a Congress that wants teachers to do their job in trailers. The last congress tried to slash our investment in education by more than $2 billion dollars -- we stopped them this year, but next year we need a Congress that strengthens education. We need a Congress that ensures 75 million Baby Boomers can retire in dignity without burdening our children by saving Social Security first not a Congress that wants to squander our hard-won budget surplus on a risky multi-billion dollar tax scheme. And we need a Congress that helps older Americans live longer and healthier lives by passing my plan to let S5 to 65 year olds buy into Medicare. We need a Congress that gives American families the security they deserve by passing a PatientsO, Bill of Rights that protects your right to see a specialist, to be treated in the nearest emergency room, to have the same doctor throughout a course of treatment, and to keep medical records private -- not a Congress that thinks accountants should make medical decisions. We need a Congress that protects our children from the deadly harm of tobacco by passing comprehensive legislation that prevents big tobacco companies from targeting their multi-million dollar marketing schemes at teenagers -- not a Congress that would stand by while 3,000 children start smoking every day. We need a Congress that restores the American peopleD,s faith in government by passing meaningful campaign finance reform -- not a Congress in debt to special interests. To prepare America for the 21st Century, we need a Congress that puts progress ahead of partisanship. This Tuesday, you have the power to elect that Congress -- but only if you go out and vote. Thank you, Happy Hallow~D,en, and remember to vote!