Public Papers

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Leaders of the House of Representatives


Q. Mr. President, why is it that so many people like Mr. Perot?

The President. Let me tell you what we're talking about today. We're talking about the balanced budget amendment. Going over a little history, the balanced budget amendment proposal is the first one as President that I sent up to the Congress, and it is time to pass it. I think here's something that we can do.

This is a bipartisan meeting, and I am grateful to the Members here who support this balanced budget amendment. We've got to stop spending more than we take in, and that's the theory behind this amendment. The time has come to pass it. I understand that some in the Congress are starting to fight us on this, but I think the American people want it done.

What we're going to talk about here is how do we get something done for the taxpayer, and that is to stop spending more than we take in. It will discipline all branches of Government, and the time has come to pass it. I'm going to hear from Charles Stenholm, Bill Gradison, and others here as to how they feel that can be done.

So that's what we're talking about today. Thank you for your interest in this other -- --

Q. Aren't you only preaching to the choir, Mr. President? Day after day you only meet with people who agree with you.

The President. We're finished here. We're going to try -- thank you, Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International], for your input on this. But we are going to keep on talking about this now in substance. We've got to get going because we only have, I'm told, 30 minutes. We've got stuff to do. Thank you for your interest, however.

Note: The President spoke at 10:05 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.