Public Papers

Remarks on Signing Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Legislation


Welcome to the Rose Garden. I'm very pleased to welcome all of you on this short notice to the White House. But may I salute our Secretary of Labor, who's been very instrumental in all of this. Senator Seymour, Senator Hatch, Senator Stevens, Congressman Joe McDade, welcome, all. And all of them, along with some others that weren't able to be with us today, have been extraordinarily helpful in this legislation. May I salute Mayor Schmoke, Bob Neall.

It is a very special privilege to have some young Americans from right here in our Nation's Capital. They're the reason, kids like these are the reason why we produce this legislation. They're the reason we're fighting for far-reaching reforms to offer opportunity for a better future.

The supplemental appropriations bill that I am signing here today provides emergency funding for the nationwide disaster programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, and for the Small Business Administration, SBA. This bill replenishes the resources of both Agencies for expenditures they're making to help the victims of this lawless violence in Los Angeles and the flood in Chicago. These funds are used to help shelter people that are affected by major disasters and to offer low-interest loans to individuals in businesses in the disaster areas.

The bill also will help finance more than 400,000 summer jobs through a program of the Department of Labor with a special focus on helping young people in America's largest urban areas. By providing for .45 billion in SBA-guaranteed loans, the bill will help small business across the country literally create thousands of new jobs.

I turned aside efforts by some in the Congress to spend more for the sake of spending more when the urgent need is for fundamental change to provide hope and opportunity for people in the inner cities. We've got to recognize these supplemental funds are a beginning, only a beginning, and that's the way it is. It's imperative that we make a fundamental change, that we put in place the package of reforms that we call the New America Plan. There are several points to that plan:

First, it enhances Government's primary mission to ensure the personal safety of our people. Our neighborhoods, our streets must be free from crime. To strike a blow for our people's right to live free from fear, I am asking Congress now to act on my ``Weed and Seed'' program to fight urban crime, as well as enacting a tough new comprehensive crime bill.

People in our cities need more freedom and opportunity to achieve, to excel. The second part of this plan calls for enterprise zones to offer incentives for innovation and job creation in the greatest American tradition. It is high time we put this great idea into action. When I was in Los Angeles, support for enterprise zones were across the board, across party label, across age group label. It was an amazing amount of support. So we've got to get this put into action.

The third part, our HOPE initiative, will help turn public housing tenants into homeowners. There's no overestimating the dignity that that brings.

Fourth, our America 2000 education reforms will help extend to parents and kids right there in the inner cities the same choices that people in the suburbs already have.

Fifth, to give people new skills, we propose to reform job training.

Finally, the long-term well-being of neighborhoods that are now dangerous and depressed demands that we break with the culture of dependency. My agenda for welfare reform aims to reward work and learning, to insist that fathers take responsibility for their children, and to make families whole.

These are the keys to providing hope for this new generation. These are the only reliable means for making our cities the safe and prosperous places they ought to be. So again, I am urging the Congress to put an end to the delays and to take action on this New America Plan.

I thank you all for coming. Now I will invite the Senators and Congressman McDade to come up, and be glad to sign this important legislation.

[At this point, the President signed the bill.]

The deed is done. Thank you all very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 2 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Kurt Schmoke, Mayor of Baltimore, MD, and Robert R. Neall, county executive of Anne Arundel County, MD. H.R. 5132, the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1992, for Disaster Assistance To Meet Urgent Needs Because of Calamities Such as Those Which Occurred in Los Angeles and Chicago, approved June 22, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 302.