Statement by the President: VA/HUD (10/12/00)

                         Office of the Press Secretary

  For Immediate Release                                            October 12,

                           STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I am pleased that the Senate has passed a VA/HUD bill that will open the
doors of opportunity in America for those who need it most, build on our agenda
for national energy security and strengthen our commitment to the environment.
With this legislation -- which includes key provisions negotiated by my budget
team -- we take an important step toward addressing critical national priorities
and opening the doors of opportunity for many more Americans.

     This legislation builds upon my opportunity agenda with increased funding
for economic development through Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities
and Community Development Financial Institutions, all part of my New Markets
Initiative, and with 79,000 new housing vouchers for low income families. This
agreement also increases support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's
emergency food and shelter programs which work with States and communities to
help the homeless and hungry. We are also strengthening our commitment to
national service with additional support for the Corporation for National and
Community Service, the first increase since the inception of this critical
volunteer agency in 1993.

     With this legislation, we support the significant expansion of
cutting-edge basic scientific research at the National Science Foundation.  This
includes research in nano-technology -- the manipulation of matter at the
molecular and atomic level -- which holds the promise of scientific
breakthroughs in a wide range of fields. It also advances scientific research
through support for space exploration at NASA.  At especially at this time of
elevated fuel prices, I am also pleased that this bill provides resources for
technologies to increase fuel efficiency, an essential part of our long - term
strategy to reduce dependence on oil.

     This agreement also contains increased funding for enforcement of the
nation?s environmental laws and for the cleanup of polluted waterways. The
agreement we reached drops or fixes several objectionable riders that threatened
to harm our environment.  Yet, while we were able to ameliorate the impact of
the remaining riders, we were not able to rid this bill entirely of
objectionable provisions, in particular the rider relating to ozone.

     This agreement also provides the additional $1.5 billion I requested for
the Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest increase ever requested by any
Administration. This funding will support efforts to improve veterans? medical
care and the delivery of key services, including disability benefits.

     This agreement is clear proof of the progress we can achieve when we work
together to address the nation?s priorities.


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E