Remarks of the President on Firstgov.Gov Webcast (9/22/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release               September 22, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                                IN INTERNET WEBCAST

          THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  We Americans are truly fortunate
to be living at such an exciting time.  Computers and the Internet are
revolutionizing the way we work, live, relate to each other and the rest of
the world.  They also have the potential to fundamentally transform and
improve the way government serves the American people.  Today I want to
talk about a major step we're taking toward that goal.

          When I became President there were only 50 websites on the entire
Worldwide Web.  Today there are almost 20 million.  Under the leadership of
Vice President Gore, we've made great progress bringing government into the
digital age.  Instead of waiting in line, citizens can go on-line, to file
their taxes, compare their Medicare options, and find good jobs.  They can
tap into the latest health research, change their address at the post
office, and follow along with NASA's missions in outer space.  And they can
do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

          But with 27 million web pages of government information now
on-line, and more added every day, finding the information or service you
need can be frustrating.  That's why I'm pleased to announce that today
we're launching a new, one-stop website for federal on-line information --  It allows you, for the first time, to link to the Federal
Information Service, or service you are looking for, without having to know
the name of the agency or the program that offers it.

          So, go to, and you're just a few mouse clicks
away from websites where you can apply for student loans, or reserve a camp
ground in a national park.

          Now, when I first announced in June we would be creating, I promised we would do so in 90 days.  That was exactly 90
days ago.  I am very proud of the federal employees who made this happen in
Internet time.  And I'm thankful to Dr. Eric Brewer of Inktomi.  He's the
entrepreneur who, with the help of federal grants, created one of the
private sector's most successful search engine technologies.  Out of
gratitude and patriotism, he developed and donated the search engine for

          Now this website belongs to the American people.  We've included
a place for you to suggest improvements, and we're going to keep working on
this site, and on all of our government websites.  Firstgov symbolizes, I
think, the kind of government we need in the 21st century, one that
empowers citizens to make the most of their own lives.

          At the dawn of our republic, Thomas Jefferson said, "America's
institutions must move forward hand in hand with the progress of the human
mind."  Well, today, as the progress of the human mind races ahead, it's
vital that we make sure our democratic institutions keep pace.  And if we
do, we can create a more perfect, more responsive democracy for the
Information Age.

          Thanks for logging on.


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