For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 27, 2001
Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer
The James S. Brady Briefing Room
1. Personnel announcements
3. Race Conference
4. President of Bolivia
5. Administration's stand on international treaties
7. Trade promotion authority
8. Economy/President's agenda
9. Education bill/Boy Scouts
10. Kyoto Protocol/alternative
11. Mexico/vote on trucking
12. Missile defense/Putin meetings
13. Week ahead
12:35 P.M. EDT
MR. FLEISCHER: Good afternoon. Happy Friday to the White House Press Corps. President Bush today announced his intention to nominate Louis Kincannon to be Director of the Census at the Department of Commerce. President Bush today announced his intention to nominate Melvin Sembler to be ambassador of the United States to Italy.
I have a week ahead at the end of this briefing, so please remind me to get to that. With that, I'm pleased to take any questions.
Q What are Mr. Sembler's qualifications to be ambassador to Italy?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President believes that Mr. Sembler to be a very able diplomat, you will see by the information we've put out about his background. His previous experience where he was Ambassador to Australia under former President Bush, where he very well represented our country. He was appointed by President Reagan to the White House Conference For A Drug-Free America. He's been involved in the United States government before. He represented our country abroad very well in that capacity.
Q I'd like to ask you another question on foreign policy. The Secretary of State meets with Chinese officials on Saturday, and says he will bring up the country's mixed record on compliance with the 2000 Nonproliferation Agreement with the U.S. Has United States formerly protested to China about their continued exports of missiles and related technology to Pakistan and other countries?
MR. FLEISCHER: Ron, the administration firmly opposes all Chinese transfers of missiles and weapons of mass destruction, related technology to other countries. Nonproliferation is a key element in the United States relations with China, and the United States will continue to make this an important topic in our discussions with China, as Secretary Powell did this week. The United States expects China to live up to its nonproliferation commitments, and we will continue to press China to adhere to those policies.
Q And what else do you hope to get out of the meeting?
MR. FLEISCHER: With China? I think our relations with China are very important to the United States. Our relations with China represent some serious opportunities, particularly on the trade front. It also represents particular challenges involving human rights. And the President is going to continue to focus on both the positive aspects of our relationship with China, and he will not shy away from confronting China directly on the aspects that need to be improved.
Q Ari, on that subject, does the administration see a deterioration in China's performance on nonproliferation issues?
MR. FLEISCHER: As Secretary Powell said, China's performance on proliferation is mixed. And we're going to continue to press China because so much of peace throughout the world depends on different nations not acquiring weapons of mass destruction and technology that is given as a result of weakness, or mixed results on proliferation. So it's an important ongoing part of the U.S. relations with China, and the administration, as Secretary Powell has indicated, will not hesitate to press China on it.
Q Is there a trend in all this --
MR. FLEISCHER: I think mixed indicates, as the Secretary said, some positive developments, some negative developments. It's mixed, and that's why it's important for the United States to continue to press China as Secretary Powell has, and as the President will continue to do so.
Q Ari, you articulated well this morning about how the United States may not go to the Race Conference, the U.N.-backed Race Conference in Africa. But some critics are wondering if you have such a strong stand, why not go and make that stand there about Zionism as well as reparations?
MR. FLEISCHER: The conference that is scheduled to take place in Africa, designed to fight racism, presents the United States with a historic opportunity, and it presents the rest of the world with a historic opportunity to unite in international efforts to create a new climate to fight racism. The President believes one of the best ways to fight racism around the world is through the development of democracy throughout the world. The democratic nations, while they have problems, are the nations that have brought about the greatest advances in racial harmony and racial healing. It's often the nations that lack democracy that engage in ethnic cleansing and present the world with the deepest problems.
And that's why the President is committing to going and to attending this conference. The representatives of the United States government have their bags packed and their ready to go and attend this conference. The only thing stopping them from going will be if the conferees divert the conference from its important mission of fighting racism and get into issues such as equating Zionism with racism, or engaging in issues facing backwards on reparations that serve to divide nations as opposed to bring people together to confront the current problems that the world faces dealing with racism.
Q Ari, once again, why not go to make that stand and send a clear message, especially since you say President Bush feels that racism is alive and well today around the world and in the United States?
MR. FLEISCHER: Because the President thinks it's very important for this conference to be successful that the conference focus on the future, on solving problems of the here and now, and solving problems that are faced around the world on racism, and that it's also important to send a signal to the freedom loving nations of the world that we will not stand by, if the world tries to describe Zionism as racism. That is as wrong as wrong can be, and the President is proud to stand by Israel and by the Jewish community and send a signal that no group around the world will meet with international acceptance and respect if its purpose is to equate Zionism with racism.
Q Let me follow up. On the issue of reparations, is there a fear that dealing with these reparations will stir up the old pot about reparations here in the United States for African Americans, the descendants of African slaves here?
MR. FLEISCHER: The position on racism that the administration holds is very similar to the position that was held by the previous administration on the question of reparations. For this conference to be successful, it's important that they focus on the current problems of racism and not get lost in the tangle that is presented by trying to address long-ago inequity that involved Africans trading Africans, Arabs trading Africans, Europeans trading and enslaving Africans, Americans doing the same. And it quickly comes a point of who pays reparations to who -- the West African nations that engaged in slave trading, should they pay reparations to themselves.
The point is, this conference should be successful. Racism is a serious problem in the here and now around the word. But if this conference gets diverted into issues such as equating Zionism with racism, the conference will hurt its ability to be a successful conference.
Q The President of Bolivia came here a few weeks ago to be treated for cancer at Walter Reed, spent many weeks here, left a few days ago, had a very serious relapse, was admitted back in Walter Reed. And today the Bolivian government announced he will be resigning as of August 6th, and his Vice President will take over. I've been asked to ask you if there is any comment from the White House.
MR. FLEISCHER: Let me get back to you. Let me take that question and report back to you.
Q Ari, why do you believe it's appropriate to engage in selective disengagement in the instance of the U.N. Conference on Human Rights, but in other areas, such as trade with China, even though China violates human rights, you feel that it's appropriate for us as a nation to be involved in their trade?
MR. FLEISCHER: As I indicated, the delegates to this convention, their bags are packed and they're ready to go. The United States intends to go. The United States is engaged. The only way disengagement will occur is if this conference disengages itself from the freedom-loving nations of the world that do not equate Zionism with racism.
Q -- have U.S. athletes boycott China in the Olympics?
MR. FLEISCHER: The question needs to be addressed to the other nations that risk creating disengagement because the United States is fully engaged and prepared to participate.
Q Is there any treaty since World War II that this administration is not willing to torpedo? (Laughter.)
MR. FLEISCHER: Is that what you call a leading question?
Q Definitely leading.
MR. FLEISCHER: Is there something you have on your mind?
Q Every treaty, it seems, that's been made in at least the last 25 years you seem to be saying no to and tearing up. I mean, has nothing any validity that was done before you arrived?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think Helen's question is aimed more specifically at the Biological Weapons Convention and some of the recent discussions about protocol.
Q No, no, no. Several.
Q Kyoto --
Q I can name four or five.
MR. FLEISCHER: Let me answer your question. There have been a series of issues in which the President is going to demonstrate American leadership on because the President is more interested in doing what is right for America and having America lead the world to good solutions to difficult problems. And on the Kyoto Protocol, for example, the President has said that the United States is committed to the reduction of greenhouse gases. And we'll be coming up with an alternative to a protocol, Kyoto, that would have put working Americans out of work and that received very little support in the United States Senate when there was an indicative test vote.
On the question of the Biological Weapons Convention, the United States is fully committed to the Biological Weapons Convention. We support it, we signed it, it's a ratified treaty. And the United States will adhere and abide to it. There's a separate question involving a protocol that deals with how to implement aspects of the Biological Weapons Convention. If you ever want proof perfect of why that protocol is not a successful way to stop the development of biological weapons, ask yourself, if that protocol is so good, then why is Iran for it? Iran is known to be producing biological weapons --
Q We are, too.
MR. FLEISCHER: The United States does not produce and will not produce weapons of -- biological weapons. We do not. We're adherent to the treaty, and we obey it.
But Iran is recognized around the world as a violator of the treaty. Yet that protocol has been agreed to by Iran, because they know it is so flimsy that they can cheat their way right through it. So the President is being very realistic, and is protecting America's interest by not simply agreeing to a protocol that Iran has accepted, because Iran knows that it's not worth the paper that it's written on.
Q How about every other treaty that you've said no to recently, I mean, that is being proposed?
MR. FLEISCHER: Do you want to give me some examples?
Q Criminal court, small gun running -- you name it.
MR. FLEISCHER: There was an agreement reached on --
Q One after another you're saying no to.
MR. FLEISCHER: The President is going to continue to lead America into our relations around the world on the basis of what is right and what is best for America. It's distinct American internationalism.
Q I have one follow-up then. How can you lead when you don't have any friends or allies any more with us on anything?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think the question is, why should the United States acquiesce in the question of the biological weapons protocol --
Q Leadership is to take others along with you.
MR. FLEISCHER: -- if that protocol is so easily cheated that Iran is happy to sign up for it?
Q Ari, what's the difference between distinct internationalism and isolationism?
Q Yes, on the same question, I want to follow up. Some say the actions on these various treaties show sort of a new unilateralism in American foreign policy. What do you say to that?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think that if you take a look at the President's trips to Europe, you'll see the degree to which the President is leading Europe and working well with our European allies. Take the question of missile defense. The President has a series of European allies when it comes to the missile defense initiative. If you take a look at the nations of former Eastern Europe, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, they're all looking at the problem of weapons of mass destruction the same way the President does.
The President's meetings with President Putin suggest that President Putin and President Bush are working well together to lead the world into a new vision of how to keep the peace. If that's not the definition of multilateralism, then I don't know what is. The United States will continue to work, under President Bush, well with our allies and partners around the world. But the President will not shirk from his duties to protect the American people from any international agreements that the President does not think are in America's interest.
Q Have there been any further conversations between the President and anybody on the Hill on patients' bill of rights? Or can you give us an update on what's happened on that today?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President spoke with Congressman Norwood early this morning. He called the Congressman to reiterate and to continue to say we need to get a patients' bill of rights done and signed into law. The President called Senator Kennedy yesterday, who has also been very involved in securing a patients' bill of rights. And as you know, the President and Senator Kennedy have worked very well together in the past on the issue of education. So the President will continue to have conversations. And I'll keep you informed as events develop.
Q Does he expect any further conversations today, or over the weekend?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
Q Do you expect him to engage in any further conversations today or over the weekend?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'll advise you if there are any further discussions.
Q What about on fast track, Ari? Democrats say he's not fully engaged. What does he plan to do? Is he going to make it a top priority?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, obviously, he was in a meeting today with the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, a leading Democrat, Senator Baucus, who came by the Oval Office. So I'm not sure that -- is there anybody who's telling you that he's not engaged?
Q -- was quoted today as having said that Democrats haven't heard from him, he's not --
MR. FLEISCHER: He must not have been aware of the meeting in the Oval Office today between the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who's a Democrat, who has offered principles on fast track or trade promotion authority. The President is deeply engaged on this issue. It's a question he's addressed in a series of meetings with Democrats and Republicans that come to visit in the White House. The President addressed it today, and you heard him yourself, I'm sure, if you were at the event, when the President discussed the importance of securing trade promotion authority.
Trade promotion authority is a very important development so that the President can enter into trade agreements throughout the world. It's important for the Senate not to retreat within the United States borders. It's important for the Senate not to send signals that the United States is isolationist and, therefore, it's important that they give him trade promotion authority.
Trade promotion authority is good for the economy. Workers involved in America's export industry tend to make more money than workers involved in domestic products. Today there are 130 free trade agreements in the world; the United States is party to only two. And one of the reasons is because Congress has not given the President trade promotion authority.
Q Is he willing to devote the political capital to make it a top priority over the next few months?
MR. FLEISCHER: Absolutely he is.
Q Ari, Senator Grassley said after the meeting that he told the President it was important to get this bill done by the November WTO meeting in Qatar. And he said the President agreed with this assessment, that that was a crucial target. Is that correct?
MR. FLEISCHER: Sure. I think that's another very good example, by the way, of how the President is involved multilaterally in developing proposals that can be supported around the world.
It's interesting, because the President went to Europe and there were protestors on the street who protested how he is working in such a constructive fashion on free trade around the world with all these other nations, which is a perfect illustration of who is on the side of bringing the world together and who is standing outside in an isolationist fashion.
But, specifically, the President does believe it would be very helpful before the next round of the World Trade Organization meets in Qatar this November for the Congress to send him trade promotion authority that can be signed into law. The President thinks that would be a very important and helpful way, not only to aid the economy, but to make sure those talks are as successful as they can be.
Q Speaking of the economy, Ari, the President's been in office six months, new figures out today. At what point does the President start to take political blame or credit for this economy?
MR. FLEISCHER: You know, the voters will decide who takes credit and blame, but I can tell you that the President understood beginning at 12:00 noon on January 20th that the economy was his. He was elected to represent all of the people in this country, beginning at 12:00 noon on January 20th, and it didn't matter what took place before then. It was the President's duty and responsibility to face it, and that's what he did. And that's one of the reasons why the President, who worked so successfully to enact a tax cut into law, which will now go into effect this fall, that will give Americans rebates which will help stimulate the economy.
There was a new report today out by the Department of Commerce suggesting that the economy remains weak. Growth for the spring of 2001 was only .7 percent, less than one percentage point. The report released this morning also indicated that the decline in growth began in the summer of 2000, when growth dropped from 5.7 percent in the spring of 2000 to 1.3 percent in the summer of 2000. Growth was 1.9 percent in the fall of 2000, and growth was only 1.3 percent in the winter of '01. In other words, the economy has been in a one-year slowdown. And the President is less interested in who is to blame for it; he's more interested in how to solve the problem. And that's why he's very pleased that the Congress passed tax relief.
Q Does he have any other stimulatory programs in mind, other than the tax cut, which phases in over a period of time?
MR. FLEISCHER: As you heard the President say today, trade promotion authority is one of the most important ways to help the economy to grow. Exports are a real driver in the American economy. And the degree to which Americans are able to create jobs here at home by exporting products abroad, is a way to strengthen America's economy.
Q Ari, on the education bill, there are measures attached to it on both the House and Senate version that would require local schools to get federal funding to open their doors to the Boy Scouts. The President is going to see the Boy Scouts on Sunday. Is he going to mention that at all, and what is his position on this portion of the education legislation?
MR. FLEISCHER: No, I don't think that's going to be in the President's remarks on Sunday.
Q What is his position? Does he believe the federal government should force local schools to open their doors to Scouts?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President thinks that groups around the country should -- schools around the country should open their doors to all types of groups. And that's his position on it.
Q But is it the role -- does he believe it's an appropriate role, as a condition of federal funding, for the federal government to tell local school districts you should or you should not be open to this particular group?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think what you're going to see is the President work with Congress to get a bill done that can be signed into law. That's the President's position.
Q On the patients' bill of rights, does the President want to see a vote on the Fletcher bill next week? And you cited his talks with Senator Kennedy on that -- Senator Kennedy on education, and yet that bill remains locked in conference. Does the President want to see a vote on patients' bill of rights, and why does he -- why do you suggest his dealings with Senator Kennedy may break an impasse over this issue, when they didn't over education?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, actually education is moving nicely thanks to the work that the President and Senator Kennedy did. It's not moving as fast as the President would like, but welcome to the Congress. Not everything moves at lightning speed in the United States Congress.
As for the question involving the patients' bill of rights, the President is less interested in the exact timing of the vote, and much more interested in getting the job done and complete. Congressman Charley Norwood, in October of 1995, introduced the first patients' bill of rights legislation. Congress for the last seven years has failed to get the job done. The President believes that this can be the year that Congress gets the job done. And that's why he's working as hard as he is on this issue with Congressman Norwood and others.
So whether this bill gets sent to him or is voted on in the House of Representatives today, on Monday next week or next month is less important to the President than the fact that the nation has waited seven years for Congress to get it done. This can be the year for the Congress to finish the job.
Q I wanted to find out what exactly did the President say to European leaders about the alternative to Kyoto? Because he obviously left the impression that he would be having that alternative relatively soon. And now that the EPA Administrator is saying the administration may not have an interest in doing anything on global warming anytime soon -- so could you address that?
And also it looks like people on the Hill are moving forward with or without the President's leadership on this. And have you guys looked at those proposals? Are you willing to say -- is the President backing down from leading on the issue of global warming?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President was asked that very question last week, and so I can refer you to the President's words. And he was asked, what is it that you said to your fellow leaders in Europe about the timing of your proposal on climate change. And the President said he told his European allies that the Cabinet-level working group was working to develop an alternative plan, and that it was a complicated and serious issue, an important one, and that there is no timetable. As soon as that plan is complete, the President would prepare to move on it. That may or may not be before the meeting in Marrakesh. And that's exactly what the President told his European allies.
Q When do you think that would be?
MR. FLEISCHER: As I just said, the President said whenever it's complete. It may be before, it may be after Marrakesh.
Q And the issue about Congress and Congress moving ahead without presidential leadership on this issue?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President always welcomes Congress to work its will. Congress, I think, will recognize the complexity of this issue, and Congress will take a look at the same issues the President has looked at, and recognize that any action that the United States takes must reduce global warming, it must reduce greenhouse gases, and it must do so in a way without harming the American economy or putting people out of work.
Q The Administrator did not speak out of turn? You guys are looking at this as seriously to have something done by the end of this year?
MR. FLEISCHER: No. Again, I think the President addressed it in his own words last week, and that's consistent with what the Administrator said today.
Q Ari --
MR. FLEISCHER: New questions. You asked a question, you asked a question, you haven't asked a question.
Q I haven't asked a question. Thank you very much. Has the President received the short list from the Secretary of Defense as to the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? If so, has he made his decision, and when will he announce it?
MR. FLEISCHER: As you know, I don't speculate about personnel, whether it's the timing of it or the people involved. So I'm not going to speculate on that topic.
Q Thank you. A follow-up. It is questionable as far as a follow-up, but has the President -- (laughter) --
MR. FLEISCHER: That would be a first.
Q -- has the President ordered a retaliatory strike against Iraq for their attempt to shoot down the U2 this week?
MR. FLEISCHER: As you know, the President has said that he will continue to enforce the no-fly zone and beyond that, I'm not going to engage in any speculation about any military operations.
Moving on to new people.
Q The speech of the President in Kosovo on the 24th, there is a reference which has aroused interest with leaders in India, and that is, from Kosovo to Kashmir, et cetera. What did the President have in mind when he bracketed Kosovo and Kashmir?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm sorry, what did he have in mind when he what Kosovo and Kashmir?
Q When he bracketed -- when he talked about Kosovo and Kashmir in the same breath?
MR. FLEISCHER: Yes, I want to go back and take a look at the specifics of the President's remarks. Why don't you share that with me and I'll try to take your question about that afterwards.
Q Alliteration. (Laughter.)
Q Has the President called any senators about this bill that's supposed to --
MR. FLEISCHER: The President was disappointed in the vote on Mexican trucking. The President believes very much that we can have safe trucking on our roads and that we need to enforce safety standards and safety regulations. The President supports creating an inspection and certification regime with our Mexican neighbors to the south that is tough, that is stringent, and that allows them access to American roads so they are not put in an unfair position where our Mexican neighbors are not treated right.
The President is going to work to fix what took place in conference, and he will continue to work with several senators and congressmen who have been very helpful in the effort. And he remains hopeful that he will be successful.
Q Can I follow up on that? There was a veto-proof majority in the Senate. Would he still veto that bill?
MR. FLEISCHER: The staff continues to recommend a veto to the President, and the President is going to continue to work to fix it in conference.
Q And also on that, while we're allowed follow-ups -- (laughter) -- what did the President mean yesterday when he said that people supportive of tougher regulations for Mexican trucks were discriminatory? What did he mean by that?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President said what the President said, which is, it's important to maintain safety on our roads and to not take any action that is unfair to our neighbors to the south.
Q He didn't just say unfair, he said discriminatory, which brings forth other --
MR. FLEISCHER: That's what the President said.
Q -- other notions, such as anti-Mexican, people being anti-Mexican, anti-Hispanic.
MR. FLEISCHER: Keith, that's what the President said. That's what the President said. The President said unfair. And in the spirit of you getting several follow-ups, we're going to now go to Paula, who has anxiously tried to get a couple of follow-ups.
Q This is actually a new question on employer liability. And the administration has been saying all along how concerned it is that if you don't address that, you know, people's insurance will be dropped. What's been reported, that there's been a compromise offered in which the President would support allowing patients to sue HMOs in state courts. In terms of suing employers, those suits should be brought on the federal level which, as you know, would provide employers greater protection. Can you confirm that?
MR. FLEISCHER: Paula, that's very much the same question you asked me this morning when I indicated to you this morning -- (laughter) -- this morning, to your slightly less-detailed question, I indicated that I'm not going to do the play-by-play on any of the negotiations that are underway.
The reason that the President is heartened with the progress that has been made in his conversations with Congressman Norwood and others on patients' bill of rights is because he thinks that Congress understands that they can get the job done this year, and the discussions that are underway right now are what you would expect at the end of a legislative issue that is very serious and is approaching its possible vote sometime soon.
And that means the talks that are underway are very delicate, they're sensitive, and are important. And I'm not going to negotiate for the President through the press; the President wants to allow the hard work of these discussions to continue in a fashion that will be the most productive so he can sign a bill into law.
Q Would that meet his principles, though, if that were --
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm cracking down on these follow-ups.
Q Ari, just one more on the foreign policy and all the treaties and protocols. When you say that the President is more interested in doing what's right for America, why did not some perceive that as some form of isolationism?
MR. FLEISCHER: Because it's a question of, should the United States agree to a protocol on biological weapons that Iran says is in Iran's interest, when the United States it's not in America's interest. The American people will believe that the President protected the interests of our country, and they'll thank him for the leadership he's taking on that issue.
Q But in the collective, is there any concern at all in the White House, collectively, with the biological pact, the Kyoto Treaty, and the small arms trading, the international criminal court -- collectively, that there is a perception in the world community that the U.S. wants to go it alone and do its own way.
MR. FLEISCHER: Kelly, as I indicated, there are going to be issues where the United States leads the world and works very well with the rest of the world, such as free trade, and where the President will take on opponents who are isolationist, both in the United States Congress and around the world, who oppose free trade. There will be issues such as missile defense, where the President develops broad coalitions of allies around the world who join with him. But there will be other issues where the President will be proud to stand tall and strong to represent America in a world that doesn't always see things the American way.
But it's not the first time the world has differed with America. But when America displays leadership around the world, and around the principles that President Bush has articulated, about making sure that we protect the United States from rogue missile threats, from third world nations that would represent harm to the United States through biological weapons, the American people, the President believes, support his stance.
Q A follow-up on missile defense. Putin on missile defense. As you said in Genoa, the two Presidents had a very productive meeting. And the Russians expected, in their words, a serious approach to this new commitment by the two Presidents. In this vein, they voiced very great disappointment with the result of the visit to Moscow of Dr. Rice. They say she has not told them anything new.
My question to you is, can you describe to us how the American position since Genoa on this issue has evolved, whether there is anything new that the Russians are missing? Point out the new elements for us, please. And if there is no new element, then please tell me, what's the point of these visits, as the Russians are asking?
MR. FLEISCHER: As both the President and Dr. Rice said, prior to the National Security Advisor's trip to Moscow, the purpose of her trip was to work on an aggressive schedule so that the progress that was made in both Ljubljana and Genoa can be continued. So what is new, in the wake of her trip to Moscow, is this is no longer a discussion of whether we will move forward as two nations, Russia and the United States, on a new strategic framework, but when.
And on that point, I can announce today something that Dr. Rice indicated during her visit. Senior defense experts will now meet to follow up on the conversations between President Putin and President Bush in Washington on August 8th. In addition, Secretary Rumsfeld will go to Moscow for talks with his counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on August 13 and August 14. So there is concrete results of Dr. Rice's trip, aimed at exactly the purpose that she announced she was going to Moscow for, which was to develop the schedule for these meetings.
Q Week ahead?
MR. FLEISCHER: Let me get into the week ahead. The President will continue to focus on a patients' bill of rights, education reform and his faith-based initiative next week. Sunday he will travel to Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia for the Boy Scouts Jamboree, and he'll make remarks on values and communities of character, and lay out some of the themes that he'll focus on in August as he goes home to the heartland.
On Monday the President addresses a National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 25th anniversary conference here in Washington, where he'll speak about juvenile justice and character education aspects of his faith and community-based initiative.
On Wednesday the President will speak to the 2001 National Urban League Conference. There he will talk about education reform now pending before the Congress. And on Friday the President will have a meeting with his full Cabinet. That is our week ahead.
Thank you everybody.
Q When is he going to Texas, Ari? Saturday?
MR. FLEISCHER: It's scheduled for Saturday.
END 1:05 P.M. EDT