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Strengthening the Economy: Jobs and Economic Growth
Economy and Budget Press Briefing Excerpts

Excerpts from Press Gaggle by Ari Fleischer, October 8, 2002 (Full transcript)

QUESTION: Is the President going to talk about the economy today, and, if so, what's his message?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President will talk about the economy today. The President will talk about the importance of creating jobs for the American people; about why he's pleased the unemployment rate, for example, came down a small amount last month -- it's not good enough. More action has to be taken to help the economy, which continues to ooch along. And the President believes that there are two key provisions Congress can pass that would be very helpful to workers right now.

One is pension protections, and the second is job creating passage of terrorism insurance. And we'll just have to see what the Congress does. It is reaching that -- it is reaching that biennial point where Congress gets ready to adjourn, and it's anybody's guess about whether adjournment would create a rush to actually legislate and get things done, or whether we will mark a year of inactivity.

There are a lot of issues that are stuck in the Congress right now and nobody knows what the Congress is going to do.

QUESTION: I'm sorry, is that biannual, as in twice a year? Or biennial, as in once every two years? (Laughter.)

MR. FLEISCHER: I'd like to thank you for the wise question. (Laughter.) That would be it happens once every two years.

QUESTION: So biennial.

MR. FLEISCHER: I'll get back to you midday on -- (laughter.)