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Expanding Opportunity

Excerpt from May 21, 2002 Press Briefing with
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

Click here for the full transcript

QUESTION: Ari, a domestic policy question. The president, a few weeks ago, set Memorial Day as a goal for passage in the Senate of his faith-based initiative. With that date fast approaching, any sense that that's going to happen on time?

FLEISCHER: Well, there continue to be a number of important initiatives that are languishing in the Senate, and that is one of them. The president has received very good words from Senator Lieberman about the faith-based initiative. He hopes that the Senate will find time to schedule this, because he understands how important it is to bring help to people who are low-income, to bring help to people in our cities who suffer. And he believes that this is the best and most innovative ways to fight poverty in America.

The trade promotion authority is another issue that the president called on Congress to enact, and to do so some time ago. And failure to pass it means for the Andean nations that preferences will go back into effect, which is not helpful to the cause of free trade.

There are several important deadlines and time is running out in the Senate. The budget resolution, it's very important for the Senate to pass a budget resolution, which the House was able to do more than a month ago.

So there's a series of actions that are unfinished business by the Senate, and trade promotion authority is an immediate one.