For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 31, 2001
Remarks by the President
During Launch of The
White House Website
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
2:47 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Jane, thanks,
you did a great job. And thank all the folks who worked on
it. I'm very impressed. And I think the people
who access this website will be impressed, as well.
A couple of points I want to
make. One, I appreciate so very much the website being
available in more than just one language. There are a lot of
Spanish-speaking folks in America and they'll be able to access the
website. And that's important, because I want all Americans
to understand that our priorities coming into the fall will be our
economy, education, opportunity and security. And concerned
citizens can read about those four categories, those four priorities of
the administration, across the web page.
I was particularly impressed that Barney
plays a major role -- (laughter) -- in helping the young understand
what's going on in Washington, D.C. I say that somewhat in
jest, but I'm very serious about the need for all of us involved in
government to do all we can to involve our citizenry in
government. There is a lot of cynicism about politics in
Washington, D.C., and it seems like to me the more accessible
Washington becomes, the more likely it is people will participate in
And, clearly, one way to do so is across
the web page. I appreciate so very much, Jane, your artistic
talents and your creativity, and the team that worked with you, as
well. This page will be updated on a regular basis,
obviously, as the news unfolds. But we'll be looking for
more imaginative ways to continue peoples' interest in accessing the
Finally, it's good to be here with the
First Lady. As we say in Texas, she cut her teeth in
libraries and she, too, is concerned about making sure that information
flows freely and that, as importantly, people are able to read what
comes up on the screen.
As I said, education, the economy,
opportunity and security will be our priorities. And one of
the things that I hope Congress does is work and act quickly on the
education bill and get it to my desk as soon as they get
back. It's an important piece of legislation. The
House has passed a version, the Senate has passed a
version. And I know that the leadership has had their teams
working to resolve differences over the last couple
weeks. And I'm confident that if the will is there, they can
get a bill to me quickly. I look forward to signing one.
I'd be glad to answer a few questions.
Q Sir -- you talk
about your priorities. Are you confident that the money will
be there to fund all those priorities?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I am, so
long as Congress doesn't overspend.
Q What is your
reaction to this 12 or 14 year old boy who, it turns out he is 14 years
old, the Little Leaguer?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, my answer
is, I'm disappointed that adults would fudge the boy's
age. I wasn't disappointed in his fast ball and his slider,
the guy was awesome. I mean, he's a great
pitcher. But I was sorely disappointed that people felt like
they could send in a false age -- particularly when it comes to Little
League baseball, of all places.
And so Little League, I'm sure, will take
the appropriate actions.
Q What do you think
the appropriate action is?
THE PRESIDENT: I guess
disqualification of the team. I'm sure there are rules at
the Little League level. Laura and I went to the Little
League World Series. It was an amazing event, by the
way. As I told them, I said, really, when I was a kid, I
never dreamt that I would be standing in front of a bunch of Little
Leaguers as President -- but I did dream about making it to
Williamsport as a Little League player.
Q Are you
disappointed, sir, that you were unable to come up with more concrete
agreement with Mexico on immigration?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm thrilled at
the progress we're making with Mexico. What you'll see is that our
administrations -- mine, and that of Vicente Fox -- are cooperating
better than any administrations in the past, on a wide range of
issues. And I'm very pleased with the progress we're
making. The immigration issue is one that is a complex
issue. We've made progress on principles.
And President Fox knows that the issue
will require more than just the administrations involvement, it
requires a willing Congress to address the issue. So we'll
be discussing principles, starting with people need to be treated well
and treated respectfully. And then it makes sense for the
United States to help match willing -- a willing employee with a
willing employer. It's in our nation's interest, that if
someone's looking for a worker, that we figure out how to combine the
And we made great progress. I
was briefed this morning by Colin Powell and John Ashcroft on their
meetings with their counterparts in Mexico. I think it's
safe to say, without hyperbole, that the interaction between our
administrations is the best it's ever been, of any administration in
Q Mr. President,
what role should the federal government play in helping deploy high
speed Interent access?
THE PRESIDENT: Helping?
Q Deploy high speed
THE PRESIDENT: Well, a lot of
that is going to be taking place through the market. And
technology is such that areas that might not get access quickly as a
result of no economies of purchase, or economies of scale, will be able
to have Internet access.
I think, for example, of Crawford,
Texas. It's a place where you're not going to generally get
a lot of fiber-optics, although I think there may be some there as a
result of Laura's and my presence. Hopefully that high speed
access will come as a result of -- over the air, as opposed to through
fiber-optics. And once we get over the air high speed
access, then a lot of rural America that heretofore hasn't had access
will get it. The technologies are evolving.
One of my concerns, of course, is the
economic slowdown will perhaps slow down some of the progress made, as
far as high speed access. And we've done something about
it. I'm going to remind Congress that they need not
overspend, and should not overspend. It's going to affect
economic growth; that all of us in Washington need to be thinking about
how to grow the economy.
And I've laid out an economic growth plan,
starting with tax relief. I hear there are some up here that are now
second-guessing tax relief, and surely they're not advocating a tax
increase -- because if they are, they will find mighty resistance in
the White House. Plus, that's bad economics. So
for those who criticize the tax relief plan, the next step is, what do
you have in mind? And if it's a tax increase, that would be
bad for America.
Good to see everybody. Thank
you. Fournier, we missed you in Crawford.
Q I had a good time
myself, too, sir; thank you. (Laughter.)