Title: V.P.'s Remarks at the Washington HAMMER Awards
Author: Executive Office of the Vice President
Date: December 7, 1994
Vice President's Remarks
Washington HAMMER Awards
Of all the great things I get to do for President
Clinton, this is my very favorite- giving people
awards for reinventing their piece of the federal
I want to thank Cokie Roberts, from the other NPR,
for being our master of ceremonies today. And thanks
to John Koskinen, the Deputy Director of OMB, for
joining in the celebration.
And a special thanks to all the members of the
President's Management Council, who will be standing
up proudly in just a minute to bask in the glow of
your successes. Several of the PMC members have gone
out of their way in the last few months to celebrate
reinvention heroes in seventy-six cities around the
country. I think Jim King did the most-any
opportunity to make a speech, eh Jim? Richard Moose
was on the HAMMER Trail from Miami clear to
Seattle. And Walter Broadnaux made so many HAMMER
presentations that he finally had to drop out for
oral surgery. Glad to see you're back off injured
I really appreciate all of the time the PMC has
devoted to helping celebrate the success of federal
workers. There will be plenty more for you to help
celebrate next year.
Today, one of the teams here will get the 100th
HAMMER Award. We've lost the exact count, so I'm not
sure which one of you it will be. But, you are all
authorized to say it was yours.
Before we give out the HAMMER Awards that you have
earned, let me say something about the hammering the
Democrats took last month and what it means for the
future of government reinvention. The message was
loud and clear and, I think, very simple.
Making government work better and cost less, like
you all have been doing, is exactly the right idea.
But we have to be even bolder, and we have to move
I've been meeting with the new Republican leadership
in Congress, and just as we have forged bi-partisan
cooperation on trade, I'm confident that we will be
able to form a partnership on government
reinvention. And just like our cooperation on trade
over the past fifty years, this new partnership on
reinvention will last longer than one vote; it will
last longer than the next two years. It will be an
This new, bi-partisan partnership on government
reinvention will be a little like the veterinarian
and the taxidermist who went into business together.
They hung out a sign that read: EITHER WAY YOU GET
YOUR DOG BACK.
As we work together in the coming months and years,
some things about government we will be able to make
well again. Some things will just get stuffed.
But you just saw the video, so you know how I feel:
we can't give up on our ability to solve national
problems together through government. We can't give
in to cynicism and abandon future generations to
I know that you aren't ready to give up on
government. You're proving it can work better and
cost less. And I know that you are just itching for
more authority to clear away red tape and
bureaucracy, so that you can get even better results
for your customers.
The team from DeWitt Army Hospital is not about to
give up on government now that their neighborhood
clinics are taking care of more people, more
conveniently, at a lower cost.
The team from HUD's Fair Housing Office is not about
to give up on government now that they have figured
out how to process grant applications much, much
cheaper and three times faster.
The DOL team that reengineered the Federal Employee
Compensation System is not about to give up on
government-not now that they've cut 50 steps out of
the process. It's so simple now that a claim can be
handled by two people instead of nine.
There are just too many team victories and too
little time for me to describe them all. But, I know
that all of you heroes of reinvention here today are
eager to prove that you can change the government
even faster, do even more, and serve America even
better. That's the way with heroes: they NEVER GIVE
Now, we have a lot of these HAMMER Awards to pass
out- 22 teams made up of more than 500 federal
This is a $6 hammer, plus a little for the frame and
ribbon. It is the emblem of the hard work of federal
employees who are making government work better and
cost less. No one is more deserving of this award
than the teams assembled here today.
Cokie, please introduce the winning teams.