Title: OMB Director at 3/27/95 Press Briefing
Author: White House Ofc. of the Press Secretary
Date: March 27, 1995
The WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 27, 1995
PRESS BRIEFING BY
OMB DIRECTOR ALICE RIVLIN,
SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR TO THE VICE PRESIDENT ELAINE
KAMARCK , SECRETARY OF INTERIOR BRUCE BABBITT,
FEMA ADMINISTRATOR JAMES LEE WITT,
NASA ADMINISTRATOR DAN GOLDIN, SBA ADMINISTRATOR
PHIL LADER AND FCC COMMISSIONER REED HUNDT
The Briefing Room
2:00 P.M. EST
MR. MCCURRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I
think many of you attended our event earlier today,
but I wanted to have some of the key participants to
give you a little more detail. So I've asked Alice
Rivlin, who is the Director of the Office of
Management and Budget, and Elaine Kamarck, who is
Senior Policy Advisor to the Vice President and has
been working with the Vice President on reinventing
government to start off today; and then also to
introduce some of the other agency heads that will
Secretary Babbitt is here from the Interior
Department. James Lee Witt, who is Director of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency; Daniel Goldin,
the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration; Phil Lader, who is the
Administrator at the Small Business Administration;
and also separately, to talk a little bit about
the proceeds from the Spectrum allocation, Reed
Hundt, who is Chairman of the Federal Communications
Commission is here.
I'll start by turning it over to Director
Rivlin, and she can kind of pass the baton
DIRECTOR RIVLIN: Thanks, Mike.
This is the next stage of our continuing effort
to make government work better and cost less. And I
think it's an exciting stage and you're going to
hear the details from four agencies today about what
they are doing to reinvent themselves, make their
operations more effective and less costly.
You will remember that in December we announced
two major related things. First was that we were
putting in the President's 1996 budget a middle
class tax cut for families with children, deductions
for education and training, and broadening saving
incentives. The total cost of that package was
estimated to be $63 billion over five years --
much less than the Republican tax cut which goes to
much higher income people -- but still something
that had to be paid for. And we announced that we
were paying for it with savings derived from
accelerating our efforts which were already well
underway to reinvent government; that we would
reexamine each agency one by one. And this is a
Each agency would look at their activities to
estimate which ones could be better done by the
states, no longer needed to be done by federal
government; which by the private sector; and which
ones could be done more effectively and more
efficiently with fewer people.
In December, we chose five agencies to feature,
but we promised that there would be more. And here
we are. We are back with four more agencies that
have done this intensive look at themselves. And the
themes that you will hear as the agencies talk about
themselves are, first, that we will be relying on
the states more, but not just giving them money and
letting them do what they want. These will be
partnerships with the states, and we will be working
with the states on performance standards. A very
good example of that is in the FEMA effort, which
James Lee Witt will tell you about in a minute.
We will be relying more on the private sector.
The Small Business Administration will have more of
the effort to make loans to small business carried
out by the banks, and with less subsidy from the
SBA. We will cut back to core functions. A good
local example of that is the Interior Department, no
longer running parkways. They do parks, not roads.
And we will turn certain parkways over to the
states. And perhaps most importantly, consolidating
and getting rid of duplication. Very importantly,
consolidating field offices, and the biggest numbers
of all in the space agency in NASA, major
This is all about more effective government,
not just about money. But the savings are real and
large from these four agencies, about $13 billion to
be saved over five years. And for those of you who
were at the President's and the Vice President's
presentation this morning at the FCC, is, in
addition to the large check that Reed Hundt
presented to the President for the proceeds of the
Spectrum auction, already counted in the budget, but
a hefty $7.7 billion.
MS. KAMARCK: I will briefly add that we invite
you today to contrast the Clinton-Gore
administration's efforts to reinvent government, our
efforts to cut overhead, to cut unnecessary and
obsolete bureaucracy, to the efforts going on, on
Capitol Hill. We also invite you to contrast our
tax cut, which we believe is targeted, directed to
the middle-class, to the tax cut on Capitol Hill.
We believe there is a right way to cut
government and a wrong way. And we believe that we
are doing it the right way. We are doing it looking
for obsolescence. We're looking for waste. We're
looking for government that works better and costs
less. We are not looking to cut school lunches, to
cut the WIC program, to cut Women, Infants and
Children food supplements, et cetera. So we invite
you to make that contrast as you listen to the heads
of the agencies who are here today.
I'd like to start by -- and I think everyone
will say a short word about reinventions in their
agencies, and then we'll open up to questions. I'd
like to invite, first up, Secretary Bruce Babbitt,
Department of Interior.
SECRETARY BABBITT: Our reinvention process
really turned into an exercise in examination and
renewal. And I would illustrate very briefly with
two examples. One is the discovery of essentially
obsolescent function, and the other was the
recasting of a series of functions which can be
handled by other groups more efficiently. The
examples I speak of led in this proposal -- lead and
will lead to the outright abolition of two of the
Interior Department agencies.
The first one to be abolished is the Office of
Territorial and International Affairs. Now, there
was a time when America had a colonial empire. At
the end of World War II, the United States came up
with a tremendous constellation of small territories
that ran all the way across the Pacific to the
shores of Asia. And for some reason lost in
history, the Secretary of the Interior became the
colonial overlord of the Pacific. (Laughter.)
Well, be that as it may, those Pacific
territories are now largely gone, on the road to
commonwealth status independence, a variety of other
tracks. And looking about, it became clear to me my
days as the colonial secretary were very limited,
and that has led to a proposal to abolish that
The other agency being abolished is the
minerals management service. This exercise was
really a discovery of some more efficient
alternatives -- minerals management services,
basically in charge of collecting rather large sums
of oil royalties from a variety of public lands,
both on-shore and off-shore.
As a result of analyzing those functions, we
found that it's quite likely that the states can
handle most of those functions for on-shore oil and
gas leases, and that offer will accordingly be made
to the states. And the royalty streams that come
from the leasing process, particularly the off-shore
leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, in many
cases can be sold; a continuing out- year royalty
stream can actually be auctioned off for its current
value, leading to a much more efficient process --
collection in the out-years. That analysis led to
a proposal to abolish that agency by spinning the
functions off in some measure to the states, in
other aspects to the private sector.
So a much reduced secretary with two less stars
in his constellation happily joins this process.
DIRECTOR RIVLIN: Thank you. NASA
Administrator Dan Goldin.
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Two years ago, the
President and the Vice President asked NASA to
reinvent itself as part of the initial reinventing
government activity. They asked us to do more with
less, and that's exactly what we set out to do.
During the first phase, we have cut the NASA budget
by just about 30 percent, and in a five-year
planning period from '96 to 2000, we had taken out
$35 billion from the budget. We had done this
mainly by terminating programs that were no longer
relevant, but terminating programs that were not
We also were restructuring programs, and the
keystone for that was the space station. We
redesigned the space station, and we tried new
management techniques where we took the government
out of the middle and we transferred the program to
private industry. It is wonderful. We had 10 years
of debate and paper, and this last year we built
almost 40,000 pounds of hardware, and we're 32
months away from launch.
We experimented and we learned. Recently, as
part of reinventing government, too, the President
and the Vice President asked us to take the next
step, and that was to restructure the agency. We
have an infrastructure that was designed in the late
'50s before modern information, wide-band digital
communication systems and information systems. And
they asked us to take advantage and take the space
technologies to the administrative functions we have
on the ground, and we were 35 years behind, we
found. So we're going to consolidate and eliminate
overlap. We had a choice to make: Would we start
terminating more programs, or would we do the hard
thing and that is, restructure the agency and
consolidate our infrastructure and ready ourselves
for the 21st century? We chose the latter, and we
do believe we're going to have a very vital agency.
Just as one case in point, in the early '90s,
it cost an average of $600 million to build a
spacecraft; right now today, it costs $200 million.
Instead of taking an average of eight years, our
average scientific spacecraft is taking four, and we
are going to have a program that inspires America,
gets cutting-edge technology, and makes the agency
relevant to the future economy of this country.
Before I close, I would just like to make one
clarification. In this morning's paper, there was a
reference to some 55,000 jobs. Those are not
government jobs. It's a summation of government and
industry jobs. Secondly, it goes back to the very
beginning of reinventing government, so it
incorporates the phase that we have already gone
through. So this phase is about one quarter of
what we have already done to put the numbers into
perspective. We don't have all the details and I'll
be able to answer questions in a moment.
MS. KAMARCK: SBA Administrator Phil Lader.
ADMINISTRATOR LADER: SBA's reinvention
certainly hasn't begun today. You've heard the
President refer to the Low Doc program, where the
voluminous applications for loans under $100,000
were reduced to one page. There's been more than a
doubling of the number of SBA approved since the
year before the President was elected to where we
are today. We announced a fast track program a few
weeks ago in which we are essentially letting the
banks take an equal share in a pilot program
of the exposure on these loans, but letting them do
the paperwork and take the responsibility there.
Over this past two years, under the work of my
predecessor and our Deputy Administrator Cassandra
Pulley, who's here, there's been a terrific effort
of moving people from headquarters into the field
where the rubber meets the road.
So as a result of all that, SBA today, as I
like to refer to the Oldsmobile ad -- is not your
fathers's SBA. At the same time, there's a need to
prepare it for another century to make it even more
efficient. And the theme that we're using with this
today, with all of our 7,000 bank partners and with
our constituents and our employees around the
country, is that we are essentially stretching
taxpayer dollars further.
And the way we're doing that is in four
principle themes -- first, by reducing the
government's cost of small business financing by
increasing the amount of private capital made
available to small businesses. We're doing that by
reducing the subsidy, the government subsidy of the
small business loans to zero, doing that by
establishing fees for borrowers and for the banks.
Secondly, we're consolidating field operations
by making greater use of public-private
partnerships. That includes about 7,000 bank and
non-bank commercial lenders, 900 small business
development centers around the country, using 13,000
volunteers in the SCORE program for retired
executives, to allow us to get the regional offices
and collocate them with district offices that
otherwise reduce our field presence around the
Third, we're going to centralize our
processing. Right now, processing of loans is done
in all these 106 locations around the country, and
as many commercial institutions are doing. By
concentrating them, I think we can approve the
accuracy and the customer service as well.
And, finally, we're going to be relocating from
headquarters to the field some of our back office
operations, like accounting. By doing these in a
variety of ways, we'll be saving the taxpayers $1.2
billion over five years, which is 32 percent of our
budget over that period.
DIRECTOR WITT: Good afternoon. First, FEMA
disaster cost has been rising. We've been trying to
look at how we can streamline the disaster programs,
what we can do to bring the states' capability up to
the level they need to be to meet the risk that they
face in each state. So what we've done, gone in to
look at each state do a risk assessment, establish
performance partnership standards with that state,
an agreement, multi-year agreement signed by the
President and the governor of that state, bring
their capability up to the level that it needs to
be to meet the risks that they face in each state,
because each state's risk is different than other
Also, we're looking at self-insurance or
insurance for public buildings -- kind of to
phase-in over a five-year period. If that had been
in place now, like a $5 per capita over the past six
years, it would have saved $2 billion in disaster
funds in six years. So we'll be working with the
states as a partner in implementing and developing
these programs. And also, we'll be working with
authorized committees on the Hill to do everything
we can to cut disaster costs and streamline FEMA in
COMMISSIONER HUNDT: I'd like to thank you all
for helping me celebrate not only the FCC's role in
reinvention of government, but also this memorable
date in history, the anniversary 111 years ago of
the first long distance telephone call; I assume
that's why you're all here. It was from New York to
Boston, it lasted an hour and a half. A flood cut
the cable after that. There was no FEMA, there was
nothing to do, and the telephone industry was
delayed for decades. (Laughter.)
In the future, these calls are far more likely
to be made by wireless communications than through
these cables, and that is, in significant part,
because of the entrepreneurship of American industry
and because of these auctions that we were happy to
mark today by giving the President a symbolic check
for $7.7 billion. The Federal Communications
Commission was very proud to play its role. I
emphasized to the President the word "commission" as
I handed him this check to try to suggest something
that hasn't taken hold of anyone yet, except my
wife. If any of you would like to help us in this
respect, that would be great.
This auction was our third auction. So far,
we've raised almost $10 billion. That's about $100
for every American household. The auctions have
demonstrated something very important about
reinvention of government. On average, it took us
about three years to issue any kind of license, once
you wound your way through the administrative
process. Through auctions, it takes about three
months. The cellular industry in this country took
about 10 years to develop. Much of that development
was delayed because of the torturous administrative
processes of issuing cellular licenses. Economists
have calculated that our economy is about $100
billion smaller than it would have been just because
of the delays in issuing cellular licenses.
This is cured by auctions. Auctions is a
technique that permits us to expedite investment.
This is a win-win-win for the consumers, for the
taxpayers, for the economy. It's good for the
taxpayers because they get fair value for the
spectrum. It's good for consumers because the
auctioning of licenses that lead to competitive
industry causes the prices to go down. That's why
all of you are getting cut-rate deals on mobile
telephones right now. That's why the cellular
telephone industry has added about 40 percent in the
number of subscribers in one year; it's because of
the onset of the new competition. And it's a win
for the economy because, for every dollar spent in
the auction, $2 to $3 will be invested by the
industries that are going to be exploiting these
licenses. That means that this auction with the
almost $8 billion check we gave the President leads
to about a $20 billion to $25 billion investment
surge, probably the largest single industry
investment surge in the peacetime economy. So we're
pleased to do our part, and thank you for inviting
MS. KAMARCK: I'd invite the other agency heads
to come on up here, and we'll all take questions.
Q A question for Mr. Goldin, please. Mr.
Goldin, how many jobs will be lost in phase two,
this second part, and what's the breakdown between
government and private sector? And, secondly, how
many people will you have to hire back in the event
that there's another major shuttle accident, as is
predicted by NASA before the space station is half
MR. GOLDIN: First, let me say that before I
answer your question specifically, this is a new
time and a new age, and we no longer measure the
vitality of NASA by how many employees work on the
program, and we no longer measure vitality of NASA
by whether our budget goes up.
What we want to measure is, what has NASA done
for the country, and how relevant are we. We're in
a new way of thinking. And it's very important to
transform yourself into that mode.
Industry in America has downsized and they've
become much more competitive. But somehow, we feel
very queasy about the government. We love the
government, but we hate the government. NASA is
terrific, we have wonderful people, but we have a
management system and an infrastructure that was set
up in 1957. We have independent field centers
because they didn't have Federal Express. They
couldn't get a machine part to go from one place to
other. Everyone has a machine shop. We have print
shops. We have payroll dispersing at every single
one of our centers. So what we have to say is,
let's get the infrastructure at NASA down. And
that's where we're going.
Now, keeping that in mind, we want to be
relevant to the American public. Our idea is to
inspire the country and create opportunity. There's
a whole new mobile commercial communications
industry -- the so-called Big Leos, that the FCC is
licensing. Much of that technology came from the
ACTS spacecraft, which is up there today. We'd like
to believe, as we transition jobs off the government
payrolls, we're creating opportunity for the future
of America. So long as we hold on to government
jobs, we cannot create new industries in this
So the answer is, we're working it. We have a
process in place. It will be very deliberate and
we'll answer your question about mid-May.
Q Can you just break down how many -- of the
55,000 that was in the paper, what's already been
done, what's --
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: I would say on the order
of about a quarter.
Q Has already been done?
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: No, no. In order of a
quarter is in this reinventing government, too.
Q So about 10,000 --
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Probably a little -- a
quarter of 55,000 is probably a little bit more than
Q Of which how much is NASA and how much is
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: We haven't broke that
out, but about -- it will be a -- we already reduced
the NASA payroll somewhere on the order of 4,000
employees out of 25,000 or 26,000.
Q But you must have some general idea. Of
the 13,000, would half of them be NASA, or half of
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: It would much less than
Q But you already said --
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: We identified 2,000 FTEs
as part of the second phase.
Q So 10,000 or 11,000 would be private
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Could be. But we're in
the process of performing the analysis.
Q Have you made provisions for the fact that
you'll have to hire people back if you have a major
shuttle accident while you're constructing the space
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Let me deal with that.
The fact of the matter is you don't design in safety
by putting people on a program. What we are doing is
redesigning the shuttle program and we'd like to
have it become safer. And let me give you an
example. When I became Administrator, they had 19
people, after all the Challenger safety checks, sign
off on a piece of paper that it was okay to shut the
shuttle bay doors. And guess what happened? The
shuttle bay door shut. You don't design in safety by
having a lot of people check checkers who check
checkers who check checkers. I do not accept what
you're saying as a necessity to just hire back
The space shuttle will operate efficiently and
safely, and it is not our intent to do anything to
stand in the way. And don't measure safety of the
space shuttle by how many dollars we spend on it,
or how many people we have associated with it.
Q How is this viewed by the states? Is it
passing the buck to the states or is it passing
goodies to the states? And what's going to happen
to all these people who have been -- who'll be
fired? They'll all go on unemployment compensation?
MS. KAMARCK: Let me start with the latter.
Last year we, this administration, the President
signed a buyout bill, the first ever buy out bill.
That bill has been used extensively through the
first phase and, in fact, in the this second phase
of reinventing government.
Q How many have accepted this?
MS. KAMARCK: Oh, we've had huge numbers
accepted, and I'll get to the exact number. But,
for instance, last week alone at NASA 1,500 people
were offered and accepted buyouts. And that story
repeats itself throughout the federal government.
So between attrition and using the buyout authority
aggressively, we have, in fact, been able to do
historic downsizing. And buyouts have been an
incredible valuable tool to the government in this
Q And how about the states? What is their
attitude of having all these new responsibilities?
MS. KAMARCK: There are some places -- Minerals
Management Service -- where some states have wanted
these responsibilities in the past. So it's kind of
a mixed bag.
Alice, do you want to talk to the state
DIRECTOR RIVLIN: I was going to give a number
on the buyout. The number on the buyouts so far --
this is through Fiscal '95 -- is about 36,000 of
which there are about half domestic, half defense.
I think the states question really depends on
which part of the spectrum here we're talking about,
but in general, these are areas where the states
either have the capability or want to have the
capability. I think maybe James Lee Witt talking a
little bit about how it will work with FEMA --
DIRECTOR WITT: Sure. What we've had at
the history of FEMA, through the cooperative
agreement with FEMA and the states, is basically we
send dollars down to the state in local emergency
management programs -- it was on a 50-50 cost share.
And what it would do, they would go through and
check the box, yes, I've done this; yes, I've had
this exercise, or, yes, I've had this training
course. It really was nothing there to encourage
them to develop to a level they need to be at to
respond to the risks they face in each state.
So what we've done working with the states to
develop a performance partnership standard is to let
them work with us in the developing of those
standards to meet those risks and give them the
flexibility to help set the standards, identify the
areas where they want to spend those dollars to meet
those risks. And it's working very well. They're
really excited about it.
Joe Myers, from the state of Florida, the state
director, is here. He's already gone out to his
counties, working with them. So it gives them more
flexibility to identify program areas they need to
be working on instead of micromanaging them. So it
really should help all of us, and help have a safer
Q Mr. Goldin, what specific programs are you
considering eliminating or spinning off to private
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: We're looking at a
number of programs, and probably the lead program is
the space shuttle. We've had the American Launch
Industry come to us and they said they believe they
could make the space shuttle safer and they could
operate it for much less money. And we also had the
Chris Craft Panel suggest that.
We're also taking a look at some of our
communications activities. And a perfect example of
that is we have a program called NAVIS. The
government for the last seven year, NASA, has been
developing with custom software a financial system
that we could buy off the shelf commercially. We
cancelled the government-developed software
system and we're going to buy commercial software.
So those are the types of programs we're looking at.
Q On your space, sir, does this mean the
inevitably demise of your proposed -- center at
Yellow Creek? That project's been put on
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: We are exploring that,
along with activities around the country.
Everything is on the table. Let me come back and
say this. You've got to change the structure of
NASA, and we will probably close a number of our
remote sites. We have got to say -- we have two
criteria: Is it less expensive to do it as site X
than site Y; and if it's site X where it is less
expensive, that's where we will do it. Secondly, is
it relevant and is it world-class work? If it's
not world-class work, we're not going to do it.
Q I have a follow-up for Secretary Babbitt.
It follows Helen's question, which is, presumably,
there's a cost associated with collecting the
royalties, and certainly there's a cost associated
with building and maintaining parkways. Will the
states just be now required to pick up those costs,
and how big are they?
SECRETARY BABBITT: Well, it would depend on
each instance. For example, with royalty collection,
that proposal actually originated from the state of
Wyoming, which said we can, in fact, do this more
cheaply and more efficiently than the federal
Now, where do those costs come from? They are
subtracted. That is a cost of collection which is
paid out of the royalties. So in that case, I think
we have a transfer of function with no net
additional tax burden to the state.
There are other examples. The United States
Geological Survey is giving up its water research
institutes. That's a federal state program. That's
the kind of research that the state will have the
option of picking up through its university system.
The Geological Survey will retain core national
responsibilities -- perhaps the most relevant one in
recent months has been earthquake research. They
have the finest seismological research center in the
world out at Cal Tech; that's a national function,
and it ought to remain that way. So I think
it's kind of site-specific.
The roadways to the state of Maryland and
Virginia would be absorbed -- the proposal would
have them absorb those roadways into their state
systems with a three-year declining grant to finance
Q Mr. Goldin, has this budgetary uncertainty
had any impact on morale at the agency, and if so,
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Of course, people are
going to be concerned. But let me come back and say
American industry has downsized successfully; we're
much more competitive in the world. When you
downsize, you would like to do it as fast as
possible to minimize the impact on the terrific
employees that we have.
I want to tell you, our employees are
wonderful. The problem we have is we have an
infrastructure that's 35 years old. It's
got to change, and we've got to be ready for the
Q Is it too early -- can I ask how it's
going to impact on Goddard, the Goddard Space Flight
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Let me say the
following. Again, we are in the middle of a
process. We have two external teams and three
internal teams. We're doing it very deliberately.
The budget is stable and solid for '95 and '96. We
are going to take the time to go through and make
very deliberate businesslike decisions, and as we
make the decisions, we'll make statements. I think
it would be very inappropriate and very unfair to
our wonderful employees if we shoot from the hip.
And I want to come back and say I don't want to
make any commitment to the number of jobs involved
because I want to be sure we have a thorough
vetting. We've committed to the Congress --before
we make any decisions, we're going to consult with
them, we're going to consult with the White House.
So we have a deliberate process, and I really feel
it's inappropriate to talk about numbers of places
now. But the criteria are the costs must come down,
and it must be best in the world research.
Q Does the concern had any impact on
operations, that you talked about?
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: So far, we don't feel
there are any impact on operations. We are going to
constantly monitor it. But, again, it is very
difficult. I've been through downsizing in
industry; it's a little easier in industry, but
we're not afraid to do it in government. And
everybody ought to work with us and say, my God,
what a wonderful opportunity to change the space
program and go into the 21st century, instead of
holding out with an iron fist about protecting jobs
so we keep the status quo. NASA is not about the
status quo, we're about the 21st century
Q Ms. Rivlin, as far as downsizing the
Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, there's
been some talk about revamping the economic
statistical gathering services within those two
departments. What exactly are you going to do with
them? Are you going to make them a sub-Cabinet
agency, an independent agency? What are your plans
DIRECTOR RIVLIN: That goes way beyond today.
We are continuing to look at other agencies. And we
are particularly looking at how to strengthen the
economic statistics. That doesn't necessarily mean
any kind of consolidation. It may mean more
cooperation, virtual consolidation, as the Vice
President likes to say. We're not there yet. But
what we really are about here is better economic
statistics and, again, more adapted to the economy
that we actually face in the future, rather than the
one we used to face.
Q need to make a decision on precisely what
to do with that? Do you know when that decision is
going to be made?
DIRECTOR RIVLIN: No, I don't. That is not on
a terribly fast track.
Q Ms. Rivlin, I know these five year plans
are very important, but I wonder whether you could
talk a little bit more about the current budget?
Since the House has already approved mid- year cuts
to of $17 billion and the Senate is about to take up
that measure, can you tell us now which of those
ideas the administration might be ready to endorse?
DIRECTOR RIVLIN: Well, the administration has
been very clear that the form in which the bill came
over from the House was one we found unacceptable.
It had in it too many cuts for children and
nutrition programs and things that we think are very
important to protect. All this to pay for a tax cut
for high income people.
The House -- the Senate bill has moved somewhat
in response to the criticisms that they got around
the country in the direction that we would like to
see, but not nearly enough. As the Senate bill
still stands, we find it unacceptable.
Q cuts in the Senate bill?
MS. RIVLIN: We're emphasizing the cuts that we
don't like because that's what has to be changed in
Q Secretary Babbitt, where will the
authority to grant the oil and gas leases lie? Will
it still be with the federal government?
SECRETARY BABBITT: Yes, the leasing function,
I believe, is a core federal function -- on shore,
on federal lands and on the outer continental shelf.
Those functions, subject to review by Congress,
would presumably be transferred to the Office of
Surface Mining or to the Bureau of Land Management
where, indeed, those functions originated and were
processed prior to 1980.
MR. GAINES: Folks, we've got one last item
from Dan Goldin; then we're going to pull it closed.
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Just so there is no
misunderstanding, I talked about closing our remote
sites. We have 10 NASA centers. We anticipate that
all those centers will be held in place. But we
have a multiplicity of sites other than those
centers, and they are undergoing a very rigorous
review because we think that there could be
significant cost savings.
Q How many of those?
ADMINISTRATOR GOLDIN: Many.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:37 P.M. EST