Title: Remarks at Press Conference

Author: Vice President Al Gore

Date: December 19, 1994


* Remarks at Press Conference *

* December 19, 1994 *

Thank you, Mr. President. The Middle-class Bill of

Rights is just what the country needs. Hard working

Americans have earned a break.

We can and will cover the cost by redoubling our

campaign to reinvent government. We are sticking to the

principles we used in the first National Performance

Review ùprinciples that underpin America's most

innovative and successful private companies: put

customers first, cut red tape, delegate authority, and

cut back to basics. That is how we will decide what

government should stop doing.

We will put customers first in this-review by getting

them involved and listening to their opinions. We will

stop producing red tape, and start paying more

attention to results than we do to processes. And, as

President Clinton asked, we will see if we can reinvent

the government's asDroach to regulatory issues.

We will stop making so many decisions in Washington

that would be better made by state government, local

government, or individual citizens. We will replace

Washington interference with Two weeks ago, seven

cabinet members and I signed the Oregon Option, a pact

with that state to turn problem solving over to the

people closest to the problems. We need to do that

everywhere.local opportunity.

Cutting back to basics means we should shed the

remnants of yesterday's government ùbecause yesterday's

gone. For example, we don't need an Agriculture field

office within a day's horseback ride of every farm. So,

we are closing over 1200 USDA offices. We are looking

to close a lot more field offices in other agenciesùas

long as we can continue to improve customer service.

Americans know they don't have to sacrifice good

service to get low cost.

Cutting back to basics means: stop trying things that

are not working. For example, public housing projects

simply do not achieve the results we are after. We've

tried long enough to fix them. It's time to try

something completely differentùtime to try market

solutions instead of administrative solutions.

Cutting back to basics means: stop trying to run

businesses by bureaucratic rules. We plan to make air

traffic control a corporation, and to do the same thing

with mortgage insurance. We will consider a long list

of other government functions that could be

incorporated, or that we could simply buy from the

private sector.

We are going to-make government work better and DO

less. We are going to trade interference for

opportunity. We are going to make it possible for

middle-class Americans to have the break they've earned

to raise a family, educate their children, and get

ahead in life.

Now I want to invite up my partner in this endeavor,

the Director of the Office of Management and Budget,

Alice Rivlin. Joining us are the leaders who developed

the bold changes that have already been decided by

President Clinton.

- HUD Secretary Cisneros will describe our plan to raze

the 60-room mansion of government grants and clear

the lot so communities can decide for themselves what

to build.

- Transportation Secretary Pena will tell you how we

are going to stop directing traffic from Washington..

- Energy Undersecretary Charles Curtis will outline our

plan to bring that OPEC and Cold-War era department

up to date.

- Roger Johnson and Jim King will tell you how we are

phasing out old-fashioned, centralized management of

the government, turning commercial functions like

training and real estate rental to the private sector

where they belong, and giving front-line managers the

opportunity to actually manage.

I'm going to ask each of them to make a short statement

about the major reforms in their agencies and then to

be available to answer your questions.

Before they begin, I know you are all aware that we

gave serious consideration to totally eliminating each

of these agencies. In these cases, the President and I

were convinced that the reform option was preferable.

But, over the next several months, we will be looking

at every agency and program, asking ourselves: Do we

really need this agency? Do we really need this

program? Is there a better way to do it? Is there an

opportunity here to give middle-class Americans a


Now, Alice Rivlin, would you lead off please?
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