Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters on the Senate Override of a Fiscal Year 1982 Supplemental Appropriations Bill

September 10, 1982

Q. Sir, it's a lot quieter in here. Could you tell us again what your reaction is to the Senate vote?

The President. I said what I said yesterday. Yes, it's a disappointment. But it doesn't change my mind any about what I'm going to do. I have said and I intend to vote [veto] budget-busting bills, and I will continue to do that.

Q. Well, Mr. President, does this mean you've lost your touch with Congress?

The President. No, I don't think so. You know, I wasn't aiming for a scoreless game. I'll just be content to win.

Q. Well, sir, you're not used to losing, and Congress might now believe that it's got you.

The President. Well, let's see the next time out. I don't think so.

Q. Are there more bills you're going to veto? You said -- --

The President. Anytime there's an attempt to bust the budget, yes, I will veto it. I think there was some consideration in this one that a number of people felt that it didn't actually, in the aggregate, bust the budget and so forth. I felt that it was. I'll tell you, if you of the press would like to start a campaign to give the President a line-item veto, we could avoid such emotional disturbances -- [inaudible] -- --

[At this point, several questions were asked simultaneously.]

The President. I think you ought to be asking questions about this. I think this is one of the most -- --

Q. You don't have any hard feelings against Senator Domenici and other Republicans who voted against you, or do you?

The President. No, I'm not angry. I'm just terribly, terribly hurt. [Laughter]

Q. Oh, come on. [Laughter]

Deputy Press Secretary Speakes. Let's hold off on the questions and let him look at the store, please.

Q. Sir, are you afraid that -- [inaudible] -- coalition may begin to crumble a little bit now?

The President. No, no, not at all. But you ought to be asking questions about this, because I think this is one of the great examples in America today of what we've been talking about -- about what the people could do for themselves if they hadn't been dragooned into believing that government was the only answer to this.

Here is an entire industry, as you can see. It is manned by volunteers, people from the church. The foodstuffs that are here are raised by volunteers, picked by volunteers. They're brought here, they're canned, they're put up in whatever packages are appropriate, and they're used to distribute to those people who have real need here in the State of Utah and all over the country, for that matter -- people from the church. And you wonder why others haven't thought of the same thing and been able to do this same thing -- so much more efficiently with so much less bureaucracy, in fact, virtually no bureaucracy, as compared to government's attempt to do this. This is all available for the needy, and all produced by volunteers.

Q. Have you seen anything comparable to this anyplace else that you've traveled?

The President. Yes, when I visited a similar institution as Governor in Sacramento, California, doing much the same thing there, the same group. And in my home State of Illinois, they have a shoe factory that is manned by volunteers from the church.

Q. Do you think something like this could maybe help curtail the inflation or help bring things back into the reach of people?

The President. What I think is, that if more people had this idea back when the Great Depression hit, there wouldn't be any government welfare today or need for it.

Q. It is too late now?

The President. No, no. That's why we have a task force -- and we have representatives of the task force here, the task force headed by Bill Verity on seeking out ways that -- the Private Initiatives Task Force -- to seek out ways in which the private sector, the people themselves, can meet some of these problems.

Q. You're sure you're not upset with those Republicans who deserted you?

The President. No, no. Oh, I wish they'd have behaved differently, but then everyone makes mistakes.

Note: The exchange began at 11:47 a.m. during the President's tour of the Mormon Church Regional Welfare Cannery in Ogden, Utah. The President was accompanied on the tour of the cannery and cannery store by President Gordon B. Hinckley, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' first presidency.