Remarks on Signing the Fiscal Year 1987 Budget and the Management Report

February 5, 1986

The President. Well, good morning.

Q. Good morning, Mr. President.

The President. Well, I'm glad you could all join -- and you especially could all join for what I believe is a truly momentous occasion. I'm sending up my budget for fiscal year 1987, which I think makes some commonsense reductions in Federal spending. And it reduces the deficit by $38 billion to meet the requirements of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings -- as you know, that passed Congress overwhelmingly last year -- and it does so without reducing our commitment to the poor and the elderly, and it does so without weakening our national security, and it does so without increasing taxes to pay for more spending. So, I am pleased to sign these copies of the budget for all of you and the management report which accompanies it. And I hope we can work together on this important step toward a balanced budget. And I'm not going to try to sort these out protocol-wise. I'm just going to hope I can get them signed straight.

[At this point, the President signed copies of the budget and the management report.]

The President. And we have a couple of others who are not here that I think are lost in traffic somewhere.

Senator Dole. Jim Wright says he's caught up in traffic. It's bad out there.

Q. Did you invite Tip, too?

The President. He also -- --

Congressman Michel. In view of your nice remarks about the Speaker, I'll be happy to convey one to him, too, Mr. President. [Laughter] Thank you, sir.

The President. All right. There you are.

Senator Dole. Thank you, Mr. President, appreciate it.

Senator Thurmond. And that's the best speech that's been made in the 32 years I've been in the Senate.

The President. Thank you very much.

Senator Byrd. And what you said about Mr. O'Neill was very, very gracious.

Congressman Michel. It was a nice touch because I think it gets us off, started on the right foot, hopefully to get cooperation between the legislative and executive branch and between the two parties. It's the only way we're going to get the job done.

Senator Byrd. Thank you.

The President. Okay.


Reporter. Mr. President, sir, is it going to take an oil import fee to make this tax reform plan balance out properly?

The President. I don't know. I said that this is one thing that I'm willing to look at. The whole idea, however, is that, as you know, that the end result must be revenue neutral, that it does not increase the amount of money we're taking from the private sector for government in that tax reform. And this means that the discussion is going to be what are the things -- the tax privileges and so forth -- with regard to deductions that can be taken out to simplify it and yet still maintain the same level of revenue. So, I've said that I'm willing to look at that on that basis.

Q. How do you think you'll do trying to sell that increase in the defense budget to a Congress that's worried about reducing the deficit?

The President. Well, I'm most hopeful that we can, because I think that we're living in a very dangerous world, and we're still playing catchup. We are still far behind in both conventional and strategic weapons of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Speakes. Mr. President.

Q. Thank you, sir.

The President. All right. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 9:45 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. Present for the ceremony were Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, Senate Minority Leader Robert C. Byrd, President pro tempore of the Senate Strom Thurmond, and House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel. Larry M. Speakes was Principal Deputy Press Secretary to the President.