Remarks to the House of Representatives Republican Conference
Our job in the next few months is to keep the leadership on the other side of the aisle from ramming through legislation that would send the longest peacetime economic expansion on record into a tailspin. You know the legislation I mean -- plant closing regulations, protectionist trade legislation, a huge hike in the minimum wage which will guarantee unemployment for millions of poor urban teenagers, costly new entitlement programs, and hidden tax increases. Yes, working together, we've kept the rascals in the majority in line. The stakes in our continued success are high. When economist Jude Wanninski was asked not long ago why the stock market crashed on October, he replied -- here are his words -- ``the perception that the Congress, controlled by the Democratic Party, which is a party of pessimists, believes we must have protectionist trade legislation, we must have tax increases, we must even have a recession'' and the fear that Congress might have seized control of economic policy from the administration. Well, thanks to you, in the last several months we've proven to the world that the party of faith, hope, and opportunity is still in the driver's seat.
a vote you may cast today, you can reassure the world once again. I'm talking
about the so-called Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, commonly known as the
Over the weekend a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses said that, ``There is a lot of confusion out there.'' The group is telling all small businessmen that it would like to sustain the President's veto so that an alternative can be passed which clarifies who is covered and who isn't. ``Confusion'' is exactly the right word. As Bob Michel and Trent Lott said so aptly -- the House was given almost no opportunity to amend the bill to make its intent clear. Jim Sensenbrenner was given a one-shot amendment which would have been very helpful if it had passed, but the Rules Committee gave the rest of you no opportunity to strengthen the bill on the floor so that the American public could know for sure what the legislation accomplished.
ask you, therefore, to sustain my veto so that we Republicans can demonstrate
our commitment to civil rights and our resolve to overturn the
let me turn to another area: our national security. If anyone still doubted
what you and I've been saying for years -- that the road to peace is through
the strength of
This incursion is no mere political mistake by the Sandinistas. It is part of a broad offensive that is both military and political. It is meant to deliver a knockout blow to the democratic resistance. And rather than pointing the way to more democracy, the cutoff of aid has also been followed by more harassment and oppression in Nicaragua -- including attacks with rocks, chains, and pipes by Sandinista-sponsored mobs on political demonstrations; the harassment of opposition journalists; and not-so-veiled threats to the opposition parties. Rarely has a political proposition been tested so fully and conclusively. Opponents of our package of aid to the freedom fighters said that little or no assistance would mean more democracy and less war, but just the opposite has occurred.
This issue is not going away and will be coming back to the Hill again. We're determined to get continued assistance for the resistance. And if we stick together, this time we'll make it. It's issues like these I've mentioned today, issues that will chart the course of America into the next century, that make me determined to leave the next Republican President a more Republican House of Representatives. We've got a lot of work left before this old cowboy climbs up on his horse and rides off into the sunset. But I have a feeling that when the credits roll up on the screen for the hit show ``GOP Administration -- 1981 to 1989 and Beyond,'' the last credit will read: ``Don't miss the exciting sequel: `A GOP House of Representatives in the nineties.'''
Thank you, and God bless you.
Note: The President
spoke at in the Caucus Room at the