Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the Distinguished Rank Awards
thank you. And Connie, it's good to see you and so many of the agency heads
whose employees we're honoring here today. Welcome to the White House complex.
White House complex -- that's because nothing in
we're here to honor a quality that is both simple and noble: dedication, true
dedication to public service. When our administration came to
been said that a bureaucrat is someone who has a problem for every solution.
[Laughter] And by that standard there isn't a bureaucrat in the room today.
You've taken the chances. You've exercised the judgment. You've found the
solutions, and you've made them work. Thanks to you, as well as the agency
heads you serve under and many of your colleagues, both political and
can't mention all of you and what you've accomplished. But I thought that you'd
like to hear a few examples of what some who share these awards with you today
have achieved. For example, there's Peter Allgeier,
an Assistant U.S. Trade Representative. Under his direction, American
negotiators obtained elimination of
Another example: Stephen Higgins, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and a frontline commander in the fight against armed career criminals and armed drug traffickers. He has pioneered the use of firearms laws against the drug cartels, using those laws much as other ``G - men'' once used the tax laws against Al Capone. Congress and the press have joined in admiring the extraordinary work that he and the men and women of his agency have done against the Jamaican cocaine distribution organization. And anytime you can get Congress and the press to agree with those of us in the administration on anything, you've done something right. [Laughter]
something right must run in the family. Stephen's brother Maurice, who's
Executive Director for Contracting in the Naval Air Systems Command, is also
receiving an award. He's a big reason the price the Government pays for major
naval aircraft did not go up one penny between 1982 and 1987. I'm told Stephen
and Maurice's mother and stepfather have come all the way from
One last example: Dr. Janet Norwood, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment, unemployment, price, productivity, and wage reports are among the most sensitive and significant data that the Federal Government produces. And yet, when we came into office, the way we determined many of our economic statistics was badly out of date. Dr. Norwood has directed numerous improvements in national data, including the revision of the Consumer Price Index, as well as improvements in employment and unemployment data for individual States.
Every one of you has a story like these stories to tell. Every one of you has shown that an old ideal continues to live: that public service is a public trust. Every one of you deserves the gratitude of the entire Nation, and today we show that gratitude.
So, thank you all, and God bless you.
And now, with a little help, I'll present the Distinguished Service Awards -- or Distinguished Rank Awards.
Note: The President
spoke at in Room 450 of the