From: John King/CNN White House Correspondent
Subject: White House officials to discuss concerns with tobacco industry lawyers
The Clinton Administration Tuesday plans to give tobacco industry lawyers an outline of its reservations about the proposed settlement between the industry and anti-smoking activists.
The 11 a.m. EDT meeting will be led by Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Clinton domestic policy adviser Bruce Reed. Clinton already has objected to the agreement on grounds it does not provide the Food and Drug Administration enough power, in the administration's view, to regulate tobacco properly.
And White House officials say they also are concerned about language designed to penalize the industry if teenage smoking rates do not fall as dramatically as predicted in the settlement.
White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said the administration is not looking to re-negotiate the settlement with the tobacco industry. But he said the administration's decision on whether to support the proposal will hinge, among other things, on the willingness of the industry and state attorneys general to support changes if and when the proposal settlement is submitted to Congress.
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