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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

GOP leaders pledge to work with Democrats on key issues


February 21, 1999
Web posted at: 11:12 a.m. EST (1612 GMT)

WASHINGTON (February 21, AllPolitics) -- Republican Congressional leaders pledged Sunday to work with President Clinton and their House and Senate colleagues to save Social Security, improve schools and ease tax burdens.

"Today, we affirm our strong commitment to addressing your concerns," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) in a printed statement entitled "Open Letter to the American People."

"Now is the time to move on and focus our attention on an agenda that strengthens the nation," they said.

Following is the full text of the statement from Lott and Hastert:

"Over the last four years, our nation has been on the right track. Our economy is strong. the budget deficit is now a budget surplus. More Americans have moved off welfare and into the workforce than ever before. Crime is down. In other words, Congress has succeeded in implementing policies that work for the American people. Still more must be done.

"Today, we affirm our strong commitment to addressing your concerns. Now is the time to move on and focus our attention on an agenda that strengthens the nation. We have invested considerable time and effort in developing a comprehensive blueprint that secures America's future.

"We are committed to saving Social Security for today's seniors, tomorrow's baby boomers and for their children. As important as Social Security is for the nation's retirees, we also need to create the world's best schools for our children.

"Along with Social Security and education, we believe working people deserve the freedom to keep more of what they earn so they can spend and invest as they see fit. Our plan to ease the tax burden will put more money in the pockets of middle class Americans so they can provide more for their families, while making government less wasteful and more efficient.

"Finally, our national security depends on how we invest in our military. Shrinking defense resources have worn down our equipment and hurt troop morale. International threats from terrorists and rogue nations are less predictable than ever -- our military must be prepared to meet those threats, including threats of missile attacks.

"In the coming months, we look forward to working with the president, our colleagues in the House and Senate, and you on these and other issues important to securing a brighter future for you and your family."


Sunday, February 21, 1999

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