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Public Papers - 1990 - March

Remarks on United States Economic Assistance During a Meeting With Vice President Guillermo Ford of Panama

1990-03-23

The President. Let me just say how pleased we are to see you here. I've heard of your effective work on Capitol Hill, and it is absolutely essential that the Congress move to pass this legislation that will bring urgent, needed help to Panama. And I want to thank you for what you're doing to get that message of democracy in Panama spread across Capitol Hill, and I wish you well. I hope you'll tell your colleagues when you go back that anything we can do to help, we want to do it. But I want to assure you: The priority is passage of this legislation.

Vice President Ford. Thank you very much, Mr. President. And on behalf of the Panamanian people -- this is the first time I have a chance to meet with you again after Just Cause -- God bless you. We are liberated. Now we're free. And we're ready to put our act together.

It has been absolutely wonderful up on the Hill. I think all the Congressmen and the Senators have been just very understanding of our need. We have expressed the necessity of doing it as rapidly as possible. And the most important thing is that this jump start, full battery charge, will allow us to put the show on the road and not having to come back every year, knocking on doors, asking for additional help.

The infrastructure in Panama is in place, and we're ready to start working. So, I hope that Congress will really look upon it very quickly and with full support.

The President. Well, we'll keep pushing from our end. And I am encouraged. I understand you saw 102 Senators, and that's a pretty good job. [Laughter] Might be it just felt like that. [Laughter] But really, it does help, and it's good to get that message out.

Note: The President spoke at 9:30 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.

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