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Public Papers - 1990

Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Federal Budget Negotiators

1990-09-07

Q. Are we going to get an agreement here, Mr. President?

The President. Let's walk over and talk about that for 1 minute. I just want to say at the outset here that I'm very pleased to be out here at the kickoff of these very important budget meetings. Dick Darman has filled me in on preliminary talks that have started since the recess ended. I think there is a new spirit of optimism that we can get an agreement. It's going to take compromise. But I want to thank the leaders on both sides of the aisle for what I understand is a good mood, now, towards getting final agreement. If big differences remain, I will tell them that I remain committed to a budget agreement. We haven't changed our focus or objectives as to the size of that agreement, and I will reiterate there that nothing has transpired anywhere that makes me less interested in getting a budget agreement that gets this deficit under control once and for all.

So, I won't take any questions here, but I'm now going in to tell the leaders essentially what I've said here, go into a little more detail on it. And then I look forward to meeting with them when we come back from our important visit with Mr. Gorbachev [President of the Soviet Union] in Helsinki. But that's about where we are. Our people are, I'd say, somewhat optimistic that this can be hammered out in a very short period of time. And then again, the Congressmen have committed to staying with this, and I think that's good. So, let's see what we can do. But it is still vitally important to our country that this deficit get under control once and for all.

Q. Fifty billion carved in stone?

The President. Yes.

Note: The President spoke at 10:26 a.m. on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base.

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