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Public Papers - 1990

Remarks at a Republican Fundraising Reception in Omaha, Nebraska


Oh, how nice it is to be out where the real people are -- outside of Washington, DC. Gosh, what a wonderful welcome. Thank you so much.

Kay, thank you. Please be seated, audience. [Laughter] Thank you. What is it about Nebraska that just gives you this warm feeling of welcome? Barbara was here not so long ago and came home raving. It was at that point that our dog wrote a book. [Laughter] But she does send her love, and she is so interested in this Governor's race and in this Senate race and this congressional race. And so, I bring you her best wishes.

I want to thank Duane Acklie and Sallie Folsom -- I'm not sure Sallie is here -- our national committeewoman; my old friend and campaign mate and a former Governor, Charlie Thone. And of course, it's great to be here at the Red Lion. I heard that you Cornhusker fans were enthusiastic, but do you name all the inns after the Big Red? [Laughter]

Look, I'm delighted to be here on behalf of this ticket: Kay Orr, Hal Daub, Ally Milder. They say that good luck comes in threes, and I think this may be a very lucky year for the people of this State. And if it's lucky for you, it is going to be fantastic for me as President of the United States.

We've got a good, strong Nebraska delegation in Washington. I want to improve on it. Virginia Smith, as you know, has done a remarkable job for this State. Doug Bereuter continues to do a phenomenal job. But they wouldn't hesitate to tell you that we need more support in the Congress. So, on November 6th, let's make our Nebraska delegation a solid Republican delegation in the House; and that means let's elect Ally Milder to the United States Congress.

I was looking over the voting records, and I tell you, it would be very nice to have a Congressman from this district that would support me as much as Ted Kennedy. [Laughter] And that's what the numbers -- and with Ally, it would be one heck of a lot better than that, I'll guarantee you. [Laughter] You look at the record, look at the voting records.

And then, of course, our candidate for the United States Senate, a man of integrity, Hal Daub. I've known Hal for about 20 years, and I know this: He's made a difference as a lawyer, as a businessman, when he was in Congress 4 terms. And he'll make an even bigger difference as the next Senator for the State of Nebraska. I believe everyone here knows that we need to move up and get control of the United States Senate if we're going to bring Nebraska values to Washington. [Applause]

And then that brings me to my old friend, your great Governor, Kay Orr. She made the record books as the first woman Governor in Nebraska history and the first Republican woman Governor in American history. She's made the tough decisions. She's faced the difficult choices over the last 4 years. And she came down on the right side -- not always the easy or popular one -- but on the right side of the issues.

And I've looked at her record and what she believes, and we've had many opportunities to talk about it. And we agree on our approach to crime. And we agree on approach to education. She was one of the movers and shakers of the National Governors Conference as we set those national goals for this country, goals that we must meet by the end of this decade. And we agree on the approach to child care: to give parents more choice and to permit the communities to remain involved. And another point where we agree is, she's told me she doesn't like to have her hands tied -- your hands, that means the people of Nebraska -- by more and more mandated programs out of the liberal Congress in Washington. Give Nebraskans a chance to solve the problems.

And these are the issues that are at stake. And I need Kay Orr. And that's why I think this State needs Kay Orr.

In fact, these three candidates -- Ally Milder, Hal Daub, and Kay -- they stand for growth, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans -- GOP. That's because all three of them are sound, sensible Republicans.

Ally mentioned that we needed more Republicans in Washington right now, and I honestly believe that if we had had more Republicans in control of Capitol Hill over the last couple of decades, this budget mess that we're in right now would never have happened. We had a little reception earlier, and over and over again, citizens of this State told me that they understand this and brought it up to me. It is the Congress that has the responsibility to pass a budget. And year after year, they go down to the wire, and they fail to do so. And when the Democratic-controlled Congress fails to meet its own timetables, it continues this business-as-usual by what's known as a CR. It's awful high-tech word -- it's a continuing resolution. There have been 37 of these emergency measures since 1981 -- 7 in 1 year alone -- just to keep the Government's door open. I am sickened by such mortgaging of our children's future, and that's what I am fighting about in Washington right now.

I say we need more Republicans. But right now, as you know, the Democrats control both the Houses of the Congress; and they control every single committee of the United States Congress. And that's all the more reason for Republicans to work to make this budget now the best possible. We're fighting against the odds. We're fighting against the majorities -- the liberal majorities -- that control both Houses. We're fighting the entrenched tax-and-spend philosophy on Capitol Hill.

And you know, much of the political debate we hear in Washington is tired, and it's old. And it's all this ``inside the beltway'' jargon, and it's jargon that just gets in the way of what's really at stake. So, let me try to simplify it. America must have a real and significant deficit-reduction budget to get this economy moving. And that deficit reduction will bring down interest rates on home purchases and car loans, and it will create new jobs. And to get these results, the budget cannot be the same old political shell game. We must not tolerate business as usual. The budget must be real, enforceable, and preserve incentives for growth in this country.

And you know what the problem has always been: It's the unwillingness in Congress to vote to hold down Federal spending. And you know, with higher spending, higher taxes are usually not far behind. And that said, let me mention here that one thing that appeals to me about what's going on now, appeals to me about the current Senate package, is that it holds the line on income tax rates. And that is worth fighting for, in my view.

I have this concern that's always been that Congress will continue to pay for its spending habits by raising income tax rates on everybody. After concessions by both the Democratic and the Republican leaders -- the budget summit -- nobody liked every part of it. It did move us in the right direction, and it has brought us to the final countdown week. And in the next 5 days, Congress has the chance -- in fact, I'd put it this way -- Congress has the obligation to act. And I believe the American people have every right to expect the United States Congress to act responsibly.

And so, my message -- and I expect it would be your message -- to the Congress is simple and straightforward: Complete your work, meet Friday's deadline, and pass a sensible budget. We've got to put this nation back on the path to long-term economic growth, and the way to do that is to get a budget through. And that will bring the interest rates down, and that will put more and more Americans back to work where they belong.

Well, you can see why I need a Republican majority in Congress and in our statehouses, because at no time in recent history has an economically healthy and militarily strong America been more important. And Nebraskans know it more than most. I am proud to see the people of Nebraska supporting our brave men and women overseas. You could sense it when we landed there at Offutt. And you should have seen those kids that have just come back from Operation Desert Shield. And I've read of your community efforts: the students at Omaha's Westside Middle School sending more than 400 letters to the troops in Saudi Arabia, the wives of the Nebraska Army National Guard shipping over nearly 200 pounds of sugar cookies. I'm sure I could stand it or some of you guys out here could stand it, but nevertheless, that's what they've done. And I'm afraid that that beats C-rations any day for our GI's in the hot desert sun.

And they've left spouses, children, and even Big Red football to defend our cause. And they're doing a fantastic job. And every single member of the Joint Chiefs will tell you that never in the history of this country have we had finer young men and women better trained, more highly motivated than we do today.

Now, we've got a major challenge over there. I'm concerned at the systematic dismantling of the country of Kuwait. The aggression itself was bad enough: one dictator bully taking over a neighboring country. And then the United Nations and the United States joining in -- all countries -- almost every country in the world condemning this aggression. And in spite of that condemnation, there is this systematic dismantling of Kuwait, which is accompanied by unprecedented brutality. It's an ugly scene. Amnesty International has reported on it, and I'll spare you the details of the brutality. But all that does is make me convinced even more than ever that this aggression by Saddam Hussein will not stand. We are not going to pull out short of our obligations.

And you know, from these posts out there in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, in the glare of the Persian Gulf, our GI's are beginning to send in the absentee ballots. In the year that's seen the promise of democracy grow from Moscow to Managua, the least we can do is exercise our own right to vote. So, let's make our country proud, and let's get that vote out on November 6th.

And so, I wanted to just pop in here again. I don't want to overstay my welcome in this marvelous State that gave me more votes than any other State in the country on a proportionate basis, I believe. But you have a class-act Governor. You've got a quality Governor of character. And you've got a man running for the United States Senate that can make a difference and will support the President. And you've got a woman running for this congressional district, Ally Milder, who will be with me instead of opposing me every inch of the way.

And so, in the 21 days, 12 hours that remain before the polls open, do your best. You've already given some money or you wouldn't be standing out here. Do that. Help each one of these people win. We've got to do it.

And I remain optimistic about our country. I think we're just on the threshold of a fantastic decade of opportunity and growth. We can do better in education and fighting crime and battling drugs, but we need the people in the Congress that are going to stand for the values that you expressed when you elected me your President in 1988. And that's why I'm here.

Vote for Kay Orr. Vote for Ally Milder. And vote for Hal Daub. And thank you all very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 7:02 p.m. in the Red Lion Ballroom of the Omaha Red Lion Inn. In his remarks, he referred to Duane Acklie, Republican national committeeman; Representatives Virginia Smith and Doug Bereuter; and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The President also referred to ``Millie's Book as Dictated to Barbara Bush.'' Following his remarks, the President attended a reception for Governor Orr and then traveled to Des Moines, IA, where he stayed overnight.

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