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Public Papers - 1991 - June

Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With the Congressional Black Caucus


Q. Mr. President, are you going to lift South African sanctions soon?

The President. We're not taking any questions at what is known as a photo opportunity.

I will say, I'm glad to have the Black Caucus here. We have had differences on some issues. I don't think we have differences in terms of questioning each other's motives, and I think on this question I want to hear from them. And then I want to tell them how I see the law, which was written by the Congress, and how I would interpret the law, which I -- under which I don't have much flexibility. But I'm anxious to hear from these leaders as to their view on that very important issue, and their -- I'll be very frank with them in giving them my views.

This is not the first meeting of the Black Caucus, nor will it be the last, as far as I'm concerned. I think it's a good thing to have these kind of discussions, and I appreciate your comments on that from time to time. Ed requested the meeting, and I'm glad you all are here.

So, there's an answer to your question -- which I will take no more, which I will take no more.

Q. Are you also going to discuss the civil rights bill?

The President. -- -- the agenda is wide open. And I want to hear from them on a wide array of questions. You see Mr. Rangel here; I expect it won't be confined to any two categories, knowing of his fascination and leadership in the field of antinarcotics. So, it's an open agenda. Education. We'll talk about anything that's on the minds of these leaders of the Congress and members of the Black Caucus.

Note: The exchange began at 10:05 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Representatives Edolphus Towns and Charles Rangel.

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