Public Papers - 1992
Remarks on the Railroad Strike and an Exchange With Reporters
The President. Let me just simply say that we're now in the second day of a national rail strike. And Secretary Card and his associates and others have worked all night, working with a bipartisan group on Capitol Hill to get the legislation to stop this strike. The trains are not moving as of this minute, however. Clearly the national interest is at stake here. We now face a complete halt of passenger and commuter rail lines. I urge the House and Senate to act to end this strike today; the national interest requires no less. There must be no further delay.
So I salute the Secretary and his people at the Department of Transportation, those Members that are working to end this strike. But it must happen, and it should happen today.
Q. What is the holdup?
The President. Well, Andy can give you more detail, but there's a difference of opinion amongst some of the Senators, I mean, some of the House Members and Senators. But the point is, no finger pointing here, I just want to use this office to encourage the Congress to move and move fast and settle this matter once and for all. I believe they can do it. In fact, I think they should do it.
Q. Well, is there something happening today that you know of?
The President. Well, talking's still going on on the legislation, yes.
Q. Mr. President, are you amenable to a 30-day cooling-off period and the appointment of -- --
The President. Look, we want that matter resolved once and for all. And that's what the administration position is -- --
Q. Mr. President, did you make a mistake the other day -- --
The President. -- -- that's in the best interest of the American people.
Q. Mr. President, did you make a mistake the other day when you criticized Ross Perot in an indirect fashion concerning the possible -- --
The President. I'm not taking any questions on that here, Jim [Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News]. Thank you very much. Nice try.
Q. Well, did you write a very amenable, friendly letter to him?
The President. Yes, I certainly did.
Q. Why, if he investigated your children?
The President. Well, go look at the dates, is the only thing I can suggest.
Q. But do you think he did investigate your kids?
The President. I don't know, Rita [Rita Beamish, Associated Press]. And I'm not going to take any more questions on it.
Q. Do you know anything abut Republican dirty tricks?
The President. I'm not going to take any more questions. Jim, you guys are getting a little hard of hearing here today. [Laughter]
Note: The President spoke at 11:56 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House, prior to a meeting with Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card, Jr. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.