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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly
Investigating The President

Transcript: Gingrich remarks on arrival of Starr report

September 9, 1998

SPEAKER GINGRICH: Let me say -- some of you were there this morning -- we had a very effective bipartisan meeting with Majority Leader Dick Armey, Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Henry Hyde, and the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee John Conyers.

I think we indicated, all five of us, our unanimous commitment to working in a bipartisan manner. There is now a joint effort under way between the Judiciary Committee and the Rules Committee to write the appropriate resolution, the Democrats and Republicans involved together to try to write this resolution on how we will handle the report.

We know about as much as you do, which is what the networks are reporting. I have not heard from Judge Starr and don't know...

QUESTION: If you do get it today, how soon can you do the resolution?

GINGRICH: I think we'll have to go to the Rules Committee tomorrow at the earliest and be on the floor Friday.

QUESTION: How about the executive summary? If (OFF-MIKE)...

GINGRICH: If we -- everything would go into a room under the control of the sergeant at arms and would be maintained in that room until the House passed a resolution to determine how to deal with it.

None of us would have access to that room until after we have passed the resolution on the House floor.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, in all the controversies surrounding the president, it appears the Republican Congress has the upper hand as far as legislation. How do you use the president's weakness to push your agenda forward?

GINGRICH: I wouldn't describe it that way. I think what we just outlined for you was a very positive, very direct agenda.

Remember, last year, we signed, in a bipartisan way, signed a bill that balanced the budget, cut taxes and saved Medicare. The year before, we signed the welfare reform bill, the Telecommunications Reform Act. The year before that, we passed over his veto the security litigation reform.

I mean, our job is to keep moving forward toward lower taxes; a more effective government in Washington, D.C.; returning power back home; as Dick Armey said, having education decisions made by parents, local teachers and local children, not by Washington bureaucrats.

We tried to communicate this afternoon we're spending our time working on the legislative business that we think is important.

Henry Hyde has a committee. They have an assignment. That's one committee. That leaves the entire rest of the House to continue to work all fall on legislative issues.


QUESTION: What size of a tax cut?

GINGRICH: I think somewhere in the $70 billion to $80 billion range would be the most likely tax cut this fall.

Chairman Archer will be working with Chairman Roth, and will be working with Senator Domenici and Congressman Kasich -- and Trent Lott and I will be working with him -- to try to work out something which the Senate feels comfortable with.

As you know, I'd like a much bigger tax cut.

GINGRICH: I think we can defend a much bigger tax cut. I'm afraid that may not come until April of next year, but it would be a great April 15th vote to have a very dramatic tax reduction next year with a bigger Republican majority.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) surplus, is that right? All financed by the (OFF-MIKE)?

GINGRICH: Virtually all of it, yes.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) to the president looking at the report (OFF-MIKE)...

GINGRICH: I'm -- we discussed that this morning. And Chairman Hyde indicated...




Thursday September 10, 1998

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