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Clinton Announces More Money for Police to Buy Bulletproof Vests

Aired May 15, 2000 - 1:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: President Clinton is on Capitol Hill this hour announcing more than 20 million federal dollars to buy bulletproof vests for police around the nation.

CNN senior White House correspondent John King joins us to tell us about it -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, the president will make that announcement at annual event here in Washington. He's on Capitol Hill for a ceremony honoring police officers killed in the line of duty this past year. The president as you mentioned, will announce the latest installment in a government program.

This money appropriated by the Republican controlled Congress we should make clear, to spend $24 million to buy 90,000 bulletproof vests for law enforcement agencies around the country. As part of this ceremony the president will also make a pitch for Congress to reauthorize that program. He wants about $150 million over three years, that money would buy another half million bulletproof vests for police across the country.

Now in his remarks the president also will take note of the Million Mom March here in Washington over the weekend, point to the police officers surrounding him today, make the case that the Congress should do more to help these people. In the president's view that means new gun control laws.

The president has been fighting for more than a year now to get the Congress to adopt additional gun controls, say for example, closing the so-called loop hole that allows someone to buy a gun at a gun show without a background check. There are other proposals in the president's plan, he will make a new push for that today. And hoping the scene of all those women and others marching here in Washington over the weekend will convince the Congress the time is now to act.

However, the president's critics say that new laws not the answer. They say the administration should do more to enforce the existing laws and critics like the National Rifle Association say more education is key and also that parents, not the government, should do more to keep guns out of the hands of children -- Natalie.

ALLEN: John King at the White House. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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