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Bush Meets with Lawmakers About Education PolicyAired December 21, 2000 - 2:39 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect Bush is meeting in Austin, Texas for lunch with a bipartisan group of lawmakers from Congress. We told you about that earlier. They are mostly concerned about education today.
There is some videotape taken by Pool inside that meeting, attended by many of the Republican senators from Washington, Jim Jeffords, chairman of the Senate Education, for one, Bill Frist, Judd Gregg, Tim Hutchinson; Democratic Senators Jeff Bingaman, Evan Bayh and Zell Miller, four others.
You may have heard President Clinton talking about education as he signed his last education budget just a few minutes ago. Coincidentally, the new president-elect is putting education as his top priority on the front burner today in Texas. Here is what happened.
PRESIDENT-ELECT GEORGE W. BUSH: I hope the economy is strong. All of us in America hope our economy remains strong. I hope that people are able to find high- paying, high-quality jobs.
One of my responsibilities is to anticipate problems and be prepared to act should they occur. And if this economy were to slow down and continue to slow down, when I assume the office of the presidency I'll be prepared to act.
I want to reiterate what I said. My fervent hopes is that the economic growth for America continues, and I look forward to working with members of both parties in the Congress to make sure it does.
QUESTION: But he's suggesting you're making it appear worse than it is.
BUSH: I, in all due respect, have said that there are some warning signs on the horizon. I think people are going to find out that when I'm sworn in as the president I'll be a realist. And if there are warning signs on the horizon, we need to pay attention to them, and we need to act in a positive way to make sure that our economy continues to grow, so people will be able to find high-paying, high-quality jobs.
It's now my honor to introduce the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Jeffords.
SEN. JAMES JEFFORDS (R), VERMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
I'm sure I speak for all of us who are here today that this has been a monumental experience for us. I know I have served under six presidents, counting the one coming up, and this is the first time I have seen a group of senators of diverse views on education, in particular, to be invited by a president to come to meet and to make sure that we can work together to benefit the children of this nation. And so I want to say that I personally am going away very elevated in feeling.
And standing next to my left, as he was 25 years ago and he still is, George Miller. I know we had divergent views like this that are being expressed today, but so much of agreement, so much of a realization that what we can do for this nation is to come into this next millennium a united group of people who desire to advance the education of our nation and to make sure that our children improve themselves so that we can be the best in the world not just the best in this nation.
So I thank you all for coming and I know you can fire your questions at whomever you desire and I'm sure we will all do our best to answer them.
QUESTION: What issues specifically did you talk about in education?
WATERS: All right, that is Jim Jeffords, who is chairman of this bipartisan delegation of House and Senate members, mostly from legislative committees dealing with education, meeting with President- elect Bush in Austin, Texas. Education on the front burner. That is agenda number one for President-elect Bush, who quit as governor of Texas today and now virtually is unemployed, as we prepares his transition to the White House and his January 20th inauguration.
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