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Special Event

President Bush Meets with GOP Congressional Leaders

Aired January 22, 2001 - 1:11 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: Here is video we've just received of him meeting with congressional leaders during a luncheon on his first Monday in office as president. Senators -- let's listen in for a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... pay the folks in the military more money. And I can't wait to work with them to get the people's business done.

This is not the last time I'm going to see you all over here, nor will the meetings be only Republicans. We'll have Democrats come here quite a few times as well to get some things done.

So I want to thank you all for coming. I'm honored you're here. My first lunch in this part of the White House complex, and it's fitting that it be with members of the legislative branch. Thanks for coming.

QUESTION: Mr. President, are you going to reverse the executive order allowing abortion funding and counseling, federal funds for abortion counseling and funding, overseas?

BUSH: Yes, I am.

QUESTION: When will you do that, sir?

BUSH: Soon.

QUESTION: Will that be by executive orders reversing President Clinton's?

BUSH: Yes.

QUESTION: What about fetal tissue research?

BUSH: I'll deal with that issue later.

QUESTION: Mr. President, how do you react to the deal that President Clinton entered into with the independent counsel, Robert Ray? What's your interpretation of that agreement? And were you considering a pardon, should it have come to that?

BUSH: I haven't considered a pardon because the man hadn't been indited.

My feeling about the actions of last Friday was, it's finally over with; it's now time to move on. And I think the country is pleased that it's time to move on, and that's exactly what we're going to do.

STAFF: Thank you very much. Thank you.

BUSH: Thank you all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: I think that means it's over. They said thank you very much and enough. Again, President Bush, meeting with GOP congressional leaders, having a lunch. And he says he will welcome the Democrats as well.

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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