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Senator Trent Lott Addresses the Media

Aired October 16, 2001 - 14:09   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott now on anthrax here.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSOURI: ... in- house resident physician, Dr. Bill Frist, and we feel very confident that proper preparations and precautions are being taken and that this was a limited incident. We're taking actions to make sure that there are no more of them, within the limits of human activity, and we'll continue to do that in the next few days that are ahead.

QUESTION: Senator, is there any concern up here, because there was a report (OFF-MIKE) that there's concern in some quarters, get your work done and get out quick because of the threat to this place (OFF-MIKE). But there seems to be a concern about what's going on, it's time to finish up work and get out because of the potential threat. How do you respond to that kind of thinking?

LOTT: Well, there is some thinking to that effect, and I think it would be wise for us to do what we need to do in the aftermath of September the 11th, and we've made a lot of progress in that regard, even here in the Senate. Last week we did come to a conclusion on an aviation security bill and the anti-terrorism bill. We still need to make a lot more progress than we've been making on appropriations bills. That has to be done in some form before we leave.

So once we get through the things that need to be done as a result of September 11 and get our appropriations bills through -- I think it should include energy legislation because of the overwhelming national security interest and concerns in that area also -- that then we do recess, subject to the call of the chair.

But, you know, it's very important that we -- depending on events, we'll be prepared to act and we'll be available when it's needed. But there is a growing feeling that as soon as we can get our work done, that we should recess for the year.

The other side of that is, that's probably already going to be sometime in November, and we'll have to work very hard to be done by Thanksgiving.

But it is possible, and we're going to work together to see that that can be done. BROWN: Senator Lott talking there about just routine Senate business, and how routine Senate business has been impacted by September 11. And I think it is not much of an overstatement to say that, both in the Congress and in the White House, throughout the government, not a whole lot has been done on things other than September 11 related business -- anti-terrorism, airline security, economic stimulus and the like -- in the last five weeks -- and, of course, war-planning, as well.

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