CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Senator Lott Calls President Bush About Security Bill
Aired November 19, 2002 - 12:23 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE: We are dialing long distance and live from Trent Lott on the phone with the president in the air approaching Prague, talking homeland security.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSISSIPPI: We've got what you need to have security and peace here at home. And we're just thrilled we were able to wind up this session with this positive action.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I want to thank you all. It is an honor to be representing the greatest country on the face of the earth in Europe.
And we're going to have an historic day on Thursday, when we vote to expand NATO. The people of Europe appreciate America, they appreciate our strength, and most importantly, they appreciate our compassion and our love for freedom. And I know you all share that pride of America with me.
Again, I want to thank all of the senators in the room there for your hard work, and look forward to seeing you when I get back.
LOTT: Well, we are also going to take up the terrorism insurance bill and vote on that this afternoon, too. But we...
BUSH: Oh, well...
LOTT: Go ahead.
BUSH: I think that's important, Trent. That piece of legislation will help put (UNINTELLIGIBLE) back to work, and that's going to be good. I appreciate you working on that as well.
LOTT: Yes, sir. Anybody else?
Kay, your fellow Texan might want to say one word to you, sir.
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: Mr. President, we...
BUSH: I need to hear -- I need to hear a Texan's voice.
HUTCHISON: You (UNINTELLIGIBLE) my accent. You're the only one that can understand me. We are so proud of what you are doing, and I want you to know that everybody on the team this morning really wanted to make sure that you know that we are behind you all the way on the office of homeland security. And you know, it was a tough vote for some people, but everybody is on the team and very much supportive of what you're trying to do, and want you to have the timetable in which to do it.
So, do well over in Europe and come home to Crawford, soon.
LOTT: Let me say Don Nickles did good whip work today, too. He was out there working to the last minute, and we got a good vote on that amendment that would have caused all kinds of problems and delays. And it's part of the process that we had to go through, but we are going to get the result we were looking for.
Don, do you want to add anything here?
SEN. DON NICKLES (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, Mr. President, I just thank you. You're the one that said you really want to get this done this year, and because of that, you kept us -- our feet to the fire, and we were able to do it. And I think Trent worked very hard -- the whole team did. And it's very fitting as well. Phil Gramm, this is his last major piece of legislation, as well as Fred Thompson. So, they're to be congratulated as well.
This truly is, as you mentioned, landmark, historic -- the most significant reorganization of government certainly in the last 50 years. And it wouldn't have happened without your insisting on Congress staying with it. So, a real victory there.
In addition, we're also going to confirm Judge Shed (ph), so that should please you as well.
BUSH: Oh, that's good news. Well, thanks. Thank you for your good work, and I certainly appreciate it all.
LOTT: Good luck, and we will also approve the enlargement once that recommendation is made. We will work with you on that, too.
Thank you, Mr. President, and have a great trip.
BUSH: OK, sir. Thank you all very much.
LOTT: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President.
SAVIDGE: And there you've been listening to a telephone call by the -- excuse me -- Senate Republican leadership updating the president of the United States on the progress of the homeland security bill, a bill that came under somewhat of an assault by Democrats today. They were defeated, and now, it appears that that bill will be passed the way the president wanted it.
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