April 3, 1981
I just have a brief statement. First, an expression of appreciation from the President to the Senators here and to the Senate itself for its performance yesterday. But let me just briefly make some comments that there is in the administration clearly -- and the President has asked the Chief of Staff to have me convey this deep gratification by the Senate's action on the budget yesterday.
The 88-to-10 vote dramatically began the process of saving $36 billion for the American people in '82. And it's clear that this was bipartisan -- Republicans and Democrats alike responding to the demands of the American people to get the economic house in order, and the overwhelming bipartisan vote is a heartwarming indication that elected officials really do mean business. And it's significant that during the Senate debate there were a lot of very popular amendments -- popular on both sides of the aisle. But they would have watered down the economic package and the economic effect of the package, and they were beaten back. And this kind of responsiveness to the national interest is really in the great spirit of cooperation between the two branches of government.
We hope that it will serve -- speaking for the administration, and I'm sure the Senate feels that way, having responded overwhelmingly on that vote -- we hope it will be an example to the Members of the House of Representatives, who now have the same responsibility ahead of them in the future weeks here.
So, I express the President's congratulations, and I commend the Senate for its thorough examination, open debate, on the important issue of economic recovery. Obviously, the debate was spirited at times, but bipartisan cooperation prevailed and that was the encouraging thing. Yesterday's vote, we recognize, was simply an important initial step, but combined with tax reduction and relief from overregulation and stable money supply, we are confident that there will be a restoration of our economic vitality in this country.
I am particularly grateful, of course, to the majority leader of the Senate and to Senator Domenici and his counterpart on the important committee that handled all of this, Senator Fritz Hollings. The Senate really behaved magnificently in the view of the administration, and I really came up here today to simply say, ``Thank you.''And if you would convey that to others -- we caught the Senate at a rather quiet time, but after what you've been through, why, it's appropriate there be a little lull.
Thank you all very, very much. And now I am going to go down and see the President, and I know that the Senators have agreed to respond to any questions, if anybody would like to ask them.
Note: The Vice President spoke at 12:10 p.m. to reporters assembled outside the Capitol.