Clinton Terms Anti-Crime Bill His Top Priority

from Associated Press

Enacting comprehensive anti-crime legislation is the first priority for 1994, President Clinton said Saturday in his weekly radio address.

"We have to be concerned that in both our cities and our rural areas, the value of life has been cheapened," Clinton said. "Too many children are killing children with weapons of destruction."

The House and Senate passed separate versions of crime legislation before adjourning last week until Jan. 25.

Clinton said he anticipates signing legislation that will put up to 100,000 new police officers on the streets, authorize the building of more prisons, banning assault weapons and setting up boot camps to keep youthful offenders from becoming hardened criminals.

In a Republican response Saturday, California Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren said he welcomes Democratic support for anti-crime measures long espoused by the GOP.

Prisons and police are "the first line of defense" against crime, and "incarceration works," Lungren said. "So now, when we hear the President and many of his colleagues begin voicing eager support for the tough medicine Republicans have advocated for decades, we say: 'Welcome aboard.' "

Clinton also used the weekly radio remarks to claim credit for a list of legislative accomplishments that he said create a framework for improvements in the economy and trade and set the stage for reforming the health care system.

"In 10 months we've broken the gridlock; we've won much of what I set out to do in my first year" he said.

The President and his family spent the rest of the day at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, a spokesman said.

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