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Something to say

Even as his voice was giving out last week, President Clinton continued to urge Congress to find money for his priorities.

Mr. Clinton, who has suffered from hoarseness on several occasions during his two terms, was still recovering from a recent bout of laryngitis when he stopped at a middle school in New Orleans on Sept. 27. The president used the visit to highlight several of his priorities, including money for school modernization, new teachers, technology, and after-school programs.

"We have to demand more of our schools and invest more in them," he told an audience at Sophie B. Wright Junior High School, an inner-city school with dilapidated facilities and low academic achievement. "And we know these schools can be turned around if they have the resources and a good plan and they work the plan."

After an extensive physical exam on Sept. 25, doctors had advised Mr. Clinton to rest his voice for 10 days to help ease his swollen vocal cords. But with a packed schedule of appearances, Mr. Clinton found that advice impossible to follow.

"The president is concerned about his hoarseness and his ability to make the fine speeches he makes around the country," said his press secretary, Joe Lockhart. "We're going to do our best to make sure we get him the rest he needs."

On the same day the president visited New Orleans, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was in New York City sounding the same cry for school construction aid. The likely candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York joined union leaders and Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., at an overcrowded school in Harlem.

Still, the Clintons' spending ideas did not go over well with Republicans, who sharply criticized the president's veto of a $792 billion gop tax-cut plan the week earlier.

New role for Green

Julie Green, who had served as Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley's spokeswoman for more than two years, has given up that job to become the deputy communications director for Vice President Al Gore.

Ms. Green left the higher-profile press secretary's post Sept. 3 for a more behind-the-scenes job crafting the communications strategy in the vice president's office.

Her replacement had not been named as of last week, according to the Department of Education.

--Joetta L. Sack [email protected]

Vol. 19, Issue 6, Page 26

Published in Print: October 6, 1999, as Federal File

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