President Carter on Thursday (17 August) announced his intention of vetoing a bill passed by Congress that would cut funds to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
SV INTERIOR President Carter speaking
SV Reporter Jim Gerstenzang of A.P. asks question
SV President Carter answers
CARTER: "This bill would reduce our commitment to NATO, waste the resources available for defence, and weaken our nation's military capability in the future. I will be glad to co-operate with Congress in passing a more responsible bill. And I urge the members of Congress to face that duty as soon as they return from their recess. The nation's interest and my oath of office require me to veto this bill and to seek a stronger defence for our country."
REPORTER: "Mr. President, your direct involvement in the Middle is seeming to be a high risk gamble. Could you say what led you to take this step -- what are the risks, what happens if this effort fails?"
CARTER: "It is a very high risk thing for me politically, because now I think that if we are unsuccessful at Camp David I will certainly have to share part of the blame for that failure. But I don't see that I could do anything differently, because I'm afraid that if the leaders don't meet and do not permit their subordinates to meet, in a continuing series of top.....negotiations that the situation in the Middle East might be much more serious in the future even than it is now. So I decided on my own and later got the concurrence of my top advisers, including Secretary of State Vance and the Vice President and others to invite both those men to meet with me at Camp David. We do not have any assurance of success. I do not anticipate being completely successful there and having a peace treaty signed in that brief period of time. But if we can get them to sit down and discuss honestly and sincerely their desires for peace; to explore the compatibilities among them to identify very closely the differences, to try to resolve those differences, then I think we can set a framework for peace in the future."
At the news conference, President Carter also expressed deep concern about the decline of the dollar but said the underlying strength of the United States should prevent its further deterioration, provided Congress acted to conserve energy. The day before the news conference the White House issued a statement saying that the Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal and the Federal Reserve Chairman William Miller had been asked to consider what action could be taken to boost the dollar.
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Background: President Carter on Thursday (17 August) announced his intention of vetoing a bill passed by Congress that would cut funds to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The Bill also included two billion dollars for a nuclear powered aircraft carrier which the President had long opposed. President Carter was speaking at a news conference in Washington. Later he spoke on the coming Middle East Summit to be held at Camp David in the United States between President Carter, President Sadat of Egypt and the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Begin.