Perhaps sensing that federal employees would be less than thrilled about his proposals to squeeze savings out of federal pay and benefits programs in his fiscal 1998 budget, President Clinton also released a message yesterday thanking civil servants for their efforts during his first administration.
Following is the text of the President's message:
"As I begin my second term as President, I want all of you to know how proud I am of your hard work and accomplishments during the past four years. I came to Washington with a high regard for civil servants, and you have only confirmed that opinion.
"And I'm not the only one who has been impressed. Four years ago, public confidence in the federal government was at an all-time low. But you have begun to change that attitude. Even in a time of leaner budgets and smaller staffs, you have improved service to the public, forged effective partnerships with communities and private businesses, and discarded old-fashioned management systems. Now, for the first time in decades, public opinion of federal agencies is markedly on the rise. Congratulations -- the credit for this stunning turnaround goes to you.
"Vice President Gore and I are excited and optimistic about the prospects for America in the next four years. We are on the right track to the twenty-first century and are picking up speed as we continue to work with you to reinvent government. I believe that our nation will enter that new century stronger, more confident, and more capable than ever before. And I believe that a large part of that success will be achieved because of the energy and talent of each of you -- the men and women of the federal government.
"Thank you for all you do on behalf of your fellow Americans."