[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 1, 1998]
[Page 485]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 485]]

Letter to the Speaker of the House on the Disadvantaged Business 
Enterprise Program
April 1, 1998

Dear Mr. Speaker:
    On March 28, 1998, I sent a letter to the Leadership addressing my 
concerns regarding H.R. 2400, the Building Efficient Surface 
Transportation and Equity Act of 1998. As the House prepares to consider 
this bill, I want you to know that I am adamantly opposed to any 
attempts to weaken or repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) 
program extension contained in this legislation.
    We have seen time and again that women and minorities are excluded 
from the contracting process when a DBE program is not in place. The DBE 
program is not a quota. The existing statute explicitly provides that 
the Secretary of Transportation may waive the 10 percent goal for any 
reason and that this benchmark is not to be imposed on any state or 
locality. Rather, the DBE program encourages participation without 
imposing rigid requirements of any type.
    I ask that you oppose efforts to strike the DBE program from the 

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this letter.