[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 bill. Sincerely, William J. Clinton Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of this letter.