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Clinton's pledge to the mayors: 'new partnership' with cities.

In a closed-circuit television address to the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, President Clinton pledged "a new relationship, a new partnership" with the nation's cities to be based on an understanding of the need for more flexibility and less micromanagement and regulation from the federal government.

Gathered in New York last week for its 61st annual conference, USCM launched an assault on unfunded federal mandates and said that despite his setbacks, Clinton still offers the best hope that the state of America's cities will be improved.

The mayors said the number of mandates for which local governments must pay grew sharply during the Reagan and Bush years while aid to cities was cut. "Our chances of success are infinitely better now than they have been," said host mayor David Dinkins.

Clinton thanked the mayors for their bipartisan support for his economic program and said he would work more closely with them to modify federal programs that strain their budgets.

Outgoing USCM president William Althaus of York, Pa., criticized fellow Republicans in the Senate for blocking Clinton' s $16.3 billion economic stimulus package.

At an opening news conference, he said the bill was killed by "an act of partisan obstructionism" and called the filibuster that blocked a vote "unconscionable."

USCM leaders stressed the mandates issue in a meeting with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner. Browner said the Clinton administration was willing to be flexible on Clean Air Act rules, an especially troubling issue for major cities.

Secretaries of Commerce Ron Brown, Health and Human Services Donna Shalala Labor Robert Reich and Transportation Federico Pena also addressed the meeting.

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson succeeded Althaus as conference president during the gathering.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Turner, Laura
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jun 28, 1993
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