CBS Evening News for Thursday, Sep 29, 1977
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(Studio) In news conf., President Carter challenges Senator to complete work on energy plan. Meanwhile, debate with regard to natural gas price controls conts. in Senator, with leaders trying to work out compromise. Carter indicates possible willingness to compromise, too, in another area of energy plan.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(DC) Press conference is to press for Senator passage of energy program, but President also indicates he may compromise with regard to use of money received from tax on crude oil. At 1st, he proposed all money be returned to consumers thru rebates; now, he suggests he might allow some to be marked for uses being advocated by powerful oil state Senators [CARTER - doesn't want to take money from consumers, in higher prices of gasoline and other prods., and give it, like reward, back to oil industry, but might consider using some of it for mass transit, better home insulation or such, along with tax rebate.] President says it's essential tax itself and other key parts of program be approved, because he feels severe crisis is building [CARTER - doesn't think Senator will face spending so much time on year's major legislature and then come out with inconsequential or inadequate program; there's still long way to go. Isn't discouraged, but thinks own voice is helpful in persuading public to let Senators know what duties are and to act objectively.] Wide range of topics at conference noted; Carter is asked about his statement that sometimes Republicans have worked more closely with him than congress Democrats [CARTER - didn't use energy as example; but one example is GOP approval of AWACS sale to Iran. Is loyal Democrat and appreciates Democrat support in Congress, but in some cases, Republican has helped more.] In foreign affairs, he is asked if he can clarify United States position with regard to PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) at Geneva conference [CARTER - doubts it, but will try. Says United States is trying to bring all ptys. concerned together to convene Geneva conf., but has no national policy as to who will represent Palestinians or how Arab delegation will be made up.] Progress in Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) II is reported, but there's warning against expecting agreement soon. [CARTER - notes negotiators return to Geneva, but won't be too optimistic about early agreement; has no plans for meeting with Brezhnev at present.] President's remarks with regard to layoffs in steel industry, steel imports and government task force on issue noted. Only one question is asked with regard to Bert Lance affair; details of Carter's knowledge of Justice Department probe of Lance prior to nomination as OMB director noted.
REPORTER: Bob Schieffer