Clinton claims credit for Y2K quashFriday, February 18, 2000
-- The Clinton administration congratulated itself today for killing the Y2K millennium computer bug, which drowned in a sea of $100 billion on repairs and preparations in the United States.
"Mission accomplished," White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said.
President Clinton invited his Y2K team, led by John Koskinen, to the White House for a group photo as it winds down operations.
The U.S. government spent $8.5 billion to update and repair its computers; preparations by businesses and individuals pushed the total to $100 billion. The phone industry alone spent $3.6 billion to make sure phone systems were Y2K-compliant. The glitch involved the inability of some computers to recognize "00" as shorthand for the year 2000.
"We averted what could have been a big problem in many of our economic sectors and government institutions," Lockhart said. "And that's in large part because of the leadership of Mr. Koskinen both here in the United States and around the world."
He dismissed criticism that the Y2K warnings were a costly false alarm.
"Business in this country doesn't go ahead and spend money on problems that they don't think exist," he said. "They addressed this problem. I think we were the leaders in the world on this. And I think the results are quite straightforward."