STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: New Data Shows that the Administration (unknown chars)s Tough Child Support Enforcement Efforts are Effective
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Little Rock, Arkansas)

For Immediate Release
January 17, 2001

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released
new data showing that our Administration?s tough child support enforcement
efforts have been effective and are paying off for our children.  Child
support collections broke new records in 2000, collecting $18 billion ? an
increase of $10 billion since 1992.  The new data today also shows that in
2000 alone, nearly 700,000 delinquent non-custodial parents were matched to
more than one million financial records, and that through withholding tax
refunds, a record $1.4 billion in overdue child support was collected ?
twice the amount collected when I took office.

     Our Administration?s commitment to work with states to efficiently and
effectively hold non-custodial parents accountable for their child support
obligations has demonstrated significant improvement over the last eight
years.  Today, parents who owe child support have their wages garnished,
their federal loans and passports denied, their bank accounts seized, and
their tax refunds withheld.  Last year alone, nearly 3.5 million delinquent
non-custodial parents were located through the National Directory of New
Hires posting.

     In addition, Welfare to Work grants have helped States, tribes and
communities nationwide have created programs that help low-income,
non-custodial fathers get and keep jobs that will allow them to pay child
support and provide their children emotional support.  Congress just
enacted my proposal to extend these grants for an additional two years.

     Despite these tremendous gains, there is still more to do.  In my FY
2001 budget, I proposed the Fathers Work/Families Win initiative to help
low-income fathers and families work and support their children, along with
needed reforms to the child support system.  I urge the next Administration
and the 107th Congress to take action this year to promote responsible
fatherhood and ensure that more child support goes directly to families.


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