THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
At a time when so many Americans without regard to party agree on the need for welfare reform, it's a shame the House of Representatives could not produce a real welfare reform plan that would promote work and responsibility and attract broad bipartisan support. I am disappointed that instead of joining in a real, bipartisan effort to move people from welfare to work, a narrow partisan Republican majority passed a bill that is weak on work and tough on children.
I am determined to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to produce the kind of welfare reform Americans regardless of party affiliation want and expect. To end welfare as we know it, we must be tough on work and tough on deadbeat parents, not tough on children.
I commend the House of Representatives on one part of the bill that enjoyed true bipartisan support - - tough measures on child support enforcement, including refusing drivers' and professional licenses to deadbeat parents who refuse to pay child support. The House passed every major child support element of our welfare reform plan, which will enable us to mount the toughest child support enforcement crackdown in history. It is time to demand responsibility from parents who bring children into the world, not let them off the hook and expect taxpayers to pick up the tab for their neglect.
Welfare reform can and must be a bipartisan issue. I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to pass real welfare reform that will make work and responsibility the law of the land.