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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 13, 1999


Hillary and I are pleased that Representatives Nancy Johnson and Ben Cardin today introduced important legislation to assist the approximately 20,000 young people who leave our nation's foster care system each year at age eighteen without an adoptive family or other permanent family relationship. Today, federal financial support for these young people ends just as they are making the critical transition to independence. Without the emotional, social, and financial support that families provide, many of these youth are not adequately prepared for life on their own.

I believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that these young people have the tools they need to make the most of their lives. That is why my budget request includes significant new investments to provide them with access to health care and help them to earn a high school diploma, further their education or vocational training, and learn daily living skills such as budgeting, career planning and securing housing and employment. Today, Representatives Johnson and Cardin have moved this issue forward. I am committed to working with them and other members of Congress in the months ahead to enact meaningful and fiscally responsible legislation to enable these young people to live up to their God-given potential.