Clinton, GOP Agree on Importance of Fathers

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - In announcements timed to coincide with Father's Day weekend, President Clinton and Republican leaders found at least one thing to agree on - fatherless American children have one strike against them.

In his weekly radio address, Clinton emphasized the importance of fathers in the lives of children, and said the one-in-three American children who live in fatherless households need extra help.

"One study showed that the chances of a child getting mostly A's increased by over 40 percent in two-parent families where the father was highly involved," Clinton said.

"Even in families where the father isn't living with his child, but remains actively involved, those odds of getting A's increased by a full third," added Clinton, referring to a newly released joint report by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.

"The challenges confronted by fathers today are greater than any time in our past, and more important than ever to future generations," said Republican Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci, as he delivered the weekly GOP radio address.

"I urge every father across this great land to take an active role in their children's lives," said Cellucci.

Clinton added that the report shows that a father's involvement with his children during their infancy and early years is especially important for not only their emotional security, but also for the development of important verbal and mathematical skills as well.

Clinton noted that child support payments have increased ten percent in the past year to $16 billion, double the amount collected in 1992 when he was first elected president.
However, he urged Congress to pass legislation helping poor, non-custodial fathers find jobs to meet their support payment.

"The fact is, many fathers can't provide financial and emotional support to their children, not because they're deadbeat, but because they're dead broke," Clinton said.