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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Statement on Signing the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992


Today I am signing into law S. 1002, the ``Child Support Recovery Act of 1992.'' I am particularly pleased that it includes two of my proposals to improve interstate child support enforcement.

When parents separate, children may suffer. Their suffering is, unfortunately, often made much worse through the deliberate failure of a parent to comply with legally imposed child support obligations. According to evidence presented to the House Committee on the Judiciary, over billion in child support goes unpaid in the United States each and every year. This outrage -- which frequently forces innocent and blameless families onto State welfare rolls -- is something that we can, and indeed must, address.

S. 1002 attacks this serious problem in several ways. First, it creates a new Federal criminal offense for failure to make child support payments for more than 1 year or amounting to more than ,000 with respect to a child who resides in another State. This new Federal offense, which I proposed in both my Project KIDS initiative and my Violent Crime Control Act of 1992, carries a potential prison term of up to 2 years for repeat offenders.

Second, the bill includes the proposal in my Violent Crime Control Act of 1992 to give Federal judges discretion to require full payment of child support obligations as a condition of probation.

Finally, the bill authorizes the Department of Justice to make grants to States to develop, implement, and enforce criminal child support legislation and to coordinate interstate enforcement activities. Up to million could be devoted to these grants for each of fiscal years 1994, 1995, and 1996.

The welfare of our families and our children is a deep and abiding concern of all Americans. This legislation is a positive and significant step in holding irresponsible, deadbeat parents accountable to those who depend on them financially. I congratulate the sponsors and supporters of this important legislation, especially Congressman Henry Hyde, on their leadership in bringing it to a successful conclusion.

George Bush

The White House,

October 25, 1992.

Note: S. 1002, approved October 25, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 521.

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