Clinton touts importance of family to Grambling seniors
May 23, 1999
Web posted at: 2:34 p.m. EDT (1834 GMT)
GRAMBLING, Louisiana (AllPolitics, May 23) -- The nation loses when parents are forced to spend between their jobs and their families, President Bill Clinton told the 1999 graduating class of Grambling State University on Sunday.
"It is imperative that your country give you tools to succeed not only in the work place but also at home," Clinton said.
Clinton offered a plan to help families in his graduation address at Grambling State University
Armed with a new study showing Americans spending 22 fewer hours a week with their children than a generation ago, Clinton warned that the problem will get worse without immediate action.
"For all of this nation's pro-family rhetoric," he said, "the hard truth is that other countries ... do better than we do" at helping families cope with the stresses of a modern world.
Clinton -- whose first piece of legislation as president was the American Family Leave Act -- announced plans to expand on that measure and provide more assistance to those trying to balance work and family.
The president said he had directed the federal government's personnel office to allow all federal workers to use their paid sick leave to care for sick family members. He also said he had asked the Secretary of Labor to issue a rule allowing states to offer unemployment benefits to new mothers and fathers.
He also called on Congress to triple the amount of money spent on after-school care, and urged employers to do what they can to bring parents closer to their children.