Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Child Day Care Bill

September 07, 1976

Members of the Congress and members of the administration and distinguished guests:

Ensuring an adequate day care bill for children is an important social service. It protects the well-being of thousands of American children and the economic independence of their working parents.

Earlier this year, I vetoed a bill on child day care, not because I disagreed with its goals, but because that bill, in my judgment, was the wrong means to a worthwhile end. Today, I sign a new and better child day care bill, the result of cooperation between the Congress and my administration, and I thank the Members of the Congress for working with the administration in that regard.

This new and better bill embodies a major compromise on a key issue which led to my original veto. States and localities will be spared the heavy burden of costly and controversial Federal standards for child day care services.

In a different area of social service, I am happy to see that this bill also adopts a concept supported by many older Americans and contained in my Federal assistance for community services proposal. Under the bill, older persons, as well as families who obviously qualify for federally assisted social services, will be able to get those services without a demeaning scrutiny of their personal affairs.

This is a better bill than the one which first crossed my desk, and I am pleased to see the result of this compromise. It's a better bill because my veto exerted a balancing influence on the deliberations of the Congress in this important area. Without this constitutional check and balance, the original bill might now be law and making day care services more costly to the taxpayer and increasing the Federal intrusion into family life.

The constitutional veto power has been used by me as well as my predecessors with one concern in mind--to protect the American people from unrealistic responses to their very real needs, to see that the Federal Government does not merely serve the people but serves the people well.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 12:06 p.m. at a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House.

As enacted, the bill (H.R. 12455) is Public Law 94-401 (90 Stat. 1215).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks Upon Signing the Child Day Care Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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