movement by passing a bill that would hurt poor children and make it evenharder for custodial parents to make ends meet."
Ireland's comments followed reports that Vice President Gore has said hesupports the so-called Fathers Count Act(H.R. 3073) which is being fast-tracked through Congress. The bill would funnel more than $100 million tofathers' rights organizations for support services to non-custodial fathers --even though Congress has cut already inadequate funds for similar servicesto custodial parents. A provision in the bill would also allow states tocancelchild supportarrearages in certain situations; other aspects couldundermine state efforts to collect past due support payments."At first glance, the Fathers Count Act appears to have worthy goals,including helping poor men to be better fathers. Upon closer examination,however, it is clear that this bill would undermine support for custodialparents, the majority of whom are women," Ireland said."Congress wants to reduce poverty by giving money toprogramsthatsupport non-custodial fathers hoping that some of that money will trickle-down to needy kids. Trickle-down economics didn't work for the country,and it won't work for poor families, either.""Additionally, the Fathers Count Act would only fund programs that 'promotemarriage.' Many women end up inpovertybecause they are forced to fleeabusive husbands or partners. Pressuring a poor woman to marry the fatherof her children -- without regard to his character -- could do great harm.