President Barack Obama says there's no substitute for the love and support that fathers provide.

In his weekly Internet and radio address, Obama is wishing Americans a happy Father's Day. He's laments that his own father wasn't around and says he's still working to be a better father.

Obama says being a dad isn't easy for anyone — gay, straight, grandparent or foster parent. He says he wants to encourage marriage and strong families by reforming child support laws to get more fathers engaged. He says businesses, faith groups and communities have a role to play.

"Today we're blessed to live in a world where technology allows us to connect instantly with just about anyone on the planet," he said in his weekly address. "But no matter how advanced we get, there will never be a substitute for the love and support and, most importantly, the presence of a parent in a child's life."

In the Republican address, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee talked about student loans and the Education Department.

Alexander said Republicans are in agreement with the President about finding a permanent solution to student loan rates before a July 1 automatic increase takes effect.

"Between now and the end of the month, Senate Republicans will work hard with the President and with the House to produce an agreement that ensures all student borrowers benefit from today’s low interest rates," said Alexander.  "That would mean that 100 percent of all new student loans made this year would have a rate below five percent.

However the two parties differ on the role of the Education Department and says it has become like a national school board. He says Republicans have a plan to give state and local authorities more control.

The Democratic proposal establishes a national school board.  What such a proposal really says is they don’t trust parents and they don’t trust classroom teachers and they don’t trust states to care about and help educate their children, and they want someone in Washington do it for them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report