The congressional path to child care transformation
By Stephanie Schmit
In his State of the Union address, President Biden received some of the loudest applause when calling for a congressional child care plan to sharply cut families’ costs and enable women to return to the workplace. He proposed funding these and other urgently needed changes through taxes on the wealthy — while reducing taxes on most all families through the Child Tax Credit.
The applause in the Chamber was likely echoed in living rooms everywhere. Our nation’s child care system is in a crisis that’s been exacerbated, but not caused, by the pandemic. Biden’s plan would address our nation’s historic and systemic underinvestment in child care by using budget reconciliation, which allows a simple majority of senators (and House members) to pass legislation for spending and taxes using a previously agreed-to budget resolution. President Biden is right that budget reconciliation can fix child care for families, children, child care workers, and the U.S. economy. It’s the fastest way to comprehensively address our child care crisis—where smaller, more incremental approaches will still come up short.
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