Ross: Child care is holding up the vote on the Build Back Better Bill
Still no vote on the Big Build Back Better Bill – and a major reason for the hold-up is child care.
Republicans correctly point out that Democrats are using this bill to get programs they’ve wanted for a long time – and that includes child care for every family that wants it, with a sliding scale of payments so that no middle-class family pays more than 7% of their income.
And bill doesn’t stop there: It promises that the workers who provide this child care will not just be part-timers doing it on the side – they’ll be professionals who are paid a living wage.
The program is intended to bail out a child care industry decimated by COVID.
And no question – it costs a LOT! According to a column in Forbes, written by Emily Bauer, who describes herself as a numbers nerd, the cost of infant care at the “high quality” centers under this program, would be close to $32,000 a year in some urban areas. Right now, programs for impoverished families pay less than HALF that for child care.
Biden’s program would actually make this “high quality” child care free to poor families, and subsidize it for the rest – a benefit that the column calls “absurdly expensive.”
And yet, it seems to me that with Texas and other states passing laws to show how much they care about children, maybe they’re starting to think kids are worth that kind of money.
I say we find out – which means parents have to speak up.
The polling shows this is one of the most popular parts of the bill, but if the polls are wrong – which has happened – call your member of Congress and tell them. And if they don’t listen, organize a Million Parent March on the National Mall to demand that the government NOT tax wealthy people to pay for your child care.
Congress is desperate for programs to cut – and as I’ve said many times before, it would save the country a lot of aggravation if people who don’t want programs intended to benefit them had the decency to step up and say so.
Then Congress can strip it from this bill and we’ll finally get our highways.
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