Lowey Floor Remarks on Child Care for Economic Recovery Act
WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, legislation to expand the availability of quality child care, help workers return to their jobs when it is safe, and enable America’s economy to recover from the COVID-19 recession:
I’m pleased to offer H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, which I introduced with our exceptional Labor-HHS Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, our esteemed Appropriations colleague Congresswoman Clark, and our Ways and Means colleagues Chairman Neal, Chairman Davis, and Congresswoman Sanchez.
It’s no secret: With quality child care, children enter kindergarten ready to learn, hardworking families have better job security knowing their children are healthy and safe, and our communities thrive.
But even before COVID-19, millions of hardworking families – disproportionately families of color – struggled to find and afford quality child care that matched their work hours and ZIP codes.
At the height of the pandemic, more than half of child care providers – many of them women- and minority-owned small businesses operating on razor thin margins – closed their doors. We risk losing more, permanently.
Every single industry counts on child care. In order to save our economy, we need to save child care.
The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act would:
- More than triple mandatory funds for the Child Care Entitlement to States;
- Invest $10 billion in new infrastructure grants so providers have the resources to address hazardous conditions like broken heaters, mold, and lead paint, as well as necessary modifications to protect our children and caretakers from the risk of coronavirus;
- Reimburse child and dependent care costs incurred by essential workers who’ve sacrificed so much to keep us safe;
- Make the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit fully refundable for the first time;
- Keep the lights on and doors open with a new tax credit for child care providers to help cover costs for rent, mortgages, and utilities; and
- Recognize child care workers as essential.
What’s good for our babies is good for our budget. With this bill, we can do what’s good for our babies. I urge support and reserve the balance of my time.