WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) spoke on the House Floor today in support of the Child Care Is Essential Act and Child Care For Economic Recovery Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
"Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of the bills on the Floor today to protect child care workers from losing their jobs and to help more families afford the cost of child care. They build on provisions we included in the Heroes Act in May.
"First, the Child Care Is Essential Act would create a $50 billion child care stabilization fund to keep child care providers from going out of business. I want to thank Chairwoman DeLauro of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education as well as Chairman Bobby Scott of the Education and Labor Committee for taking the lead on this bill. Second, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act takes a long-term approach by improving infrastructure and designating child care providers as essential and providing tax credits to help more families qualify for and afford safe and accessible child care. I want to thank Chairwoman Lowey of the Appropriations Committee and Chairman Neal of the Ways and Means Committee for sponsoring this legislation.
"As noted yesterday in an editorial by the Washington Post, ‘…the child care industry is collapsing under pandemic-inflicted financial pressure.’ They went on to say, ‘Without swift action from Congress, child-care centers are at risk of permanent closures that could severely undermine the country’s economic recovery.'
"If the Congress fails to take actions like the House is taking today, we risk our economic recovery by forcing parents to drop out of the workforce or lose work hours due to the demands of dependent care. That would place a substantial burden on working families with young children or elderly parents to care for. And it would disproportionately hurt minority workers and their families, because, as the Washington Post’s editorial rightly points out, minority parents ‘are more likely than white parents to experience job disruptions due to child care.'
"House Democrats are determined to help families get through this public health and economic crisis, but we must have a longer vision because it’s not just the pandemic that caused this problem. It has been a problem that has been with us for a long period of time. We refuse to do what Republicans have been doing again and again and again for the past decade, which is tell the American people: ‘you’re on your own.'
"I hope our Republican colleagues will join us in passing these bills. Let’s do that today to keep child care providers open, expand the availability of child care for working families, and help workers return to their jobs when it is safe to do so. Vote ‘yes’ for America’s families.”