On March 18, the Trump Administration published additional materials to support its FY 2020 budget request to Congress. While the budget request includes proposals to address the child care crisis in the U.S., it falls well short of what is needed long-term. Additionally, the President’s request includes proposals that would harm millions of working families with cuts to critical funding streams and access to basic needs.
Earlier today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the “Child Care for Working Families Act of 2019” on Capitol Hill. At the press conference, Senator Murray was joined by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Bob Casey (D-PA), as well as several parent advocates. The legislation is nearly identical to the 2017 version.
New Hampshire Senator, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), just reintroduced the "Right Start Child Care and Education Act," which would help make child care more affordable for working class families by amending the federal tax code.
Last night, the House of Representatives completed the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill (it also includes the Department of Defense's budget) that, once again, honors the two-year congressional budget agreement by prioritizing funding for early childhood and child care programs.
Both the House and Senate returned to Washington, D.C. and have a total of 11 scheduled legislative days before September 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year. In order to avoid a shutdown, Congress must either finish all 12 FY 2019 appropriations bills in the next few weeks, which hasn't happened in over 20 years, or pass a continuing resolution (CR) funding some, if not all, federal agencies and programs. Congressional leaders will meet this week to negotiate and propose packaging spending bills together, with the first likely being Energy and Water-Legislative Branch-Military Construction, in the hope of reaching agreements that can pass both chambers before the end of the month.
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On July 11, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy hosted a hearing examining the importance of paid family leave. Subcommittee Chairman, Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sponsored the hearing and witnesses included Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Dr. Andrew Biggs from the American Enterprise Institute, Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Carolyn Boyle from Deloitte Services, LLP.