In speech on Senate floor, Senator Murray sets record straight on how Build Back Better’s child care & pre-K policies will dramatically lower parents’ costs; give parents more options for quality providers
Murray: “What Democrats want to do is make sure there are more affordable options out there for parents. What Senate Republicans want to do is nothing but watch prices keep rising. And here’s the thing: I’ve seen again and again, when someone says you can’t do something—it’s because they’re afraid you will.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor on the ways the Build Back Better child care and universal pre-K policies would help working parents by dramatically lowering their costs and giving parents more high-quality options for child care and pre-K.
Murray, a former preschool teacher, noted that she saw no reason to be concerned the U.S. Senate was at risk of a “toddler takeover” following concerns raised by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier in the day.
Senator Murray noted that contrary to Senate Republican claims, the policies would:
See below for Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared:
Thank you, M. President.
I can say with confidence to the senior senator from Kentucky, as a former preschool teacher, we can rest assured we are not at risk of a toddler takeover in the U.S Senate.
But seriously: I’ve never heard so much misinformation in such a short time from one person.
It’s not at all clear to me that the senior senator from Kentucky read the bill, so I do want to set some facts straight.
Under this bill, working parents will have way more options, and pay way less, to send their child to a high quality child care provider they choose.
Same with pre-K—parents of three and four year olds will have more options to send their kids to quality preschool, for free.
We’re talking about parents saving thousands of dollars a year on child care and pre-K, which are huge financial burdens right now.
It’s also great deal for states—who by the way, already work with the federal government on child care.
And forty-four states already have some form of publicly funded pre-K. So this plan really isn’t some outlandish idea.
Finally, religious providers and family based providers are absolutely eligible.
So this isn’t “radical”—it’s a practical solution to, again, a huge financial barrier parents are facing.
It’s not a “toddler takeover”—it’s giving parents more choices and more affordability…
…though I’d prefer toddlers on the Senate floor to what I saw today!
…and it’s not “far left propaganda”— because, I can’t emphasize this enough, this is not a political question for parents.
For them, the question is, “Can I choose the provider I actually like, or do I have to go with this cheaper one because I can’t afford the one I like?”
Or: “Is it worth me going back to work if I have to pay as much as rent or mortgage or college tuition to send my child to a provider I trust?”
Or: “How long am I going to be on this waitlist, and what do I do in the meantime?”
What Democrats want to do is make sure there are more affordable options out there for parents.
What Senate Republicans want to do is nothing but watch prices keep rising.
And here’s the thing: I’ve seen again and again, when someone says you can’t do something—it’s because they’re afraid you will.
Senate Republicans are shaking in their boots because we are really going to do something that helps working parents with a big part of their costs.
So I’m sure they’ll keep calling affordable child care “radical” and insisting it would be better to just do nothing…
And I’m equally sure Democrats are going to get this done.