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Republican Senators Blast Democrats’ Destructive Child Care Plan

Dem spending bill increases child care costs, limits options for parents, and devastates existing programs

On Wednesday, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led a press conference with Republican Senators highlighting the devastating impacts the Democrats’ destructive child care plan, which is included in their reckless tax-and-spending bill, would have on child care costs and available options for families across the nation. 

With inflation rising to a near 40-year high last week, the Senators also criticized the outrageous costs of these child care programs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that if made permanent Democrats’ plan would cost twice as much over the next decade, totaling $752 billion instead of $380 billion. Additionally, experts predict the average cost of child care would increase by $13,000 per child, per year.

BBB Child Care Press Conference

“The Democrat plan intentionally shrinks the supply of providers by killing off faith-based providers, small family child care homes, kinship care,” said Senator Burr. “So, not only do we have a skyrocketing cost of $13,000 in additional cost for child care we are also reducing the supply of child care that exists in the country.”

“To understand the actual impact of the $13,000, you have to first understand that the current cost is over $15,000,” said Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). “So, said in a way that everybody in our nation can understand, with median income around $34,000, you take taxes out, [and] the cost of child care is now more than your take-home pay. Literally, providing child care for one kid is more than the take-home pay of the average income in our nation.”

“Of course with doubling the cost of child care, as has been stated before, families in Iowa, we are already what we consider a child care desert,” said Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). “Because [the Democrats] are going to increase the cost of child care and restrict who can have access to federal funds and subsidies, we will lose many day care providers and the opportunity to have a child in a stable learning environment and care.”

“The question is: is the right way to write legislation having a few people—in one party only—sit down and write something themselves, without any input from the other party, without hearings, without the back and forth between the two Houses, with Republicans and Democrats working together?” asked Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). “Is that the right way to get a piece of legislation done, which affects—in this case—a pretty darn important thing: our children and raising our kids?”

“We have an existing program that is the Child Care Development Block Grant Program,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). “It is a bipartisan program. It has existed for years…So why aren’t we taking a program that has worked well, that already exists, and expand its funding so that we can help more families? But keep the rules the same so that we do not create these tremendous accessibility and affordability problems.”

“This is a liberal leaning think tank, which says that the average cost per child could go up $13,000,”said Senator John Thune (R-SD). “I mean think about that. This is supposed to be helping American families, particularly middle-income families, working families, and all this is going to do is drive up their costs and give them fewer options. Fifty-three percent of the families in this country get their child care through a faith-based center, and what this particular proposal would do is discriminate entirely against those types of child care centers that provide meaningful care to for so many parents who send their kids there for various reasons.”   

“What they're trying to do is take one vote, and in this one vote, they want to take government control of your children, of education, of your small business, of your bank account…but who is going to be most adversely impacted by the bad decision-making of the Democratic party?” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “It is going to be children. It is going to be working parents who are going to be stripped of an opportunity to use child care right there in their local community that is being provided by their neighbors and friends that they trust.”

“When I listen to Nebraska families—and again there will be people across the political continuum, from right, to center-right, to center-left, to left, that will think the government should fund more or less of these things—I’ve never once heard a Nebraska family say ‘the thing I really want is to make sure religious day care is made bankrupt,’” said Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE).

“I just talked with six actual faith-based day cares in our state that have been in operation probably collectively for at least 100 years,” said Senator Shelley Moore Captio (R-WV). “And one of them said it's already more difficult to find staff. This bill would escalate that and make it much more difficult. If non-faith-based care is being subsidized, it will lower overhead for non-faith-based institutions and it would put them at a competitive advantage over faith-based.”

“The CBO just took the real score of the Biden spending spree, and it’s closer to $3 trillion of additional debt, not $360 billion,” said Senator Mike Braun (R-IN). “It’s shameful to say you’re investing in childcare while asking our children and our grandkids to pay the bill.”

“You would think when it comes to something like child care, the people advocating for the so-called ‘BBB’ would want to make things better, not make them worse,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). “Yet, they have accomplished exactly that, and made it actually worse, not better. You’ve heard about the reduced access and the increased cost. And of course, as working moms, when they can’t find affordable child care means they aren’t part of the labor force.”

“In the great state of Indiana, we join roughly a third of the rest of America in finding that child care costs actually exceed the cost of higher education,” said Senator Todd Young (R-IN). “So, this issue has not received enough attention. The worst thing we could do is to put out of business our existing child care providers, which is precisely what the ‘Build Back Better’ plan would do. It would impose undue, additional costs and requirements on our faith-based providers, your YMCAs, your church-based providers…This is yet another half-baked scheme and its demonstrative, its illustrative of the fact that the National Democratic Party is out of touch with not just the challenges people are facing, but also their desired solutions.” 

To watch the full press conference, click here.