A Florida congresswoman is teaming up with one of the leading Democrats in the U.S. House to once again fight for former President Barack Obama’s call to increase funding for child care assistance by more than $85 billion.
This week, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-NY, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, to bring out the “Children First Act” which “would expand funding for child care assistance for working families to expand opportunities as child care costs increasingly consume larger portions of family budgets nationwide.” Frankel, who was elected to Congress in 2012, is part of the Democratic leadership as chairwoman of the Democratic Women's Working Group.
Taking a page from Obama’s playbook, the bill would raise “mandatory funding for child care subsidies for working families with children under four years old” by $86 billion over a ten year period. This mirrors what Obama proposed in his final budget request. Frankel’s office noted that, in more than half of the states in the nation, child care costs exceed tuition and fees of public colleges and universities.
Crowley insisted on Monday that the proposal would help working class families.
“The cost of stable, safe, and quality child care burdens far too many working families – limiting their ability to grow in the workforce. Providing assistance to hard-working mothers and fathers will help lift families into the middle class and provide a boost to our economy overall,” Crowley said. “Parents must be able to make child care decisions that make sense for their families, and I’m proud to join with Congresswoman Frankel to move us closer to that reality.”
“The cost of safe quality child care has gotten beyond the means of too many young parents," Frankel said. "Our legislation is a better deal for millions of families that live paycheck to paycheck.”
So far, Crowley and Frankel are the only two representatives who signed off on the bill which was sent to the House Ways and Means and the Education and the Workforce committees.