By COLLIN BINKLEY
AP Education Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in Congress are pushing for a new round of money to keep the nation’s child care industry afloat, saying thousands of providers are at risk of closing when their federal pandemic relief runs out this month. Legislation being introduced in both chambers Wednesday would provide $16 billion a year over the next five years, awarded as grants to help programs cover everyday costs. It’s intended to replace $24 billion in relief that was passed in the American Rescue Plan and is scheduled to expire Sept. 30. Without a new lifeline, child care programs serving millions of families are expected to close or increase prices. But without Republican support, the bill faces an uphill battle in Congress.