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Warren calls for larger child care investment in Biden’s infrastructure plan: ‘This one is personal for so many of us’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday called for universal government-subsidized child care as part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal, describing it as a “big ticket item” that demands more resources.

“The way I see it, it’s got two parts. One is, this is how you boost productivity in our economy. But the other is, this is how we live our values,” the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead,” referring to Biden’s proposed spending package.

“We want to have an America that truly is about opportunity for everyone. And that includes, regardless of gender, regardless of race, regardless of the kind of family you were born into,” she added. “This one is personal for so many of us.”

Warren, who has discussed her struggles as a working mother early in her career, didn’t indicate that she would oppose an infrastructure bill that doesn’t include more for child care, but she maintained that Biden’s proposal “quite frankly doesn’t go quite far enough.”

The President’s American Families Plan calls for having low- and middle-income families pay no more than 7% of their income on child care for kids younger than age 5. Parents earning up to 1.5 times the median income in their state would qualify.

Biden has also called for a minimum wage of $15 an hour for people in the child care workforce from the typical $12.24 hourly rate they earned in 2020.

But Warren said Monday “we’ve got to make it universal” and “available to all of our parents.” She assessed that the “full ticket” for child care and early childhood education would cost around $700 billion.

“That gives us universal coverage,” Warren said. “It also means we can raise the wages of every child care worker and preschool teacher in America. Those are predominantly women. Predominantly women of color.”

Still, even as she called on Biden to expand his child care budget proposal, Warren credited the President with mentioning the issue during his joint address to Congress last month.

“The President of the United States, two weeks ago, addressed the entire nation, and he said, ‘there are some things we just absolutely need.’ One of the words that came out of his mouth following that sentence was child care. Child care across this nation. Early childhood education. And that is groundbreaking,” she said.

“We’ve got to make sure we’ve made a commitment so we don’t just say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re glad to help if you can find child care.'”

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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