July 31, 2020
Washington, DC — Representative John Curtis (R-UT), released the following statement advocating for H.R. 7778, the Expanding Child Care Access Grants Act, which would provide funds for businesses to establish child-care programs or partner with existing providers to offer child care for their employees. The Congressman does not support the two child care bills on the House floor today due to their reckless spending of taxpayer dollars and the creation of new regulations while child care providers are already facing burdensome red tape.
“Access to child care is a key factor to getting Americans back to work and continuing Utah’s successful economic rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, simply throwing billions of dollars at the industry, coupled with additional regulations that will make it harder for child care facilities to open, will not fix the problem. Instead, Congress needs to focus on reducing barriers to affordable child care while being responsible with taxpayer money”, said Curtis. “To that end, I am a proud cosponsor of the Expanding Child Care Access Grants Act, which will provide grants for employers to establish child care options for their employees. Unlike the bills on the Floor today, this bill provides a targeted way for Utahns to have access to the child care they need, with a fraction of the price tag.”
H.R. 7778 – The Expanding Child Care Access Grants Act
- This bill provides grants for businesses to establish child-care programs for their employees or partner with existing providers to offer child care services.
- Funds would go from HHS to states and then would be sub-granted to businesses.
Time-limited in response to COVID so that any unused funds would be returned to the Treasury in a year.
- States would be required to obligate 80 percent of funding within six months.
- Authorizes $1B, and achieves the same goal as the Democrat’s bills, but with a much lower price tag.
House Republicans have introduced numerous bills to address the needs of families and providers and worked on a bipartisan basis to include $3.5 billion in much-needed support in the CARES Act. Instead of pursuing bipartisan solutions, House Democrats have decided to take a partisan approach that recklessly spends taxpayer dollars and adds burdensome new mandates that will drive up costs substantially, tie many providers’ hands unnecessarily, and limit available slots for parents returning to work. Representative Curtis will be voting against the following two bills on the House floor today:
Child Care is Essential Act
- Appropriates $50 billion, which is higher than the entire annual revenue of the child care industry, and substantially more than was included in HEROES.
- Denies support for certain eligible providers, such as churches and public recreation camps, who are license-exempt and operating legally in a state that meet all state and local requirements.
- Fails to address the barriers to entry new providers face, an issue that can increase cost and limit slots for children.
- Does not include protections to ensure eligibility for all providers, potentially closing the door on those who don’t already receive taxpayer funds.
Child Care for Economic Recovery Act
- CBO estimates on-budget effects of this bill to be more than $165 billion over 10 years, including a substantial increase in mandatory spending, which is out of proportion for the immediate needs related to the ongoing pandemic.
- Includes an increase in child-care entitlement funds to states from $2.9 billion to $10 billion per year over five years, even though many states have not utilized the additional funding for child care that was provided in the CARES Act.
- Fails to protect taxpayer dollars by excluding safeguards on the refundability of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, such as taxpayer or child social security numbers.
- Expands the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit to cover wages paid not only to nannies and other caretakers, but to butlers, maids, and gardeners, and on a retroactive basis.
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