Biden pushes child care proposals in Connecticut
U.S. President Joe Biden visited a child care center in Connecticut Friday, to argue that investments in child care and other social safety net programs are imperative to keep America competitive in the global economy. At the center in Hartford, Biden promoted his proposal to make such care free for lower-income families, and ensure that families making up to 150% of their state's median income pay less than 7% of their salaries on child care. It's part of a massive expansion of the social safety net that Biden has championed and is aiming to pass with just Democratic votes in Congress. "Too many folks in Washington still don't realize it isn't enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure. We also have to invest in our people," he said. Biden went on to outline how his plan would reduce child care costs for Connecticut residents, and noted the disparity between U.S. spending on early child care versus greater investments in other countries, to argue that the lack of investment is causing the U.S. to fall behind. "How can we compete in the world if millions of American parents, especially moms, can't be part of the workforce because they can't afford the cost of child care or eldercare?" The president's sales pitch comes as his Democratic allies have raised alarm that the American public does not understand the benefits of the package. Biden acknowledged that he won't get his full $3.5 trillion dollar package. But he said while he knows it will shrink, "we're going to come back and get the rest" after it's passed, a seeming effort to assuage progressives worried their priorities may get cut in the negotiations. Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to reduce the sweeping package down to about $2 trillion in spending, which would be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. As he walked into the center, Biden briefly greeted some of the children at the center's playground before speaking, at one point kneeling down to give a child a hug.