Democrats from the House and Senate held a press conference on Feb. 7 ahead of the State of the Union address to discuss their efforts to ensure greater access to childcare relief for working families.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), spoke to the group, highlighting what they believed to be a growing need for government involvement in promoting childcare.
According to Murray, recent data indicates that around 25 percent of parents reported their careers were negatively impacted due to a lack of sufficient childcare.
“If that’s not a crisis, I don’t know what is,” Murray said during the press conference. “We have to do better.”
Waiting for Years
The Washington Democrat went on to say that the cost of the crisis has doubled in the past four years.
Murray, who is the Chairman of the Senate Appropriates Committee and a “former preschool teacher,” said she “will not stop fighting anytime soon” to push for government intervention on the issue of childcare.
The lawmaker also announced that she was bringing a mother from Washington to the State of the Union address. The mother, Angelica Maria Gonzales, is an attorney and mother of five, who recounted experiencing economic struggles due to a lack of childcare.
“Like so many other parents in this country, I have struggled to find safe, affordable, reliable childcare … and I can honestly say I have not seen much change.
“I have waited on wait lists for years when I have needed childcare to put a roof over my children’s heads and food on the table. I have not been able to afford it or find it.
“I have gotten amazing positions that could have changed the position of our family and I’ve had to turn down those positions because I could not get childcare.”
On Senate Agenda
Both Murray and Sanders were adamant that childcare would be on the Senate’s agenda during the current term.
The lawmakers’ press conference came just a few days after another group of politicians gathered on Feb. 1 to unveil a family and medical leave legislative package.
The proposed change would establish paid family and medical leave and modernize the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as The Epoch Times previously reported.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who was also at the Feb. 7 press conference, led the group speaking on the issue of FMLA, saying that the modernization of the family and medical leave legislative package was needed.
According to DeLauro, support for paid medical and family leave jumped before the 2022 midterm elections. She said that because “we work for the American people,” Congress should “stand up for paid family leave.”
In addition to DeLauro, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Representatives Richie Neal (D-Mass.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Sean Casten (D-Ill.), and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) have lent their support to the initiative.