WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree:
“The last time Washington Democrats pushed through a huge change that disrupted families’ arrangements, it earned President Obama the ‘Lie of the Year’ award.
“Democrats insisted that if you liked your healthcare plan, you could keep your healthcare plan. It turned out that was totally false. Their reckless government takeover threw many families into chaos.
“This year, many of the same Democrats want to write a sequel. They want to ram though a radical, reckless, multi-trillion-dollar taxing and spending spree between now and Christmas. And a huge part of their bill would completely upend childcare and pre-K as they exist for families across America.
“If you like your childcare, you can keep your childcare! Buckle up, parents. What could go wrong?
“The Democrats have written their toddler takeover in ways that would turn families’ finances upside-down and make already-expensive childcare even costlier.
“Let’s walk through it.
“First, their reckless taxing and spending spree would make childcare dramatically more expensive through an avalanche of new mandates, regulations, and micromanagement. The usual Washington D.C. routine.
“State and local governments are panicking about the childcare inflation this would cause. Here in D.C., as one liberal analyst uncovered, local officials have formally estimated that the per-child daycare cost for a toddler or an infant would jump by about $12,000 per year.
“Twelve thousand dollars more per child per year! President Biden’s inflation is coming for daycare.
“That’s why the other half of their clumsy scheme is to dump subsidies onto some families. They want to borrow and print even more so they can throw money at the thing they will have just made more expensive!
“But here’s where a bad idea turns into a terrible one.
“The Democrats wouldn’t help families directly. This isn’t some simple voucher that families can use as they please.
“My colleagues have produced an insanely tangled scheme where the truckloads of money go from Washington… to state governments… to the childcare centers. One leaky bucket after another.
“The problems run even deeper than that. Democrats want states to sign up for badly underfunded mandates. That’s the effect because the entitlement programs will surely last forever, but for accounting purposes, Democrats are pretending the money stops after a decade. Many states will not be keen to be socialist guinea pigs.
“Then there’s the fact that the assistance is doled out in incredibly confusing and uneven ways. The subsidies start and stop with no rhyme or reason.
“Listen to what a left-leaning organization, the People’s Policy Project, has uncovered. They’ve found that in Year One, a family that earns one dollar over their state median income, ‘will be eligible for zero subsidies, meaning they will be on the hook for the entire unsubsidized price,’ which they estimate will now cost ‘at least $13,000 per year higher than before.’
“The researcher repeats himself because it’s so unbelievable.
“‘Having a family income just $1 higher than [your state’s median income] would result in you being ineligible for child care subsidies in 2022 even as the unsubsidized price of child care skyrockets due to the wage and other mandates in the Democratic proposal. This is obviously a perverse outcome and it’s not clear whether lawmakers even realize what they are about to do.’
“This isn’t just one technical glitch. It is emblematic of how ill-conceived their whole experiment is. There are 10 problems like this on every page.
“I should add, Mr. President, the families who even get to participate in the mess I’ve just laid out – they’re actually the lucky ones. Because Democrats want Big Government to pick winners and losers among different families who make different choices.
“Many American families make one set of sacrifices so that both parents can work full-time. These are the people the Democrats are trying to reward, although their plan fails in practice.
“But Americans are allowed to have different aspirations. Some families make different sacrifices to have a parent at home full-time. Others prefer flexible middle grounds that involve part-time work plus in-home childcare.
“The Democrats’ toddler takeover wouldn’t give any of them a dime. No diversity. No flexibility. Institutional daycare or nothing.
“In fact, it’s worse than nothing. Because a family who wants a provider to come to their house part-time, or wants to participate in a neighborhood nanny-share, will now be stuck in an inflated market. They’ll have to bid against the employers that Democrats have blessed and subsidized.
“This is the essence of what the Democratic plan would do. Big Government and Big Labor work together to reward some family arrangements and punish others.
“Our all-Democrat government is already botching the things that actually are government’s job. Projecting strength abroad. Maintaining energy independence.
“But they can’t even do that right. Just look at the poll numbers.
“The last thing families need is for Democrats to appoint themselves national daycare czars and then botch that, too.
“I haven’t even touched on one of the most sinister parts of this whole proposal.
“For parents who do use childcare outside the home, faith-based options are incredibly popular. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that 53% of parents who use center-based care use ones that are linked to a faith-based organization.
“But the same Democrats who are letting far-left propaganda trickle down from the universities into K-12 schools are now declaring war on faith-based childcare.
“Washington Democrats want to unleash the woke mob on church daycare. There are at least two parts of their bill that are direct attacks.
“First, liberals are trying to chase faith-based providers out of the childcare industry by denying funds to any facility they deem discriminatory.
“Of course, today’s radical left tosses around those kinds of accusations at any remotely traditional institution.
“Faith-based childcare centers could potentially get their subsidies ripped away if they don’t hire who secular bureaucrats want them to hire, set up their facilities the way secular bureaucrats want them set up, or even — listen to this — gave preference to kids of their own faith!
“Orthodox Jewish daycare centers could get kicked out if they say Orthodox Jewish families get first dibs. Evangelical centers could get punished by bureaucrats if the families who belong to the church are accommodated first.
“It’s a joke. The left is trying to weaponize the word ‘discrimination’ to push faith-based childcare out of business.
“Another part of their bill goes out of its way to deny money for facilities upgrades to buildings that are used for ‘sectarian instruction or religious worship.’ If a faith-based center leads kids in prayer or teaches them their families’ faiths, they don’t get the funding that everyone else gets.
“We see this act over and over from the culture warriors. They pretend they’re happy to have religious groups in the public square… but only if they check all their beliefs at the door.
“A few years ago, the Supreme Court had to strike down a similar policy that penalized faith-based organizations. A state had tried to deny a church a widely-available grant to fix up its playground. The Court struck down the law 7 to 2.
“But the political left is right back at it.
“Just look at which federal bureaucrat would oversee this giant mess.
“It’s none other than Secretary Becerra, the hard-left culture warrior who got famous by suing the Little Sisters of the Poor for being too Catholic and suing crisis pregnancy centers for being pro-life.
“This is the person whom Democrats want to give sweeping new powers over families’ private choices.
“Secretary Becerra gets a giant slush fund to bring President Biden’s inflation into childcare and discriminate against people of faith.
“Just one more way Democrats’ reckless taxing and spending spree would hurt working families.”
SOURCE Mitch McConnell