Elizabeth Warren brings back her $700 billion universal childcare plan and wants the wealthy to pay for it
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a $700 billion universal childcare plan on Tuesday.
- Her plan, cosponsored by Rep. Mondaire Jones, would ensure no family pays more than 7% of income on childcare.
- Democrats have made several related proposals recently, notably a permanent expansion of the bigger child tax credit.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Ahead of President Joe Biden’s second infrastructure proposal unveiling on Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts released a plan on Tuesday to help families get quality, affordable child care in the US.
CBS News first reported that Warren, alongside Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, reintroduced a $700 billion Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act to ensure families making up to twice the federal poverty line would be guaranteed free access to child care. Families earning more than that would pay a subsidized amount based on their income, but no family would pay more than 7% of their income for public child care, according to a press release. Warren first proposed the plan in 2019, ahead of her presidential campaign.
According to the release, Warren and Jones proposed their plan be paid for by Warren’s wealth tax, which economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley estimate would bring in at least $3 trillion in revenue over 10 years.
“We must invest $700 billion to fix our broken childcare system and ensure that women and families are not left behind in our recovery. Our legislation would guarantee all parents affordable access to safe and nurturing childcare and early learning opportunities for their kids,” Warren said in a statement. “Expanding quality childcare would create jobs, increase productivity, and have lifelong benefits for children’s development and growth.”
The plan also calls for mental and physical health and dental care for children who need it, along with increased pay for childcare workers by requiring their wages be comparable to local public school teachers.
Warren and Jones’ legislation comes amidst a series of recent proposals to improve the US childcare system. Last week, Insider reported that Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia reintroduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA), which would cap how much families pay for childcare, and make it free to some.
And on Monday, House Democrats introduced a bill to provide a permanent child tax credit, which would provide $250 or $300 checks monthly, depending on the child’s age. The Washington Post reported that Biden is unlikely to include a permanent child tax credit in his infrastructure plan and will extend it through 2025 at a cost of $400 billion.
The upcoming second part of Biden’s two-part infrastructure plan will be largely focused on funding childcare and education initiatives to directly help families, such as free community college.
“Our childcare system is deeply broken, and those who can least afford it are paying the highest price as a result,” Jones said in a statement. “If we want a country, and an economy, that works for all Americans, we need universal childcare.”
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