WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 29, 2020
House Democrats are pushing partisan child care legislation that spends billions of taxpayer dollars recklessly, places more burdensome requirements on child care providers, and denies support for certain eligible providers.
On the House floor today, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee, delivered the following remarks:
"I rise in opposition to H.R. 7027, Democrats’ partisan Child Care is Essential Act, which based off its troublesome provisions would be better titled as the No Care for Children Act.
"Republicans and Democrats agree that there is a critical need that exists in our country today – the need to help child care providers reopen their businesses safely.
"Child care is a cornerstone of the American workforce. If parents do not have a safe place to send their children, they cannot work. If our nation is going to recover swiftly and successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic, child care providers must be an integral part of the solution to getting America reopened and back to work.
"Unfortunately, the bill we are considering today, H.R. 7027, is just another messaging bill for House Democrats who are more interested in political posturing than enacting meaningful solutions.
"Before I get into the lowlights of this legislation, I’d like to point out that child care falls under the jurisdiction of the House Education and Labor Committee; however, our committee did not hold a single hearing or a single markup on today’s bill.
"This is becoming a recurring theme in Speaker Pelosi’s House of Representatives. The blatant disregard for congressional precedent and proper way of doing our jobs is appalling. Too many pieces of legislation are being written behind closed doors in the Speaker’s Office. This type of back room horse trading is not how the nation’s deliberative body should operate.
"On top of this, House Democrats are casting votes and conducting legislative business from the comfort of their own homes, or in some cases a fishing boat, and bringing partisan messaging bills to the House floor without going through the legislative process – all while collecting a taxpayer funded paycheck.
"We’ve gone from a representative republic to an autocracy. Members of Congress were elected to represent Americans here in Washington, yet Speaker Pelosi seems set on silencing those voices. This is downright shameful, and indicative of Speaker Pelosi’s out of touch, politics over progress agenda.
"Back to the flawed legislation at hand – we all agree that Congress should help child care providers reopen safely, however we cannot spend taxpayer dollars recklessly while layering on additional burdens when child care providers on the ground are already facing burdensome red tape.
"The Democrats’ flawed, one-sided bill appropriates $50 billion, which is higher than the entire annual revenue of the child care industry, and substantially more than Democrats felt was necessary to include in their so-called HEROES Act.
"We know the Democrats preferred solution for any problem is to throw more taxpayer money at it, but the Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the industry would need about half of the amount included in H.R. 7027 to recover.
"Additionally, H.R. 7027 places burdensome requirements on child care providers, which could lead to providers spending more time and money applying for and reporting on the funds rather than doing what is most important: serving children.
"Providers already have to figure out how to implement new and necessary health and safety rules, from social distancing and limits on group size to increased cleaning protocols. As if this isn’t already weighing heavily on child care professionals, Democrats now want to enact even more cumbersome requirements for them to deal with.
"This legislation also tries to dictate from the federal level how providers run their business, which can hamper their ability to reopen safely and stay open.
"This ill-advised bill also denies support for certain eligible providers, such as churches and public recreation camps, who are license-exempt, operating legally in a state, and meeting all state and local requirements.
"H.R. 7027 fails to address the barriers many new providers face, an issue that can increase cost and limit slots for children.
"Mr. Speaker, the No Care for Children Act will drive up costs substantially, tie many providers’ hands unnecessarily, and shift the focus away from serving children and supporting parents returning to work.
"It’s worth repeating that Republicans and Democrats wholeheartedly agree on the overarching goal of this debate we’re having today. A lack of child care options could seriously delay our nation’s economic recovery.
"That is why it is extremely disappointing that we’re spending our time debating another partisan messaging bill from House Democrats rather than focusing on common ground and working in a bipartisan fashion to solve our differences on this issue and deliver for American families."