Senator Murray Statement on the President’s Supplemental Request
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on the supplemental funding request the President submitted to Congress this afternoon:
“Today, the President has made a request for critical funding to tackle so many of the urgent challenges we face here at home: resources to keep a fragile child care industry afloat in the midst of a worsening crisis, investments to ensure brave wildland firefighters don’t see a pay cut, funding to help communities recover after devastating disasters, assistance to help keep communities and places of worship safe from hateful attacks, and help to continue a critical program that makes sure Americans can afford high-speed internet. These are all critical priorities that we’ve got to tackle—and I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure we do.
“And now that vital child care stabilization funds have expired, the child care crisis in particular will get worse if we don’t act on the President’s request. Providers across the country are facing tough decisions about laying off staff or even closing their doors entirely. We’ve got to act on child care to prevent billions more in lost wages, revenue, and growth—not to mention immense new stress on parents already struggling to get by. Child care is a top issue for families nationwide—and it has got to be at the top of our agenda here in Congress as well.
“There is a lot happening in the world today—not to mention a lot of chaos in some corners of Congress at the moment—and while we absolutely must deliver on key national security priorities as quickly as we are able to, we’ve also got to tackle the challenges facing families here at home, especially the growing child care crisis. We are the United States of America—we can stand with our allies around the world and solve problems for our families at the same time.”
Chair Murray was instrumental in ensuring Congress took action when the pandemic forced the child care sector to the brink of collapse. She authored the stabilization provisions in the American Rescue Plan and helped secure an historic $24 billion in stabilization funds and an additional $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the stabilization funds have kept over 220,000 child care providers across the country afloat, sustaining child care for up to 10 million children—but expired at the end of September. One third of child care providers who received a stabilization grant said their child care program would have closed permanently without the grants.
Senator Murray has also successfully pushed to boost existing federal child care funding through annual appropriations—and as Chair, is pushing to keep up the momentum despite the tight fiscal constraints posed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Last year, Murray secured a 30% increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant as chair of the LHHS subcommittee, and she has boosted funding for the program by $700 million in the Senate funding bill she cleared out of Committee this summer in a 26-2 vote.
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