50 Years Ago Today, a Nixon Veto Created a Child Care Crisis that Continues. This Week, Mitch McConnell Told Lies Designed to Perpetuate It.
“Fifty years ago today, then-President Richard Nixon vetoed a child care bill that had passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan majorities. The legislation would have created federally funded child care centers across the country that offered early learning, meals, and medical check-ups. It was designed to help parents, and in particular moms, hold jobs and care for their families. President Nixon announced his veto using inflammatory language designed to demonize the concept of federal funds for child care – and to some extent, it has stuck, causing grave and lasting harm to families and our economy.
“Fast forward 50 years to the present. Most industrialized countries offer universal, government-subsidized child care to citizens, but the United States does not. As a result, working families here struggle with outrageous child care costs, children go without the early learning that can prepare them for school, child care workers are leaving the field because they are paid impossibly low wages, and businesses and our economy are suffering without the workers they need. Millions of moms have been forced out of the workforce in the pandemic as child care programs reduced capacity or closed, and many are not reopening. This is a crisis.”
-Statement of Nina Perez, National Director for Early Learning, MomsRising
“This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to use the Nixon playbook to demonize the early learning and child care provisions in the Build Back Better Act. To call the Build Back Better Act a ‘toddler takeover’ was ridiculous and outrageous. It demonstrated how out of touch Senator McConnell is with what businesses, families, and caregivers in our nation are facing. To be clear, the child care provisions enable parents to go to work, cut family costs, help with labor force retention, allow children to thrive, and help pay childcare workers more fairly. Taken together, these childcare provisions would go a long way toward finally solving our country’s child care crisis. They would also help address inflation by lowering family’s costs. All this is part of a well-crafted, transformative plan that gives parents choices in solving problems that desperately need addressing.
“Leader McConnell and his allies need to understand what families, business leaders and economists already know: Our country will not recover from the pandemic and our economy will not be strong if the Build Back Better Act does not become law. Moms will not tolerate a replay of the Nixon take-down of child care or one more generation forced into crisis.”
-Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising