U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal has introduced a new package that would provide universal paid family and medical leave, guaranteed access to child care and permanently extend worker and family-related refundable tax credits from the American Rescue Plan.
Neal, D-Springfield and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, called the Building an Economy for Families Act "an investment in our future that we simply cannot afford to pass up."
“Our economy is premised on the idea that some workers are worthy of ‘perks’, like paid leave or affordable child care that works for their schedules, while the majority are forced to fend for themselves," Neal said Tuesday in a news release. "For our economy to fully recover from this pandemic, we must finally acknowledge that workers have families, and caregiving responsibilities are real.
"Through sensible, but bold investments, we can put workers’ minds at ease and ready our country to come roaring back. All while lifting millions out of poverty by permanently extending the hugely popular expansions the Ways and Means Committee made to key tax credits in the American Rescue Plan."
According to Neal's office, the plan would:
- Provide universal paid family and medical leave for all U.S. workers.
- Increase funds for the Child Care Entitlement to states program and index the funds to grow with inflation and child population.
- Establish a Child Care Information Network for parents and caregivers to access frequently updated information about available child care slots that meet their needs in their communities.
- Provide a new refundable payroll tax credit for child care providers to raise wages of essential child care workers.
- Permanently extend the American Rescue Plan’s expansions of the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Create a new Worker Information Network to assist workers in accessing paid leave, unemployment insurance benefits and child care.
- Invest $15 billion in the physical infrastructure of child care facilities.