Biden Proposes Universal Preschool, National Family Paid Leave, and Other ‘Care’ Initiatives

Biden Proposes Universal Preschool, National Family Paid Leave, and Other ‘Care’ Initiatives
President Joe Biden speaks about student loan relief at Madison College in Madison, Wis., on April 8, 2024. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden announced more plans for what he argued would be improving the care economy in America today in the presence of industry workers and unions.

Taking the stage at Union Station in Washington, surrounded by a cheering crowd holding signs that say “Care Can’t Wait,” and “Paid Leave for All,” the president affirmed his commitment to the government care programs and determination to make the ultra-wealthy pay for it by having them “pay their fair share” in taxes.

“Pay your fair share,” he said. “Imagine what we can do. Imagine what we could do for America. Imagine a future with affordable child care, home care, elder care, paid leave.”

The crowd cheered as he proposed a minimum 25 percent tax on billionaires in the country, saying: “I’ll protect Social Security and Medicare and make the very wealthy pay their fair share to make it work.”

The administration’s proposal covers four main topics: establishing affordable, high-quality child care and universal preschool, restoring the expanded child tax credit, investment in long-term care and family caregiving, and establishing a national paid family and medical leave program.

According to the White House, the president’s plan would have the federal government invest in free, voluntary universal preschool for the nation’s 4-year-olds, with later possible expansion for 3-year-olds.

The White House said it would also decrease the cost of child care for more families to just $10 per day, saving more than $600 per child per month, and increase wages for early childhood education workers.

Regarding the children themselves, the White House said President Biden’s proposed plan to restore the expanded child tax credit would cut taxes for 39 million low and middle-income families by an average of $2,600, lifting three million children out of poverty.

Families would be able to receive that tax credit through monthly payments.

The president also proposed “a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program” under the Social Security Administration, stating that 24 percent of private-sector workers had access to paid family leave through their employers and 43 percent had access to short-term disability insurance.

“My budget would finally—finally create a national paid family and medical leave program up to 12 weeks to care for newborn a sick one, a sick loved one, or yourself without losing your income,” he said.

“Look, it’s past time America caught up with the rest of the world on paid leave. And folks, all this helps families and grows the economy.”

This leave program would also assist those grieving the death of a loved one, addressing circumstances due to a loved one’s military deployment or the need to find safety from domestic violence and sexual assault.

For Americans on the other end of the age spectrum, the president wants to expand Medicaid home and community-based services.

He also proposed investments for family caregivers of eligible veterans, including stipends and other support services.

“In the United States of America, no one—no one should choose between caring for a parent who raised them, a child who depends on them, or a paycheck that they need,” he said.

“That’s not why it should be the way it should be.”

The Biden administration also criticized the Republicans in the House of Representatives for resisting the spending and calling for more cuts on taxes and social programs.

During his speech, President Biden said the $2 trillion tax cuts made under President Donald Trump overwhelmingly favored the wealthy, and by seeking to terminate the Affordable Care Act, he said Republicans would be “killing millions of Americans” by taking them off of health care and insurance and stripping them of other services like home care.

He also said that Republicans let the child tax credit expire.

Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Lara Trump released a statement in response to President Biden’s announcement.

“No matter how he spins it, Joe Biden has waged a war on women and families that has caused parents to struggle to send their kids to school, buy diapers and baby formula, afford child care, or retire with some standard of living they would have expected four years ago,” she said.

“Meanwhile, President Trump doubled the child tax credit and implemented historic paid family leave policies for federal workers while incentivizing private companies to follow suit.

“Republican economic policies will once again support women, parents, and opportunity for all—which is why families across the country are rooting for a President Trump landslide victory on Nov. 5.”

Later today, President Biden will welcome Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio for two days of intense discussion as tensions with communist China continue to rise.

From The Epoch Times

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