WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding a new executive order from the Biden administration to expand access to child and home care and invest in the care workforce:
“As the COVID-19 pandemic made abundantly clear, care workers are essential to our economy and to the health and wellbeing of all our communities. But for too long, child care and home care have been unaffordable, inaccessible, and care workers dramatically undervalued and underpaid. That is why the Congressional Progressive Caucus has advocated for legislative and executive action on the care economy, and why I’m thrilled to applaud this new order from the Biden administration today.
“This new order will bolster the care economy by investing both in those who rely on caregiving and in the essential workers who provide it. The administration’s order builds on its historic implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s prioritization of grantees that provide child care to their workers, now directing federal agencies to consider requiring contractors to expand child care for their employees. It pushes all federal agencies to pursue opportunities to expand employee access to child care and expands home-based care access for veterans. It also sets a payment floor to raise care worker wages, issues regulations to improve the quality of care jobs, and leverages Medicaid funding to ensure nursing homes can meet minimum staffing standards to promote worker safety. This order is essential to advancing racial and gender justice, when virtually all child care workers are women and the majority of care workers are women of color. Each of these policies are directly responsive to proposals in our 2023 Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda, issued just last month.
“Today, President Biden rightfully recognized that well-paid, experienced care workers are central to ensuring a competitive and fair economy, and that access to affordable, quality care services are necessary for every family to thrive. The CPC has fought tooth and nail for these investments, including ensuring universal child care and expanded home-based care passed through the House Build Back Better Act in 2021. That work is unfinished, and Congress must meet this moment. Progressives will continue to push for legislation that finally recognizes the hard and essential work of caregivers, guarantees universal child care, and makes home-based care accessible and affordable. We have and will continue to stand with and for care workers and American families every day.”
This order is the fifth action the Biden administration has taken from the CPC’s 2023 Executive Action Agenda, including: rulemaking from the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from cars and trucks and mercury pollution, the expansion of health insurance coverage eligibility to DACA recipients, and pushing federal banking agencies to pursue enhanced supervision of mid sized banks.