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In Connecticut, Biden pushes for increased access to childcare

President Joe Biden
Posted at 9:31 AM, Oct 15, 2021

During a visit to Connecticut on Friday, President Joe Biden again pushed lawmakers to pass his proposed infrastructure and family support bills, saying that doing so would change the outlook for millions of low- and middle-class families across the country.

Speaking from the state capitol building's child development center in Hartford, Biden opened his remarks by sharing the story of raising his two sons following the death of his first wife and daughter in 1972.

He said that even on a U.S. Senator's salary, he could not afford childcare in the early days of his career.

"It made me realize how difficult it is for the vast majority of people who need help," Biden said. "I was lucky. I had a mother who was nearby, sisters...but most people don't have that option."

Biden went on to lay out his plan to increase access to childcare through the American Families Plan. The proposed package would limit childcare costs to 7% of a household's income.

The American Families plan also aims to provide free community college and universal pre-K programs.

While the American Families Plan provisions are popular with Democrats, moderate lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., have balked at its $1.8 trillion price tag. With control of the Senate currently split 50-50, Biden would need the support of every Democrat or at least some bipartisan support to get his bill passed.

In closing his remarks Friday, Biden said he was "confident" Congress would get deals done to fund infrastructure and family assistance programs.

"We won't get $3.5 trillion (between family assistance and infrastructure packages), but we'll come back, and we'll get the rest," Biden said.

Biden also called on lawmakers to extend child tax credits — the monthly checks sent to families that were provided through the latest round of COVID-19 stimulus. That program is set to expire in the coming months.

Following his remarks in Hartford, Biden will travel to Storrs, where he'll tour the Dodd Center for Human Rights on the campus of the University of Connecticut.