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Dems try to outflank Ivanka with child care bill

September 13, 2017
Burgess Everett

Senate Democrats are angling to take on Ivanka Trump and the Trump administration on one of her signature issues — making affordable child care a key plank of their “Better Deal” agenda.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will lead the introduction of the “Child Care for Working Families Act” on Thursday, an aide familiar with the effort said. The move is intended to showcase broad Democratic buy-in on the bill compared to President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans’ halting progress on the issue. The bill, which has been under development for months, will focus on early learning, child care costs and people who administer child care.

“This bill is the Democrats’ benchmark on what a national child care plan should look like,” the aide said. The bill will be part of the Democrats’ “Better Deal” platform, a progressive agenda launched this summer that mostly serves as an aspirational document for when the party regains control of Washington.

The legislation will make federal funding mandatory for lower- and middle-class families to ensure child care doesn’t eat up a disproportionate share of their budget, focus on preparing 3- and 4-year-old children for kindergarten and make new investments in the child care workforce, according to a summary. The full proposal will be rolled out on Thursday by Murray, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.). Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are also expected to attend, signaling broad bicameral support among Democrats.