Paid family leave and free preschool excluded from IRA bill
That of the Senate new invoice, called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, is set to be signed into law on Friday. Dems gave him a standing ovation for fighting climate change, reducing the national deficit and making prescription drugs more affordable. But it is far from being Building back better program that President Joe Biden originally presented. And the new package estimated at $740 billion leaves behind programs to help families. As…
child tax credit
The original plan was to continue giving $300 a month directly to families. (Reminder: that the child tax credit started during the pandemic). Parents of children under 6 received $300 and children 6-17 received $250 per month. Data shows child tax credit lifted 3.7 million children out of poverty until December 2021.
Universal Paid Family Leave
It would have been the nation’s first paid family and medical leave program. The OG plan was to cover 12 weeks for part-time and full-time workers. Then it went to 4 weeks. Aaaaand then it was completely abandoned. (ICYMI: The United States is one of the few developed countries to have no federal paid family leave).
Free Universal Kindergarten
Biden had hoped to provide two years of free preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds. This would have applied to public schools, Head Start programs and community preschools.
Families earning less than $300,000 a year would have seen child care costs capped at 7% of their income. (FOR YOUR INFORMATION: child care costs have increased, with the average family spending about $10,000 per year per child, or about 13% of their income). Sigh.
Free school meals
Build Back Better hoped to extend free school meals to 8.9 million children during the school year. Families of about 30 million children would also have received $65 per month (per child) to buy food during the summer. In 2020, households with children experienced an increase in food insecurity, with around 15% reporting that they did not have enough food for each family member.
Analysts will debate who are the winners and losers in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. But many families simply feel forgotten. Biden had big dreams. But months of negotiations ended without several programs that would have helped parents. And for many families, this much-needed help now can feel like it will never come.