Caregiving advocates launched a seven-figure ad campaign Friday urging lawmakers to support Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending plan, which makes huge investments in child care, home care and paid family leave.
The CareCantWait coalition, which includes organizations such as Care in Action and the Service Employees International Union, is running TV and digital ads aimed at Democrats who have expressed reservations about the bill’s price tag, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinAngus King: Losing climate provisions in reconciliation bill weakens Biden's hands in Glasgow Independent senator: 'Talking filibuster' or 'alternative' an option Rep. Khanna expresses frustration about Sinema MORE (W.Va.) and Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerModerates split over climate plans in Democrats' spending package Bleak midterm outlook shadows bitter Democratic battle Democrats downplay deadlines on Biden's broad spending plan MORE (N.J.).
The coalition says that 2 million women have been forced out of the workforce due to rising child care and home care costs, a growing problem that Democrats’ $3.5 trillion bill seeks to help fix.
“Care work makes all other work possible, but has been historically undervalued and overlooked,” Ai-jen Poo, senior adviser to Care in Action, said in a statement. “The women who do this work, mostly Black women and women of color, have waited long enough.”
Democrats’ proposal invests $190 billion in home and community-based services. The bill would subsidize the cost of child care for low- and middle-income households and provide funds to update child care facilities and raise care workers’ wages. It would also extend universal pre-K to 3- and 4-year-old children.
The coalition noted that the bill’s caregiving measures have bipartisan support, citing a September poll from the Service Employees International Union showing that 4 in 5 Americans back better pay for care workers.
The U.S. faces a severe shortage of child care workers, which economists have blamed in part for the nation’s broader worker shortage as parents are forced to stay home to take care of their children.
The new ad campaign comes as business lobbying groups air their own ads opposing the reconciliation package, which would raise taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals. Moderate Democrats who face tough reelection battles are under pressure from business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to vote down the measure.