Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare

Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare
© Greg Nash

Vice President Harris on Thursday hosted executives from several companies to discuss policies to boost the care economy as part of the administration’s Build Back Better agenda, which would invest in home care and childcare. 

“Affordable childcare we know relates to both a business's ability to recruit talent and retain talent,” Harris said at the top of the meeting. 

“We know that it directly impacts worker productivity, and the bottom lines of your businesses. We know that when we prioritize [it, it] contributes to our ability to be competitive globally, in terms of what we know is still an ongoing challenge for our nation which is to keep up with what is happening around the world,” she added.

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The executives in the meeting included Jenna Johnson, president of Patagonia; Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy; Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani; Mark Breitbard, CEO of Global Gap Brand; and Alison Whritenour, CEO of Seventh Generation.

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founded of AirBnB, and Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, joined the meeting virtually. Neera TandenNeera TandenCapito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Senate backlog of Biden nominees frustrates White House Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare MORE, White House adviser, also joined the meeting.

“I want to thank you all for joining us for this very important conversation, which is about childcare," Harris said. “And what it means in terms of the benefit to our economy, the benefit to our families, the benefit to the strength of our nation and our ability to role model to the world what it means to be an economy that is strong.” 

The Senate passed a budget blueprint on Wednesday, setting the stage for the $3.5 trillion package that includes Biden’s Build Back Better plan. The plan aims to cut childcare costs, make long-term care accessible and affordable, and establish national paid family and medical leave. 

Harris mentioned the Senate Democrats’ budget resolution that will benefit Biden's Build Back Better plan and said that the pandemic had revealed “fissures and failures” in America's care system. 

She also highlighted that the administration’s work “has been designed to help not only families and children, but those who are responsible for the caregiving of seniors.” 

Harris thanked the CEOs at the table for their leadership and commitment to the issue.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Fixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates MORE (D-Calif.) has said that the House will not turn to the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate passes the $3.5 trillion package.  

Also at the top of the meeting, Harris said she would be leaving this meeting to go to a briefing when asked whether Afghanistan was lost to the Taliban.