Sanders unveils plan for government-funded child care, pre-K

Sanders unveils plan for government-funded child care, pre-K
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination Tenants call on lawmakers to pass rent freezes MORE (I-Vt.) is proposing a government-funded universal child care and pre-K program that he said would be financed by his proposed wealth tax, his presidential campaign announced on Monday. 

Sanders’s plan would guarantee every child in America free full-day child care from infancy through age 3, as well as free full-day pre-K starting at age 3.

The universal option would be available to all Americans, regardless of income, his campaign said. 

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The plan also calls for lawmakers to pass the Universal School Meals Act, which Sanders introduced with Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Undocumented aliens should stay away as COVID-19 rages in the US The Southern Poverty Law Center and yesterday's wars MORE, a Minnesota Democrat who endorsed his presidential campaign. It would provide year-round free school meals to every child in child care and pre-K. 

His universal child care plan builds on the candidate's previously announced Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education, which, among other proposals, calls for the elimination of for-profit charter schools.

The plan from Sanders follows one proposed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.), a fellow progressive 2020 candidate. Warren unveiled her signature plan to fund universal child care through a wealth tax shortly after announcing her candidacy last year. 

Sanders previously proposed a wealth tax, more ambitious than the signature wealth tax proposed by Warren.

Sanders proposes a 1 percent tax on household net worths more than $32 million. His proposal increases to a tax of 8 percent on net worths more than $10.1 billion. 

Warren's wealth tax kicks in with a 2 percent tax on household net worths of $50 million. Her proposed tax increases to a 3 percent tax on net worths of $1.1 billion or more. 

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Sanders, the leading candidate in the Democratic field after voting in three states, said his proposed wealth tax would pay for his universal child care program. 

He defended his call for the wealth tax to fund his proposals in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. 

“It's taxes on billionaires. You know?” Sanders said.

“You know, I get a little bit tired of hearing my opponents saying ‘Gee, how you going to pay for a program that impacts and helps children, or working-class families, or middle-class families? How're you going to pay for that?’ And yet, where are people saying, ‘How are you going to pay for over $750 billion on military spending? How you going to pay for a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the 1 percent in large corporations which was what Trump did?'” he added.

“Well, I disagree.” 

--Updated at 7:57 a.m.