House conservatives ramp up efforts on child care bills

House conservatives ramp up efforts on child care bills
© Getty Images

Members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) are ramping up their efforts on child care legislation, calling for the passage of three bills introduced by freshman female GOP lawmakers aimed at making it more accessible. 

The conservative group is pushing for movement on Rep. Ashley Hinson’s (Iowa) Child CARE Act, Rep. Michelle Fischbach’s (Minn.) Child Care Choices Act and Rep. Mary Miller’s (Ill.) Working Families Flexibility Act, with proponents arguing that the bills could help mitigate the impact families have faced in terms of access to child care during the course of the pandemic. 

“Republican Study has a deep bench of legislators determined to adhere to the conservative principles RSC has always embraced, while tackling novel issues worsened by coronavirus,” RSC Chairman Jim Banks (Ind.) said in a statement. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“As working mothers and grandmothers themselves, Congresswomen Fischbach, Hinson and Miller have worked tirelessly for families in their district since they entered Congress this year. They know all about the challenges working mothers face, and no one is better suited to address those challenges than they are.”  

Hinson’s bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to send a report “quality measuring” regulations on child care, with the Iowa Republican arguing certain state’s requirements like requiring day care providers to have college degrees ramp up costs and limit job opportunities. 

“As a working Mom, I know that access to affordable child care that parents can trust is important and a huge barrier to people entering the workforce, especially in rural communities,” she said in a statement.

“Over the past year, working mothers have been shoved out of the workforce at an alarming rate—we cannot allow this to be a permanent consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Fischbach’s legislation would change the way the Child Care and Development Block Grant works, calling on states to provide families with child care assistance via vouchers.  The bill also includes language that would require states to lay out how differential payment rates for providers are set and prevent states from setting the rates on whether the provider is “home-, family-, or faith-based.” Fischbach argued that the measure would increase flexibility and diversify child care options. 

ADVERTISEMENT

And Miller is leading the efforts on the Working Families Flexibility Act in the House, which has been introduced by Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Biden's Air Force secretary Trio of Senate Republicans urges Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Biden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks MORE (R-Utah) in the upper chamber.

The legislation would authorize “private employers to provide compensatory time off to their employees at a rate of one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required,” placing a penalty on employers that violate the requirement laid out in the bill.

“Current law prohibits private sector employers from receiving paid time off as compensation for overtime work rather than overtime pay. Lifting this restriction is a common-sense proposal that would allow more freedom for employees and employers. It’s hard to be against supporting choices that make our labor laws work for families,” she said in a statement. 

It’s unclear whether the lawmakers will be able to garner bipartisan support on the measures.