Published March 29, 2022
Last week, Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hosted four handpicked witnesses at a hearing on child-care policy. Their prescription largely boiled down to a restatement of the grand vision of the “Build Back Better” spending package — that the federal government should enact an individual entitlement to child-care assistance, spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fix a broken market.
It shouldn’t be surprising that professional child-care advocates and workers want to see massive federal investment in their sector of the economy. But someone should inform congressional Democrats that Build Back Better is dead, and that any reconciliation package is highly unlikely to include the massive policy sea change for which they were hoping.
Patrick T. Brown is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was formerly a senior policy advisor to Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. He writes from Columbia, S.C.