NEWS: Yoder, Murphy Introduce Bill to Help Families Afford Child Care
Legislation helps make child care possible for working families across the country
WASHINGTON – Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Ky., and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., introduced the Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone (PACE) Act. This bipartisan bill improves current tax benefits to make child care more affordable for working and middle-class families across the country. By making important updates and reforms to the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), the PACE Act will provide critical financial assistance to help parents and caregivers keep up with the increasingly onerous cost of child care.
“Raising a family is a blessing, but the rising cost of living has made it far too difficult for working and middle-class families to afford high-quality child care—that’s why the bipartisan legislation we introduced today is so important,” said Murphy. “Oftentimes, a parent is forced to leave the workforce or cut back on working hours to care for their child just to avoid paying for expensive child care. By modernizing and increasing the value of existing tax benefits designed to offset the cost of child care, the PACE Act will help to put high-quality child care and early education within reach for more families.”
“Paying for quality, affordable care for young children is one of the most important line items on every working family’s budget,” said Yoder. “These days it’s become a larger and larger number, making it more and more difficult for families to find the right solutions, and in some cases even creating a disincentive for both parents to enter the workforce. As we work to reform our tax code in Congress, we’re working on ways to help Americans keep more of their hard-earned money and grow our economy so they can take home even more of it."
Child care can be expensive for Florida families. The average annual cost of infant care in Florida is $8,694, nearly twice as much per year as in-state tuition at a 4-year public college in the state. Currently, only 30% of Florida families can afford infant care. If Murphy’s bill is enacted, a middle-class family of four making $55,000 a year could receive an additional $900 in CDCTC benefits to help offset the cost of child care. Moreover, a working-class family of four making $15,000 a year could receive as much as $3,000 in CDCTC tax refunds and credits.
During her first term in Congress, Rep. Murphy has focused on improving the quality of life for central Florida families. She co-sponsored H.R. 947, a bill to support a national paid family and medical leave program. Rep. Murphy also supports equal pay for equal work, and helped introduce H.R. 1869, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to prevent wage discrimination against women so that all Americans can be compensated fairly for their work, regardless of their gender. She also helped introduce H.R. 15, the Raise the Wage Act, which would put working families on a path to a living wage by gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over a seven-year period.
To read a one-page summary of the PACE Act, click here.
###U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the House Armed Services Committee and Small Business Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.