WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), with his Republican colleagues on the Education Committee, today led a roundtable discussion to hear firsthand how the Democrats’ ill-constructed child care proposal, which is included in their reckless tax-and-spending bill, would devastate existing child care programs, increase costs for families, and limit parental choice.
During the roundtable, local child care providers from Massachusetts, South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, and Colorado detailed how the Democrats’ plan exponentially increases the cost of child care; destabilizes private family child care, center-based, and faith-based providers; and undermines parents’ ability to choose a provider whom they trust to care for and nurture their young children. Participating in the roundtable with Senator Romney, which was led by Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), were Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joni Ernst (R-IA). Watch the full roundtable here.
Excerpts of Senator Romney’s remarks can be found below.
I’m interested in understanding your perspectives on ways we can improve our child care system and ways that we can provide families with more choice at a reasonable cost. I’m really concerned about provisions, which I believe in the House measure, would increase substantially the cost of child care for middle-income families. And that’s by doing two things: one, by dramatically raising the wages of child care workers; and number two, by putting in place ratios; and number three, by establishing the types of facilities that child care would have to be provided in. That’s one area of concern—it’s going to raise the cost dramatically. Another area of concern for me is, “Do I really want to have the federal government get into telling people where they have to send their kids, what child care they can have, what’s going to get taught there, developing the curriculum.” I mean back at Bright Horizons, a lot of time was spent on saying what’s the curriculum we’re going to teach these kids, what are the values we want to give them. At ages two, three, and four, they are not learning multiplication tables—they are learning values. So do we want the federal government—not families, not states and localities, not churches—the federal government stepping in and saying “here’s what we want you to teach.” That, in my opinion, is a fraught course to go down. So, I’m concerned about the cost and the federal overreach, and therefore look forward to your perspectives on those and other topics as to how we might provide amendments to the—I like Senator Scott’s “Build Back Broker,” I might go “Build Back Broken.”
So I appreciate the chance to hear from you today and look forward to seeing if we can find ways to improve the what the Democrats are talking about and recognize something which is really unfortunate. And that is we have a major piece of legislation which will dramatically change how children are raised in our country, and it’s being developed by one party alone—and whether that were our party or their party alone—I think it’s a real mistake in this country to take on a topic as big as how we raise our children and have only one party discuss it—not to have it open for hearings, not to have public input, not to go back and forth between the parties and listen to people across America, bring families in and so forth. No, no, just have one party do it in order to appeal to the base of that party—I think it’s a real mistake, so I don’t like the process and I don’t like the product.