Fatima Goss Graves in Senate Finance Hearing: “Billionaires Don’t Need More Tax Cuts, But Families Need Child Care”

Washington, DC – Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), testified today in front of the Senate Finance Committee on the need for increased federal child care funding.

To watch the full hearing, click here.

Goss Graves began by thanking committee members for securing increases for child care in the American Rescue Plan Act, but urged them to build on that progress by passing $16 billion in emergency relief funding to address the “child care funding cliff,” and to support long-term, robust federal investments in child care.

A primary way that Congress could raise the revenue needed to fund child care is by ensuring that billionaires and ultrawealthy corporations pay their fair share. To that end, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked Goss Graves whether it makes more sense for Congress to pass additional tax cuts for billionaires or to fund child care.

“I don’t think billionaires need more tax cuts, but families definitely need more child care,” Goss Graves responded. “And in fact, having more child care available and accessible – that will help businesses for sure.”

Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), underscored that point by noting the U.S. economy loses $122 billion a year due to child care disruptions.

Goss Graves responded: “Any time we have a situation where we have something that is foundational to families, to employers, and of course, to the early educators who make up that workforce, we can think of it as an infrastructure that is foundational for all of our work…Child care is the work that makes all other work possible.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) asked Goss Graves to discuss the importance of raising pay for early educators.

Goss Graves emphasized that early educators are struggling to recruit and retain workers, largely because they are paid poverty-level wages. Raising pay for early educators will help grow the workforce, which in turn, she said, will assist families and employers desperately seeking care.

Lastly, Goss Graves responded to a question from Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) on why federal investment is so important for child care.

“Senator, we kind of have a math problem here,” Goss Graves replied. “Families, they can’t afford to pay more, and the early educators, they can’t afford to be paid less. And when you have that fundamental type of problem, you need a third-party intervener in a way that provides stability and consistency.”