U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree:

“On Tuesday, I shined a spotlight on Washington Democrats’ proposed ‘toddler takeover.’

“They want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in order to upend families’ arrangements… create massive inflation in daycare costs… and attack faith-based providers.

“Democrats say their plan would not hurt faith-based providers because it wouldn’t explicitly block them upfront.

“But that’s only a small part of the story.

“The reckless taxing and spending spree might not ban faith-based providers on day one. But their scheme of mandates and subsidies would slowly and quietly push them out.

“Democrats’ bill would deny religious providers an extra funding stream for upgrading their facilities which their secular competitors would get.

“And their proposal would let woke bureaucrats persecute faith-based groups unless they leave their values at the door.

“If a Jewish daycare wants to prioritize Jewish families, they could get thrown out of the Democrats’ scheme for discrimination!

“A Catholic facility could be kicked out if families who are registered parishioners get first dibs!

“If a faith-based provider decides not to hire somebody who fundamentally rejects their teachings, left-wing bureaucrats and lawyers could come after them. The woke mob that stalks cake-bakers and florists is now coming for church daycare.

“Twenty-one organizations representing hundreds of thousands of faith-based daycares and preschools signed an open letter to the Senate. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims all wrote this to Chairwoman Murray and Senator Burr.

“‘The Build Back Better Act will suppress, if not exclude, the participation of many faith-based providers…’

“‘[P]rovisions in the bill text make it virtually impossible for many religious providers to participate.’

***

“Now, the far left says that if you don’t support this toddler takeover, you’re out of touch.

“But they’re projecting. It’s their Big Government scheme that is out of touch with the diverse aspirations of different families.

“Last year, a nonpartisan survey asked families what childcare arrangements they’d ideally like.

“Apart from the pandemic, if finances were no obstacle, what would American parents want?

“The share who said center-based childcare was 27%. This is the only route that Democrats want to subsidize. Just 27% of parents say it’s their ideal world. And of that 27%, a majority prefer the faith-based options that Democrats would push out.

“A larger group, nearly 40%, said their ideal arrangement would involve full-time parenting in some form. Either one parent stays home, or the two trade off.

“Another 9% said they’d ideally like an extended relative like a grandparent to be the caregiver.

“Other families would ideally want a nanny-share or neighborhood co-op.

“The Democrats’ daycare scheme would give all these people nothing.

“A family that has sacrificed so that a mom or dad can stay home will not get one penny for books or supplies or to make up for lost wages.

“A grandparent who leaves a part-time job to spend weekdays with their grandkids will not get a dime from the Democrats’ plan.

“A neighborhood nanny-share gets zero help.

“Forget about diversity. Forget about choice and fairness. Families would either enroll in the specific pathway that Big Labor and Big Government like best or they’d get nothing.

“Meanwhile, even in the centers that Democrats do want to subsidize, parents would get a very mixed bag.

“Analysts agree the new regulations would send costs skyrocketing. The District of Columbia’s local government estimates these sorts of policies would increase the cost of childcare by roughly $12,000 per child per year.

“Their plan would supposedly use government subsidies to make up for this new inflation, but that assistance would be confusing and uneven.

“So this bill manages to be wildly inflationary and wildly unfair at the same time.

“It insults the diversity of American families and their aspirations.

“It simply hands money and power to the same woke bureaucrats who are letting far-left propaganda into K-12 schools and then sending the Department of Justice after parents who speak up.

“This bill would give HHS Secretary Becerra, a hard-core culture warrior, a giant slush fund to start shaping the care of babies and toddlers.

“And facilities and families who make different choices would be left facing a massively inflated market with zero help.

“This would be an awful proposal for American families even if it were free. But it isn’t.

“Washington Democrats don’t just have to explain to parents why they want to make childcare more expensive, more inflexible, and more unfair.

“They also get to explain why they want to print and borrow hundreds of billions of dollars to do it.”

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