If you read Chairman John Kline’s press release about S. 1086 : The Child Care and Development Block Grant program, you gotta thank the Chairman for getting this legislation approved.
Of course, you may also wonder why it took so long when Chairman Kline praises the legislation :
“The Child Care and Development Block Grant program is a vital lifeline for parents trying to build a better future for their families,” said Kline. “Whether going to work or school, a lot of parents have to decide who will care for their children and worry if they’ve made the right decision. This bipartisan legislation will strengthen this important program to give working moms and dads greater access to quality, affordable child care. I want to thank my Republican and Democrat colleagues in the House and Senate for their work in crafting this legislation, and hope it will be sent to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”
What Chairman Kline does not mention was that S. 1086 was approved by the US Senate by a vote of 96-2 on March 13, 2014 … and here it is six months later and Chairman Kline is finally allowing a vote.
The legislation was “championed” in the Senate by three GOP prominent cosponsors — Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Richard Burr (R-NC).
When the Senate approved the legislation, it was greeted with joy by many groups who advocate for working families … after all, they know the facts — high-quality child care allows working families to secure and retain employment.
Studies show that single mothers who receive child care assistance are 40 percent more likely to remain employed after two years than those who do not receive this assistance.
So today at 4:38:09 PM, Chairman Kline called for a vote on the legislation … and at 5:00:37, the House approved the legislation by a voice vote.
Think about that only 2 Senators objected and the House spent twenty-two minutes to “debate” and approve the legislation !
Why did it take so long ?
The amended version approved by the House has such minor changes that it is difficult to tell if they were requested by House Republicans or House Democrats.
For example, wording was changed to ensure the safety of children,
— States must develop health & safety standards related to things such as first aid & CPR, prevention of sudden infant death syndrome, and child abuse prevention.
— States must perform at least one annual inspection and at least one pre-licensure inspection of CCDBG providers and an annual fire, health, and safety inspection of license-exempt CCDBG providers.
— Individuals who provide care for children with the support of CCDBG funding must undergo a comprehensive background check.
It was these “mandates” that caused Senator Tom Coburn to object to the legislation arguing that these were added costs … $56 million per year … but these provisions are now in the final version.
Working families will appreciate that the legislation is finally being approved … yet, we must wonder if this wasn’t an election year, would Chairman Kline still be obstructing ?
Based on the speed at issuing the press release and getting it in the local papers, we know the answer.