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Democrats defend their child care plan against unexpected attack

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Democratic lawmakers and their allies are moving quickly to dull a dagger aimed — from the left, of all places — at their much-touted plan to make child care more affordable for American families.

The party is in the throes of negotiating what will and won't make it into its multitrillion-dollar social spending package. On the table: A multibillion-dollar program that would funnel money to states to expand their child care industries and provide parents with child care subsidies. The proposal is one of the package's most popular: A September poll found that nearly 8 in 10 voters support it.

But a left-leaning think tank, People's Policy Project, jeopardized that goodwill this week when its founder, Matt Bruenig, penned an analysis making the case that the proposal could allow states to shift the costs of raising child care workers' wages and more onto the middle-class families not immediately eligible for the subsidies. Parents making more than about $67,000 a year could see their costs spike by more than $13,000, he argued, in the first year of the program.

The report, which garnered so much attention that Bruenig published another post Thursday responding to the criticism, even won an unlikely ally: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

"There is a strong likelihood that we are going to see a change in the cost of care, which is already expensive, for parents who are not included," Caitlin Codella Low, vice president of policy and programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Education and Workforce, said in an interview.

Democrats and advocates scrambled to discredit the report after its release and reassure voters that the plan would, in fact, bring parents' expenses down.

“The Build Back Better child care and universal pre-K proposal will dramatically lower child care costs for the vast........

© Politico

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