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Democrats’ Build Back Better spending program is taking heat for language that allegedly prevents federal funds from flowing to religious child care providers.
HR 5376, passed by the House of Representatives last month but currently blocked in the Senate, provides $ 390 billion for child care and universal kindergarten with a substantial portion set aside for states to distribute. Part of the bill, however, requires that the money not go to facilities that “are primarily used for sectarian education or religious worship.”
Other provisions include potentially problematic non-discrimination restrictions. They also risk forcing providers out of state-based universal pre-K programs, letter several religious organizations sent to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions (HELP) on December 1.
HEY, JOE BIDEN AND THE DEMOCRATS, LEAVE OUR CHILDREN AND CUSTODY ALONE
“While the language in the BBBA [Build Back Better Act] does not prevent parents from choosing sectarian providers, the subsequent provisions of the text of the bill make it practically impossible for the participation of many religious providers, ”reads the letter, which was signed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of United States, among others.
While it is not clear exactly how the legislative language will be applied, the letter pointed to a survey showing that a significant number of American families are using “faith-based” day care centers.
The survey, which was conducted by Morning Consult and the Bipartisan Policy Center, find: “In January 2020, 31% of households with a single parent or two parents who were working were using center care, and more than half (53%) of these families were using one that was affiliated with a faith-based organization.”
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The office of HELP President Patty Murray, D-Wash., Did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The White House Biden defended his child care initiative, saying, “The Build Back Better framework will allow states to expand access to free preschool to more than 6 million children a year and improving the quality of preschool for many more children already enrolled., parents will be able to send their children to a high-quality preschool in any setting they choose – from public schools to daycares to Head Start. The program will result in lifelong educational and economic benefits for children and parents, and is an investment in America’s future economic competitiveness.