At HELP Committee Hearing, Murray Talks Lowering Costs for Families—Cracking Down on Greedflation, Junk Fees and Tackling Child Care Crisis

Murray urges passage of her Child Care for Working Families Act and the Shrinkflation Prevention Act

***VIDEO of Senator Murray’s full Q&A HERE***

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member and former Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, attended a HELP subcommittee hearing on the impact of rising costs on families and local economies, where she called out corporate greed for crunching families’ pocketbooks and spoke about her continued efforts to tackle the child care crisis and lower costs for families.

“When I talk to people back in Washington state at the grocery store, we are all seeing the same thing: companies shrinking sizes and hoping we won’t notice or raising prices well beyond inflation and hoping we just won’t question why. But we are not going to stand for it. These unfair shenanigans from big corporations are straining family budgets that are already stretched thin for essentials,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I’m a proud cosponsor of Senator Casey’s Shrinkflation Prevention Act.” 

Senator Murray discussed how the child care crisis is a major pressure point for families—and underscored the need to pass her comprehensive Child Care for Working Families Act, which would cap working families child care costs at just 7% of their income and would mean the typical family in America pays just about $10 a day for child care.

“Child care is a full-fledged crisis. Providers are really struggling to keep their doors open, workers are struggling to make ends meet on poverty wages, and parents are struggling everywhere to find any quality, affordable options that work for their families,” said Senator Murray. “When you can’t get affordable child care, you can’t work. It’s that simple. And when you can’t work, that makes your family budget even tighter, and it hurts our entire economy. So I really believe we have to take very bold action to save our nation’s child care system and all the families who really depend on it. That’s actually why I wrote the Child Care for Working Families Act, and I’m going to keep pressing on it.”

At the hearing, Senator Murray questioned Dr. Emily Gee, senior vice president for Inclusive Growth at the Center for American Progress, about what a seven percent cap on the cost of child care would mean for families. “A cap on the cost of child care is crucial to making it affordable to families,” responded Dr. Gee. “Investing in child care is important for the economy overall. It enables parents—particularly women—to participate in the labor force, which is important for families’ overall economic security and for employers to hire the workers they need.”

Senator Murray has led the fight to tackle the child care crisis in Congress—using every tool at her disposal to make progress for families as the top Democrat on the HELP Committee, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee, and now as Chair of the full Senate Appropriations Committee. She has secured significant year-over-year increases for CCDBG to help more families afford child care. She was instrumental in ensuring Congress took action when the COVID pandemic forced the child care sector to the brink of collapse. She authored the stabilization provisions in the American Rescue Plan alongside Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) and helped secure a historic $24 billion in stabilization funds and an additional $15 billion for CCDBG in the legislation. The stabilization funds kept over 220,000 child care providers across the country afloat, sustaining child care for up to 10 million children as our country recovered from the pandemic. One third of child care providers who received a stabilization grant said their child care program would have closed permanently without the grants. She introduced legislation and pushed to extend the stabilization grants—and has continued to push to deliver supplemental funding to address the child care crisis, particularly given the tight fiscal constraints the Fiscal Responsibility Act has imposed on annual appropriations. Critically, Senator Murray has introduced and continues working to build the support needed to pass her Child Care for Working Families Act, comprehensive legislation to tackle the child care crisis and ensure families across America can find and afford the high-quality child care they need. The legislation, which became the basis for President Biden’s child care plan in 2020 and his Build Back Better proposal, would ensure that child care is affordable and accessible for working families nationwide. The typical family would pay about $10 a day for child care under her plan.

The Shrinkflation Prevention Act, which Senator Murray co-sponsors, would help to put more money in the pockets of working families, make big corporations pay their fair share, fight unfair corporate price gouging, and take on corporate monopolies to increase competition and lower costs.