Kamala Harris invites business leaders to the White House to discuss child care.
The day after Senate Democrats passed their $ 3.5 trillion “big and bold” budget plan, Vice President Kamala Harris invites business leaders to the White House to boost support for the one of the pillars of the plan: child care, a White House official told the DealBook newsletter.
The budget, which aims to transform social policy in the United States, is still far from official, and the challenges to passing it became clear almost immediately, West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, saying he had “serious concerns” about the expenses. so many. Ms Harris, for her part, was active in soliciting support for the Biden administration’s proposals, including speaking with Unity Health Care’s Brentwood Health Center in Washington earlier this week and chatting with members. of Congress.
Thursday’s meeting highlights the administration’s efforts to engage business, especially on issues that are traditionally not considered business matters, although increasingly discussed as such. More than two million women have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic, and companies, already scrambling to fill vacancies, have struggled to bring them back. The share of women in paid work is at its lowest since 1986.
The guest list includes a wide range of business leaders, such as Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Airbnb; Mark Breitbard, General Manager of the Gap brand; Jenna Johnson, President of Patagonia; Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy; Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft; Hamdi Ulukaya, the general manager of Chobani; and Alison Whritenour, Executive Director of Seventh Generation.
The White House selected these executives because of their company policies on child care and paid time off, a senior administration official said. At the meeting, Ms. Harris is expected to stress the importance of child care as a personal and professional matter.
The Biden administration’s child care program includes the extension of the enhanced parent tax credit offered as part of the US bailout, which Columbia University researchers say could reduce the child poverty of 45%. It also calls for extending various forms of paid leave, up to 12 weeks per year for parental, family and medical leave, as well as three days of mourning per year.
The United States is the only member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that does not grant statutory paid leave to new parents. About 300 CEOs from companies like Salesforce and Spotify on Thursday requested federally paid family leave. In a letter, they said paid time off “leads to better retention, better personal health and better morale, which contributes to greater stability and sustainability for our businesses, ultimately contributing to our bottom line.”
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