INVEST IN AMERICA WEEKLY ROUNDUP: INVEST IN CARE

This week, Invest in America partnered with care advocacy organizations to launch a #CareCantWait Week of Action urging the Biden administration and Congress to fulfill their promise to go big on care infrastructure investments in the next legislative package. Investing in a robust care economy — as in the American Jobs Plan and the upcoming American Families Plan — will create millions of high paying jobs, combat the “she-cession” spurred by the pandemic, increase overall productivity, and more.

Invest in America and Invest in America Action:

  • Held a press conference on the importance of investing in the care economy featuring new research from economist Lenore Palladino, who presented the economic impact of care investments in key states. The conference also featured Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), TIME’S UP Foundation President and CEO Tina Tchen, and Women Effect Fund Co-founder Lisa Guide.
  • Held a press conference in partnership with PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States and Main Street Alliance featuring leaders from businesses large and small, including from Patagonia and Thumbtack, alongside a small business owner and caregiver. The business leaders discussed the need for investments in care infrastructure to counteract the “she-cession,” boost economic recovery, and ensure that businesses large and small continue to be productive and inclusive.
  • Partnered with the #CareCantWait coalition to release a letter signed by more than 50 advocacy groups urging Congress and the Biden administration to invest in a family-friendly care infrastructure.
  • Ran a New York Times ad in partnership with the #CareCantWait coalition featuring a sign-on letter of more than 50 care advocacy groups.
  • Released a digital ad, “Invest in Care” highlighting caregivers and care advocates calling for robust public investment in the care economy. The ad features leading care advocates including Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities Angela Lang, and SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry — as well as working moms, caregivers, and activists with Moms Rising, Paid Leave for All, PL+US, and Main Street Alliance.
  • Released a research report calling for major investments in the care economy, which would work to combat the “she-cession” and help the country build back a more equitable, productive economy.
INVEST IN AMERICA COVERAGE
The Hill: Groups push Biden to go big on investments in ‘care infrastructure’
A coalition of groups is urging the White House and Congress to invest in “care infrastructure” by including paid family leave, a permanent expansion of the child tax credit and other provisions in President Biden’s expansive jobs package.

More than 50 groups have signed on to a letter to Biden urging him to back the investments, arguing they will help women, for whom the coronavirus-induced recession has been especially harmful, as well as bolster overall economic growth by creating jobs.

“Making overdue public investments in our care infrastructure isn’t just good for women, it’s a critical part of the country’s economic recovery. Robust investment in the care sector would create millions of new jobs for the women hit hardest by this crisis, generate hundreds of billions in new economic activity, and allow millions of women who have been pushed out of the labor force to return to their own careers,” states the letter, which was obtained exclusively by The Hill. 
[…]
The letter was organized by Invest in America, a liberal group pushing for a robust infrastructure package, alongside Care Can’t Wait, a coalition of care groups that was launched in recent weeks. 

Business Insider: 55 progressive groups urge Biden to go big on ‘family-friendly care infrastructure’
The first $2.3 trillion part of the infrastructure package President Joe Biden unveiled on March 31 included some elements related to care-economy measures, like investments in home care. But progressive and liberal groups want Biden to go bigger on such measures in the next part of his plan.

Led by Invest in America and Care Can’t Wait, 55 progressive groups called for Congress and the Biden administration to invest in care infrastructure to bring economic gains for women and communities of color, according to the letter, which was first obtained by The Hill. The letter notes that over 2.3 million women left the labor force in 2020, of which more than 600,000 were Black women, and one in six child-care jobs lost during the pandemic have not returned.

Business Insider: Biden’s plan to spend $775 billion on childcare and eldercare could create millions of jobs, study says
“As the mother of a son who experiences severe disabilities, I really know firsthand the difference these services can make, and I’m going to work with the administration and members of Congress on the details for significant investments in home and community-based care,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) said in a press conference about the study.
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Tina Tchen, the president and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation, said in the press conference that low wages in the industry are “a legacy that goes all the way back to slavery in our country, right, where caregiving, this kind of work was not compensated for.” That marginalization continued, Tchen said, as caregivers were left out of labor protections in the New Deal; wages still remain low today.

“Advocates have been calling for, in some cases, $15 an hour,” Palladino said. “I think that the concept of a family supporting wage is an incredibly important concept because we know that so many people in the care workforce are supporting their families.”

The American Independent: The GOP’s 15 worst arguments against the American Jobs Plan
Polling shows widespread support — even among GOP voters — for both Biden’s plan and its main components. An April survey by Data for Progress and the pro-public investment group Invest in America found 73% of likely voters, including 57% of Republicans, support the plan. More than three-fifths of those polled backed its investments in physical infrastructure (76%), the care economy (74%), American manufacturing (65%), clean energy (64%), and housing (61%).
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But as they did with Biden’s hugely popular $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, congressional Republicans are signaling they plan to do everything possible to block the American Jobs Plan.

Yahoo News: Biden’s plan to spend $775 billion on childcare and eldercare could create millions of jobs, study says
Spending $775 billion on three different forms of care infrastructure – childcare, home healthcare, and residential care – could create 5.3 million jobs in 18 states over 10 years, a new study found.

The research, from Lenore Palladino at the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, models a $775 billion investment in care infrastructure, something that President Joe Biden campaigned on. Currently, the American Jobs Plan, the first part of Biden’s two-pronged infrastructure package, contains $400 billion for home and community care for the elderly and disabled, along with $25 billion for upgrading childcare facilities and making them more accessible.

The Daily Yonder: White House Outlines Rural Infrastructure Investments within the American Jobs Plan
A poll from Data for Progress and Invest in America found that 71% of voters strongly or somewhat support these “care infrastructure” proposals including 58% of Republicans, 64% of independents and 58%of Democrats. Only 19%of Republicans oppose those portions of the plan.

When asked if they supported providing affordable care for aging people and those with disabilities, 79%of voters said yes. Another 74%supported providing living wages to care givers, and 73%approved of plans to ensure affordable child care.

Yes!: There’s More to the American Jobs Plan Than Jobs
That’s not a recipe for future electoral success (which also explains the rash of state laws intended to suppress the votes of likely Democratic voters). And the nation is very much in support of this new government spending plans. One recent poll from Data For Progress and Invest in America showed 73% of Americans supported the jobs plan, including 57% of self-identified Republicans. Another poll, from Reuters/Ipsos, found broad support for individual elements of the plan, but more partisan separation on the combined package as presented by President Biden.