September 15, 2023

Congresswoman Calls for Immediate Action to Relieve Child Care Crisis

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) issued the below statement following a report from the U.S. Census Bureau finding that child poverty has more than doubled from last year, resulting in an additional 5 million children in the United States experiencing poverty in 2022. This represents a significant backtracking from the progress made in 2021 and is the largest one-year increase of child poverty on record.

“I am outraged by this devastating report. This spike in child poverty is absolutely unacceptable. We live in the richest country in the world, and have the tools to end poverty so long as we have the political will to act,” said Rep. Lee. “There has been no modern policy as successful as the expanded, monthly Child Tax Credit, which lifted millions of children out of poverty and cut hunger by 26 percent. Families used this vital money for housing, child care, food, diapers, and other basic needs. Republicans in Congress should never have let it expire. It’s time we put America’s kids first and permanently extend this lifeline. As Chair of the Democratic Caucus Poverty Task Force, I will not stop fighting until we make this program permanent and ensure all children have their basic needs met.”

As chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, Rep. Lee continues fighting to improve life for struggling families so everyone has the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Originally launched in 2013 through the office of former House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, the task force continues its mission to raise awareness among Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing poverty crisis, the positive human and economic impacts of effective poverty alleviation programs and the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lee has led the fight to preserve and expand critical safety net programs like unemployment insurance, housing assistance, child care, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).