(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.) said in a Tweet sent out on Thursday: “Childcare should be a right—not a privilege."
Omar issued the Tweet after she announced at a press conference that she was introducing legislation that would reimburse federal workers for childcare they paid for while the government was shut down and they were not being paid.
Some federal workers she noted were considered “essential” and thus had to go to work even during the partial shutdown. Since federal daycare centers were closed during the shutdown, some of these workers had to pay twice for childcare—once to the closed government daycare center and once to another alternative childcare service.
The Tweet Omar sent out later mentioned three other members of the House who joined in backing her bill: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D.-Mass.) and Rep. Katie Hill (D.-Calif.).
The full tweet said: “Today I’m standing with my sisters @janschakowsky @RepPressley and @RepKatieHill to make sure federal workers can at least afford childcare while the government is shut down. Child care should be a right—not a privilege.”
Omar’s bill is called the Federal Workers Childcare Protection Act of 2019.
“What this bill does is quite simple. It makes sure that the people who are suffering because of the president’s manufactured crisis are the very least able to cover their childcare costs,” said Omar.
“As you all know we have nearly 800,000 federal employees and 2,000 contractors that are about to miss their second paycheck and they have no guarantee that the next one will come anytime soon,” Omar said. “But just because their paychecks have stopped it doesn’t mean that the bills stop piling up.
“And for thousands of parents that includes a bill for childcare,” she said.
“And to make matters worse many of these workers are being forced to find alternate arrangements because childcare centers in many of the federal buildings have been forced to close their doors,” Omar said.
“As long as those daycares are closed, many parents are paying double,” she said. “They are paying for temporary childcare and they are still are required to pay for the government daycare.”
“So, I will close by saying that this bill is very personal to me. I am a working mom with three beautiful children and I know firsthand the cost associated with childcare,” Omar said. “I couldn’t image to having to support my family and pay for their childcare bill while I wasn’t getting paid.”
“This shutdown is wrong on so many fundamental levels,” she said. “The least we can do is make sure that people can keep their families afloat while we work to reopen government.”