The White House’s top economist defends the “care industry” as an infrastructure

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House top economist Cecilia Rouse on Tuesday defended President Joe Biden’s plan to spend $ 400 billion on the “care industry” as a legitimate infrastructure investment and is an integral part of his quest to keep it going eliminate economic inequalities.

Republicans have blown Biden’s $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure package with liberal spending priorities and want to scrape funding for homes and community jobs caring for children and the elderly.

Rouse told of an online event that involved faulty thinking.

“So many people said, ‘Oh, the $ 400 billion that is being proposed for home care workers or the home care sector is not real infrastructure,” she said. “Well, I disagree. I can’t go to work if I don’t have someone to look after my parents or my children. “

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan, his second major legislative initiative, is unlikely to get more bilateral support than his first, a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package, passed last month with only Democratic support.

The infrastructure package includes $ 25 billion to modernize childcare facilities and increase the number of sites in areas with few options for childcare. The Biden administration is working on another package, the other means of which are to be presented in the coming weeks.

Together with tax credits for children and childcare in the Aid Act, the measures aim to create better jobs for caregivers who are disproportionately colored women and of whom one in six lives in poverty.

Rouse told the event, hosted by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and Groundwork Collaborative, that the changes were urgently needed.

LeadingAge, which represents service providers in this sector, estimates that half of all Americans will need long-term services and support after age 65, and that by 2040 a quarter of the US population will be 65 years or older.

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