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Herrera Beutler Reintroduces Bill to Make Childcare More Affordable

Bipartisan legislation would more than double what families can set aside pre-tax for dependent care

U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) and Katie Porter (CA-45) this week reintroduced the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act, which more than doubles what families can set aside pre-tax in Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to pay for preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult daycare.

“As working families continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear they will need every available tool at their disposal to help care for their children and aging parents,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m proud to again help lead this solution allowing folks to double the amount of pre-tax money they can set aside for child care, after school programs, and dependent care. I’m committed to fighting for solutions in Congress that allow Southwest Washington families to keep more of their money in their pockets and get through this challenging time.”

“The way COVID-19 has pushed moms out of the workforce reminds us that policymakers have long neglected to get America’s families the help they need,” Porter said. “Childcare costs have only worsened since I introduced this bill two years ago, and our economy won’t be globally competitive unless we strengthen support for working parents. To help families during and after this pandemic, we need to invest in childcare.”

Since 1986, families have been able to put up to $5000 of pre-tax income into Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts, but this limit has not been changed for 35 years. Herrera Beutler’s Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act would adjust the limit to account for inflation. If this legislation had been enacted for 2020, families could have set aside $11,800 of pre-tax income to pay for dependent care.