Rep. Ilhan Omar Introduces First Bill Providing Childcare for Workers Affected by the Shutdown

January 24, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN), along with over thirty members of the House Democratic Caucus, introduced the Federal Worker Childcare Protection Act of 2019 today—which ensures that federal employees affected by the shutdown are eligible for reimbursement of their childcare expenses. The bill authorizes appropriations to the General Services Administration for the creation of a fund to which federals workers can submit official documentation of their expenses and apply for repayment of fees. There are about 100 childcare facilities in federal buildings across the country providing care to 7,500 children a day, two thirds of whom are children of federal employees. As long as those daycares are closed, many parents are paying double – fees to their interim provider, on top of fees to the closed daycare to maintain their child’s place once the government reopens.

“What this bill does is simple: it makes sure that the people who are suffering because of the President’s manufactured crisis are at the very least able to cover their childcare expenses,” Rep. Omar said. “This bill is personal for me. I am a working parent with three beautiful children and I know firsthand the costs associated with child care.”

The Federal Worker Childcare Protection Act bill authorizes the General Services Administration to create a fund to which federal workers can submit official documentation of their expenses and apply for repayment of fees. Original cosponsors include Reps. Yvette D. Clarke, Rashida Tlaib, Gwen Moore, Ayanna Pressley, Earl Blumenauer, Barbara Lee, Dutch Ruppersberger, Alcee L. Hastings, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Bonnie Watson Coleman, John Garamendi, Don Beyer, T.J. Cox, Mark DeSaulnier, Mark Pocan, Andy Levin, Bill Foster, David Cicilline, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Jerrold Nadler, Jan Schakowsky, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Gregory W. Meeks, Steve Cohen, Darren Soto, Katie Hill, Pramila Jayapal, and Brenda Lawrence.

Read the bill text here.

Watch today’s press conference here.